Aim: Accurately place serve ball toss.
Description: Have the player set up to serve on the baseline. Instruct the players to place their racket on the ground with the racket head on the court and to the right of their feet (left side if the player is left handed). Instruct the player to hold the ball like a glass down by their hip. Instruct the player to toss the ball upwards with the aim of landing the ball on the middle of the racket strings so it bounces straight up. The image below of Fairmont Scottsdale Princess (2014) illustrates how to set up.
Tip: An ill directed ball toss leads to poor serve technique and habits. As this drill is designed for beginners it sometimes helps to ask players to count how many times the ball landed in the centre of their strings. This can be a challenge/competition for juniors or a point of reference and improvement for senior players.
- Ensure players have the correct side on stance with their front foot pointing towards the net. This enables greater body rotation and power.
- Ensure the players hold the ball like a cup so as not to force any back spin onto the ball during the toss.
- Ensure the players keep the tossing arm straight at all times and not bend the elbow. This will direct the ball direct upwards rather than behind the player.
- Ensure the player releases the ball at eye level. If released to early the ball will not be tossed high enough and any later can direct the toss behind the player.
- Ensure players as tossing the ball high enough for when they have a racket in the other hand. Often players shorten the toss to ensure the ball lands on the strings.
Fairmont Scottsdale Princess. (2014, January 16). Tennis Tip :: Serve Ball Toss Drill. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3gdb5Rx8hI