Pickleball is a fast-paced, fun, and competitive sport that has been steadily gaining popularity since its inception in 1965. One of the most important skills to master for an aspiring pickleball player is the serve, as it will be used both defensively and offensively throughout the game. In this article, we’re going to break down some tips on how you can weaponize your pickleball serve!
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7 Tips For Weaponizing The Pickleball Serve
Today, we are going to discuss some tips for the pickleball serve:
- Your arm should be completely straight when you are serving. This means that if you were to drop a pencil from your elbow it should hit the ground at roughly the same time as the ball. If your arm is bent, the ball will hit the ground before it reaches its intended target.
- You should start by holding the pickleball with your dominant hand. For most people, this will be their right hand, but some players prefer to hold it in their left instead. Regardless of which one you choose it is important that once the ball leaves your hands, you do not touch the pickleball again until after a point has been scored or play stops completely.
- You need to be sure that your grip on the pickleball is firm, but not too tight. If it’s too loose you won’t get any power behind your serve and if it’s too tight there may be a chance for injury (i.e: tennis elbow).
- Make sure that when you are serving you keep your feet planted in one spot. You should not be moving them at all while serving the pickleball, as this may cause your serve to go off-target.
- You need to have a “wind up” when it comes time to actually hit the ball so that you get enough power behind each serve. This is where you should take a few steps back and then move forward before you actually serve.
- Be sure to follow through with your shot once the ball has left your hand. This will ensure that it goes where you want it to go!
- Try serving during pickleball drills or games so that you get a feel for the ball and how fast it should be going.
These are just a few tips to get you started on your way to weaponizing your pickleball serve. If you would like to learn more about pickleball and the various drills that can be used you should visit your local court.
Creative Changes to the Serve
Pickleball is a fast-growing sport, and so the powers that be have introduced an interesting provisional rule: drop serve. This brings back memories of when Morgan Evans created headlines such as “26 Aces in a Pro Mixed Doubles” by utilizing his spinning ball toss before hitting it with a paddle!
These innovations all shared one thing – players manipulated balls prior to contact between their racquet strings for an added spin which made them harder than usual but not too much where they would bounce off turns into a winner after winners like what happened during US Open Finals last year against Federer and Nadal.
Today, the sport is making a comeback as it has been mainstreamed into YMCA programs across America from coast to coast as a way to get more people active and healthy.
In recent times, some of those who have been successful in the sport are now taking their talents and ability to the next level.
Creative Changes To Serve Include:
Drop serve – not literally dropping it but allowing for a second of air time before contact with the strings
Serve and volley – for those who have been playing tennis but never pickleball it means that one player comes to the net and volleys the ball instead of staying back before contact
Backhand serve – a lot of players have been using this serve with great success
All in all, pickleball is a fun and fast-paced game that can be played by people of any age. It is also known to be a great way to make new friends, so get out there and try it today.
Manipulate or not to Manipulate the Ball?
The original serve rule required an underhand serve defined by a precise relationship between the paddle and the server’s anatomy, which was difficult to enforce due to the fact that contact between the paddle and the ball occurs in 1/500 of a second.
The temporary service rule avoided this debate by loosening the rules of the paddle swing as long as the ball is dropped naturally. This was consistent with the goal of serving underhandedly because a dropped ball without manipulation does not bounce higher than 34″.
The Rule Committee has not made a decision on the spinning ball toss or the various techniques used to impart spin on the ball, but those details are irrelevant given that a ball with a high degree of spin prior to paddle contact results in a screwball bounce far exceeding the spin generated by the paddle alone.
This clear contradiction between no ball manipulation prior to paddle contact and spinning the ball to death prior to touch was never envisioned by Pickleball’s Founding Fathers. As a result, let us look back in time to see if we can gain any insight.
The original rulebook published by Pickleball, Inc., states that “the motion to hit the ball must be made from below the waist and the ball must be hit before it reaches a height of more than 34 inches.” It goes on to say that “the paddle may not be swung above the waist.”
This is a pretty clear statement that says no manipulation, so why did they have to add “at least one ball per game must be served underhand”?
This can only mean that there was some doubt as to what they meant in the original rulebook. Was it that the serve had to be made below the waist or was it meant to say no manipulation?
Was There Any Mention Of Spinning The Ball, Perhaps As A Serve And Volley?
There were no such references, so we must assume that the Founding Fathers envisioned something other than what has been happening in today’s game.
Since the ball is allowed to be hit above waist level, it creates a huge loophole in the serve rule that players have exploited to the full.
Spinning the ball so it is harder to hit has become an integral part of today’s game, but how many are aware that the original rulebook forbids spinning?
In addition, what about putting a backspin on the ball to generate even more height and longer bounces off the paddle?
Is it not clear that the Founding Fathers never envisioned this type of serve when they wrote the original rulebook, so why are we doing it?
The rulebook also states that “the ball must be hit before it reaches a height of more than 34 inches.” It is pretty clear that the ball should not bounce higher than 34″.
Despite this, players have been producing balls bouncing up to 36″ by hitting it at a maximum height of 34″.
This is clearly in conflict with the original rule and should be stopped by any player who respects Pickleball’s Founding Fathers.
The rulebook does not prohibit serving underhand, but it clearly states that the ball must be hit below waist level.
It also says that the paddle must not be swung above waist level, so why are we doing it?
It is time to return to serving underhanded with no manipulation and no spinning of the ball.
Does this sound like a long lost cause? I think not, because it is just common sense!