There are lots of reasons why a serving team may have trouble scoring in pickleball.

Certainly getting up to the net as the serving team is difficult against a strong returning team but there are ways to handle it that will make your life easier and certain things that make your life way harder.

The big serving mistake we describe in this video is one of the main reasons we see many beginning and even intermediate players get caught losing points. The good news is, there’s a very simple fix to it.

In today’s video/blog we’re going to talk about one of the biggest mistakes you may be making that’s making it hard for you to score when serving.

Serving Scenario

As you serve in pickleball, that returning team, and the returner specifically, is coming up to the net after they hit the return, and their partner is probably already at the non-volley zone.

The returner is going to try to hit a deep return and then come up to the net.

You and your partner are back at the baseline and you’re trying to work your way up, or make it up, to the non-volley zone.

Number 1 Mistake

The scenario described above is expected in pickleball. However, there is a common mistake that occurs when this plays out.

I see a lot of players making this mistake and it makes it really hard for them to score on a really crucial point when they’re serving.

So what is the number one mistake that the beginner players, or even a lot of intermediate player, will make?

I’m going to demonstrate it in the video (see video at top of post) and see if you can spot it. I’m going to serve it and then they’re going to return. We’re playing half court, skinny singles.

Alright here we go..I’m going to demonstrate the mistake.

Did you see it?….I didn’t stay behind the baseline so I could be prepared for that deep return.

The better the players are, their goal is to return as deep as they can so that they can cause you and your partner to hit the most difficult third shot as they can.


So if I’m the serving player or if I’m the partner of the serving player, after that service hit, I want to make sure I’m at least a foot or two back off the baseline.

This is super important because if I come in, even just a little in past the baseline, they’re hitting these balls right near the baseline, I’m now going to have to hit that third shot falling back or I’m going to have to hit it behind me.

So, it’s really important that when me or my partner is serving, we really want to be back off the baseline.

If the return is short we could easily move forward. We could either choose to drive it or drop it.

But if we are up past the baseline after the serve, either me or my partner are going to get caught. You’re going to put yourself in a really bad situation.

It’s very beneficial staying back off the baseline no matter what kind of serve is hit.

We don’t know what our opponent is going to do. Their main job is to keep this ball deep. If we find ourselves caught back inside the baseline it’s going to be really hard for us to to make a good third shot (whether it’s a drive a drop or lob) if we’re standing inside that baseline area.

Thanks for joining us today. Happy Pickeling!