Serving is an essential part of pickleball, and for beginners, it’s important to focus on proper technique and consistency. Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to serve in pickleball for beginners:
Position yourself: Stand behind the baseline, with both feet within the boundaries of the service box. Make sure you are outside the imaginary extension of the non-volley zone line (the “kitchen”) to avoid committing a fault.
Hold the paddle: Use a comfortable grip, such as the Eastern or Continental grip, to hold the paddle. These grips allow for versatility and control during the serve. Hold the paddle with a relaxed grip, not squeezing too tightly.
Prepare the ball: Hold the ball in your non-dominant hand, at waist or thigh level. Make sure your palm is open, and the ball is resting on your fingertips. Do not hold the ball against the paddle or your body.
Stance: Adopt a side-on stance, with your non-dominant foot slightly in front of your dominant foot. This position will help you generate power and control during the serve.
Focus on the target: Look at the service box diagonally opposite you, where you want the ball to land. Aim for a deep serve that lands near the baseline, forcing your opponent to hit from a less favorable position.
Swing and contact: Start your serving motion by swinging your paddle arm back while keeping your wrist firm. As you bring your arm forward, transfer your weight from your back foot to your front foot, and release the ball with your non-dominant hand. Strike the ball with a smooth, upward motion, making contact below your waist level. Remember, the serve must be an underhand motion with the paddle moving in an upward arc.
Follow through: After making contact with the ball, continue your arm motion forward and upward, pointing the paddle towards your target. A smooth follow-through will help ensure better accuracy and control.
Legal serve: For a serve to be legal, the ball must clear the net, land within the opponent’s service court, and not bounce before it crosses the non-volley zone line (the “kitchen”) on the opponent’s side.
Ready position: After completing your serve, quickly move towards the center of the court and adopt a ready position, preparing for your opponent’s return.
As a beginner, focus on developing a consistent, accurate serve rather than trying to generate excessive power. The serve is a crucial part of the game, and a reliable serve will set the foundation for successful play. Practice your serving technique regularly to build confidence and improve your skills.