In this video, Ben Croft and Tom Fuhrmann explain the benefits of serving a drive jam serve. The short jam serve is hit to a target very low on the side wall and then comes in at a tough angle straight towards the receiver.
If you wish to catch an opponent off guard and elicit a weak return, then occasionally hit your drive serve to your opponent’s forehand. An ideal serving strategy includes this “change-up” drive serve because your opponent is expecting serves to their backhand and they “mentally lean” to this side.
Proper Technique for a Deceptive Serve
To be effective and not telegraph your intentions, your serving motion to the forehand side must look the same as to the backhand side.
If you are right-handed and serving to a right-hander, drop the ball about 8-12 inches further back in your stance (towards the back wall) from your normal ball drop position for the backhand drive serve. The further back you make contact with the ball, the more it will move to the right. Your actual ball direction will also depend on your technique and height.
For a left-hander serving to a right-handed forehand, make contact further forward to hit the ball cross court to the opposite corner.
Optimal Target Area
Aim the drive serve for the corner, with the ball taking its first bounce between the service short line and the 5 ft safety line. The second bounce should land near the corner before the back wall. If struck too high on the front wall, the drive serve will come off the back wall for a “set up” for your opponent!
Reaping the Benefits
If you serve an occasional drive serve to your opponent’s forehand, then you will keep them guessing, and reward yourself with a weak return or an occasional sweet ace through the element of surprise!
What is a ready position?
A ready position (or athletic stance) means that your knees are bent and you are already in a “down” position, ready to spring into motion or to make a quick movement. If you are standing straight up without any knee bend, then to get into motion you must first go into a bent or sprint position which takes up valuable time. In racquetball, the faster you can get to the ball, the better chance you will have to make a good shot. During a fast racquetball rally, any extra time to get to a ball can make a big difference in the outcome. As you know, all sprinters start from the blocks with bent knees.
When to be in a ready position
While waiting to return serve, a ready position with bent knees will get you on top of the ball much faster. And as soon as you get to center court, a ready position with bent knees will allow you to get to more balls, hit better shots, and get passed less often.
As you get more accustomed to bending you knees, you’ll be more agile, improve your retrieving ability, and execute quality shots!