ETI 012 | Tossing into the Swing


As Blackie Jones (my first coach) would ask of a student,”If there are two parts to the serve, being the toss and the swing, do you think it is better to swing at the toss, or toss into the swing?”

And as his lessons and demonstrations proceeded, we were schooled in the tempo, the technique, and the benefits for a toss that was low without being overly low, and this produced a motion that was rhythmic and flowing.

Consider servers with the overly high tosses – Del Potro, Sharapova, Safina, Berdych, Soderling – they all serve well but with an overly high toss that requires the slightest pause or hitch as the ball descends. And hopefully these servers are not playing in the wind.

Now contrast with servers who lower their tosses, essentially tossing the ball in the way of the swing – Federer, Serena, Dolgopolov, Kirilenko and remember Roscoe Tanner – they use a lower toss that unlocks a flowing rhythm.

Try this at dusk when you can see, but not perfectly. Now rhythm will be the key, and that key will unlock a serve where you are truly “tossing into the swing.”

78 Comments

  • Donald McDonald

    Reply Reply October 19, 2014

    Best reasons for tossing into the swing, it is a very short toss – hard to miss a target 30 inches away, ball is moving very slowly, maybe even motionless – hard to miss with the racquet.

  • Tim Puckett

    Reply Reply November 8, 2013

    My brother and I talk about this all the time. We are like a lot of other players that we think we have to toss it high in order to hit up on the ball and keep it out of the net. But we both always agree that when we toss it lower, we get it in almost every time. I have watched some videos by James Jensen and his toss is really low but he really comes around quickly with his back swing. I will have to try this because the higher the toss, the more inconsistency.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply November 8, 2013

      Tim – thanks for the note – but be careful for when lowering the toss if you hesitate or hitch even slightly you will have a lower point of contact – Don Kerr called it “serving tall”
      Jim

  • Al Yearwood

    Reply Reply December 19, 2012

    need to think about this.

  • thomas germain

    Reply Reply August 1, 2012

    Find having lower toss give you more of an option totell the seve where to go. I’ve tried the high toss, and tossing into the swing, but I simpply can’t catch the jist.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply August 2, 2012

      Thomas – not sure what you mean – is your toss too low, or too high – clarify for me
      Jim

  • David Gerstel

    Reply Reply July 23, 2012

    Jim, you were highly recommended to me by my friends in the El Cerrito Tennis Association. I see why, having watched just one of your videos. I look forward to learning more from you.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply July 25, 2012

      David
      thanks for the note – do you know Chuck and Jewel Bleckinger – they are old friends in your area, and Chuck was an excellent doubles partner (back in the day)
      Jim

  • Barry

    Reply Reply May 8, 2012

    Thanks Jim. Funny that you mentioned Roscoe Tanner. I remember seeing him at a clinic at the Racket Club of Irvine many years ago (maybe 20?) when I was in high school and I was in awe. He must have been in his late 40’s pounding the ball. Ever since that point, I copied his motion and toss. It was the best thing that happened to my game. I eventually ended up playing Tennis in the Pac 10 humming serves routinely somewhere near 130mph. I am teaching my kids now and I know exactly what type of serve to teach them…hopefully they will listen to me. 🙂

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply May 8, 2012

      Berry – great story – hope you can pass it on to the kids – a baseball similarity to Tanner is of course Lincecum
      Jim
      all the same stuff – quickness and elastic energy

  • Noel

    Reply Reply April 21, 2012

    Hello Jim,

    Just a rules query, if a person serves the a ball with an underhand backspin and it clears the net lands in the opposite service box but then bounces backward hitting the net without tho opponent touching the ball at all is this a legal serve, one of my friends did it too me?

    Thanks

    Noel

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply April 21, 2012

      Yes that is legal – even if it bounces in the service box and then bounces back across the net – the receiver must touch and send the ball over the net
      Jim

  • Jim Fox

    Reply Reply February 21, 2012

    As always, Jim, great stuff. I’ve found it helpful to maybe go even a step further. It seems to be helpful to combine the idea throwing the racket into the service box with using the toss to simply place the ball in the way of that throw of the racket. This seems to usefully combine the concept of the serve being a throwing motion and tossing the ball into the swing.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply February 21, 2012

      Jim – yes – and one could say that Raonic is indeed tossing the ball into (the way of) the swing
      Jim

  • Bob

    Reply Reply February 15, 2012

    Dear Jim,
    I have been waiting years for an answer to this question. Yours is so simple, sensible and irresistable, I must try to pu it into practice, Thanks a million.
    Bob.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply February 15, 2012

      Bob – you are welcome (would that be a million pennies – if so I use paypal) hope this makes you smile
      Jim

  • omar

    Reply Reply January 19, 2012

    Hi Jim,

    I am going to both agree and disagree with you. I agree with your concept about tossing into the swing. But I disagree with your implication that a low toss is better. There is a YouTube video with Djokovic (search for “Tennis Lesson with Novak Djokovic”) where he states that a high toss is preferable because it allows you to involve the legs. I will take his comment a bit further. For a good serve, you must allow the kinetic chain to develop. This is very hard to do for a low toss, particularly for the average recreational player. A low toss will make most rec players rush through their whole service motion and they will never allow the kinetic chain to develop. When you toss the ball higher, you can wait and time things for the full development of the kinetic chain, which of course, starts with the legs, as Djokovic stated. There is a good reason why most tour players (other than Dolgopolov) have a higher toss (vs. a lower toss). A higher toss makes it easier for them to develop the kinetic chain, which produces a heavier and faster serve. Yes, the wind will affect a higher toss more, but this can be compensated for most of the time (except when the wind is very erratic).

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply January 20, 2012

      Omar – well said and yes you are right – the high toss I refer to concerns Sharapova, Safina, Berdych, Soderling and more – rhythm is the key and when that toss becomes overly high all kind of things are disrupted – further many kids are taught a “half swing” where they rest the racquet on their shoulder and then toss and hit and somehow that morphs into the overly high toss that enables if not causes the common “hitch” seen throughout the junior players
      Jim

  • al hill

    Reply Reply January 10, 2012

    thank you so much, i thought i knew everything or at least something and along comes ‘tossing into the swing’. how interesting. thanks again. regards al and happy new year

  • Chavdar

    Reply Reply January 8, 2012

    Dear Jim,

    This was the approach to the most complex shot I expected from a pro and I received it from you.
    As expected. Thank you.
    This is the way to teach tennis: give the student the bigger picture, the concept, the key thing, the base of the construction.
    What we see quite frequently is someone braking a shot into many elements, that are altogether correct and should definitely be present into the final product. Unfortunately, this approach mixes things for the student, especially if he tries to learn by an instructional video.

    Recently there was a video by Brent Abel dealing with the “rotation” of the forehand (not the “pronation”) – also an excellent example of focusing on the fundamentals, in that case, the “set position” and the full rotation of the forearm.

    I don’t know if this is the methodology you use when teaching, but as a player that had to reconstruct the serve and elements of the ground shots at an age of 55 quite successfully and teaching other tennis enthusiasts, I firmly believe that the approach demonstrated here is the right one.

    I wish you a very healthy and successful New Year, to you and your family!

    Chavdar

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply January 8, 2012

      Chavdar – thanks, Brent is a friend and colleague – and a pretty darn good coach and player
      JIm

  • deepak patel

    Reply Reply January 6, 2012

    according to me then there will be two rhtym
    1– down together up together
    2–down together -hitch or pause -up together

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply January 6, 2012

      Deepak – but somehow the pause may disrupt rhythm
      Jim

  • Eli

    Reply Reply January 4, 2012

    Looks interesting, I will try it in my next practice.
    Thank you very much.

  • Brett Richmond

    Reply Reply January 2, 2012

    Jim …. excellent point and video … on the mark! Happy New Year, Brett

  • Rodger Schuester

    Reply Reply January 2, 2012

    Hi Floridian,

    IMHO…Coaches come in many flavors and varying competencies. As people, coaches like players have agendas – some good, some not so good – and styles and competencies. For example a baseliner who only plays singles “MAY” not be the best coach for doubles and all court training.

    Some coaches, not to include Jim, simply seem to want to teach you what will work quickly so they are verifying to the those of us who don’t know better, that they are seemingly worth their fee…or maybe they simply don’t know better as coaching competency varies…etc. etc.

    (Fortunately, Jim is heads above in attitude and knowledge. More than I can ever hope to assimilate at my old fart age.)

    Unfortunately, as time goes one one finds that the poor techniques enforce skill limitations on us and even worse the habits are hard to break.

    The better techniques take longer to perfect, but pay off better as time goes on.

    As I understand it, when we toss forward we are relying on getting the ball into the court on gravity, with the ball down going in a relatively straight line (very tricky to gain consistency there). Often players use pancake serve grips with a lot of wacking and little spin at the rec level in hopes to generate a quick point – always looking for a quick exit so to speak.

    Tossing the ball up relies on one hitting up and over the net. One uses grips that help effect spin and we rely on spin for control. Spin means we add our own “gravity” rather than relying on earths normal “gravity’ so to speak. Takes a lot more work but we gain consistency and accuracy over time allowing us to “build points” and not rely on hoped for lucky quick exits.

    Cheers – hope this makes sense…

  • floridian

    Reply Reply January 2, 2012

    Thank you. What you have just done is spectacular, finally, I am able to assist my young son. He has been doing this instinctually but his coaches have been instructing him to do otherwise(what the pros do). From my limited observation in Florida, it seems prevalent to some large extent, what the coaches are saying is the complete opposite of what the seasoned veterans are saying. Only if you were nearby and available in Florida to coach. I will be back to purchase some goodies from you, is the old footwork VHS available on DVD?

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply January 2, 2012

      Floridian – thanks for the note, I used to be in the Panhandle of Florida in Destin but I suspect you are near Tampa or Boca – and I have reqorked the footwork into an online product – you can see it from the nav bar at the top of the home page
      best
      Jim

  • Roger

    Reply Reply January 1, 2012

    Jim, thanks so much for this lesson! I am 54 and have been learning to play tennis for a couple of years now (off and on, sad to say) and it seems to me that simplicity and rhythm are what I need most for my game.

  • Dennis Van Andel

    Reply Reply January 1, 2012

    Jim,

    Thanks for another excellent lesson and demonstration. Serving while closing your eyes seems a good way to test the accuracy of your toss and the rhythm of your swing. I first learned of the effectiveness of a low toss from a video by Vic Braden several years ago. Subsequently it was confirmed by watching players like Federer as well as from personal experience. Best wishes to you in 2012.

    Dennis

  • G K S RAGAVAN

    Reply Reply January 1, 2012

    THE THREE R OF TENNIS YOU WROTE DID MAGIC TO MY GAME THE SAME WITH YOUR SERVICE LESSONS .THANKS

  • mike shephard

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    I been taught the in the 50’s and then in the 70 told to toss the ball higher, I going to try this with my eyes closed thanks it looks good. Will try this with my girls tennis team this spring.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      Mike – thanks, and with the girls team please work on their overhand throwing fluency – often that is undeveloped and the serve suffers
      Jim

  • Dennis

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    Jim,
    Thanks for another great lesson and demonstration. Serving with your eyes closed to test the height of the toss and rhythm of the swing is a good idea. I first learned about the effectiveness of a low toss from a Vic Braden video years ago. Subsequently it was confirmed by watching the pros like Federer as well as from my own experience.
    Dennis

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      Dennis – Vic is one of our best teachers – and I am pleased to have spent some personal time with him (asking questions) and have kept in touch with him over the years
      best
      Jim

  • DeWitt Thomson

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    Jim,
    As always,thanks so much for all you continue to do for your loyal fans. I’ve tried this every time you put this on the web. I find that it doesn’t allow me time to gather my legs into the vertical thrust and stretch my front (left) side in the trophy pose prior to the racquet drop, as a slightly higher toss would allow. It seems like the Bryans use your technique and they’ve certainly got lots of pop. Should I continue to tinker?
    All the best
    DeWitt

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      DeWitt – no worries, slightly higher will indeed give you a bit more time for knees hips and more – as long as you feel how toss height can unlock your rhythm – for when way too high I believe the rhythm goes away – and yes it appears the Bryans just throw it up there and hit it in a quick but not rushed motion
      Jim

  • Ron E

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    Together with the video on pronation,
    I am serving considerably better.
    Previously my serve was a liability, it is
    Now respectable. Thank you. Ron

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      Ron – nice to hear this – keep me posted – now can you incorporate some spin as well into this delivery?
      Jim

  • Ron Atkinson

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    I found this to be very helpful as I am 6-4 and tend to toss to high. I will use your thoughts with my students.

  • Bob Hastings

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    Jim, thanks as always for what you do. The last time I was down to VanDerMeer’s for my periodic fix of my neurotic forehand, the incomparable Dr. Louie Cap observed that I had a Tanner-like serve (style, not speed) and that I could afford to lift my toss a bit higher so that I was not so dependent on being “on” with my rhythm. I did start tossing higher and found that my swing got more relaxed. However, the rhythm was not quite as precise as it had been Maybe that’s because I have been lifting the ball straight up as if it were in an elevator shaft, which gives lots of control but requires rather fast, jerked lifting. I’m now working on a more conventional toss (from inside, with arn rather straight and the ball moving sllghtly to the left–I’m a righty–so that I can actually control the rhythm by a relaxed toss and still get a controlled rhythm. Since I’m the drummer in a big band, a countable rhythm is my best way to get consistency along with fast racquet speed. One question: I’ve been hitting at about 1:00. I believe I see most pros hitting slice serves at 12:00 or 12:30. That’s also what Phil Dent recommends.
    Your recommendation? By the way, I’m a PTR teaching pro, so I need to get this straight not just for me–realizing, of course, that there are few absolutes in this wonderful and mysterious game.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      Bob – good but tricky question, and I go into this in detail within one of our products – Building the Serve from the Ground Up – 12 will elevate contact slightly and help with a little more topspin – but it also can aggravate the shoulder – specifically the rotator muscles get pinched (impingement) beneath the shoulder blade, and for many this leads to shoulder problems – whereas 1 o’clock reduces if not eliminates this impingement – also it depends how flexible you are, for the pro’s at 12 are tilting their shoulders so their back arches to the side – and that as well is more of an advanced thing – does this make sense?
      Jim

  • Noushin Kananian

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    Many thanks for your professional advice. Happy New Year.

  • john

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    Find my present coach trying to lock my swing as a consistent very low to high movement which keeps the ball in court but does not deal well with high bouncing balls and means that in games I find it difficult to deal with “Easy” loose balls say in mid court. Your tip for dealing with balls over net high has removed my mental confusion.

    Finding all your tips when put into practice improving my game. Thanks.

    Question >>

    Playing Doubles > The idea of serving a reasonably fast service (difficult enough for my opponent to return) and at then me arriving near the service line in time to split and prepare for my first volley> seems to be unrealistic at my level. Generally my opponents stand on the base line and do not stand back to recieve the service. Is there a solution other than drastically slowing down the service.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      John – have your net partner be much much more active – if he fakes he can draw the return to him, and if he poaches he can cut some of these balls off
      Jim

  • wally hills

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    I enjoy your podcasts very much. Being that I am not a great player I take in all the information I can get. I was especially interested about the low toss on serve as that has been the way I have learned to do it but sometimes thought I was wrong because the other players were all tossing the ball much higher. I’m glad to know that I am just fine with the toss I have. By the way, not bragging, but I also have the strongest and most consistent serve of all us senior players. Thanks for the info..

  • Robert A

    Reply Reply December 31, 2011

    Twos things. About Samapras’ toss: By searching online for “Federer AND serve” one can find a side-by-side video of Federer and Sampras serving. Other than facial appearance, the main difference appears to be the styling of the shorts the two wear.
    I have been on the court with people I had no business being out there with, I have had the corners painted on me with bullets, I have swatted back bounders shooting above my shoulders at more than 100 mph, but the only time I have been frightened on a tennis court was during a friendly when faculty, staff, and friends teamed up with a member of my university’s Div I women’s tennis team. The father of one of the players who was a former student of mine, a lefty, from the ad court struck the first serve I saw from him before the apex of the toss with deceptively little torso movement and arm speed, and the ball landed just to my BH side as I reacted after my too-late split and kicked back into my face. Fortunately my reactions are fast enough that I could block the ball in time.
    This man quite evidently had maximized the racket speed and ball spin by whipping the racket in an efficient rhythm, and was placing his toss in just the right place in his swing.

  • Fred

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Hmm.. I learned in the 1960s, so perhaps that’s why my toss has always been just high enough to get the ball in the way of the swing. I also agree that one toss is better for most servers and serves.

    I’ll go this technique one step further — I typically go thru a regular rotation of slice, to twist, to kick serve, all from tosses at the same spot. Drives returners crazy.

    1) The first serve slices away with limited power, (which means they’ve got to add power or it hits the net),

    2) The second jumps sideways with power and some hop (which they aren’t timed for after the slower slice service),

    3) The third kicks up with power (when they are ready to swing fast and maybe low for another twist).

    The returner sees the same toss each serve, but never sees the same service twice in a row, so they struggle to get settled into their return game. It’s especially confusing for body serves (to the opposite foot if you’re accurate).

    One nice thing about this simple single toss with a service rotation is you can pretty much leave your power flat serve in your pocket until you need it and the returners haven’t seen it at all.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      Fred – great note – especially about leaving the power serve in your pocket – too often that is the go to serve for most people and they don’t really own the spinners you describe – impressive that you can hit them from the same toss – not sure I can do that as well as you describe
      Jim

  • Jim Green

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Jim, started playing tennis 3 years ago, at age 59, after retiring in Florida. I have been very active all my life but I love this game. Have met many nice people that have play tennis most of their lifes, I’m learning alot on the court, but I must say your free videos have helped me greatly, keep them simply and keep them coming. Thanks so much. Jim

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 31, 2011

      Jim – good luck with all of this – and where in Florida – I worked for many years at Seascape resort in Destin – and came to love playing on clay
      best
      Jim

  • Jorge A. de la Fuente

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    I will like to add, that one of the most important thing is Consistency and in order to obtain that, the Toss should be Consistant. So I agree with you. I like to mention that in the correct tossing, will be a Momentum, when the ball Stops ascending and really Stops, that Momentum I call it “0 GRAVITY” and I should say that is the ideal point of Impact and is at the hight of your extended serving arm, adding between 3/4 to a full racket length. And this way you will be Consistant. Thanks Jim Jorge

  • Don Byk

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    When I was young I took a weekend of lessons from Frank Kovacs at his home in California. He learned his serve from Bill Tilden. What you say is gospel. In fact Mr. Kovacs published a service manual and one of the things he emphasized was the low toss. At age 69 I still practice 50 serves a day (one more than one occasion all of them have gone in) and can still hit a flat serve, slice, and twist with the same low toss with extreme accuracy. There are some pictures of Mr. Tilden on the Internet showing exactly what you are teaching. Once you learn to toss to your swing in the same spot, your opponent is placed at a great disadvantage because he does not know what serve or spin to expect. Thank you for the reinforcement. Keep up the great work. Don

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Don – thanks, I grew up in Berkeley / Oakland, and have heard many a story about Frank Kovacs – and about many of the exhibitions he played with Don Budge – you were lucky to have know him
      best
      Jim

  • Henry

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Jim,

    Long time ago, I learned from a tennis book that we should toss the ball just high enough so that we can strike the ball when the ball is at the peak of the ascend because the ball kind of pauses there before it comes back down. This makes it easier for the player to hit the ball because the ball “isn’t moving”. This is how Federer does it and I’ve been doing my serves this way. Then lately, my local pro tells me that my toss is too low and he wants my toss to go much higher so that I can swing at the toss. I’ve been so confused until I read your post now. Thanks for clearing this up!

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Henry – the only way the lower toss creates a problem is when you hitch or pause during the swing – which allows the ball to indeed drop too low
      Jim

  • Dino

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Jim, you have THE best instructions. I used to toss to the swing (but I didn’t know that was what I did) and had a very fast serves until I watch some of the pros tossing high and wait for the ball. Your instruction helps me bring back the serve’s speed.
    BTW, your instruction on Sampras’ serve follow through works great also.
    Thanks and keep them coming.

  • jack

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Hey Jim, I love your podcasts, tips, etc. Keeping things simple seems like the best way to go in all things. But you didn’t mention Pete Sampras on this tossing into the swing idea. Seems to me he had a pretty high toss and a pretty good serve. You think that was in spite of the toss?

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Jack – only guessing on this one – his toss was a little higher – nothing like Berdych or Soderling – but overall the rhythm was amazing
      Jim

  • Amanda

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    I liked that lesson on ball toss. I will be watching those stars to see how high their ball toss is when the Australian tourneaments start. I don’t like using a high toss myself; now I feel more confident that I’m doing the right thing. Thanks.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Amanda – I am jealous if you will be in Melbourne – I only get to watch on the tele
      Jim

  • tgreg

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    I will try a lower toss and focus on rhythm. My toss has been more wild than usual?? Slowing the toss motion helps.
    Thanks

  • Richard

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Jim, what about the advice that to get good spin, on should toss high enough to strike the ball on its way down?

    You are a born teacher. I enjoy your lessons, and play better because of them, too.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Richard – yes and no – a high toss will create a bit of topspin as it descends to the racquet face – but the trade off is rhythm – and also which type of tempo feels best to you
      Jim

  • Chris Shaw

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Fantastic!!! Thank You I have been practicing my serves a lot this past year and I have observed that some of my best serves were executed when I had a lower toss. I am not a teaching tennis pro, but my daughter is, and I learned a lot when she was training and in competition. I have been showing 3 of my Grandsons what I have learned about serving and they began to hit much better serves in a very short time. Thanks again, I really enjoyed your demonstration. Chris

  • Sylvia

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Another great advice, Jim. I’ll definitely try it when I get back from hols. Not sure I’ll let my students do it though, unless I wear some ice hockey kit to stay alive ;).

    Thank you so much. I always enjoy reading/watching your tips. Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

    Happy New Year and all the best in 2012.

    Sylvia

  • Rodger Schuester

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Happy New Years Jim!
    Am very pleased with your serve training and looking forward to my second year playing singles against the 4.0s. Enjoyed reviewing the comparative side serve podcast and have worked in the forearm turn (counterclockwise/right to left for a righties) as shown in the slow motion portion (took about 2 weeks). Brent was also discussing that on his website. For some reason I thought one only did that on the flat serve.

    However, when I do a drop shot (as my opponents call it) slower moving wicked side spin serve, have found out how to just drop it in very sharply without a lot of pace when they are on the baseline for a winner against a lot of guys. In that case using a reverse forearm turn = even more clockwise/to the right for more spin and less pace…standing way out wide. Hope this makes sense as I understand it.

    Am hitting my 1st and 2nd serves with the same fast pace. Really encourages daily serve drilling to maintain a minimum 50% of serves in the service box. Seems like there is some value in tossing a bit higher for the kick serve for me – need to keep drilling to improve my consistency.

    We have come a long way since I started with you. Am still slowly working through your archives.

    Hope to send in some videos next month or maybe come down for a visit. RS

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Rodger – your enthusiasm and persistence are truly outstanding – and yes to a visit to the club here sometime in the New Year
      best
      Jim

  • Dennis

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Jim,

    Appreciate your idea about tossing into the serve. I struggle with the serve because I’m too tense and have not been able to develop a consistent toss. Any suggestions for relaxing and developing a reliable toss into the service motion??

    Thanks!
    Denny

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Dennis – sometimes attempting to let the racquet head fall into the starting motion will slow down your overall tempo and equally slow down your tossing arm
      Jim

  • Joannis

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Good tip. but I still think that swinging depends on the time you want to hit the ball – in it’s way up, (a lower toss) or whwn it’s comin down (a higher toss).

  • Dan

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    I have been struggling with my serve for about a month now.
    I had a lesson this morning with an ex college coach from
    Old Dominion University and he said the same thing.
    We got me into a rhythm with a shorter toss and I began
    hitting more consistently, more powerfully, with less effort.
    I have over 100 mph flat serves and 90 mph kick serves.
    Less effort means less energy expended and more consistent
    serves in.

    Great tip Jim, keep up the great work.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      Dan – you found a good coach in this guy from Old Dominion – tell him I said hi – one proviso – be careful that your lower toss is ultimately so low that the contact point is too low
      best
      Jim

  • Ed

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Hi Jim:

    Great advice. A high toss is harder to control and disrupts the rhythm of the swing as you wait for the ball to drop into the hitting zone. As I work to improve my serve I have become convinced that one of the most important elements I can work on is an accurate toss at a height that allows me to contact it at full extension with a smooth rhythm.

    Thanks,
    Ed

  • John

    Reply Reply December 30, 2011

    Great tip. I struggle with the whole rhythm thing. I mostly find my self not letting the racket drop completely. I get excited and start hitting the ball to early. Thus my shoulder hurts after a while. I am working on that, I love your comment about, Throwing the ball into the swinging motion. I will try to practice hitting a few with my eyes closed.

    Thanks.

    • Jim McLennan

      Reply Reply December 30, 2011

      John thanks for the first reply to this tip – Happy New Year!
      Jim

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