The Open Stance Pickleball Serve for Beginners and Pros


In the fast-paced world of pickleball, mastering the serve is crucial for gaining an edge over your opponents. One serving technique that's gained popularity among players of all skill levels is the open stance serve. In this article, we'll explore the ins and outs of the open stance serve, from foot placement to targeting strategies, providing valuable tips for beginners and seasoned pros alike.

Understanding the Open Stance Serve

The open stance serve is a serving technique where the server positions their feet parallel to the baseline, with the front foot slightly ahead of the back foot. Unlike the closed stance serve, where the feet are perpendicular to the baseline, the open stance allows for greater rotation of the body, resulting in increased power and spin potential.

Proper Foot Placement

Central to the effectiveness of the open stance serve is proper foot placement. Beginners should focus on positioning their front foot slightly ahead of the back foot, maintaining a stable base to generate power and control. The alignment of the feet should allow for fluid movement and weight transfer throughout the serve motion.

Grip and Racket Positioning

Achieving the correct grip and racket positioning is essential for executing the open stance serve with precision and power. Players should use a continental grip, with the racket face perpendicular to the ground at the start of the serve motion. As the serve progresses, the racket should remain in line with the body's rotation, ensuring optimal contact with the ball.

Generating Power

Generating power in the open stance serve requires a coordinated effort of the entire body. Players should focus on rotating their hips and shoulders explosively, transferring energy from the legs to the arms and ultimately to the racket. By harnessing the kinetic chain, players can maximize the velocity of their serves while maintaining control and accuracy.

Adding Spin

Spin is a valuable asset in any pickleball serve, and the open stance technique allows for ample spin potential. Players can experiment with different types of spin, including slice, topspin, and kick serves, to keep opponents guessing and manipulate the trajectory of the ball. By mastering spin techniques, players can add depth and unpredictability to their serves, making them more challenging to return.

Targeting Strategies

Strategic placement of serves is key to gaining an advantage over opponents. Players should analyze their opponents' weaknesses and adjust their serve placement accordingly. By aiming for the sidelines, corners, or opponent's weaker side, players can force their opponents into difficult returns and gain control of the point from the outset.

Incorporating Variations

The open stance serve offers versatility in terms of serve variations. Players can experiment with different types of serves, such as flat, slice, or topspin serves, to keep opponents off balance and disrupt their rhythm. By incorporating variations into their serving repertoire, players can maintain unpredictability and keep opponents guessing throughout the match.

Footwork and Recovery

Efficient footwork is essential for executing the open stance serve and transitioning smoothly into the next shot. Players should focus on quick, agile movements to position themselves optimally for the return. After serving, players should recover quickly to the center of the court, ready to react to their opponent's next shot.

Mental Aspect

The mental aspect of serving is often overlooked but plays a crucial role in its success. Players should maintain focus and composure during the serve, visualizing successful serves before execution. By staying mentally sharp and confident, players can overcome nerves and pressure, delivering their best serves when it matters most.

Consistent practice is key to mastering the

open stance serve. Players should dedicate time to refining their technique through drills and repetition. Structuring practice sessions to focus on specific aspects of the serve, such as footwork, spin, and placement, can accelerate skill development and build confidence on the court.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

There are common pitfalls that players should avoid when executing the open stance serve. These include over-rotating or under-rotating the body during the serve, incorrect grip or racket positioning, and neglecting to vary serve placement and spin. By recognizing and addressing these mistakes, players can refine their technique and improve their serve consistency.

Video Analysis

Video analysis is a valuable tool for improving serve technique and identifying areas for improvement. Players can record their serves and review them to analyze their form, technique, and execution. By identifying strengths and weaknesses through video analysis, players can make targeted adjustments to their serve and accelerate their progress.

Equipment Considerations

Choosing the right equipment is crucial for maximizing the effectiveness of the open stance serve. Players should select a paddle that suits their playing style and preferences, considering factors such as weight, grip size, and surface texture. Additionally, adjusting string tension and paddle weight can fine-tune the feel and performance of the serve.

Injury Prevention

Injury prevention should be a priority for players at all skill levels. Proper warm-up and stretching before serving can help prevent strains and injuries. Players should listen to their bodies and avoid overexertion, taking breaks when needed to rest and recover. Seeking professional guidance for any concerns or injuries is essential for long-term health and performance.

Advanced Techniques

For advanced players looking to take their serving to the next level, there are advanced techniques to explore within the open stance serve. These may include incorporating deception and disguise into serves, such as fake-outs or disguised spin variations. By mastering advanced techniques, players can keep opponents off balance and maintain a competitive edge on the court.

Real-Life Examples

Studying real-life examples of successful open stance serves can provide valuable insights and inspiration for players. Analyzing professional players' serving techniques in tournament play can offer valuable lessons and strategies to incorporate into your own game. By observing top-level serving techniques, players can gain a deeper understanding of serve mechanics and tactics.


The open stance serve is a versatile and effective serving technique that can benefit players of all skill levels. By mastering the fundamentals of foot placement, grip, and racket positioning, players can generate power, spin, and precision in their serves. With practice, dedication, and a strategic mindset, players can harness the full potential of the open stance serve to gain a competitive edge on the court. So, whether you're a beginner looking to improve your serve or a seasoned pro seeking to refine your technique, the open stance serve offers endless possibilities for enhancing your game and dominating the pickleball court.