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Pickleball Serving

Pickleball serve; pickleball serve tips; pickleball serving

Every single point in pickleball starts with a serve, so it’s imperative to understand the basics of the pickleball serve. It’s easy enough, but there are some key things to know the next time you head out on the court.

The Basics:

  • The serve in pickleball is not meant to be an offensive weapon like we see in tennis, but some will argue that a well-paced and placed serve will give you the weak return you want. The main goal is just to get the ball in play.
  • You must serve underhanded, and the rules are particular on exactly how to do that - which we’ll cover below.
  • Similar to tennis, the serve must land in the opposite diagonal service box. Make sure it doesn’t land in the kitchen or hit the kitchen line; that will count as a fault.
  • A rule has been updated regarding serves as of 1/25/2021, which allows drop serves. The server has the option of dropping the ball and hitting it after the bounce.

The Specifics:

  • The official rulebook states that the serve must be hit below your navel at the point of contact.
  • Your arm must move in an upward arc.
  • The highest point of your paddle must be below the highest part of your wrist.
  • One foot must remain on the ground before and during contact, and both feet must stay behind the baseline.

A good serve is one that lands in, so practicing consistency will always be an essential aspect of serving. So after you’re making basic pickleball serves in more often than not, there are three types of pickleball serves that get attention and are widely used during play.

The Power Pickleball Serve- this serve is hit hard a low and is meant to be offensive. This serve will hopefully reward you with a weak return of serve, giving you an excellent opportunity to come in and take the net. A good strategy is to aim it to the returner’s weaker side and place it as deep as possible. The best time to pull out the power serve is when you notice the returner is staying near the baseline.

The Moon Ball Pickleball Serve - this serve is a high, deep serve that lands near the baseline. It’s a great change-up that will force the opposing team to generate their own power. Just make sure this serve lands deep, or you’re setting yourself up to get burned badly on the return.

The Short Angle Pickleball Serve - Aim this serve towards the sidelines, just after the kitchen line. Pull out this weapon when you see your opponent returning behind the baseline. The short angle serve is typically hit softly, which makes the short angle all the more effective. And if you’re able to put any spin on the ball, it’ll really make this an effective shot.

Just remember to call the score before you serve. If you don’t, it’s considered a fault. Comment below what serve is your favorite!

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