[tennisbiz] Serving Toss Drill for a Nine Year Old
<x-charset iso-8859-1>Hi Linda-
Here are some drills that I have found very effective with younger students
to make more accurate tosses for the serve. The first drills deal with
getting the height correct and the second deals with developing more
accuracy on the toss.
1. Many younger students whip the ball up on the toss so that the toss goes
ten times as high as they need to which adds to the inaccuracy of the toss
tremendously. Here are a few drills to get them the feel of the correct
a. This drill worked the best for my two younger daughters. I had them
stand in the basement of our house and practice the serve with a foam ball.
Because of the ceiling, they got used to the rhythm very quickly so that the
ball would go up but not touch the ceiling. If you don't have a ceiling
type of situation you can use a chair and stand on it and hold anything flat
such as a your racquet, etc. I use a flat piece of foam that I bought at a
furniture store. You do want to hold it just above the top of their racquet
b. Have your daughter hold up her racquet as high as she can and then have
her hold up her tossing arm. The toss is released at about shoulder to head
height. Ask her how far she thinks the distance is from where the tossing
hand is and the center of the strings. It is pretty consistently a foot and
a half to two feet. Then have her toss the ball as if she were going to
serve and tell you if it was too high, too low, or just right. You can give
her feedback at the same time. In this way she can get a feel of how to get
the height correct or close. Keep in mind the rhythm is the key. The
faster she goes in the beginning of the serve the higher the toss witll go.
So, basically, she is looking to get her rhythm at the right speed to get
the height correct.
2. The previous drills are good for getting a feel of the height of the
toss. Now for the accuracy.
a. What I have done is taken an empty tennis ball can and made a small slit
at the top and attached a piece of velcro. With the velcro I can stick the
can to a fence. If you don't have velcro you can even tape it to the fence.
You want to get the height right and the distance in front of the student
right. Then have the student practice the toss attempting to get the ball
to just land in the can.
b. Another method that I have found to work extremely well is using a bigger
ball. I bought four of the bigger sponge balls. They are not as big as a
soccer ball but much bigger than a tennis ball. For some reason the kids
get a better feel of the toss by using the bigger ball. I have them hit ten
practice serves into the fence with the bigger balls and then have them go
to the baseline and hit serves with the real balls. It works! I keep going
back and forth from the big balls to the regular tennis balls and their
accuracy and confidence in hitting the ball goes up pretty fast.
I have some more. I hope these help. Good luck!! Please feel free to
Chandronnait Tennis Academy
Received on Wed Oct 23 2002 - 13:51:54 CDT