One of the most challenging parts of tennis is that nearly every ball is going to come to you differently. In most other sports there are not as many variables. This is one of the great parts about tennis, the challenge!
Ok having said that, the shot with the LEAST number of variables is our serve. We can PLACE that ball anywhere in the air, we can decide WHEN to toss the ball up. Two big variables !!
So why do people server inconsistently, or continually chasing their ball toss? The answer, an incosistent ball toss ! Sure a bit of wind might alter it slightly but really not that much.
What can you do? Practice your ball toss. Practice placing the ball in the air in the same spot over and over. Dont hit the ball practice the toss only.
Your ball toss – if you dont hit it – should land in the same place on the court. When I was young we used to place the racquet flat on the ground. Racquet handle butt against our front toe, strings toward the net. When we tossed the ball up it should land on the strings. We would practice landing our ball toss over and over, landing it on the same spot on the ground.
Only with a consistent ball toss, can build a consistent serve. Many people grip the ball too hard on the ball toss, ‘chuck’ it up then worry about it afterwards.
The ball toss should be a very gentle, gracefull placement. Start by holding the ball gently with your fingers. Nearly with your finger tips. Turn your hand so your palm faces your body. Gently release the ball with the tips of your finger, place it up there. Are you thinking about your ball toss differently now?
Work out where your toss should be for your different servers and practice placing them up there. Get the height right and how far forward or behind your head etc.
Enjoy ! Michael