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Jeff is a PPR Certified Professional Pickleball Instructor and Coach who teaches his lessons and offers clinics at Jarboe Park, Neptune Beach, FL.

He teaches new players wanting to learn how to play the game and develop the fundamentals of play.  He also teaches beginner players and intermediate players.  If you want an assessment on your game and to improve the fundamentals and positioning in pickleball, contact Jeff today.  

FIVE AREAS of the GAME Jeff works on with his CLIENTS:

THE DINK:  A soft shot hit on a bounce from the NVZ intended to arc over the net and land within the opposing NVZ either straight across or diagonally crosscourt. An effective dink arcs downward as it crosses the net, creating a more difficult shot to return than a power shot.

THIRD SHOT DROP SHOT: The third shot drop in pickleball is a type of shot that is used in the third shot scenario. This shot involves hitting a soft, low shot that lands just over the non-volley zone (NVZ) and drops quickly, making it difficult for the opponent to reach and return.

THE TRANSITION AREA:  “No Man’s Land”—also called the transition area—is the area of the pickleball court in between the Non-Volley Zone and the baseline. It is generally the space that is a foot or two behind the Kitchen, to a foot or two in front of the baseline.


  1. The purpose of the serve (at the developing levels) is simply to place the ball in play and is not intended as an offensive weapon.
  2. The serve must be hit with an underhand stroke so that contact with the ball is made below the waist. The arm must be moving in an upward arc and the highest point of the paddle head shall be below the wrist when it strikes the ball. The highest point of the paddle head cannot be above any part of the line formed where the wrist joint bends. (See video below for Underhand Serve)
  3. The server has the option of dropping the ball and hitting it after the bounce. The ball can be dropped from any height but cannot be thrown, tossed, or otherwise released with any added force to bounce it.
  4. Serve to the diagonally opposite service court from behind the baseline and on or within the imaginary extension of the sidelines and centerline.
  5. Placement should be deep and to the center of the diagonally opposite service court to keep the receiver back.
  6. Follow through toward target and return to the ready position to be set to receive the service return.
  7. Don’t continue into the court; remain behind the baseline until after the 3rd shot is hit.


  1. The main goal is to return the serve deep to keep the serving team at the baseline; power is not as important as control. A short return brings the serving team forward, allowing them to reach the NVZ line and negating the receiving team’s advantage.
  2. The serve must bounce before being returned.
  3. Wait behind the baseline for the serve in order to permit moving forward to hit the return with momentum.
  4. The preferred service return stroke is a forehand with a backswing and follow through, stepping forward to meet the ball in front of the body. This allows the receiver to quickly move toward the net by following the natural momentum of the follow through.
  5. A shot lofted deep to the opponent’s backhand gives the receiver time to reach the NVZ line and keep the serving team back.
  6. Follow through, move to the NVZ line and return to the ready position to be set to return the next shot.
  7. Watch the ball. If you realize you can’t make it all the way to the NVZ line before the ball is hit by the opponent, stop and assume the ready position. Return the ball, then continue to the NVZ line. Stop again if necessary. In tennis this is often referred to as the “split step.”

Learn the dink, transitioning, the serve and the return as well as positioning and strategizing the game of pickleball.

For more information, visit the Jeff Yalden Pickleball Academy Facebook page for more up-to-date information. 

Contact Jeff Today!

Weekly Clinics & Lessons @

Jarboe Park, Neptune Beach, FL