Tennis Serve: Best Slice Serve Toss Tip

Should you have one toss on all your serves? More specifically when you’re hitting a slice serve. Should you keep the same toss as you do for a flat or kick serve?

Well, I’m going to explain my perspective on the matter today and give you some ideas that you can take with you on the court.

I’ve listened to a lot of coaches out there who think that you’ve got to be able to hit your serve off one toss. I agree up to a certain extent.

If you’re a really high-level player, it does benefit you to hit all of your serves from the same toss.

Now with the kick serve, it changes a little bit because you’re going to toss it over your head more. Therefore, there is a simple difference between the kick and slice serve.

I get it, a little different than the flat or slice serve, but generally the rule of thumb is to have the same toss. However, I don’t necessarily agree with this concept, and here’s why.

I feel like many players struggle being able to hit all the different types of serves from the same toss. Unless you’re Roger Federer or a top pro who can. They’ve trained countless hours to develop the skill to do this.

Let me tell you, you’ll serve better if you use different tosses and there is a workaround. You may be wondering that if you change your serve toss to hit a slice, flat, or kick serve, you’re going to give away all your disguise.

Well maybe yes, but I’m a big believer that even if your opponent knows what’s coming if you execute your game first and foremost to the best of your ability, you’re gonna come out on top.

You’re gonna do all right, you’re gonna have a lot of fun playing tennis and you’re probably going to win more matches.

If you get so caught up in the disguise element and less on the execution you’re going to struggle.

So, let’s get into it.

If I’m hitting a flatter first serve and my toss is above my shoulder, I can try to hit a wide slice serve but it doesn’t really slice that much.

You can practice plenty of times, but I’ll advise you to make some changes and try something different.

There are technical ways around this, but I’m a big proponent of tossing the ball a little bit more to the side, in order to get the amount of slice that you want.

Yes, your opponent is going to see it, but let me explain what you can do. Toss it more to the side, and get into the sidewinder action.

If you practice this over and over, you’ll start serving aces and stretching your opponents out of the court. You will not care if someone sees that toss go out to the side.

Then you might say, well Jeff if you toss it out to the side, my opponent can move over to the alley and cut that serve off.

That’s correct, and when you feel like they’re starting to take that away, this is what you’re going to do.

You’ve got the slice serve toss out to the side to go wide, do that two or three times. Next, keep the same toss and go down the T, then you can follow this pattern to go right into the body.

You can mix it up throughout a match, and this strategy will surely frustrate your opponents.

Now, you’ve a toss to the side, and a toss for your first serve.

Yes, you’ve two got different tosses, but you can hit to multiple locations and that’s where the disguise comes in.

The reality is that some days, your slice serve is gonna be better than your flat serve. Other times, your flatter serve is gonna be better than your slice serve, but you can lock into the toss that’s going to work best for you.

My concern is that you’re so fixated on disguising your serve with the same toss, that you’re limiting your ability to hit more effective serves.

I used to throw up different tosses when I played to try to keep my opponent off guard.

Well, you can do that too! Give it a try the next time you’re on the court.

This isn’t the end of the journey. You’ve reached up to this point, you’re committed, passionate, and want to get better.

The next step in the journey is to find out how to avoid making a common mistake on your slice serve, that’s compromising your ability to generate effortless power on it.

I’ve made it my mission to help players all over the world with their serves. I just love to share my insights and drills to help players dramatically improve their serves in real-time.


By Jeff Salzenstein, Founder Tennis Evolution
Jeff is a former top 100 ATP player and USTA high-performance coach
committed to helping players and coaches all over the world improve.
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