Incline Village GID tip: Serving deep in pickleball |

Incline Village GID tip: Serving deep in pickleball

In pickleball, the serving team (shown on the left) starts out at a positional disadvantage as they wait for the mandatory bounce on the return of serve.
Courtesy of Incline Village Tennis Center

You’ve been told to hit deep serves. So you practice. But do you know why a deep serve is an ideal placement?

In doubles pickleball, the team that has both players standing forward at the kitchen line has the advantage. That’s because most points are won in the short game where players are on the offensive.

If you are the serving team, you and your partner are both standing back at the baseline, waiting for the mandatory bounce on your opponents’ return of serve. This is a defensive position. You can’t do anything until that bounce. However, your opponents already have an advantage: one of them is at the kitchen line, well positioned and waiting for her partner to join her.

If you serve a short ball, the receiver can move up to return the ball, and use momentum to keep moving forward to join her partner at the kitchen line very quickly. Your opponents are then set to play offensively, while your team is still playing defense at the baseline.

When you serve a deep ball, you force one of your opponents to stay back until the serve bounces and is properly returned, thus delaying her chance to join her partner at the kitchen.

Pickleball is a fast game. It may not seem like a big advantage, but every few seconds can matter.

Serve it deep, make ‘em weep.

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