We have all seen a pre-serve routine, whether it be in pickleball, tennis, or even volleyball. But have you ever wondered why we do them and why it is so widely adopted across other sports outside of pickleball? In this blog, we will find out why pickleball pre-serve routines are important and how to find one that works best for you.
What Is a Pre-Serve Routine and Why Are They Important?
Have you heard someone say, “Pickleball is such a mental sport”? Besides the physical skills being needed to rank up in levels, so much of the game is mental. Ensuring your are ready for each rally / point / serve is fun, but also important.
A pre-serve routine is the actions and behaviors a player does right before they serve; it is a preparatory behavior that helps a player focus. All good players have some pre-serve routine, and it isn’t always overt and obvious – sometimes it’s just looking where they want to serve, or it’s bouncing the ball several times.
The purpose is to help ready your body and mind for hitting a serve. It also helps get you into a rhythm.
The physical parts of the routine can typically include:
- Bouncing the ball or tapping the ball
- Rocking back and forth
- Looking at the target
Engaging in the physical aspect will benefit the mental part of the routine, which include:
- Better decision-making on target and type of serve
- Visualizing the upcoming serve
- Belief in self
Find A Pickleball Pre-Serve Routine That Works for You
A pre-serve routine needs to be tailored to your style of play and personality. Do you play a slower game? Then your serve routine will likely mimic that. The same goes for fast players. Find what works best for you and feels good to do.
Establishing your routine will take a while, but initially, test a few different routines to see what helps you feel focused and puts you in the right mindset. It could be as simple as bouncing the ball one time before serving. Maybe a few times. You can even get a bit fancy with it and spin the ball on your paddle once.
Do whatever feels natural, doesn’t take forever, and gets you prepped to hit a perfect serve.
It may seem silly, at first, to have a pre-serve routine, but it is an integral part of your game. It boils down to sports psychology, and such a routine can ready your body and mind for serving and the following point. And most importantly, have fun with it.