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How To Practice a Perfect Ball Toss


Male tennis player serving ball
Brian Baile/Stone/Getty Images
A poor ball toss is one of the most common causes of serving problems. Fortunately, you can practice your toss easily on your own.

Difficulty: Average
Time Required: 5 minutes

Here's How:

  1. Stand on the baseline in normal serving position.
  2. Point your right foot parallel to the baseline and your left foot (for righties) at the right net post.
  3. Place a spare racquet so that its butt end touches the toe-tip of your left shoe and its tip points toward the right net post.
  4. Holding your playing racquet in your right hand, reach as high up as you can, approximately one foot in front of you.
  5. Hold a ball in your fingertips, a few inches in front of your right thigh.
  6. Push the ball up and release it with your left hand as high as is comfortable for you, at least above your head.
  7. Practice tossing the ball so that it peaks at the tip of your extended racquet.
  8. Bring your racquet back down to the normal starting position for a serve.
  9. As you make your normal service windup with your right arm, push the ball up to same height you were practicing in step 7, but now try to get it to land on the face of the racquet lying on the ground.


  1. Note that when you practice with the windup, you still don't hit the ball.
  2. If you're having trouble getting the ball to land forward enough, imagine that you're pushing it up a pipe that extends from in front of your right thigh to the spot where you'd be hitting it.
  3. Remember to release the ball from your left hand with that hand extended upward as high as is comfortable, at least above your head.
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