How to Aim Your Serve: Techniques and Tips

James Ignatowich after winning a match PPA
(Illustration Dan Langston)

Hey everyone, this is James Ignatowich, and today I’m going to cover where to stand when serving, depending on where you want to aim your serve. This technique is particularly crucial in singles, but it’s also quite important in mixed and men’s doubles.

If you’re aiming for a wide serve, standing wider on the court gives you a better angle to hit that serve. Similarly, if your goal is to serve down the T, you should stand closer to the center. This position allows for a shorter distance to hit a hard serve directly down the T. These strategies are best for players who are comfortable with their serve and have a good level of confidence in their serving ability.

In singles, if you want to hit a wide angle serve to open up the court and set up a passing shot on the opposite side, you don’t always have to serve from the middle. You can stand further out, hit an angled serve, and if you prefer your forehand, you can position yourself to use it instead of being forced to hit a backhand.

When it comes to serving down the T, this is where I tend to hit the most service winners or aces. It’s the shortest distance to the opponent’s side and crosses the lowest part of the net. Since the net is 34 inches high in the middle and 36 inches at the sides, standing near the middle and serving down the T allows me to maximize power and effectiveness. So, that’s a brief overview of strategic positioning for serving.

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James Ignatowich is a top 10 professional pickleball player originally from Connecticut, now residing in Delray Beach, Florida. A former Division 1 tennis player at Vanderbilt University, James made a transition to pickleball, quickly rising to prominence in the sport and often playing doubles with Tyson McGuffin and Anna Bright. In addition to his athletic achievements, he runs his own podcast, where he shares insights into the game and interviews other professionals. jamesignatowichnewsletter | PPA | MLP | My paddle

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