Pickleball Guides

How To Serve in Pickleball? – Beginner Guide

How To Serve in Pickleball
Written by Alex

Pickleball is a fun sport designed to cater to almost everyone of every demographic albeit it does have its heated moments, however, one thing that certainly leaves a sour taste in the mouth is a poor serve executed by either you or your teammate.

Even though you might see it as a mere ice breaker to initiate a session, it isn’t something that should be taken with a grain of salt especially if you are a rookie who is seeking to sharpen their moves and jumpstart their pickleball career, trust me you certainly do not want to overlook this part.

So why don’t you strap in while I provide guidance on How to serve in pickleball, get your fingers crossed because in this journey you are certainly going on a ride from your first shaky toss to a game-winning ace.

First Thing First: Choosing The Grip

Before we dive down into nitty gritty details, we need to dig in on choosing the type of grip when serving in Pickleball. In general, there are three types of grips.

1. Continental Grip

It is the most exotic type of grip, to replicate this method, you need to hold your Paddle by forming a “V” between your thumb and forefinger while holding the paddle along the tilted axis. Make sure your forefinger is also pointed straight up.

It cannot form a picture in your mind, try to think about holding about holding a person holding a hammer hitting a nail, and now replicate the same grip instead of holding the pickleball Paddle.

Depending on your comfort level, you can choose to place either two or three fingers on the top bevel while placing your thumb on the lower level, make sure you aren’t clutching too hard as it could hurt your flexibility down the line.

2. Eastern Grip

If you want to seal the deal with a solid backhand, you might want to replicate the eastern grip as it will certainly offer you the maximum level of control and power. It’s the most common form of grip since it can be easily replicated as long as you practice properly on the court.

Make sure your thumb lays on the lower level while your forefingers point around the level, making it a handshake gesture but instead of hands you hold your Paddle, it’s that simple and straightforward.

Make sure your thumb lays relaxed for a more pronated form of grip to achieve maximum power while serving.

3. Western Grip

The Western grip will let you propel your spinning skills like Harry Potter executing his magic with his wand, instead, you would be doing that with your paddle. The Western grip can get tricky though as you may not be always in a position in order to replicate it as effectively especially if you are still learning the ropes.

Nevertheless, if you are planning to execute splices and top spins and want to be considered the spin doctor in the court, make a “U” shape with your thumb and forefingers and rotate your hand counterclockwise, make sure the lining of the paddle faces perpendicular to the surface of the court, like flipping pancakes on a frying pan but less dramatic.

Serving Rules in Pickleball

Remember, in order to execute a proper and legal serve in Pickleball, you may need to learn a thing or two about stance.

  • Make sure you are standing right behind the baseline, anywhere inside the baseline before the serve will result in fault and you will lose your attempt at serving, so make sure you read these steps and memorize them to prevent unnecessary penalization.
  • Identifying a baseline is simple, it is usually painted right at the start of each side and in order to serve, you need to stand in front of it with your feet wide apart, make sure you are relaxed, and take a moment to visualize where your ball is going to land in the court, its called hand-eye coordination.
  • With your non-dominant hand, toss the ball as high as you practically can, once it reaches above your waistline, time your paddle to hit it with enough force for a perfect serve.
  • Make sure you perform an underhand serve while swinging below your waist and ensure the ball lands diagonally in the court.
  • Keep in mind that you aren’t allowed to hit the ball in the air, as the ball needs to be bounced once on the receiving side in order to be volleyed.
  • In doubles play, both of the players in a team have to serve, the serve is usually rotated once a point is scored.
  • Lastly, the ball must bounce inside the court of the opponent, if it lands outside the boundaries, it is considered a fault.

Easy Tips for Improving Your Pickleball Serve

There are various techniques you can perform to become better at serving, after all, it’s the crucial and the most pivotal part of the game and will certainly give you an edge over your opponent if you are proficient in it. Here are a couple of tips that will come in handy.

  • Be as unpredictable as you can, your body language will give off your mental stance to your opponent, so make sure you display a sense of confidence and pride when serving.
  • Never let emotions get the best of you, even if you lose more than usual, never lose your composure and remain calm, this way you could never be exploited in the court.
  • Read through the patterns and find the gap whenever your opponent is making mistakes, if your opponent is vulnerable to spins, use a western grip and execute top spin to put them off.
  • Always remember to practice as much as you can and even if you win a couple of games, never let your guard down because sometimes overconfidence could backfire in the long run.
  • Respecting your opponent and showing etiquette could define how you play your game because it is fundamental to the spirit of the game. It could also potentially foster a positive environment for anyone spectating the game and you clearly don’t want to give off an experience to them.

How To Serve in Pickleball? – Bottom Line

While this guide certainly promises to channel your inner rockstar so you can strike the court with peak dexterity, practice, and confidence is necessary to become a pickleball paddle-wielding cyborg in a day.

For that you need to build up your muscle memory and have patience even if you fail a million times, with that being said, feel free to comment below if you have any other queries like these, I am obliged to sort you out.

About the author


Hello, I'm Alex, and welcome to PicklerSpot – your ultimate resource for all things pickleball! I've curated this blog to share my 5 years of expertise and tips to enhance your pickleball skills.

Leave a Comment