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Tennis Anyone
December 1997 Article

Contact John Mills

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The Service Toss

John Mills Photo
John Mills, USPTA

You will find that a large percentage of errors on the serve are from an incorrect toss. Here are some tips that I have given my students over the years to help them understand the toss better.

  1. As you turn your left shoulder toward your opponent, think of a clock face -- your left shoulder being at 12 o'clock. Throw your toss at 1 o'clock (11 o'clock for a left hander).

  2. Make sure your right elbow goes to full extension. It should be above your eye level on contact (before the wrist snaps).

  3. Keep the toss approximately 18 inches in front of your left hip (right hip for left handers).

  4. Cup the ball in your toss hand -- do not grab it with your fingers.

  5. Hit the ball at full extension (get up on your toes).

  6. A good toss will barely rotate (almost remaining neutral). If it is turning, you are using fingers too much -- allowing the ball to wander away. Set the toss up like a waiter raises a tray of food above his head.

  7. A good toss will peak only a few inches above your full extension -- allowing you to hit the ball slightly on the fall.

Keep improving and Merry Christmas!

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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