serve in pickleball

How Do You Serve in Pickleball

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Pickleball is a fun and fast-paced sport that combines elements of ping pong, badminton, and tennis.

One of the most important skills to master in pickleball is serving. To effectively serve, you must know the rules, understand the different types of serves, practice your technique, and be aware of common mistakes. Let’s take a look at all the components necessary for an effective pickleball serve. 

Serving Rules 

The rules for serving in pickleball are relatively simple. When it’s your turn to serve, you must stand behind the baseline with both feet on the ground. Then hit the ball diagonally into your opponent’s court across from you. You can choose which side of the court to aim for either the right or left side. But you must always make sure that you hit it diagonally.

After each point is scored, you will switch sides so that your opponent now serves from where you just served. 

serving rules

How Do You Serve in Pickleball 

Serving is an essential skill that all pickleball players must master in order to succeed. The serve is the first shot played in pickleball and sets the tone for the remainder of the rally.

To serve, you stand behind the baseline, toss the ball up with one hand, and then hit it diagonally crosscourt into the opponent’s court. A basic pickleball serve must be in contact beneath a player’s waist, land within two pickleball courts on the opposite side of the net (the non-volley zone), and may not hit any obstructions.

Mastering proper pickleball serving technique takes practice, but once you’ve got it down, you’ll be well on your way to playing like a pickleball pro!

Types Of Pickleball Serve 

There are several different types of pickleball serves that you can use. Depending on what kind of advantage you’d like to gain against your opponent.

types of pickleball serve

Soft Angle Serve

The pickleball soft angle serve is one of the most effective ways to win pickleball points. This serve is a variation of the traditional pickleball serve but involves giving the ball topspin and a slight side angle.

When executed properly, this side angle can give your opponent a hard time as they try to return it due to its unexpected trajectory. Although slightly more complicated than a regular pickleball serves, with some practice the soft angle serve can become a powerful weapon for any player’s arsenal.

The Power Serve

The power serve is a type of pickleball serve used to achieve maximum speed, spin, and accuracy while increasing the angle of attack off the court.

To perform this serve, pickleball players take advantage of body momentum to create more spin on the pickleball and move into a side-arm motion to help prevent the pickleball from bouncing too low or arriving high enough into the no man’s land. This technique can take experienced players some time to master but offers an incredible advantage in rallies with its deceptive spin and difficult-to-read flight path.

This is the best serve to learn if you’re strong and want to take advantage of that strength.

The High Soft Serve

The High Soft Serve is a pickleball serve designed for maximum spin and control. With this technique, the player aims to hit the pickleball at a waist-high level and create extra spin with a paddle acceleration.

The end result is an improved pickleball serve that offers more speed and power while maintaining accuracy. Perfecting The High Soft Serve requires practice, but once you get the hang of it you’ll have a greater chance at success in pickleball.

The high soft serve technique provides pickleball players with an opportunity to increase their competitive edge so they can play against tough opponents and come out victorious!

Tips For Serving In PickleBall 

When serving in pickleball, there are certain tips and tricks that will help you improve and land your serves consistently:

  • Aim for accuracy rather than power at first
  • Keep your body balanced when making contact with the ball
  • Hold your paddle firmly but not too tightly
  • Focus on aiming for specific spots rather than just randomly tossing out shots
  • Practice regularly so that your muscles learn how to move correctly
  • Stay focused even if things don’t go as planned during matches

All these tips will help improve both accuracy and consistency when serving in pickleball!

How Do You Return A Serve In Pickleball? 

A good serve can mess up your momentum and catch you off-guard. So, just like improving your serves, you should also understand and improve returning one.

Returning a serve in pickleball requires quick reflexes and good hand-eye coordination since you only have a split second between when the ball is served and when it needs to be returned! Generally speaking, there are three main techniques for returning serves:

  • Block Returns, wherein players use their paddles to simply block the ball and have its own momentum carry it back to the other court
  • Drop Shots, wherein players intentionally reduce the speed of the ball so that it lands far away from the baseline
  • Lob Returns, wherein players hit the ball back to the baseline, perfect for when opponents are expecting a drop shot

All three techniques require practice in order to become proficient at them!  

Common Mistakes People Make When Serving In PickleBall 

Common mistakes people make while serving include:

  • Not getting behind their baseline far enough
  • Not watching their opponents closely enough before they serve
  • Standing too close or too far away from their paddle during contact with the ball
  • Not keeping their eyes open while making contact with the ball
  • Letting go of the paddle too early after contact has been made
  • Gripping the paddle too tightly during contact with the ball results in loss of control over shot direction/speed/spin etc.
  • Holding racket incorrectly resulting in ineffective strikes at the ball.

All these mistakes can easily be avoided by focusing on proper pre-serve positioning and form throughout each point played!  

pickleball serve common mistakes


Serves are one of the most important aspects of playing pickleball successfully because they set up much of what follows during each point played.

Knowing how you serve in pickleball the rules, types, and tips as well as how to return a serve the block returns, drop shots, lob returns, and finally being aware of common mistakes people make when serving not getting behind baseline far enough, etc. can put any player ahead of the game no matter what level they’re playing at! So get out there today and start practicing those serves!

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