Often, pickleball players get to a point in their playing career where they wonder how to hit their serves harder. They see the pros serving at lightning-fast speeds and try to do it themselves. However, what most people don’t get right is that these pros aren’t necessarily hitting the ball harder; they’re using a better technique to add speed to their serve.
Today, we’ll provide three tips on increasing the speed of your pickleball serve.
Tip #1 – Legs
In paddle and racquet sports, it’s easy to forget how vital your legs are to your overall technique. Sure, we use our arms and shoulders to swing the paddle, but our legs can help us get additional drive and power into that swing.
Begin your serve with your knees slightly bent. As you swing your paddle through the hitting zone, allow your body to squat down slightly, then drive your legs up as you make contact. You can think of this like shooting a basketball. Nobody would just throw the ball up to the net on a three-pointer. You would use your legs–squatting down as you pull the ball back behind your head and then pushing up (almost jumping) as you bring the ball forward and release it.
It’s a similar concept when swinging a paddle.
Tip #2 – Body Rotation / Coil
When you do a squat, you go straight up and down with your body. Coiling your body means using your hips to rotate as you go down and then rotate back to your starting position as you come back up. This allows you to generate more power through your legs and body than just squatting would.
This should resonate with you if you’ve played baseball or golf. In both of those sports, coiling is used to generate more power when swinging a bat or golf club. It’s a way to keep your current position, make solid contact, and generate more speed without losing control of your body.
For a visual, you can consider a snake or a spring (like in a mattress). You want to twist your hips as you rotate down in your backswing and then untwist them as you swing your paddle into the ball.
Tip #3- Paddle Swing
The third part of increasing your serve speed is a no-brainer. You must increase how fast you swing your paddle. Faster paddles equal faster serves. To practice this, take the same approach you usually would on your serve, but focus on getting your paddle through to the ball quicker.
For now, don’t worry about accuracy; you’ll get there.
Increase The Speed of Your Pickleball Serve
These three tips take a bit of practice, and you must work on them to get your timing right. But, we guarantee that if you can increase your paddle swing, use your legs, and coil in and out of your serve, you’ll generate more speed on serves than ever before.
If you’d like to see these tips in action, check out this video from Tyler Ka Ching Loong. Go ahead and subscribe to his channel while you’re there. And be sure to check back with us, Pickleball Insiders, often for more tips and strategies to improve your pickleball game.