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One way to keep your opponents on the defensive is to pressure their ability to get to the net from the return of serve. The power serve is one of my favorite weapons to keep my opponents off balance and minimize their advantage when they are returning. The goal of the serve is not to hit winners, but rather to put a little pressure on the receiver’s ability to control the return of serve with power, spin and depth. Below is a five-photo progression showing what I do to boost the power on my serve.

To start, establish a consistent routine before serving that includes approaching the service line the same way and visualizing where you want to direct the ball. Your weight should start evenly balanced. Stay nice and loose throughout the beginning.

Start shifting your weight to the back foot and pull your paddle back high - as this initiates the coiling process of the serve. You see the paddle beginning a loop at this time to build some momentum. You’re now locked and ready
to transfer your weight forward. At the same time, dip your body while twisting your hips and your core at the ball. Finally, I also prefer to drop the ball from a high point to build more initial speed.

This is the main rotation and firing phase. Quickly
open up your hips while throwing
and transferring your weight into
the ball. The paddle head speed begins
to accelerate throughout this period. The upward energy puts topspin on the ball - allowing the serve to
have height, depth, speed and margin for error.

Fully rotate your core to get the full effect of the circular kinetic chain. All major
body parts are being engaged at this point. Stand up and lift the ball. The paddle head speed is at its peak speed and the power is coming from the ground up.

Maintain a nice high follow thru and make sure all body parts are extended.

Tyson McGuffin is an IPTPA and USPTA Teaching Professional. He is the Head Tennis and Pickleball Professional at Peak Tennis Hayden. For more information, contact Tyson at

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