The Drop Serve
Let’s start from the very beginning, a very good place to start… The serve is that place to start where the game begins in a technical sense. This is what you need to know before delving into the mechanics.
- Servers always begin in the right quadrant (A) and serves diagonally across the net (A)
- Ball must make contact on the paddle from a low to high arm motion
- Ball contact to paddle must be below the waist height
- Ball is always served to diagonal quadrant across the net past non-volley zone (A to A or B to B quadrants). It is considered a fault on the serve (only) if it touches any part of the non-volley zone line.
- The served ball is considered out if it lands outside the sidelines, center line or baseline.
- There is an imaginary line that extends the sidelines and center line past the baseline.
- You must make contact with the ball within those lines, imaginary or not.
- The first team to serve gets only one player to serve. That same player continues if the point is won however, they exchange quadrants, so the server moves to B and the partner moves to A and the ball is served B to B. This exchange of quadrants continues as long as points are made. When the point is lost you stay in that quadrant and the ball is now given to the returning team ho now becomes the serving team.
Mechanics of the drop serve (the simplest of many different serves)
- At least a foot behind baseline of quadrant A face the opposing quadrant A
- Place ball in extended opposite hand of the paddle.
- Looking at the opposing diagonal quadrant (A to A or B to B), take a picture in your head where you would like the ball to land over the net.
- Extend the arm with the ball out in front of you shoulder height with palm down.
- Do not move your arm but release the ball by opening your fingers
- Let the ball bounce in front of you and step forward with the same side as the ball
- Keep your head down and swing your paddle back behind you from low to high (keep your wrist firm not cocked) and hit the ball in front of you. Watch the ball hit your paddle and keep your eyes looking down at your shoes. Follow through with your paddle after you strike the ball, so your paddle is aimed at where you made the picture In your mind. Now raise your head to view where the ball has landed.
- The rhythm is Bounce, Step, Hit. When you first start it often helps to say “bounce, step, hit as you do this process.
Don’t be afraid to give the ball a hard hit. Make sure you have a firm grip on your handle and your body motion is forward as you hit the ball. You will find your own rhythm. Shoot for having the serve land 12-24 inches inside the baseline. Remember to breathe.