No Pushing!

If your serve regularly goes long, yet your toss is properly out in front, likely you're a pusher!  A forward toss should make you step across the baseline after contact, and it should allow easy contact with the ball's top, and good, downward trajectory.  But if you're hitting forward tosses and seeing line dives go long, you're hitting the ball's back.   

Pushing the serve comes from a number of causes. Your toss may be forward but too low, meaning you're letting go too soon.  Or, your pushing could be because you're confounded by what is a bit counter-intuitive about the serve:  you must reach up to hit down.  The swing doesn't go toward the service box, but toward the sky, above your head.  Or, it could be you suffer from what used to be called a "girl's throw," before we were all gratefully liberated.  If your elbow drops below your shoulder during the "back scratch" motion, your racquet arm won't feel comfortable reaching up:  you'll push at the ball.

Too make sure your toss is high enough, your release point should be at your arm's full upward extension.  It also helps to cast your gaze up to the sky just before you toss the ball.  Picture that upward spot of contact.  If you don't get the feeling of reaching up, try hitting a practice serve that bounces on your side of the net and goes over it.  The only way you can do this is by reaching high, over the ball's top.  And if you drop your elbow below your shoulder, make sure you make a Y with your arms when you toss, the racquet arm just as high as your tossing arm.  When you go into the back scratch motion, try to feel that your racquet elbow is up by your ear.

Hit high and you won't have any more line drive faults.  No pushing!

c Keith Shein