Humor: Taxes Eating Up Discretionary Cash!

We had dinner at a Chinese restaurant in March. We ordered Hot and Spicy soup for two, an Orange Chicken entree and a Hot Szechuan Pork entree. The prices were reasonable, but the taxes were a bit of a surprise.

I knew taxes were recently raised, but...

I knew taxes were recently raised, but really!

NOTE – Truth be told, the bill was corrected as this turned out to be a “computer glitch!”

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Pickleball Serve: Is Variety the Advantage You Need to Win?

Many of the essays, articles, books addressing the Pickleball serve will advise players to hit the ball high and deep and sometimes the word SLOW is used in conjunction with the advisory. The idea is twofold:

  • 1) Keep the opposing team away from the net and
  • 2) Make them supply the pace (power) behind any return shot

The two elements above may help the serving team get to the net as quickly as possible and it is true that the idea is to gain control of the net. All else being equal, the team “controlling” the net should win most of the points.

The popularity of Pickleball is soaring and more and more young people are finding their way to the Pickleball courts. This is great for the game. With their athleticism and speed, the serve is taking on more importance as a factor in the game.

Tennis and Pickleball Coach Mark Rennseson, with more than eighteen years experience, agrees with The Pickleball Show host Chris Allen that, once again, all things being equal, the team serving the ball only has a forty percent chance of winning the point. The receiving team has a 60-40 chance of winning the serve so why not try to change those odds?

Mark also suggests that since the serve is the only time you have complete control of the ball and where it is going to go, you should take advantage of it by doing more with the ball than “just getting it in play.” He doesn’t believe serving high and deep is the way to go for everyone.

Coach Rennseson encourages the more adventurous and perhaps intermediate to advanced players, to take more of a chance to gain the advantage. By varying the type of serve, the receiver’s potential for hitting a weaker return increases thus enabling the serving team to gain the upper hand. The issue of missing the serve a couple of times a game might not be that bad if the server(s) can cause the receiving team to make enough errors.

You can listen to this discussion via the podcast of The Pickleball Show, episode 7, starting at 13:19 into the show.

As a matter of fact, the Pickleball video (below), Pickleball 411: Three Serves and Why You Need Them, provides an explanation of what the three types of serves are and reasons for using them. NOTE: This is not an instructional video of “HOW” to execute these shots, but an explanation why you might want to use them.

“In this episode (above) of Pickleball 411, our host, Rusty Howes, is joined by Jennifer Lucore, Alex Hamner and Bob Youngren who demonstrate the different serves they use and explain when and why they use them. We hope this detailed episode will help all of you take your pickleball game to the next level!”

Deb Harrison also agrees that having “the ball in your hand” on the serve warrants doing more than just getting it in. You can listen to her explanation of what to do with the serve at 13:02 minutes in to The Pickleball Show podcast 11.

To summarize:

  • If you are just starting out playing Pickleball and you are playing with beginning to average players, keep the serve high and deep.
  • If you are playing among intermediate to more advanced players, i.e. 3.5-5.0, you might want to try to do more with the serve. Varying the serve keeps the opponents guessing and may cause an instant of hesitation in a very fast game. In Pickleball, fractions of seconds can make the difference.
  • High and Deep Serve can be used at any level and is used for a change of pace.
  • The Power Serve – This serve is low, deep and hard. This serve is varied by changing location. Right, left or in the middle of the appropriate service court. Of course, one needs to practice to be able to get this serve in consistently.
  • Soft Angle Serve – Once again, keeps the opponents guessing and, when done right, can force them to the outside of the court leaving a lane down which one can hit the ball.

What is your philosophy about the Pickleball serve? Have the above points changed your approach to the Pickleball serve?