In many of my lessons on serving, I find the student is so wrapped
up in the mechanics of the swing that he/she forgets the importance of a
correct toss. In my opinion, the basic motion of the serve is really pretty
simple to learn for most people. However, when that motion is combined
with a faulty toss, all sorts of problems can arise.
The toss is the key element in having a successful serve. All
great service motions in the world will get you nowhere if you don't
connect with the ball at the proper place. And getting that toss right is
not always the easiest thing - you are trying to get the ball in a specific
target area by tossing the ball up with your non-dominant hand.
To gain consistency in your serve, make sure you have consistency
in your toss. Of course that doesn't mean every toss has to be in the same
place because different types of serves call for different toss placements.
For instance, if your game plan called for a topspin serve you would throw
the toss above the crown of your head or slightly behind it. But what if
the toss went farther to the right? Your best be is to catch it and try
again. Many club players will attempt some type of serve off a misplaced
toss anyway. If the toss doesn't jive with what you had planned, then
Servers should remember that they are throwing up a toss that
should fit smoothly into their service motion. Special movements and
motion changes should not be made to chase down an errant toss. Hold
the ball lightly in the fingertips and push upwards lifting the ball
just beyond the sweet spot of your extended racquet. Gain consistency
with your toss and you might just find that inconsistent swing was that
way for a reason!