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An Advanced Pickleball Serve to Keep 'Em Guessing

by The Dink Media Team on

Everybody loves ripping a powerful serve at their opponents. It's your chance to start the point and dictate the pace.

For the majority of serves, I agree that it is smart to send them deep into the court, pushing your opponent as far off the baseline as possible. But let's not neglect the rest of the service box.

Add another arrow to your quiver by practicing a short serve that bounces in the front third of the service box and stays low.

My favorite version of this is a serve targeting the sideline-corner of the service box. I like to use this on the ad (left) side of the court, which results in a low backhand return from my opponent.

The benefits of a tactical, short serve:

A well-placed short serve can catch your opponent off-guard, especially if they are standing a couple of feet behind the baseline.

It can also pull your opponent off to the side of the court, creating space down the middle for your 3rd shot.

This serve can even neutralize a banger that returns the ball with powerful groundstrokes.

It is more difficult to rip a big, topspin forehand on a serve that stays low vs a deep serve with a high bounce.

See if you can set this one up for yourself. After a few deep serves with pace, mix in this touch shot. It just might earn you a freebie.

If you need to practice serve accuracy, do this:

  • You may try placing a hoola hoop or cones around the desired spot at first
  • Make sure you stand a consistent distance from the baseline when you practice serving
  • Pay attention to your toss: are you consistent? Do you need to adust so that you're making contact at the right time?
  • Record yourself practicing to see if you're using you're legs and twisting up and into the serve rather than relying on wrist action alone

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