Pickleball – What I Noticed by Watching Others Play

A number of players…

#1 – have questionable serves.

The Serve

  • The serve must be made underhand.
  • Paddle contact with the ball must be below the server’s waist (navel level).
  • The serve is initiated with at least one foot behind the baseline; neither foot may contact the baseline or court until after the ball is struck.
  • The serve is made diagonally crosscourt and must land within the confines of the opposite diagonal court.
  • Only one serve attempt is allowed, except in the event of a let (the ball touches the net on the serve and lands on the proper service court; let serves are replayed).
    USAPA Rules Summary – The Serve

NOTE – The server’s swing must be in an upward arc as shown in the drawing below (p. 18 – USAPA & IFP Official Tournament Rulebook)

Upward air serve

Pickleball 101: The Basics of a Pickleball Serve

Additional information:

The Ultimate Guide To Serving In Pickleball

#2 – take step forward after serving and sometimes they are caught moving backwards trying to hit the return of serve. It is more difficult to hit the ball forward while you are moving backward. Taking a step backward while hitting the ball will result only in an arm shot which is difficult to hit precisely and usually will not have much power. Stay back waiting for the return of serve, but be ready to move forward if the return is short!

#3– are facing the net, i.e. parallel when hitting a groundstroke even if they have time to set up. This is known as an open stance; not generally good for a ground stroke. A groundstroke, either forehand or backhand, has more power when you can set up with your shoulder perpendicular to the net.

#4– when not receiving the serve, partners are waiting near the kitchen line and they do not watch the ball as it is served to the receiver. I have noticed some facing completely forward without ever turning around, but just waiting to see the ball hit the opponent’s side of the court. The non-receiving partner should watch the ball as it is served to the receiver.

a – The ball may be out and the receiver may not have called it. You then call it.

b – If the receiver hits a bad shot, you have time to react if you are watching the ball. If it is a pop-up and it will be coming back hard, take a few steps back to gain more time to respond.

c- Watching the receiver hit the ball may enable the non-receiving partner to determine where the ball is headed and prepare for the return by facing in that direction with the paddle up.

I hope beginning pickleballers and perhaps others find some of these observations and associated links helpful.

Have fun on the courts!



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Pickleball: Forehand Refresher

I consider myself a casual pickleball player and as such I find that I have developed certain habits and style. This may be good or bad.

Vince Lombardi (former Football coach of the Green Bay Packers) is credited with having said:

“Practice does not make perfect. Perfect practice makes perfect.”

But maybe you don’t have time to practice or you don’t want to practice because it isn’t as much fun. The great thing about pickleball is that you can make it whatever you want. If playing and doing the best you can under your individual circumstances satisfies you, then let it be. When I play, I am out to get exercise and have a good time.

Having said that, it doesn’t mean I don’t want to get better. I would like to improve my game if I can. Just to make sure I am doing things the way I should, I like to review how I am delivering certain shots. The video below is a review of how to hit a forehand and I find that I don’t always accurately do two things demonstrated and suggested in the video:

  • Follow through strong above the shoulder
  • When the intent is to “drive” the ball, swing through it

Watch the video below to review or find out how to hit a successful forehand.

This is the synopsis from the YouTube Video Page:

“How do the PROS hit winning forehands? Check out this helpful video with top pickleball champion Scott Moore who is known for his strong forehand shot. Watch his form in super slow motion with additional tips that pop up to give you more focused instruction on how to improve your forehand. The forehand is one of those strokes that you use again and again in pickleball. Make yours a forehand you can count on!”