I quit serving . . .
. . . for a day.
This weekend was hot in Virginia Beach. It was supposed to be in the low 80’s and it was actually in the low 90’s. 10 degrees makes a big difference. I was practicing my serve after my ball machine groundstroke practice and I pretty much sucked. I was hot, sweating like a pig and, as always on a hot day at the courts here, no one to complain to.
I thought to myself, “Self, you’re tossing all over the place. You’re burning up out here hitting balls that have no chance of going in. You’re teaching your muscles nothing except to be ready for chaos on each serve. . . this has to stop.”
So, I started going through my entire serve ritual and motion as if I was going to serve, but I didn’t hit the ball. I just started practicing my toss . . .maybe I did 50 of those before the heat got to me.
I went home that night and started reading everything I could get my hands on about the toss. Of course, there was some conflicting info from different coaches, but I didn’t let that deter me.
The best info I got was at John Yandell’s membership site Tennis Player.net I read indepth articles about the toss and tossing theory. I watched high speed video of about 50 pros to find one close enough to my serving motion to emulate. I practiced in the house that night.
The next day every couple hours I would go out side and do the same drill in my driveway as I was doing on the court the day before. Things were feeling pretty good.
I then went out on the court and tried things out and I had a big improvement over the previous day. I only had to make some small changes to get things back on track.
The point is that hot, miserable day made me stop and concentrate on one piece of this giant puzzle called a serve and improve it a little.
So, quit serving for a day (or more if you need to) and work on your toss. It will save you hundreds and hundreds of wasted practice serves in the future.