By: CJ Johnson | January 10, 2018 |

Playing Tip: Jeepers Creepers

One of the first rules we usually learn is that the serving team needs to let the ball bounce before hitting their next shot. Did you also know that it’s an advantage to stay at or behind the baseline until the return of serve bounces?

Some of us tend to serve and allow the momentum to pull us forward into the court. Other’s watch their partner serve and then take a step forward. Either way, creeping forward can leave you in an awkward position that your opponents can readily turn to their advantage.

The goal of a return of serve is to place it deep into the servers court. It gives the returner a little more time to get to the net and makes it harder for the serving team to hit a drop shot and move quickly to the net. If the return lands deep and you’ve crept in just a little, it makes a return, or a drop shot much more difficult.

Conversely, if you see someone on the serving team creep forward, you should send your return of serve right at them. More often than not, your opponents will hit the ball before it bounces (a fault) or they will fumble to move backward as the ball bounces at their feet or side. So pay attention to your opponent’s position. If they are foolish enough to creep forward, you know what to do.

Bev writes a weekly email blast for our pickleball club. She delivers the rules with clarity and a sense of humor. If you have a rules question post it in the comments below.


CJ Johnson

Hey there — I’m a professional three-sport athlete and coach who has spent my entire adult life earning a living from playing and coaching sports. Since I started coaching more than three decades ago, one thing has remained the same: My commitment to see students not as they are but as what they can become and to move heaven and earth to help them realize their untapped potential. You should know that when it comes to helping pickleball players over 50 live their best lives on and off the courts, I'm an expert. Good pickleball is not just technique; it's the mind and body working holistically. That's why I'm also a personal trainer and weight management specialist. When I’m chillin', you'll find me watching Star Trek with my husband John and our two fur babies, Shirley and Ralph. (Yes, Happy Days)