Strategy in Serving ?

Got in to pickleball a little over a year ago. I’ve been trying to elevate my game by improving certain facets of the game. I’ve gone back and forth on how to serve. In the beginning, I only worried about getting the serve in. Got to the point where I never faulted on a serve. About 4-5 months ago, decided to try and put a lot of top spin on the ball like I had seen in a lot of pickleball tutorials. Really has made my serve erratic and I’m not sure if the “aces” outnumber the faults. I know am undecided whether to stick with the top spin serve and maybe in a while it will improve, or go back to the sure thing. I play with good players, some who subscribe to one or the other strategies.

Welcome to the forum!

I’m a 4.0+, striving to be a solid 4.5 by summer’s end. I subscribe to the idea that if you’re not missing 2-3 serves a game, you’re not taking enough risk.

No matter what, I believe depth is very important in serving … and in returning serve.

  • Dink

Unfortunately, not many of us have the inclination or time to approach this question scientifically. Assuming the goal is to win games, the scientific way would be to collect data. You could just count the number of winners against losers for the different types of serves you have in your arsenal. Fortunately, Joe Baker does have the time and the inclination and has made a bunch of videos on his findings.
In this video, Joe maintains that the most effective serve is just to consistently land it in the middle of the serving receiving area. One caveat, Joe’s research is quite a few years old, and the game has changed for the pros at least, not so much for the intermediate players I’d say.