Get Rhythm and Get Better!

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.

Step One

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 their 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 to show you a few is on “Pickleball 411”.

Step Two

Now you’re on the line and your opponents are in place.

Step Three

You or the referee says the score (wait for the entire score to be called!).

Step Four

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.

Step Five

Start your service motion. For us, we start our service motion by first 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 2 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.

Step Six

The sequence is now complete. Practice these steps, do them a hundred times, get your rhythm, and watch your serve improve… so get rhythm and get better!


13 comments on “Get Rhythm and Get Better!”

  1. Hi Jennifer and welcome back from Florida. Glad to see the rules committee have banned the non-paddle spin serve for the future. Most Pickleball fans want to see rallies not a winning serve.

    1. Hi Jennifer and all players, I realize that many in the Amateur arena have spent hours, days, weeks etc. learning and perhaps perfecting the non-paddle hand spin serve. My above comment is not meant to downplay your efforts to have done so. I doubt that applying spin with the paddle will go away, and I’m confident that many of us want to win in rally situations. 🙂

  2. Hi Jennifer and all, 2 years ago I got the ‘yips’ on serving and kept practicing after hours to get it back. Worked! Now back in same position and same problem. So–tried the ‘drop serve’ for awhile and that helped a bit, but didn’t have the speed and depth that I had 2 yrs ago. Have been working on the drop serve and with practice I have renewed confidence with speed and depth. Perhaps I can go back to original serve if the ‘drop serve’ rule goes away. Thanks USAPA for now! 🙂

    1. Hi Jennifer and players–Just a reply to my 3/29/21 post. The drop serve I used worked well, but I did not want to accept the fact that my volley serve would become extinct. After a couple of weeks of practice and watching Pro serve videos–my volley serve is back and better than ever. Low, legal, faster and a bit of left to right spin. Drilling makes rec play much more fun for all, dinks, lobs, serves and sportsmanship. “Go Play”

      1. Hello John, always great to hear from you… Volley Serve – Can you explain your interpretation of that serve?

        1. Hey Jennifer, Sure-Similar to your partner Alex Hamner video-“3 Serves”. I watched it multiple times along with some others. As we all know a ‘volley’ is hitting the ball before it bounces. I practiced until my timing came back to me that I had back in 2019. I do not spin the ball with non-paddle (left) hand. I just release the ball and strike below the waist with a bit of left to right spin, making sure paddle is well below my wrist. Also, I do occasionally use a ‘drop’ serve during warm ups for timing purposes, but during play the volley serve has much more ‘heat’.

  3. Jennifer, this tip helped. On two South Carolina tournaments coming up, I will be more prepared when serving.

    1. Karen, that is great news!Thanks for the feedback and best of luck in your upcoming tournaments – FUN!

  4. Thank you Jennifer! I take 1 step, in between both your routines.
    I love following you two! I’m a groupie & star struck fan when I have the pleasure of seeing you play or referee 🙂

    You’re awesome and I love your travel pics on Instagram, thanks again!

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