Reading the Toss

Pete Sampras’ first coach, Pete Fischer, taught him to toss the ball in the service motion in the same spot; so his opponents couldn’t read his toss and guess on the serve. But most of us don’t do that as well.

The Coach would have the young Sampras stand on the baseline practicing serves; and when the toss got to its apex, he would shot what/where the serve should go. When the average recreational player tosses his serve, there are usually some tell-tale signs…

Over your head: probably a topspin serve or a kicker

To the side: probably side spin, and for a righty, going to your right

Out in front: mostly flat and probably hard

Andre Agassi was commenting on TV awhile back about being able to read Boris Becker’s serve. He “confided” that as Becker tossed the ball, his tongue came out of his mouth – going in the planned direction of his serve!!

So, try reading the service toss to gain an edge.

For those of you who have played against me, what tell-tale signs do you pick up? How about with others?

If you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at George@seniortennisandfitness.com

2 thoughts on “Reading the Toss

  1. I had not heard of the comment from Agassi – it made me laugh!
    Although I have not had the good fortune to play against you – I normally just keep my eye on the ball and my coach says that I can then “subconsciously” read the ball. True? I do not know, but I have a long way to go to get better!

    Christine … Yes, I believe you can subconsciously pick up cues on the serve as well as other strokes IF YOU TRAIN YOUR MIND to know what to look for. Thanks, george

  2. Geroge – not going to give secrets away — do you think we work for NSA?

    Bob… And someone may be monitoring these comments! George

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