Three Ways to Make the Drop Serve as a Weapon
With the 2021 rule changes, there are a few that stand out as big changes to pickleball as we know it. The Drop Serve is one of them. Originally thought of as a way to easier officiate illegal serves, we think that the drop serve can be used as a weapon. Here are three ways to use the drop serve as a weapon.
1. The Deep, Driving, Backspin Serve
Many people have a hard time hitting a third shot when the return of serve is sliced deep, low, and hard, so why not try to hit a serve that is deep, low, and hard? When using the drop serve method, you do not have to adhere to the normal serving rules of swinging upward when making contact, or paddle below the wrist at contact, so it will be legal to create a heavy backspin on your serve.
To execute this serve, drop the ball from shoulder height, and hit down into the backside of the ball. Make sure your paddle is facing upwards to impart the backspin and get the ball over the net. Drive hard and forward through contact with your body to push the ball deep near the baseline. This should create a low spinning serve similar to a slice return that can be very difficult for the returner.
2. The Short Backspin Serve
When your opponent is now standing deeper to help them with your deep slice serve, now is the time to short serve them. With the traditional method of serving, I would not recommend shot serves because they invite your opponent to the kitchen line and are not too difficult to get to since you can’t really put any backspin on the ball while hitting upwards. Throw that idea out the window. Now we can slice the serve.
With similar technique to the deep slice, shape this serve like a third shot drop. Arc the ball over the net and land it just past the kitchen line so it bounces backwards or doesn’t bounce at all.
3. The Wide Sidespin, and Backspin Serve
With the ability to slice a serve, we can now more effectively produce a side spin serve as well. This will push your opponent so far out wide that they’ll stay on the next court over and play in that game instead!
f you’re on the Even side of the court, you’ll wan to hit this serve with a backhand. If you’re on the Odd side of the court, hit this with your forehand. The idea is that we will slice this serve towards the sideline, but we will swing across the ball the opposite way to create a hard spin to the side. This spin will ensure the ball curves away from your opponent and bounces short and away from them as well.
Mixing these three serves into your repertoire along with a lob serve and a heavy topspin serve will ensure that your opponent is guessing about what your serve will be doing. Take full advantage of it!