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                       The Lob Serve – Tipbit #13

Many RFPBA members focus exclusively on just putting their serve into play, hopefully keeping it deep. This eliminates the need to waste energy on trying to force an error and possibly cause a service fault. Hence, your serve becomes relatively routine, typical, and has a particular pattern your opponents are comfortable with and can adjust to.


Let’s consider one other option. It's called the Lob Serve or Rainbow Serve. It can be just as safe as your regular serve, but it introduces a new twist. You've probably seen it used from time to time by Anna Leigh Waters and thought very little about it. ALW’s use of the Lob Serve is a strategic masterstroke, designed to push her opponents back and disrupt their rhythm.


The Lob Serve is just as the name implies. It's hit in a very similar fashion to your regular serve, but its trajectory is considerably different. Instead of being relatively flat with enough pace to land deep into the court, the Lob Serve is hit with a little less pace and a much higher trajectory. Finally, if you practice it a bit, you can hit it with topspin, which will further accentuate a higher bounce, adding additional depth. Both of these take the ball out of your opponent’s strike zone and comfort level. You will find that many members will have difficulty returning this serve with any degree of effectiveness, as they need to add all the power.


The mechanics of hitting the Lob Serve are such that you will strike more of the underside of the pickleball, with a more open paddle face up toward the ceiling. This will cause the pickleball to take a higher trajectory. Your follow through will be more vertical compared to a driving serve. This upward follow through is designed to cause the pickleball to take a higher trajectory. Remember to keep your paddle face toward the Greenwood ceiling all the way through your follow through.


Just keep one last thought in mind. Don't overuse it. Keep it as a surprise when you need a change of pace or on a crucial point to turn the tide in the game. Remember, "variety is the spice of life", so keep ’em guessing on the Greenwood courts!


On the topic of "variety", for those of you who watched the PPA Open in Mesa one week ago, ALW was at it again attempting another new serve called “The Happy Gilmore” serve. No fault was called for any of her running serve attempts. She even said that she asked the refs ahead of time if it was legal. They said it was, so she performed the serve several times throughout her singles matches.

The term comes from an Adam Sandler's 1996 comedy Happy Gilmore -- where a hockey, turned golf pro, would take a few steps before hitting his golf drive off the tee. To see her hit this click on the link below:


Happy Anna Leigh Waters




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