Mar 282017


In baseball, a changeup is an “off-speed pitch thrown to look like a fastball but arriving much more slowly to the plate. Its reduced speed coupled with its deceptive delivery is meant to confuse the batters timing.” Using changeup serves during a racquetball match are crucial to keeping your opponent off-balance, disrupting their return of serve timing, and preventing your serve from becoming predictable.

Changeup serves include varying the height, angle, and speed of your serve, as well as hitting an occasional serve to their forehand. Another effective strategy using changeups is by serving from different positions within the service box.

Serving from different locations will create an illusion of different angles, and make your serves “arrive” at different times, e.g., a serve from near the right side wall takes longer to get to the receiver then one that is served from the middle of the service box. A successful changeup happens when you confuse the receiver, forcing them to hit a weak return, or,¬† you might get an occasional ace.

A simple strategy for 5 different serves (from a right-hander to their opponent’s backhand) might be:
  1. Drive serve from the middle
  2. Lob serve when near the right side wall
  3. Soft Z serve (half lob or lob) from the left side wall position.
  4. Drive serve from the right side wall position.
  5. Half lob from the middle

So try serving from different locations in the service box to get more weak returns, to deepen your arsenal of serves, and to get points faster!

Del Villanueva
Head Coach
Intercollegiate Racquetball Team
of the University of CA @ Berkeley