Your pickleball serves technique is the most important of all pickleball drills and techniques you can practice. There is no doubt that serving is one of the most important shots in pickleball – and for good reason!
As a result, the quality of your pickleball serve determines how easy the return of serve will be, and ultimately, your chances of scoring. Listed below are some pro pickleball serve tips for improving your technique if you want to improve your serve.
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Ways to Improve Your Pickleball Serve
Pickleball games begin with serves. In pickleball, the serve is an integral part of every point. In pickleball, ace serves rarely win points; however, out-of-bounds serves often result in losing points. Practising your serve on the pickleball courts may also give you an edge over your opponents.
Here are some of the best pickleball serving technique tips as well as vital pickleball serving tips:
1. Find Pre-Serve Routine That Works
It is important to find a routine that you are comfortable with before you serve the pickleball on the pickleball court. As a pre-serve routine, you can bounce the pickleball, hit it a few times with your paddle, or tighten your ponytail.
You will be better prepared to serve the point if you perform this pre-serve routine. This routine can also help you improve your timing. Prepare your pre-serve routine in advance, so you’ll be ready when you play!
Speaking the score aloud before serving should always be part of the preserve routine. Have you ever served out of bounds while saying the score? The score can be given before the serve is started to avoid this. The score should not be said while serving. Do your pre-serve routine and state the score before serving.
You can also check out our blog on pickleball strategies and techniques, which will help you to improve your game better.
2. Perfect Your Pickleball Serve Technique
Many pickleball players flick their serves on the court with their wrists and elbows. In pickleball, flicking or bending at the elbow can lead to inconsistent serves because it is difficult to repeat accurately. In pickleball, practised with a problematic serve motion results in inconsistent, unreliable serves.
Rather than swinging the wrist or elbow, the service motion in pickleball should mimic a pendulum swing. Serve fluidly and loosely, not stiffly. Serves in pickleball will be more consistent and reliable if they are fluid and loose. Following through on the serve should be part of your pre-serve routine.
Throughout the game, this fluid, loose motion should also begin with a small backswing. Pickleball service motions should continue in the same direction after the pickleball is hit as if it were shot repeatedly. A crosscourt box, or more specifically, a specific spot within it, is ideal. Stay loose throughout your pickleball swing and keep your shoulders free!
Also, read the blog on doubles pickleball strategy, and what does the double bounce rule mean in pickleball to get a better understanding.
3. Keep Your Stance Semi-closed and Avoid Over-Rotating
The pickleball paddle’s non-paddle side is often pulled open during a serve, allowing their bodies to be exposed to the court. During a serve, they may be turning too much. If you rotate too much on the backswing or during the follow-through, your pickleball serve will likely be hit on its side, making it harder to control.
To avoid this pickleball serve mistake, follow these steps:
- Avoid Over-Rotating on the Backswing
Don’t let your pickleball paddle get behind you while taking your backswing. Unforced errors can result from inconsistent pickleball serving.
- Practice a Semi-closed Stance
An open crosscourt service box and a closed end zone make up a semi-closed stance. If you maintain a semi-closed stance during play, you can avoid overturning and large backswings.
- Keep the Pickleball Relatively Close to Your Body When Making Contact
Your hands should be in close contact with the pickleball on the paddle side and a bit out in front. This point of contact allows you to generate more power and shoot more consistently since you can use more of your body. As a result of your contact with the pickleball away from your body or behind your body, the pickleball will lag behind your pickleball paddle.
4. Serve With Power
Your pickleball serve can be made stronger or faster by following these steps:
- Master the pickleball serving tips mentioned above to improve your pickleball delivery skills;
- You can generate more speed by generating more speed in your pickleball serve speed if you have perfected your technique;
- When you strike the pickleball, use your legs and your core, as these are some of your strongest muscles.
Use an athletic stance when serving to engage your legs and core, as well as compress your legs during the serve as a way to implement this last tip.
5. Provide Yourself With Consistent Pickleball Toss or Drop
If serving pickleball, it’s important to give yourself a consistent toss on traditional pickleball tosses or a consistent drop on traditional pickleball drops.
- Pickleball Toss Serve
Pickleball tosses should be lifted before being released on the pickleball court. Simply dropping the pickleball will result in the pickleball being too low at the point of contact, making the shot more difficult.
- Pickleball Drop Serve
With your non-paddle hand, drop the pickleball above your head with your arm slightly outward and toward the paddle side of your body when using a pickleball drop serve.
When you extend your arm above your head, you give yourself a higher bounce (i.e. more gravitational pull), and if you extend your arm slightly in front of your body toward your paddle side, you will drop the pickleball so that it bounces to an ideal position – slightly on your paddle side and out in front of your body.
6. Serve Deep to Backhands
It makes sense to serve deep to your opponent’s backhand when playing pickleball. Essentially a deep serve moves your opponents back on the pickleball court, making their return of serve more difficult.
Moreover, your opponent’s backhand shots will in most cases be weaker than his or her forehand shots. You can force your opponents to do one of two things by targeting their backhands:
- Backhand returns of serve should be weaker; or
- If you move and run around your serve, you can create more space for your next shot on the pickleball court.
Always Mix Up
Every pickleball player should have an incredibly consistent serve. As a result, it is crucial to practice pickleball serving drills until you can deliver an extremely consistent serve. Pickleball exercises might include serving pickles to targets on the other side of the court or simply focusing on one of these techniques every time you play.
The Importance of the Pickleball Serve Technique
Pickleball’s scoring rules require you to score when you are serving. Playing pickleball singles or doubles is the same.
During a rally, your serve technique determines whether you’re going to succeed (or not!) since you only have one chance to serve. How a player hits the ball is crucial to his or her serve technique. When serving the ball, players need to control the ball at different angles and speeds.
Returning topspin serves is more difficult than returning backspin serves, just an example. It depends on a player’s game style or personal preference whether he or she prefers one spin over another.
Basic Pickleball Serving Rules
Pickleball uses underhand serves, as opposed to tennis’ overhand serves. It is mandatory to hit the serve below the navel according to pickleball rules:
- Forehand or backhand, move your arm upward;
- When you bend your wrist, make sure the top of the paddle head is below it.
You can use your pickleball paddle however you like once you have made contact.
Foot Placement While Serving
On your serve, your paddle must contact the pickleball with at least one foot on the ground behind the baseline.
There is a rule that you must not place your feet inside the baseline, on the sideline, or in the middle of the court. When you make contact with the serve, you can place your feet anywhere on the pickleball court, including on the baseline or outside the imaginary sides.
If you have a friend to help you, you can take turns serving each other, catching the ball and serving again after each turn. It’s ideal to have a bunch of pickleball balls ready to practice with. A player who wants to improve accuracy and aim can benefit from practising this way. You can even do some pickleball serving drills at home if you just want to master your body position, grip, and follow through.
The position you take when serving in pickleball is crucial for avoiding an illegal serve. When your paddle comes into contact with the ball, you should stand behind the baseline and between the imaginary sideline and the centre line.
Learn everything you can about your paddle to improve your accuracy. To get to know any new pickleball paddle, you should practice serving with it first. Your shots will become more accurate and natural as you practice. Until you get a consistent serve, you can practice hitting the balls at a particular point of contact. Confidence also plays a big role!
Mix up your serves to keep your opponents on their toes on the pickleball court. Changing up your serves can give you an edge over your opponents. The difficulty of one serve may differ from the difficulty of another.
Your pickleball game will continue to improve once you learn this other unique pickleball serve tips after you master one consistent serve.
I am a professional physiotherapist and the author of the BallSportsPro. I worked with athletes of all levels, from amateur to professional, and i helped them overcome injuries and improve their performance. I am a certified Pickleball instructor and has been playing the sport for over 10 years.