Rhythm—some players have it; some players don’t. Improve your service rhythm and you could get better. A rhythm or routine for your serve can drastically improve your serve’s consistency, power and placement. This can apply to any skill level, and once you master your rhythm it will become second nature – and a habit you are happy to have.
Your serve’s rhythm comes with several sequences to complete the shot.
1. As you approach the baseline to serve, decide in your head exactly where you will be placing the ball and what type of serve you will use. So the bubble above your head says, “I am serving a power serve deep to the backhand.” Once that mental note is made you turn off your brain and you know that exact serve will happen because you’ve done it hundreds of times – your muscle memory takes over. There are a variety of serves and one great video that shows a few is on Pickleball Channel’s “Pickleball 411” –
2. You’re on the line and your opponents are in place.
3. You or the referee says the score (wait for the entire score to be called).
4. Take a breath, relax (be in a relaxed state before you go to contact) and wait about two seconds to serve. Do not rush. When you rush, errors get made. Remember: you have 10 seconds to serve the ball after the score is announced. Another video from Pickleball Channel shows just this: Pickleball Quick Tip, Two Second Rule – www.pickleballchannel. com/2014/06/pickleball-quick-tip-two-second-rule/.
5. Start your service motion. For us, we start our service motion by first bouncing or hitting the ball on the ground once or twice and catching the ball. Then we start the actual swing to hit the ball. You may have seen Alex’s additional motion – she actually takes two steps as she’s hitting the ball. Jennifer just shifts her weight from her back foot to her front foot as she swings. Find the motion that works for you and practice your rhythm.
6. The sequence is now complete. Practice these steps, do them a hundred times, get your rhythm and watch your serve improve.