The Tennis Serve Toss: Simple Tips for Toss Perfection

The Tennis Serve Toss: Simple Tips for Toss Perfection

For some of us, the toss can be tricky. Check out this video for a few simple tips to ensure a perfect toss every time.

Blair DiSesa Henley is a USPTA Certified (P1) tennis professional with over ten years of teaching experience. She is also a writer for Tennis Now.

Take a look at Serena’s toss to get a better visual.
Serena’s serve in slow-mo:
Serena’s serve practice:

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  1. One little tweak to the video is that I was alway taught the balls apex at the top of the throw should be at the sweet spot of the racket when you're hitting it. Therefore the ball is not moving up or down when you strike it but still in the air and also no rotation on the ball when it's tossed. Essentially like a golf ball on a tee when you strike it.

  2. Great tips thank you! Wish I'd seen that 45 years ago and I might have made a player. But great stuff for those current and to come. It's one of the trickiest things to master but is obviously well worth it. You've a beautiful flowing serve, founded on a sound reliable toss! Love the ice cream cone technique; a great fall back when in trouble.

  3. Thanks Blair, Fabulous video, I will keep watching and practicing over and over again. I had one practice today and there was immediate improvement. How helpful? A +, Personality A+, Humor A+, Smile A++, Victory Dance A+, Life coaching A+, Quality of Instruction A+. In fact I have fallen in love with you. Will you marry me?

  4. Actually in this video, 2 hinges were used to direct the ball straight up, at a consistent location, over and over. Although the shoulder provides the primary force to direct the ball up, she started out with a bent elbow and ended up with a straight elbow so that the ball was effectively directed upwards in an extended shot put fashion. Had she not bent and then straightened the elbow, the ball would have proceeded around a circle and then released at a difficult to repeat location in order to hopefully direct the ball upwards to land where she intended it to land.

  5. Thanks very much Blair. This really helped. I started serving left handed about six months ago as my broken thumb problem is finally better after many years of problems. Luckily, I am ambidextrous and had been serving right handed for years until now. Something wasn't quite right in recent weeks and watching this got my toss in order again. I also find that keeping my head up and not dropping it too fast really helps me get more serves in. BTW, I still produce ground strokes with my right hand, I just switch from left to right hand as my serve arm comes down. Quite easy to do. 🙂

  6. Good technique although if you toss it a bit more in front to hit it in front of you no on top, you should be finishing in front of the base line but foot faulting shouldn't be a issue because you want to be contacting it in front. Hope this might help!

  7. Shouldn't the tossing arm be parallel with the baseline? Also, the toss should start on the inside of the left leg (for a RH player) and then move slightly forward but remain parallel to the baseline.  I heard this develops slight ball momentum.  Have a look at Federer or Murray slow motion serves and you will.  Does this really matter if the toss lands the ball in the desired location (1 o'clock)?

    Also I think there is a better way to grip the ball during the toss if you have issues with this.  Spread the five fingers out as you toss the ball will control any undesired spin on the ball.

  8. I viewed the 'serve toss'' more than hundred times cause with years I got very bad habits, good but too uncertain serve and only by watching and apply your advices step by step I feel that I'm becoming more efficient. I still need to hardly focus on things as it's not anchored yet but I definitely feel the difference. I have no tennis pretention but even at my level I like to learn and correct myself, so your videos are an awesome tool !!! thanks a lot and hope to get new videos soon

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