Constant and powerful serve for your pickleball game
Your serve is the only shot you can control 100% during a pickleball game. You can visualize the ball placement, take a breath, and play the pickleball ball exactly where you want it. But it can be surprisingly difficult to develop a reliable serve even when you have all of these factors in your favor.
Below are some tips to help you improve the consistency of your serve and increase the power behind it. For starters, we have a series of tips from pickleball instructor CJ Johnson. She lists four points that all players should keep in mind. They are as follows:
1. keep the ball in front of your body.
Whether you're executing a backhand or forehand serve, it's easier to keep your eye on both the ball and the target this way, rather than holding it at your side or contorting.
2. Don't drop the ball too far when you release it.
Keep the ball relatively close to your pickleball paddle and don't make any big movements that might make it difficult to determine the ball's trajectory.
3. Pull through with your paddle and arm in the direction of the target.
The "target" should be your opponent who is diagonally across from you in the court box.
4. Develop a pre-stroke routine.
Aim for your opponent's weak spot (usually the backhand), watch for possible interference from the elements (such as sunlight and wind), and breathe. Some players take a bounce or two before serving, and that's fine, too.
If you want to learn more about these steps, watch CJ's video:
If you want to add power to your serve, Barrett from Pickleball Kitchen will show you the right technique. Some players believe that you have to have a lot of strength in your arms to develop a powerful serve, but that's not entirely true. While it helps to be fit and strong, a powerful serve comes from the movement of the hip rather than the arm or wrist.
Se need to develop a consistent hip rotation and also work on "breaking" your wrist. This is not as painful as it sounds! More specifically, when swinging, there is a certain point at the end of the follow through where you want to flip your wrist up to put more spin and power behind the ball. Watch the video to demonstrate this:
These tips should help any player feel more confident about one of the most important shots in the game. As always, if you have any further questions about pickleball, don't hesitate to contact our Pickleball Corner experts at firstname.lastname@example.org.