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Tennis Serve Tip: Better Extension

November 6, 2019


Hello everybody! Nadim here for
Online Tennis Instruction. Today a quick tip on the serve on how to improve your
extension on the serve. Lot of players deal with hitting down on the ball when
they actually serve and to be more accurate to actually downward and
forward rather than upward and outward and I believe that there’s a very
particular tip that you can make great use of to improve your
extension up and out to the ball. What am I talking about? I’m referring to
the toss arm. The position and the movement of your toss arm is incredibly
important to a consistent and powerful serve! Now many players and I’ve had this
discussion already on other videos as well, many players don’t even get into
the fully extended posture to begin with and others simply get up there but drop
the arm very early which causes them to let the ball that they just tossed drop
and make contact at a less than ideal position. So what do I want you to do? If you find yourself struggling with a consistent toss, try to
see what you can do with this exercise right here. I’m going to just take a few
balls and what I want you to do is I want you to exaggerate the use of the
left arm. In other words I want the left arm to get all the way into the highest
position possible and stay there throughout the swing. Okay this may be a
little bit unconventional and awkward at first but what it will do for you even
if you drop the arm earlier is it’ll stay out there longer than it
normally would. Okay so what do I mean? When you toss the ball I want you to
keep the left arm up there and toss it with the left arm up there with the goal
being to extend up and out more. One more time. Here and really swing up and out so
everything that comes down is a release of your swing not a purposeful coming
down on the ball. One more time Toss….stay and swing and you can make it work
you may hit a couple of serves deep but you should avoid hitting low power
balls in the net when you do this properly because you’re truly swinging
up and out. One more time! Toss….. and keep it up and out. So that ball went
a little deep, that’s fine but one more time. I’m really swinging up and out I’m trying to get as much extension as I can
on my serve which also will keep my head up
but this arm is staying up there, my body posture is very unlikely to drop and to
fall forward and downward which will then in turn cause me to
swing forward and downward. I want to be going up and out! So this toss arm is a
really good aid to use for this exercise. Keep that arm up there for as long as
possible even if you find it dropping earlier than what you have seen me do
that’s okay as long as you can see that it’s longer up there than what you
normally do so give this a shot and let me know if this helps you especially
with your net serves when you play!

17 Comments

  • Reply Tupelo Danger June 20, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    This is a terrible idea. Literally terrible.

    Keeping both arms up leads to a service motion that strikes the ball directly overhead with the shoulder impinged, like a 3.5 hitting a waiter's tray serve. It has to, because leaving the off arm up during the swing inhibits the shoulder-over-shoulder motion necessary to serve well. You can't extend OUT this way, in the way good servers do. Only UP, in the way beginners do.

    When the off arm is kept extended directly overhead during the swing, the racquet arm's internal shoulder rotation (pronation) will not occur naturally, and thus racquet head speed disappears. And as a bonus, it risks damage to the rotator cuff.

    The whole tip ruins the very goal it purports to chase. It may help you to remember to keep the toss arm extended, but at the price of developing entirely wrong and potentially dangerous service mechanics. The LAST thing you want to do when serving is extend as far as possible directly overhead.

  • Reply ducockk June 20, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    I don't get the idea of swinging up and out, when I did it the ball just flight away. Surely you cannot really hit the ball completely upward otherwise you are shooting the ball to the sky, there has to be some sort of downward motion?

  • Reply Gavla Tennis June 20, 2017 at 2:29 pm

    I get what the guy is saying but I don't agree with the method used in the progression. For example, at 2:04 if you keep that left arm up, it's going to level the shoulders horizontally, which can result in shoulder impingement of the tendon over time. You also lose that 'shoulder over shoulder' motion. By all means hold the tossing arm up there for longer, but don't keep it there through the stroke.

  • Reply Jim Antheunisse June 20, 2017 at 2:31 pm

    Very good tip Nadir

  • Reply Law Offices of Robert B. Patterson June 20, 2017 at 5:53 pm

    This is absolutely correct. It may seem counter intuitive but that is only because you don't understand it. A good service motion must be based on up an out Try it, it works..

  • Reply Joseph G June 20, 2017 at 6:43 pm

    There is an issue with OTI subscribers video questions being answered. Hoping you can work on that for those who bought domination and blueprint videos.

  • Reply Nadim Naser June 20, 2017 at 6:55 pm

    I APPRECIATE YOU ALL and thanks for your time to view the video and leave your comments! Note that unlike most other instruction, there is no cookie cutter approach with us. Some methods may seem unconventional, yet needed to improve someone's bad habits. Exercises are meant to break the habit and re-train the movement. Either way, there is not enough space for me to write it all down here but believe me when I say, the results speak for themselves. Cheers

  • Reply Sarah Marshall June 21, 2017 at 12:31 am

    This isn't a drill that you want to replicate as it puts the shoulder through an unnecessary stress position that can lead to the development of impingement syndrome (I work as a physiotherapist and have treated many players over the years with shoulder problems).

  • Reply Sameer Talcherkar June 21, 2017 at 4:36 am

    So many tennis instructors say "hit up on the ball" but they don't explain how to do it. This video shows a way to do it. I realize you can't really serve like this in a match, but I like the idea for practicing, perhaps even doing it while taking warm up serves. I definately collapse too soon and hit down on my serve. I also notice that my toss is much more consistent when the left arm (non hitting arm) stays up longer. Thanks for the video!

  • Reply Daniel Moldovan June 21, 2017 at 6:48 pm

    The way I see it, this exercise, it's just meant to exaggerate one certain aspect of the serve and create the right mental image and feel about what the tossing arm should do(or do more) after the toss. I would hit like this maybe 5-10 times per session before I really start practicing the real serve.

  • Reply Newton Tênis June 22, 2017 at 11:17 am

    No good drill

  • Reply Beverly Patt June 26, 2017 at 3:29 pm

    This TOTALLY helped me extend up on my serve! From my own video I realized I was serving with a bent arm, lower down. Thank you for a great exercise to help me hit up rather than down:)

  • Reply harry shaw June 27, 2017 at 5:14 pm

    To me, I found your serve extension drill a very meaningful way to correct hitting balls in the net.Some of those who related it to physiological problems may be right if done for a long period of time, but you're certainly not advocating that or that keeping your tossing arm up while simultaneously hitting the ball be part be part of your normal serve. What I see is that by keeping your tossing arm up serves as a buffer to keep you from pulling down and forward too quickly. I plan to practice this a few times before I hit my regular serve with the hope of keeping my tossing arm up longer.

    It is not surprising that this is an example of the originality that Nadim incorporates in his teaching. He emphasizes the fundamentals without an immediate concern for results. I learned much from him in one of his two day Florida clinics and I would gladly fly across the country again to attend his clinic. Thank you for your great advice, Nadim.
    Harry Shaw

  • Reply Harry Bego July 8, 2017 at 1:56 pm

    This has to be the most dubious serve tip I ever came across. The main good thing about it is that is draws attention to the left arm motion, which in all of tennis instruction is largely ignored. The service is a throwing action, and the left arm starts the body rotation. Watch a baseball pitcher's left arm in slow motion, then watch Federer's or Rafa's serve in slow motion, and pay attention to the left arm. Telling your pupils to point up at the ball and stop moving is as questionable a tip as telling them to point at the ball when hitting a forehand: it is static, and blocks the rotation.

  • Reply Robin Woodward January 15, 2019 at 3:05 am

    Thank You. Even if you have a good motion and racket drop you can have a arm problem if you hit down to early. I see the way you are teaching this will give the player a way to get the body to lift up and not just using the arm to much.

  • Reply AD LOVE TENNIS October 9, 2019 at 11:06 pm

    Great Tip!!!! Perfect for young players who are struggling to extend.

  • Reply Abstar Galaxy October 16, 2019 at 3:43 pm

    I need to try this out. Thanks a lot.

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