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Silly Serves


You’ll find both of these serves are easy to learn. They are semi-legal in that the ball is hit below the wrist and below the waist. However, some may dispute whether the strokes are truly underhand. The reason these would not work in tournament play is that they’d be called distractions.

The first serve is normal in most ways, except the paddle is swung around in two big, slow circles before hitting the ball. Optionally, you can put a spin on the ball as I am doing in the video. A little practice, and you’ll probably master this serve.

The second serve is more difficult. First, learn to toss the paddle in the air and let it spin one revolution before catching it. Then learn to do it with two spins. To protect your paddle, practice this over something soft like a carpet or lawn.

Work on holding the paddle vertically so that it doesn’t wobble in the air. If it wobbles, it will catch air, and the position of the handle after the spinning will become unpredictable.

Once two spins are so easy you don’t have to look at the catch, learn to throw up the ball simultaneously with the paddle. The throw must be high enough to allow the two spins to be completed before you hit the ball.

There is a tendency to hit this second serve above your waist. The trick is to learn to wait until the ball falls further.

You’ll find this second serve difficult on windy days, since the slightest puff will move the paddle, and you may miss the handle when you try to grip it.

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