I'm fixing my serve and taking you along for the ride! Here in the “Fix My Serve” Series, I'll tell you how I'm improving my serve. And, hopefully, there will be a few tips, tricks and lessons I can pass on that will help you improve your own serve. In this post, I take on the tennis toss:
What is it with Roger Federer? He makes it look so easy. And one of the things that he makes look easy is the serve. Studying Roger Federer's serve is not the worse thing you could do to improve your own serve.
So, guess what? That's what I've been doing. Specifically, I've been studying Federer's dazzling and effortless-looking toss. I've been zeroing in on his mechanics by obsessively watching a seven-part series of YouTube videos that are 100% focused on Federer and his toss. The series is called “Roger Federer Serve Tossing Motion” and is on Brent Abel's webtennis YouTube channel. Here's a link to the very first of the seven videos which happens to be the one that has helped me the most:
This particular video tip deals with how Federer holds the tennis ball to set up his toss. As you can see if you view the 4 minute video, Roger holds the ball with his fingers and thumb to each side of the ball. He doesn't begin his toss with the ball in the palm of his hand. Or, as I was doing, with the ball in his fingers and his palm under the ball.
Not sure what all that means? Don't feel like watching the video? Then take a look at the way Roger is holding the ball as he tosses it in the photo above. You can see that it is leaving his hand with his fingers to the side of the ball. It is not coming from the palm of his hand. Think I'm not right about his or maybe this is just a one time thing that this camera caught? Take a look at this photo collage of Federer's toss that I put together to convince myself that he really begins his toss this way:
Again and again you can see that he must be holding the ball not in the palm of his hand, but with his fingers to the side. This prevents his wrist from flicking the ball up and allows for a tossed ball that travels in more of a straight line and less of a curving arc.
While this one tip has made a big change in my toss (it's still not perfect by any means), maybe this tip won't solve your toss problems. But I'll bet there's something in this video series that can help you. Each of the videos is less than 10 minutes long (more like 4 or 5 minutes max), so they don't take long to get through. My recommendation? Visit the webtennis YouTube channel and view all seven of the Federer toss tips. I know you'll find something to help your toss and, ultimately, your serve.
Don't miss out on any of the posts in the “Fix My Serve” series. Just click on these titles to take a look:
- Fix My Serve Series – Introduction
- Fix My Serve Series – Here's The Plan
- Fix My Serve Series – Is Your Tennis Serve A Weapon? Should It Be?
© Kim Selzman 2013 All Rights Reserved