“Pickleball 411” is a highly successful video show on Pickleball Channel that is dedicated to providing helpful information about the sport of pickleball. But we know it is sometimes nice to read something you can turn back to when you’re not on the court. In this article, Jennifer Lucore, Alex Hamner and Bob Youngren are each going to describe a different kind of serve, why they’re important, and some of the times to use them. These players have won gold medals at pretty much every category of tournament play and are some of the best players in the country. Once you read through the article, make sure you watch the full-length video that really gives you the visual tools you need to accomplish these three
Jennifer Lucore: I’m going to describe the High Soft Serve which is a great serve for any level whether beginner or the 5.0 level. The name of the serve is helpful as it is very self- explanatory. You want to hit the ball high and soft, but also deep in the court, so not too soft. There are two reasons to use the High Soft Serve. First, it has variety. It will look different to a receiver. That change can work to your advantage. Secondly, it’s high and deep. The receiver then has to create his or her own speed to hit it back. This is different than with a fast serve, where the receiver just has to block it.
Alex Hamner: I’m going to describe the Power Serve. This is the type of serve that is low, deep and, of course, hard. That’s the power part. You can mix it up with where you want it to land. You can put it in the forehand corner, the backhand corner or even right at the opponent. And that way, even though it’s the same serve, your opponent will react differently to each place it’s hit. If you have used the high soft serve or a short angle serve, opponents might start moving forward in anticipation that you’ll do something like that again. And that’s a good time to use that hard power serve right toward them.
Bob Youngren: I’m going to describe the Soft Angle Serve. It’s a great serve and it’s one of the three serves that can mix up the rhythm of the game. This is an especially useful serve if your opponents are side stacking. You want to serve the ball softly at a harsh angle just past the non-volley zone near the stacker. The service returner now has to run all the way up to the kitchen to get to the ball, right next to his/her partner, causing the partner to be stuffed. And then it can open the outside lane on the other side of the court. If your opponent’s return isn’t great, you can knock it down the open lane for the point.
Rusty: So that’s our “Pickleball 411” for today. We hope this has been helpful. Now there’s only one thing left to do, and that’s Go Play!
Rusty Howes is the Executive Producer and creator of Pickleball Channel. Rusty worked for the likes of Warner Bros and Disney before creating Pickleball Channel to develop and provide fantastic, professional video content for the pickleball community. He is deeply involved in promoting the sport of pickleball at home and across the country.