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Mastering the Art of Perfect Serve Returns in Pickleball

Published: 2023-10-24
Mastering the Art of Perfect Serve Returns in Pickleball
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When it comes to the return of serve in pickleball, most players focus on returning and immediately making a dash toward the kitchen line. However, knowing when to stop is the secret to hitting a perfect return of serve. This blog will uncover crucial stopping moments that can significantly enhance your serve return game.


The First Stop: Getting to the Ball

One of the fundamental principles of a perfect serve return is knowing when to stop while getting to the ball. As you move towards the incoming serve, it's essential to anticipate the ball's trajectory, plant your feet, and then execute your return shot. This first stopping point ensures that you're well-balanced and in control as you strike the ball.


The Second Stop: Approaching the Kitchen

The second key stopping moment occurs when you advance towards the kitchen line, and your opponent prepares to hit the ball. Regardless of whether you've reached the kitchen line or not, it's imperative to halt your movement right as your opponent initiates their shot. This crucial pause allows you to react effectively to your opponent's shot.





The Importance of Stopping

Stopping at these two critical junctures during a serve return is vital for several reasons. Firstly, it puts you in a balanced position when you make contact with the ball, minimizing unnecessary movement. As the saying goes, "less is more." Fewer moving parts translate to greater accuracy and control.


The Consequences of Not Stopping

On the flip side, failing to stop at these moments can have detrimental effects on your serve return. If you continue to move through the return without planting your foot, your body remains in motion, making it challenging to time your shot accurately. The result can be a poorly executed return that goes off-target or even off the frame of your paddle.



The Mistake of Moving While Your Opponent Hits

Another common mistake to avoid is moving while your opponent is hitting the ball. This is especially critical when dealing with weak returns or short balls where your opponent may set up for a powerful drive. By stopping and executing a split step as your opponent strikes the ball, you maintain better balance and are ready to respond to their shot effectively.




Mastering the art of a perfect serve return in pickleball involves mastering the art of stopping. Knowing when and where to halt your movement during the return can significantly improve your accuracy, control, and overall performance on the court. So, remember these secrets to hitting a perfect serve return, and watch your pickleball game soar to new heights.