April 7, 2020
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Tennis Tip: Improve Your Toss For More Balance

Hi guys! Nadim here again for Online Tennis Instruction! Today’s drill I want to talk about your serve and how you can improve your balance on your serve and it has mainly to do with the technique of your toss. So what am I talking about? As you can see i’ve set up a little diagram here which if you have these yellow lines you can do easily or if you play on clay you can mark these lines with your shoes into the clay. The point is I want to work on your arm technique on the toss so that the mistakes players make when they’re off balance don’t occur. What I want you to do is the following, okay so let me be very clear on what i mean by arm technique on the toss. This diagram is supposed to represent your starting position, your release position of the toss and then I want you to have that ball move. So how can that happen so that the ball moves correctly? Now when I begin, I begin over the front of these 2 lines right here and I want to turn away from the target. Now when players have problems with the toss one of two things really happen. The ball either stays on the right side or goes over to the left and because of that happening… their feet are adjusting in the mid of the swing. So you have players either coming around here or you have players make way this way to connect and they do that while they chase bad tosses. So we want to fix that by improving the technique of the toss. So here’s what I want you to focus on, after you set up these lines I want to be very clear on how these mistakes happen and then what you need to do to focus on fixing them. So it is very important to keep in mind that when you toss…the ball is in the tip of your fingers okay number 1. Number 2 your wrist and your elbow are isolated. They are not active during the tossing motion okay that is necessary in order to replicate a solid toss over and over. So if i do it correctly and i’m gonna start with what i do correctly first. So I’m going to start over the front lines, then I’m gonna turn away from the target with a straight arm, I’m going to release around eye level and I’m going to finish the tossing motion and if I do that correctly the ball will travel slightly right to left so i don’t have to adjust my feet in order to make contact. So i start here, slight right to left and the ball comes back towards the first two lines. One more time. Turn away, finish the tossing motion and the ball will travel slightly right to left. Here’s what happens when players don’t do it properly when the arm is too active. If players release the ball too early and or don’t finish the motion of the tossing arm, the ball will likely stay out on the right side and because of that they come over and the feet are almost at the same level and then the hips are opening and they’re chasing that bad toss out to the right. Losing power and consistency! When they are releasing the ball slightly late and or flick it at either of the 2 joins elbow or wrist. The ball will travel more behind them and to the left and that’s when they open up the left foot or pivot the left foot again to make room for a bad toss and still connect with the ball. So I want you to go out there, set up this little diagram and see whether you are one of these candidates that does that. You may not have even realized at this point that you do that, but I want you to pay very close attention and once again the focus is on the technique of your toss. You need to have a calm toss arm and you want to make sure you lift only off the shoulder! There is no wrist and there’s no elbow involved. You want to make sure you release on eye level as you turned away from target and finish this tossing motion so the ball does this traveling, this way you don’t have to change your position that is the key and if you get that done and actually go out there and do 50 to a 100 of them and see how many of your tosses land in this short distance right here and not outside of those two lines and you will see how you improve your serve just by having an improved balance by getting a better toss technique!

David Frank



  1. Bee Kaye Posted on March 25, 2017 at 2:47 pm

    Namastee and that was dope. Thanks my dude. I'm gonna try it

  2. Lawrence Barley Posted on March 25, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    Great idea of marking the lines on the court! Shows where you have to be and where the ball has to land- exactly what players need to know…

  3. James Tousek Posted on March 25, 2017 at 4:20 pm

    The one thing missing, it seems, from all the instructions of ball tossing is how important the straightening , or even bending of the back is, in assisting the raising of the toss. My advice to bad tossers is to coordinate straightening the back out with the raising of the toss from a kind of bent over starting position, which you can see many professional servers do. Together, the arm raises as the back straightens …. and, do it slowly and smoothly. Usually, the more you end up bend your back, the farther the toss will go over your head, which helps make a great kick serve !!

  4. tube5903 Posted on March 25, 2017 at 5:10 pm

    I am trouble seeing from the video the orientation of the palm of the tossing arm at the moment of release. Should the palm be facing towards the back fence (ice cream cone grip) or should the palm be facing up? Do you recommend holding the ball with two fingers?

  5. Subbu Deivanayagam Posted on March 25, 2017 at 7:06 pm

    Great job, Nadim!! "releasing eye level" is the key I got from this video…Thanks!.

  6. Ronnie Mcinerney Posted on March 25, 2017 at 7:56 pm

    Great video!

  7. Vishnu Thayalan Posted on March 25, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    Super toss tutorial

  8. Mike Kenny Posted on March 25, 2017 at 9:24 pm

    Very good points, but in the vein of simplifying, why not just start out at that 45º line instead of starting straight ahead then rotating the body (and toss) to your 45º line. You may give up a bit on momentum but eliminate one more thing to adjust for club players.

  9. tennisman2k Posted on March 25, 2017 at 11:23 pm

    best of luck nedeem

  10. CD Projekt [email protected]/ms/ubisoft.coN Posted on March 28, 2017 at 11:33 pm

    Anyone who struggles to be able to toss the ball consistently on the serve should probably seek another sport. Seriously, tennis requires lots of coordination and the toss is something you should be able to do in your sleep. How are you going to learn the infinitely more complex fh and bh if you struggle with the toss. Then there's the whole movement thing. Yeah good luck.

  11. Mitchell Zuberi Posted on April 4, 2017 at 2:03 am

    I really found this video helpful for my ball toss. But with most tennis videos I struggle to believe the coaches when I don't see at least one serve in action. If not to prove credibility, then to at least show me what I'm working towards

  12. Dan Strauss Posted on October 26, 2017 at 9:29 pm

    Should my arm be at a 45 degree angle or parallel to the baseline when tossing?

  13. Magnoliatennis Posted on January 29, 2018 at 10:20 pm

    Great video, I also bend my elbow on my toss. This leads to an inconsistent toss and my feet start to compensate and search te ball. What do you suggest to solve this problem? Keep a light muscle tension on my arm to prevent my elbow to bend? I tried this but feels strange..

  14. Diana Scoccia Posted on May 1, 2018 at 8:05 am

    Love the visuals. This advice is really excellent! Thank you Nadim!

  15. maxpowers3732 Posted on September 17, 2018 at 11:23 pm

    How would you change the toss you demonstrated for a kick serve?

  16. Schnooks Dad Posted on October 17, 2018 at 6:42 pm

    my question; where should your eyes or vision go during the complex sequence of a high quality serve? you start by looking at the court,and
    end up looking at this spot in the sky…there are visual points in between like opponent position,release point etc…seems to me this is crucial,
    but not often discussed ..thank-you

  17. James Murphy Posted on January 6, 2019 at 3:57 pm

    Thanks Coach. .. terrific tip on the toss

  18. Lord Byron Posted on February 6, 2019 at 6:14 am

    Your tips and advice has improved my game tremendously…. thanks.

  19. farouz abdelmoula Posted on February 9, 2019 at 9:40 pm

    Good tips thanks

  20. Joseph Motta Posted on April 28, 2019 at 10:18 am

    Very easy to follow and understand
    I Have tried this tecnique with great success
    Thank you