Toss Arm Positioning on The Tennis Serve

In today’s video we’re going to talk
about what happens to the toss arm once
the ball is released.
Some players like
Ivo Karlovic or Andy Roddick will toss
the ball and once the ball has been
released the arm will continue moving up
and then it will actually start moving
backwards behind their head like this
And this is usually done in conjunction
with the entire body moving forward. So
while the weight is placed on the front
leg and the hip usually will go a little
bit inside the court and then the
non-dominant arm will go behind the head
in this way
Other players such as Federer will have
a completely vertical position of the
toss arm. So what happens on these type
of serves is that the arm usually
travels parallel to the baseline and
then once it has reached this position
it doesn’t go any further.
And players like John Isner and Nick
Kyrgios will have a diagonal toss and
their toss arm doesn’t go quite to the
vertical position. So they will toss the
ball diagonally into the court and the
arm stops about right here.
All these techniques work but they all
have their own little pitfalls. So here
are the mistakes that I see at the
recreational level. When you try to copy
the Andy Roddick/Ivo Karlovic technique
where the toss arm goes behind the head
like this, what I see is that most
players will have a difficult time
tossing the ball inside the court when
this is the case and furthermore a lot
of players will actually end up tossing
the ball behind the baseline.
So my advice is that if you were trying to
achieve the toss arm going past your
head you cannot do it with a
straightforward toss when the toss arm
is going into the court or even a
diagonal toss because what’s going to
happen is as you’re tossing the ball
diagonal into the court it’s going to be
very difficult to stop at the correct
moment and usually players hold onto the
ball too long and end up throwing the
ball behind like this.
Another very common mistake at the
recreational level is that players will
stop their toss arm once the ball has
been released. So they toss the
ball and the arm stops about at the head
And while this will give you some
decent control on the toss you will have
a very difficult time in getting the
shoulders to be in a cartwheeling
position. So you’re not going to be able
to get that non-dominant shoulder above
the dominant shoulder if the arm stops
at your head level
The easiest way to toss the ball on the
serve is the diagonal toss technique
because with this technique we have
a very easy time to throw the ball inside
the baseline and we also have naturally
a little bit of an arc where the ball is
moving right to left for right-handers.
Now when it comes to releasing the ball
you will have to make sure that the arm
does continue to go up a little bit. Now
it doesn’t have to be all the way
vertical you can stop right here ala
Kyrgios and John Isner, but as long as the
arm is continuing to go up after the
ball has been released this will help
you in creating this cartwheeling effect
where the non-dominant shoulder is above
the dominant shoulder.
So the primary objective of the toss arm
continuing to go up after the ball has
been released is the positioning of the
shoulders. When we do this type of toss
where the arm is continuing to go up it
makes it natural that the non-dominant
shoulder gets above the dominant
shoulder and now what will happen as a
result of that you will be able to
utilize an a very important power source
and you definitely should not neglect
that. Now should you have the arm
continue to go up all the way vertical
or even past your head? In my opinion
this is not so important. It is more
important that you continue to go up and
make sure the toss is not inhibited and
starts to go behind you. In my
experience I see a lot of recreational
players who have a difficulty getting
the toss inside the baseline and their toss
lands very consistently behind the baseline.
And what you’re looking for is a slight
stretching of the non-dominant side once
the ball has been released and you’re
going to feel it so once you release the
ball and you continue going up naturally
as the racket starts going up you’re
gonna feel a stretching on this side and
that is exactly what you’re looking for
as far as what the left arm is supposed
to do after the ball has been released.
So don’t forget to use the non-dominant
arm even after the ball has been
released. It’s a very important technical
element of the serve and can help you to
serve with more power. If you have any
questions please leave a comment in the
section below I’ll be happy to respond,
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see you next time.

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