Pickleball: No Lets & the New Drop Serve

While words may explain the new rules, not all the nuances are easily understood. With the new (and somewhat controversial) drop serve rule, I think the two videos below will clarify what IS an what IS NOT acceptable.



The video below is a conversation that explains the rules. It will furter help to explain and clarify some of the information presented by Jordan Briones in the tutorial above.



More Pickleball Videos and Information

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All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2020 – JBRish.com

Pickleball: Review, Repeat, Reward – The Dink

The cast of a Broadway show involved in a long-run hit is called together on a routine basis, perhaps twice a month or more, to walk through the script repeating their lines and discussing issues that might have arisen since the last review. One might ask why, after performing so many shows over the course of weeks, would they need to go over the script in a rehearsal mode.

The answer is rather simple. Over time, words in a script get dropped or modified and over time, a sentence may take on a meaning that was not intended by the author. This type of review is not unusual, but standard operating procedure.

What does this have to do with pickleball?

I think the answer is relatively simple. From what I have read and witnessed, most pickleballers are not tournament players. They like recreational pickleball and enjoy the fun and benefits of social, competition and exercise.

When we learn to play pickleball, many of us are taught certain skills such as the proper dink technique and unless you are a serious competitive or tournament player, the odds are you don’t “practice” much and that’s OK. Many of us just enjoy playing and don’t enjoy (or desire to) practice.

Although I prefer to play more than practice, I am interested in improving and doing better and therein lies the rub. Every once in a while, I like to review how to execute certain skills such as dinking, the overhead smash, serving, etc. That doesn’t mean I am going to spend hours practicing. What it does mean is that I will pay more attention to how I execute certain shots and focus on proper technique when I do play. Hopefully I will pick up a tip or two (or just a reminder) that will help me improve my current skill set so that I can perform better.

With that in mind, I am including two videos for those who want a refresher on dinking skills. This is an important, yet often overlooked part of the game that tends to favor the more dramatic power shot.


Best Pickleball Dink Technique

When you are at the net and receive a low ball, you must be careful not to pop up something high and attackable. A dink (yes, that’s what it is called) is a great response to a low ball since it makes it hard for the other team to pounce. In this video from Third Shot Sports, coach Mark Renneson breaks down some key elements to a great dink.

Pay attention to the following:

* Point of contact
* Short stroke on the shot
* Stiff (stable) wrist (and arm)
* Maintain proper balance


Dinking Strategy – 3 Steps to Dominate with Dinks & the #1 dink you must avoid

Jordan Briones of Primetime Pickleball explains some of the more modern strategies behind the dinking game. Learn what a dead dink is and how to avoid them.

I hope you have found this review useful and that it helps you enjoy your play even more!



More Pickleball Videos and Information

To See additional Pickleball Videos & Information Click Here (primarily for beginners and less experienced players)

Check out Additional Pickleball Information and Videos! (for all players including average to more experienced players)



All original content on this blog is copyrighted by Jeffrey B. Ross with ALL Rights Reserved. While reference links back to JBRish.com are appreciated and encouraged, please acquire approval for any reproduction of original content from this website.

©Jeffrey B. Ross 2014 – 2019 – JBRish.com

Pickleball Myth? – Never Miss A Serve

PB Myth # 18: You Should Never Miss Your Serve

**NOTE** – This is an article from Third Shot Sports that is reprinted with appropriate attribution and permissions.

The conventional wisdom is that you should always make sure your serve lands in. We don’t want you to hit out either but here is something to consider: if you are always playing it safe for fear of missing, are you losing out on a great opportunity?

Yes. You are.

Think about it — the serve is the one time in a pickleball game that you have complete control. The ball is in perfect position, you are totally on balance and you don’t have to hit it until you are completely ready. There is no other moment when the conditions are so much in your favour. Yet most people squander this opportunity by merely putting the ball in play. Here are some alternatives:

1) Aim for a weakness. If you have identified that your opponent has a preferred side (usually their forehand) this is a great time to challenge them to play the shot they don’t want. Use this opportunity to aim near a sideline and force them to hit a tougher return.

2) Pin them back. In most cases, the returner will want to come to the net after playing the ball. Make this more difficult by serving deep in the court and pushing them back behind the baseline.

3) Take away their time. A slow, high-arcing ball gives your opponents lots of time to prepare for the return. Why not hit the serve with some speed and challenge them to catch up?

4) Hit with spin. Add some difficulty by using sidespin or topspin on the serve. Doing so will make the ball bounce differently than the usual spin-free shot.

With each of these suggestions I’m encouraging you to “go for more” when hitting your serve. And yes, there is some risk in doing so. Hitting near the sideline increases the chance that the ball will go wide. Aiming for the back of the court or trying to hit the serve fast may mean your ball occasionally sails long. Hitting with spin will likely reduce your control and cause you to miss.

But with these risks comes the possibility of real reward.

A more challenging serve makes it more likely that your opponent will fail to hit the return the way they want. They are more likely to struggle with their first shot which is good news for you. They are more likely to hit the return short. They are less likely to have pinpoint accuracy. They are more likely to hit out of bounds.

Of course, if you are hitting many of your serves out of play, you are probably being too aggressive. And one ought to be selective about when they choose to go for more (serving at 9-10-2 might not be the ideal time to attempt an un-returnable serve). But I don’t see anything inherently wrong with the occasional missed serve so long as it is the result of looking to gain an advantage with the first shot.

There is an old saying that “if you aren’t falling, you aren’t trying hard enough”. Perhaps we could adapt this to “if you never miss your serve, you aren’t going for enough”.

Mark Renneson is a pickleball coach and 5.0/PRO level competitor. He is the founder of Third Shot Sports. He can be reached by email mark@thirdshotsports.com.

In Summary, I think these are the take-aways from the article:

  • Conventional wisdom is often “safe,” but may not be the best for a given play.
  • Serving is the only time a player has total control of the situation.
  • Serve to an opponent’s weakness. (You have to find it first)
  • Still serve the ball deep.
  • Change the style of serve using spin, pace, etc.
  • Weigh the risk-rewards ratio for your style of play and decide if you should “go for it” at certain times. (As the article points out, in a close game I tend to play it conservatively most of the time and just get the ball in the service box.)

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Click the link to visit the Third Shot Sports Pickleball website.

Thanks to Mark and Third Shot Sports for allowing this to be presented on JBRish.com

Link to the Original Article- http://www.thirdshotsports.com/articles/2016/9/9/pb-myth-18-you-should-never-miss-your-serve
The comments at the bottom of the article are interesting with people sharing their personal philosophies and ideas.

Pickleball (Video) – Create Indecision for Your Opponent

After playing pickleball for a while, one generally learns to control the ball by being able to place it in a certain area of the opponent’s court. As time progresses some players develop more precision with their placement, but knowing generally how to get the ball within a certain area is a big step in advancing your game.

In this episode, Deb Harrison adds variation to placement by demonstrating how to redirect a shot and sometimes surprising the players on the opposite side of the net. There might be times when the shot so surprises them, that it delays their reaction and helps to win the point.

Pay particular attention to the angle spins demonstrated in the video. They can be devastating to your pickleball opponent.


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Pickleball – Good Service – The Evolving Serve

I have only been playing pickleball for a couple of years. When I began my pickleball experience and the serve was explained to me, the mantra at the time was “Hit the ball high and deep.” The idea was to keep the players on the opposing team back in the court and away from the net as long as possible and hopefully force a more shallow return because they would then be hitting the ball from an area near their baseline.

Instructors would sometimes point out how the serving team is at a disadvantage because they start with both players at the rear or the court while the receiving team generally has one player near the NVZ. Now that younger players and athletes who are coming from other sports are entering the game, there seems to be change in the service philosophy. The serve has been given a new status as perhaps a way to earn the advantage.

After about eight months of play, this is something I figured out on my own and here is my take on the situation…

I have tried to develop three elements to my pickleball serve:

  • Change of pace – I do not to use the same serve all the time. This prevents the receivers from knowing what to expect and any doubt in their mind can cause indecision or a poor selection of a return shot.

  • Spin – When using spin, the serve will sometimes cause just enough disruption to throw off opponents. A sudden twist here or there will cause the returning player to make a last minute adjustment which may not allow them to execute the shot they have planned. There are ways to disguise the spin somewhat so it is not anticipated too early in the shot.

  • A Hard, low shot – This serve is a bit of a risk. As Joe Baker points out in his videos, the harder the ball is hit the less accurate it tends to be. My success rate with this serve is better than 85%, but I still use it only selectively. Smart pickleball dictates that a player should pick-and-choose when to use certain shots and with only an 85-90 percent accuracy rate on this one, I don’t take chances in very close games; most of the time

With all this in mind, I use my general moderately fast, moderately high serve, but if I see a receiver moving up in the receivers box, I may change to hit it hard and fast. From time to time, I throw a spin at them just to keep them guessing.

Based on my observation in the games that I have played in club play, this is my biggest lesson:

On the serve, ball placement can trump everything else. If I can get the serve angled to the backhand of most of my opponents, I very often get a weak return. If the receiver is protecting their backhand and I can get it down the center line, I often get a weak return. I am only an average club player, but keeping an opponent off-balance has helped me win more points. I don’t necessarily win on a service ace, but as a result of a weak return and winning with a follow up third or fifth shot!

I am not an expert and I don’t proclaim to be a coach or instructor so don’t take my word for it. There are excellent players who are coaches and/or instructors and they currently seem to be offering similar advice.

You can read Death of the Meaningless Return By Mark Renneson, Third Shot Sports

Pickleball 411: Three Serves and Why You Need Them

And below is a video with Jennifer Lucore, Bob Youngren and Alex Hamner demonstrating a variety of serves.

Keep those paddles up!