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Serve stance and angle of ball toss

Serve stance and angle of ball toss

Published: 30 Nov 2005 - 18:47 by rippa rit

Updated: 16 Nov 2006 - 22:59

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It is true that some players do not view their serving style, stance or ball toss as important  There are some keys points to remember when serving:

 I have also noticed when players go to serve they forget some important things that can help the serve:
  • Rush into the service box and stand anywhere - usually it is a different place every time they serve - and the ball usually lands "anywhere".
  • Throw up the ball (ball toss) just enough to be able to strike it (a bit like letting a hot potato drop), and the serve then almost resembles a drive.
  • Aim low on the front wall expecting the ball to lift up and over the opponent's head (as if to try to lob serve).
  • Serve the same type of serve forever (no variety happening).
  • Forget to try serving onto a left-hander's backhand.
  • Keep serving the same serve even if the opponent is handling it well.
My message is, stop, think, before serving - what about?
  • Firstly, take a slow deep breath before entering the service box (focus, settle down).
  • Stand with the shoulders facing the front wall target.
  • Toss the ball high (ball toss) out of the hand so as to get the racket face under the ball which will lift the serve up high onto the front wall (otherwise it will not go over the opponent's head when the ball rebounds off the front wall).
  • If the ball is hot, serve very high but SOFTLY (to prevent the rebound into the middle of the court).
  • If the ball is cooling down (often due to the lack of rallies) use a little more swing to lift the ball upwards, OR
  • Serve a few hard/power serves to get the ball going again (a dead ball is hard to play with too)
Key points to note -
  • The angle of the ball toss (in relation to the body) alters the angle the ball travels off the racket.
  • The height of the ball toss affects the height the ball lands on the front wall.
  • The angle of the racket face affects the height the ball hits on the front wall.
  • The angle of the feet and shoulders will affect the angle the ball hits the front wall, which in turn affects the angle the ball rebounds off the side wall.
  • The speed of the racket swing affects the bounce of the ball, eg too hard, a hit will make an overhit that will rebound into the court.
I could go on, however, all of these points are worth understanding, as this is a closed skill, totally within the server's control. Experiment by drawing some lines on the floor, place targets on the front wall, and devote practice to serving and returning serves with your team mates.
A female masters player has a really consistent, unbelievable accurate lob serve, and makes fit men look hopelessly frustrated, as she follows the excellent lob serve with either of these options:
  • ..volley drop
  • ..cross court volley drop
  • ..volley boast
The sky is the limit in your game, by being methodical with your practice goals.
Tell me how you go, and please ask questions if you do not understand.
Here are some helpful diagrams on the Service
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