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Toss Arm Drop | Tennis Serve Toss Technique

October 6, 2019


In today’s video, I’m gonna show you what
you should do with your toss arm once contact has been made on the serve. If we
take a look at any high level serve we can observe that in fact the
non-dominant arm does tuck in right at the moment of contact. However, as a
player, I am not aware that this action is taking place. So we have to put the tucking in of the
non-dominant arm in context of the entire serve. So what’s gonna happen on
the serve, as we toss the ball we’re gonna get into this shoulder over
shoulder position where the non-dominant shoulder is above the dominant shoulder
and now as we drop the racket and accelerate upwards towards the ball
this non-dominant side is going to drop down and this is not something that you
have to consciously do. So you do not have to toss the ball and then bring the
left side down in order to accelerate, this is naturally going to happen as you
drop the racket down and start coming up towards the ball. And what will happen next is, as we start
approaching the ball this non-dominant arm is going to tuck in
towards the body and then shortly after contact and we have to consciously get
this left arm around the body to accommodate the upper body rotation. We have to realize that the tucking in
of the non-dominant side occurs when the serve accelerates to the max. So the
contact on the serve lasts a few milliseconds, therefore we would never be
able to time the tucking in of the non-dominant side correctly. Therefore you should never try to tuck
your arm in. You should simply allow it to take place intuitively and where you
should focus on instead is getting that non-dominant arm out of the way to
accommodate the torso rotation. So because this tucking in of the
non-dominant arm happens intuitively it’s always going to be there for you
and you don’t have to think about it. What you should think instead is to
accommodate the upper body rotation on the serve. So on a flat serve and a slice
serve you’re going to have an overall shorter swing path accompanied by torso
rotation. So we’re going to rotate into the contact on both of those serves. So
it makes sense that you plan to have the non-dominant side getting out of the way
to accommodate this rotation So I’m going to demonstrate a serve. I’m
going to think about getting my non-dominant arm out of the way to
accommodate the upper body rotation and let’s see what happens. So on this serve
I’m not aware whether I tuck the arm in or not. All I was thinking about was
getting this arm out of the way and the moment I regained consciousness on the
serve was when the racket was about right here and this is the exact moment
when the arm starts getting out of the way accompanying this upper body rotation. And now I’m going to try to do the exact
opposite I’m going to consciously tuck my arm in and let’s see what happens. So
you can see here if I consciously try to tuck my arm and it disrupts my
timing number one. I don’t do it at the exact moment of contact and also it
greatly inhibits my rotation to where I make this cramped type of contact with
my dominant shoulder way behind. The kick serve does not have torso rotation so it
wouldn’t make a lot of sense to have the non-dominant arm getting out of the way
because it would hurt our chances of staying sideways on the serve. So when
you’re performing a kick serve your number one priority should be staying
sideways and the non-dominant arm does not play a role in that. So if I perform
a kick serve and I try to do it the same way I did on the flat serve and
getting this arm out of the way it would open me up too much and I wouldn’t be
able to stay sideways. So the next time you’re on the court and
you’re trying to execute flat and slice serves try to use that non-dominant arm
and get it out of the way. What will happen is you will tuck the arm in no
matter what because that part of the serve is in the acceleration zone. It is
when we’re not conscious of what exactly is going on and certain things the body
does intuitively and you can trust that. But what you have to do to allow that
free acceleration, to allow the free rotation of the torso
you must command your non-dominant arm to swing out of the way to be able to
generate more power, something like this. Thank you guys for watching this video.
If you have any questions leave a comment in the section below, hit that
like button and subscribe if you haven’t already. I’ll see you next time.

11 Comments

  • Reply Saad Salman September 27, 2019 at 10:08 am

    Very educational

  • Reply dr akramkhan September 27, 2019 at 10:42 am

    Very informative tip

  • Reply kick serve September 27, 2019 at 1:00 pm

    Thanks Nick. Glad I watched your video to the very end. I always get a 'kick' out of your videos 🙂

  • Reply PolKsio September 27, 2019 at 1:13 pm

    Great and unique insight, I noticed this a few month ago. I'm always looking for the "secret to the serve" because of the enigma that is this movement. And one day my intuition was like "What if the serve is actually not an arm strike but an opposite side "counter-strike" pulling the dominant arm towards the ball" This intuition came to me when watching a pro serve and for once I was looking at his non dominant arm and noticed it dropped QUICKLY and VIOLENTLY. So I implemented it I got very good feelings with it but over time (I have honeymoon periods with serve fundamentals like that) but over time they stop working because I believe I overfocus on them and forget some other fundamentals. And for me, that is the sign that the tip I was testing wasnt the alpha and omega of the serve. Since then I think I found the "secret" of every serve that works for me. Thank god, took me long enough. Sorry for the lengthy comment but this tip really hit me close because at that time I literally saw in NOWHERE in the hundreds of instructionals I watched and I thought I was a genius for being the only one to notice it xD. I'm pretty sure, right now you're the only tennis youtube video that deals with this.

  • Reply Sherman September 27, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    How can I stop hitting my left leg? OTL

  • Reply IndieRockGuitar September 27, 2019 at 1:55 pm

    Can this be applied to forehand groundstrokes.

  • Reply Dmitry Private September 27, 2019 at 3:49 pm

    Hi Nikola, Thank you for a very insightful video. Coincidentally, some days ago I saw a video (it could have been even one you posted) about RF tucking his left arm to his body when he serves. So, naturally I wanted to copy Federer (I hope he does the same when he watches my videos :). So, last week when I was playing tennis, I was intentionally tucking my left arm. And I found that it helps me to be more balanced. Otherwise, after I serve, I often lose balance. Now, after watching your video, I will try to be aware of what I do with the left arm after I tuck it.

  • Reply Intuitive Tennis September 27, 2019 at 5:40 pm

    Related Video:
    Toss Arm Positioning
    https://youtu.be/x8mAZ_2zSL8

  • Reply chess brillance September 27, 2019 at 10:40 pm

    Thank you for your video. Once again a nice explanation. Can you make video to explain how to avoid hitting the serv into the net or too long. Because it remains a mystery to me and I saw some content on this subject but it was not convincing.

  • Reply Renato Tresolavy September 28, 2019 at 12:44 am

    Awesome lesson, Nikola. Thanks a lot for this. ALL the best!

  • Reply Natachi Nnate October 2, 2019 at 1:47 am

    Another great video Nick!

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