The Ultimate Guide to Pickleball Serving

Posted on December 22, 2019

Struggling with your pickleball serve? Find out how to improve it drastically using drills and important tips here.

Pickleball is a game that combines techniques from badminton, tennis, and racquetball. It’s a fun game with simple rules for people of all ages and was invented by a small group of fathers who wanted to provide a new athletic activity for their children. Pickleball helps to improve coordination and motor skills and is a creative way to get a great workout. All you need to play the game is a pickleball, a paddle, a net, and an opponent.

Improving your pickleball serve

When you want to improve your pickleball skills, it’s important to have the right game gear but it shouldn’t refrain you from getting into the sport initially. Of course, you can’t forget to acquire a solid pair of shoes to maintain your stance during your pickleball game.

You’ll also need to learn all you can about serving strategies to become more confident in your pickleball abilities. Practice makes perfect when it comes to playing the game and pickleball serving is a huge part of scoring points and getting better at the game.

When it comes to pickleball serving tips, there are several things to keep in mind, including:

  • Establishing a pre-serving routine
  • Selecting your target
  • Aiming precisely
  • Swinging from the shoulder
  • Serving will control instead of aggression

There are also several drills you can watch online to get an example of the right stances for pickleball pitches. Want to know how to become an expert pickleball player? Read on for more helpful information.

Concentrate when serving

Before you serve, take a deep breath, concentrate and picture the desired result of your serve. Picture where you want the ball to go and adjust your stance so you’ll be prepared when the ball comes back to you.

Be sure to set the ball in the same place each time you serve. Place the ball against the paddle and hold it there until you’re ready to serve. Hold the ball at the top and allow it to gently fall from your fingers for the serve.

Don’t Try to “Ace” Your Serve

While this may seem counterintuitive, you shouldn’t try to perfect your serve. This is a mistake many rookie pickleball players make. A perfect serve isn’t going to happen regularly the way it would in tennis. It’s also important to keep in mind that you get two attempts to serve in tennis while you only get one shot in pickleball.

The objective of pickleball is to get the ball over the net. This should be the focus of your game instead of trying to serve the ball “perfectly.” Leave the showboating to your opponent so you can focus on getting as many points as possible. Like with anything, the more you play, the more your pickleball serves will improve in speed and accuracy.

Use Your Shoulder For Power

When you’re pitching in a pickleball game, you should make sure that most of the strength from the pitch comes from your shoulder. To make sure the ball goes where you want it to, aim the paddle in the direction you want the serve to go. Extend your arm toward your target right before your swing is complete.

Remember that your goal is for the ball to go over the net; it’s especially important to keep this in mind when you’re a beginner player. As you enhance your skills, you can use your serve as more of a defensive tactic to keep your opponent from scoring points.

Practice, Practice, Practice

You’ll feel much more comfortable playing pickleball when you practice your serve (some pinpointers for that in this Youtube video). Figure out the stance that is most comfortable for you. If necessary, you can practice serving with both hands to see which hand produces the best results. You can even practice your serve when you’re not on the court. All you’ll need is your pickleball paddle and a ball.

Make sure your serving routine is as simple as possible and allows you to aim the ball accurately. When you’re just starting to learn the basics of pickleball, it’s important to focus on maintaining a rally while you improve your serve. A rally means keeping the ball in play back and forth on the court. You can practice this with a partner, but you can also go over some pickleball drills by yourself so you’ll be prepared next time you get on the court.

 Taking a look a few tutorials will give you ideas for your practice routine to make you feel more at ease with your pickleball serve over time. Once you see the pickleball drills and you mimic the stances and techniques you see in the tutorials, the more comfortable you’ll become with your pickleball serves.

This will give you more confidence when playing with friends and family. The more you practice, the more you may want to consider playing in professional or semi-professional tournaments.

Select a Quality Racquet

One of the best ways to perfect your pickleball serve is to choose the ideal pickleball racquet. The best paddles, especially for beginner players, should be lightweight and easy to manipulate. The paddle should also be long for an effective pickleball serve. Pickleball paddles made from graphite are also easy to hold and swing which gives you more confidence in your serve. A paddle with a large surface area also helps you serve more effectively, so you may want to choose a pickleball paddle with a spacious polypropylene center so you can easily swing the paddle and hit the ball across the net.

Some pickleball players prefer a racquet that is quiet so they won’t be distracted during their serve. However, other players don’t mind a racquet that is a little noisy; the sound of the racquet gives some players a bit of a rush, which gives them more motivation to perfect their pickleball skills.

Types of Pickleball Serves

When it comes to perfecting a pickleball serve, you’ll need to know which styles to choose from. The spin serve and the backhand serve are techniques that could help you get the ball farther and keep your opponent from blocking the serve. Keep in mind that an overhead serve is not allowed in pickleball, even though this is one of the main serving options in tennis.

Underhand serve

For the underhand serve, you’ll need to raise the ball above the paddle. When you release the ball, immediately hit it with the racquet with enough force to get the ball over the net and into the opponent’s half of the pickleball court.

Serve below waist

If you choose to serve below the waist, remember that no part of the racquet or ball can be above your waist during the serve. If this happens, you’ll lose your turn to serve. However, this is one of the best ways to achieve an accurate serve during the game.

Soft angle serve

You can also opt for the soft angle serve, which requires you to serve the ball diagonally. It will take practice to perfect this technique, but the serve will make it hard for the opponent to catch the ball. If you serve the ball so that it comes in front of your opponent, he/she will go forward to hit the ball back into your section of the court. You can hit toward the baseline, and this prompts your rival to run after the ball, giving you more time to prepare for your next return position.

High soft serve

For the high soft serve, you’ll launch the ball into the air so that it lands close to the baseline of the rival’s side of the court. This prompts the opponent to estimate where the pickleball will land, and you’ll have a few seconds to determine your strategy for the remainder of the game. This pickleball serve is great for players of all skill levels.

Power serve

The power serve is an effective move for helping you win a pickleball game. For this serve, you’ll send the ball at high speed to the other side of the court. When the opponent sees the ball coming, he/she must move away from the baseline to hit the ball, which leaves the front of the pickleball court free for you to take low shots at the ball.

You’ll need to aim to serve the ball low and with force. You can also decide which direction to serve the ball to throw your opponent off and increase your chances of gaining more points.

Choose the Right Shoes

When it comes to racquet sports, the right shoes are essential. In addition to learning how to serve in pickleball, you need shoes that will provide proper support so you can hold your stance during your serve.

While there aren’t shoes that are specially designed for pickleball, you can find shoes that have all the qualities you need for a safe and successful pickleball game. The ideal shoes for the game are:

  • Designed for extra sole support
  • Lightweight and easy to move in
  • Made from quality materials that give you great traction
  • Technology that will keep your feet and ankles stable so you can move and serve with ease

Many of the shoes that are recommended for pickleball are often those that are used for volleyball or tennis. Check your favorite brands to see which shoes are designed for these sports to find a pair of pickleball footwear that works best for you.

Wrapping Up

Now that you know more about pickleball, you may want to consider taking it up as a hobby, especially if you already play racquetball or tennis. The game is a fun and interesting way to exercise and can serve as a great way for you to spend time with family or friends or meet other players who are also looking to become pickleball experts.

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The Author
Melvin Robles
I'm Melvin. The author and editor of PickleballGuide. I've played pickleball since 2014 and tennis since I was ten. I hope you enjoy your time on here.
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