If you’re a beginner who’s getting better every day except for that pesky serve, then this discussion is for you. Every pickleball game starts with a serve so it should be perfect. Not many players can perfect their game without improving their serving on the court.
The tips for improving the pickleball serve are explained so new players can get help. You can go through the information before heading to the practice session. It will not only help you improve your serve but will ensure you learn new techniques that give you an edge in the game.
Pickleball Serve Tips
As a player, one needs to be confident about their serve because that’s what makes them weak or strong on the court. Beginners may think their serve to be weak or inaccurate and that may hold them back during the games. Serving in pickleball is very basic but a very important shot on the court.
Players lose many opportunities because of the wrong serves. They need not worry because the serving tips can help improve the service. As a player, if you can perfect your serve, you can also have an edge over your opponent with a strategic serve.
The tips and strategies for the perfect service are discussed below. All the players can go through the key pickleball serve technique tips and practice them to improve.
1. Learn Proper Foot Placement When Serving
You need to be very careful and vigilant when standing on the court as a pickleball player. Your foot placement is important when you serve because it may result in a fault. You should memorize this rule related to the service foot faults.
The first rule is to keep at least one foot on the court behind the baseline when you are serving. Neither of your feet should be touching the court on the inside or the baseline. You will not like committing a fault at the beginning of the game so optimal foot placement is important.
As a beginner, you may want to improve your foot placement by having a bystander view. Your partner or anyone can review your serve to correct the foot placement. They can guide you so you can correct it before making a serve on the pickleball court.
2. Hit Under Your Belly Button
Another important serving tip is to hit under your belly button. For this tip to make sense, you need to know about the volley serve and drop serve in pickleball. The volley serve is easier to spot because it is always underhand but the drop serve is not popular.
It requires the ball to fall from a height and bounce before the ball comes in contact with the paddle. The drop serve isn’t preferred by many players because they think serves should be underhand. When serving underhand, you should ensure hitting the ball when it is below your belly button.
Your belly button should be a marker for you on the court. The highest point should be under your waist when you bend your wrist joint. Your arm should swing like a pendulum when you serve.
Initially, the serve will be stiff because you’ll be thinking about your position. After some practice and patience, your motions will become seamless. Hence, consistency and practice are worth it in the end.
3. Find A Target And Aim
Ask yourself a question: what are you aiming for when on the pickleball court? You’re serving the ball onto the opponent’s side but it is easier said than done. The beginners can mess things up because they’re in the process of perfecting their serve.
It is important to aim at a target before making every shot. You can aim at your opponent’s side before hitting the ball. Your opponent might have a weakness that can be used against him on the court.
You can aim and target in a specific direction and then serve. Taking a few steps before hitting the ball can be helpful. It can help target and improve your serving.
Although, you may not be able to correct yourself in a day or a week; this technique never pans out. Keep on aiming at a point on the other side before serving to achieve accuracy.
4. Don’t Be Afraid To Miss A Serve/Commit Fault
Many players, especially beginners, are afraid to miss a serve or commit a fault on the court. Being afraid and conservative on the court can harm your performance. You shouldn’t be putting yourself and the team at risk by this behavior.
If you need a good return, you have to allow yourself to make mistakes and score. Playing safe isn’t always a good option when on the court. You should play without the fear of missing a serve.
Missing a serve is ok rather than playing aggressively and losing in the long run. Try to gain control and give yourself a chance to play and score.
5. Have A Pre-Serve Routine
The players need to have a pre-serve routine. This can be anything that works best for you or helps you calm down before the game. You can bounce the ball on the ground or serve with the paddle depending on your comfort level.
As a player, your physical and mental fitness are highly important. A pre-serve routine can help analyze your physical and mental state before the game. You can improve your timing and service by maintaining this routine.
This can help you practice saying your score loudly as well. Saying out the score aloud before serving can help avoid mistakes. The body and mind aren’t built to score and serve at the same time so it’s essential to practice and have a pre-serve routine.
6. Mix Up Your Serves
It’s impossible to up your serve game unless you understand the concept of mixing. As a pickleball player, you should be able to use different serving techniques. The opponent won’t be able to guess your technique if you keep on changing it.
Once you’ve learned how to serve, start using different options. You can use a driving serve to hit the ball with speed or a lob serve to bounce off the ball from height. These serving options can be used during the game so the opponent isn’t sure of your next move.
Moreover, an inside-out serve or hook serve can be used to hit the ball at the opposite side of the opponent so he fails to hit back. Hence, mixing up your serves gives you an edge over your opponents.
You may score points whereas your opponent fails to do so. So, evolving your gaming style and mixing up your serve can help win games.
7. Use Your Shoulders And Legs
Perfecting your service is only possible when you use the right techniques. Your body should act like a pendulum that swings. Although players use their hands when serving but fail to swing their shoulders.
Engaging your legs and shoulders is important when trying to improve the serve. Paddle speed and motion are only possible when you use your strongest muscles.
Compress your legs and swing your shoulder when making a serve. Hence, stay relaxed, and use your legs, core, and shoulders to perfect your serve.
8. Serve Deep
Serving deep is one of the best strategies that you can use against your opponents. Although it is not a beginner-friendly strategy, you can use it to become a better player. The opponent has a hard time when you serve deep on the court.
Most pickleball players avoid playing at the backhand so you can use it to have an edge. Avoid being predictable because it can give your opponents an upper hand. You should not overplay the serve and target near the baseline or center.
As a player, you should always aim inside the line or consider other factors too. Wind can sometimes move your pickleball in an unwanted direction so it’s better to consider all the factors before serving deep.
9. Invest In A Good Pair Of Shoes
As a pickleball player, you should always have a comfortable pair of shoes. Pickleball players do not have a uniform or a dress code that needs to be followed but it would be best if you invest in good shoes. Your shoe pair should be lightweight, comfortable, supportive, and breathable.
It is important to wear a good pair on the court because you will play without worrying about them. Being uncomfortable on the court can mess up your game. Hence, your feet should not be squished, rubbed, or hurt when playing.
10. Learn How To Paddle
The handshake technique is recommended for beginners because it is simple and most players can get it right. The Western technique can also be used by players after they learn the handshake technique. Feeling the grip and knowing where your hands are on the paddle are important.
Rotate your hands if you are holding the paddle in the wrong way. Keep on practicing because it’ll make you less conscious about the hand’s position. Hence, with time you’ll just hold the paddle and play without focusing on changing the grip or holding position.
Pickleball Serve Tips For Beginners
The simple rules that can help beginners with serving are explained below. Refer to them if you need some help to improve your performance.
- As a beginner, you should aim for the back of the court. Your shot should be aimed for the back of the opponent’s side so it is difficult for him to hit back.
- Secondly, you should line up your body to perfect the serve. Your shoulders should be in the direction you want the ball to go. This can help target the right place on the other side.
- Having a nice grip on the paddle is essential. Your paddle works like your hand’s extension. You should keep your wrist loose and swing along the ball.
- Following your mind and body during the game is important. Keep your body loose, relax, swing your arm, and hit the ball. Please do not lift your head until the paddle comes in contact with the ball.
- Be consistent before hitting the ball with speed. Consistency and patience are the keys to perfecting your serve on the court.
- Use your warmup sessions to improve and not to take your frustration out. Know your capacity and build speed during these sessions.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is A Bad Serve In Pickleball?
A bad serve in pickleball is when the ball does not land on the court. The ball might hit the net or go out of the court when hit with speed or aggression.
What Are The 3 Skills Needed To Play Pickleball?
Footwork, agility, and hand-eye coordination are important when playing pickleball. Players need to have these three skills before heading to the court. They can improve their game and performance after learning these skills during the practice sessions.
Where Do You Put Your Feet When Serving In Pickleball?
Your feet should be in contact with the ground but behind the baseline when serving. You should aim and target but your feet shouldn’t be touching the baseline marked on the court.
A detailed article on the pickleball serve tips is written so players can improve their overall performance. If you are a beginner who wants to improve your serving, you can take advantage of the information above. You can practice and up your serving by following the tips.
There’s no need to play for hours to perfect your game. Read the serving tips thoroughly and learn the rules before heading to the court.
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I, Jeena Noven, am a renowned pickleball expert and author with over 10 years of experience playing and coaching the sport. My passion and extensive knowledge of pickleball has made me a leading authority in the game, particularly in the field of footwear. I have written countless articles for https://pickleballcard.com/, a website dedicated to pickleball, sharing my insights and expertise on the best shoes for the sport. Through personal testing and reviewing countless different brands and styles, I have developed a deep understanding of the technical aspects of shoe design that make them suitable for the demands of pickleball. In my articles, I provide valuable information for both beginner and advanced players, covering everything from the basics of shoe fit and support, to advanced tips for maximizing performance on the court. As a dedicated pickleball player and expert in footwear, I am a valuable resource for players of all levels. My articles are not only informative but also engaging, making them a must-read for anyone looking to improve their pickleball game. I am constantly researching new products and trends in the industry and my readers can always count on me to provide the most up-to-date and accurate information on the best pickleball shoes available.