Adopting the Open Stance Pickleball Serve

The traditional closed stance serve, where the server’s feet are staggered with the non-paddle side foot in front, is giving way to the open stance serve. In the open stance, the server’s feet are squared up to the court, evenly spaced from the baseline. This setup eliminates the need to step forward during the serve, offering a new dimension to the game.

  • In the closed stance serve, the server’s feet are staggered. The non-paddle side foot is in front and the server steps forward as the serve is executed.
  • In the open stance serve, the server’s feet are squared up to the court, each about the same distance from the baseline. Because the feet are square there is no need to step forward.

The Open Stance Serve: A More Efficient Motion

By pre-loading the hip turn, servers using the open stance serve can cut down on their motion, essentially skipping the step forward and starting with their hips already turned. This streamlined approach has gained popularity, with even experienced players like Collin and Ben Johns making the switch from the traditional closed stance to the open stance serve.

“We’ve both made the switch from closed to open,” said Collin Johns, highlighting the growing trend towards the open stance serve.

The Open Stance Serve: Adapting to New Rules and Generating Power

The Johns brothers’ switch to the open stance serve was largely driven by the new serve rule at PPA pro events, which requires a quicker strike. With the ball dropped from hip height, there’s limited time for the swing, making it essential to hit the ball at its highest point shortly after release.

Generating Power without Stepping In:

While the open stance serve may seem to sacrifice power, Collin Johns emphasizes that it’s still possible to generate power without stepping into the serve. The key lies in using large muscles and being more disciplined about loading the hips and shoulders.

The Open Stance Serve: A Solution for Accuracy Struggles

The open stance serve offers a valuable advantage for players struggling with accuracy. By limiting the overall serve motion, the open stance provides a more consistent and reliable way to deliver the ball.

Key Benefits:

  • Reduced motion leads to fewer variables to control
  • No step forward means less chance for error
  • Body faces the target, simplifying the serving process
  • Result: More consistent and accurate serves

Overcoming the Yips

The open stance serve is particularly useful for players battling the yips, a common issue that affects serve accuracy. By simplifying the motion and reducing variables, the open stance serve can help players regain control and confidence in their serve.