Racquetball Basics – Returning a Serve

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 30,060
    Fitness Expert Malia Bailey demonstrates how to return a serve in Racquetball.

    Malia Bailey: Hi, my name is Malia Bailey and today we are learning about the fundamentals and basics of racquetball. Right now we are going to talk about the return a serve and this is Kilonie Bailey, my daughter. She is going to help us with that. As the receiver, to return a serve is your most important shot of the rally because if you can get a good return a serve, you can catch your opponent off balance and more easily when they serve back and that's what our goal is. When we get into position for the return a serve, what I would like to do is start positioning myself about a racquet length or arm length from the back wall, about mid court. Stand nice and comfortably, we will bend in the knees, racquet in ready position. It should be in the middle of your stance, so you can easily go to your forehand or your backhand, as necessary.

    Our first drill is returning a drive serve drill. What I am going to do? Kilonie is going to stand in position and I am going to step out of the way, I am going to toss the ball to her backhand. She is going to return it down the line with her backhand. As you notice, she crossed over with her right foot to give her balance and power with her legs. That would be simulating a return a serve on a drive. Practicing returning a lob serve. We will start again, basic return a serve. What I am going to do is toss the ball high, so that Kilonie will have to return the ball high and she is going to return it with a ceiling ball. Now we are going to return a Z serve. There are two ways to do it. You can cut it off early, before the ball reaches the side wall; or wait until it gets deep and comes off the side wall. If you choose to cut it off, you need to be fast and make up your mind quickly.

    So when you are first starting to learn to return Z, its better to let it go, so you can read the ball and get into position. Here is a good drill for that. Just by standing a little deep, tossing the ball into the side wall, letting it come to you, moving your feet, getting into position, racquet prepared and swinging through. When returning a drive serve, what you want to do is cross over to face the side wall, just using 1 foot of the pivot foot and the other foot as a cross over foot. This will help you gain more power and more control with that return.

    Always remembering that when your racquet is in good position, so when you crossover it will automatically be ready to swing. Staying low is key, when you contact the ball on a drive serve. When you are returning the Z serve, you really need to watch where the ball contacts the front wall. So you can get a good beat on the angle of the ball as its coming at you. So that you will know how to move. Always move in the direction to face the side wall, whether the Z or any serve is going to your forehand or your backhand. If you face the front wall, you are not going to get a good stroke on it. You are going to get jammed. Facing the side wall, give yourself good extension and you will be able to get a better return a serve. Coming up next we are going to talk about various shots and we are going to go over some of those drills for those shots.