Volleyball Coaching Mastering Volleyball Serve Techniques
Volleyball Serve Basics
The volleyball serve is the only skill in volleyball where the player has complete control over proper execution.
1. With a tough serve, a player can for a point immediately (serving an ace).
2. With a tough serve, a player can force the opponent to return the ball back over the net in an easy manner (free ball).
It's important to not take serving for granted. If a player has a "just serve in" attitude, they are missing a golden opportunity to put their team to the advantage.
Especially if the opponent sides out effectively, you need to give your team the advantage if you can. As teams advance in skills and tactics serving becomes even more important.
It's much different to serve in practice than when actually serving in a game situation win a match or tournament could be on the line. Therefore, volleyball serving drills should be created to give players game like pressure.
Types of Volleyball Serves
The main types of volleyball serves are the underhand, float, and topspin serves.
The underhand serve is the type of serve most beginning players learn first. It's also common for coaches to initiate drills with the underhand serve.
The float serve is probably the most common type of volleyball serve. It's called a foat serve because it's served with the purpose of the ball floating around making it hard for the opponent to pass.
The topspin serve is the least common serve. Topspin serves can be very effective if developed. Topspin serves can dropped quickly in front of the opponent making in extremely difficult to pass. Also, deep topspin serves are tough because the ball may appear to be going out of bounds then at the last second drop in the court.
Underhand Volleyball Serving
Techniques for the Underhand Serve
The underhand serve is the easiest serve to teach because there are so few variables. Since the serve doesn't involve a toss it's much easier to learn and control.
TIps for the Underhand Serve
1. Start in a stride position with the weight on the back foot.
2. (This is the position for a right handed server.) Hold the ball in the left hand in front of your body just below the waist and in front of the right hip.
3. Slightly lean forward.
4. The eyes should be focused on the ball where contact is going to be made.
5. Swing the arm back and then forward contacting the ball with the palm of the hand.
6. Weight is transferred to the front foot while contacting the ball facing the intended direction the served ball is going.
7. The left hand drops just before contacting the ball.
8. After contact the serving arm follows through toward the intended target.
Float Volleyball Serves
Techniques for Serving Floaters
Float serves are real effective for when the opposing passers don't keep their eyes on the ball. Floaters keep the passers on their toes ready to react to the changes in the flight of the ball.
Float serves allow the ball to move up, down, left or to the right making it more difficult for passers to judge where the ball is traveling.
When tossing the ball, the maximum height of the ball should be about slightly higher than the player's maximum reach. As the player makes contact, the hand should pop off the ball. The ball should be struck hard. The ball should be contacted in the center. A firm contact in the middle of the ball is what creates the floating action.
Start by standing with your upper body facing the direction you are going to serve the ball. Place the feet so that it will be easy to rotate the upper body easily through a throwing type motion.
For a right handed server start with the left foot forward with the right foot pointed outward to the right.
The ball is held in the opposite hand ready to toss.
Small step and toss
For some players, drawing the arm back takes longer than tossing the ball. So you may want to start drawing the arm back before you toss.
For serving floaters, the toss is out in front of the body, contacting the ball without it dropping significantly. Take a small step with your left foot (assuming you're right handed) and at the same time transfer your body weight in the direction you are serving.
Striking the center of the ball
To serve an effective floater, the ball should be contacted firmly by your hands palm. A good solid contact in the center of the ball allows for the ball to be served without spin. The goal should be to serve the ball without putting spin on it which helps to create a knuckle ball action which allows the ball to dance in the air making it much more difficult to pass. Beginning players may practice dragging the back foot when serving. By dragging the back foot, this helps remind players to only step with the front foot.
Tips for Serving Floaters
1. Upper body facing the direction you're serving. Left foot is in front.
2. Draw the hitting hand back keeping the elbow up and back.
3. Take a small step as you toss the ball.
4. Contact the ball in the center.
5. Drag the back foot.
Topspin Volleyball Serve
A big difference between the topspin and floater is the follow through.
To hit an effective topspin, the ball must also be contacted a little more back and up.
You should toss the ball ball over your hitting shoulder forcing you to step under the ball.
The ball should be contacted using a wrist snapping action. Wrist snapping helps put topspin on the ball.
The speed and power that can be generated helps as an encentive for players to develop a good topspin serve.
Good topspin serves can be real effective because passers rarely see them. The dropping movement on topspin serves can catch lazy passers out of position and not ready to pass.
Volleyball Serving Related Pages
- Volleyball Serving Strategies
Volleyball serving is likely the most overlooked and underused skill in volleyball. Servers that just toss the ball up serving to put the ball in play are missing a golden…
- Volleyball Serve Basics
Introducing basic volleyball serve tips and strategies. Become a more efficient server...
- Volleyball Serve Terms
Volleyball serve terminology. Underhand serve, overhand serve, floater, jumper, roundhouse, friendly fire, service error, service winner, ace, lollipop, serving the heat, service zones…
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