When you learn to serve a volleyball overhand remember that serving is the one skill which gives you your first chance to score a point against the opposing team.
With this being the case, its necessary for you to check your form so you
consistently make the most effective and toughest volleyball serve
Below I’ve explained three tips for when you serve a volleyball overhand
You always need to keep your elbow high during the entire arm swing
motion of your serve.
During your armswing, keeping your elbow high reduces the chances
chances of getting the ball over the net.
So, how do you know if your elbow is high enough when you serve a
Your elbow, should always be above the level of your ear.
From the moment you set up in your serving position, until you actually
contact the ball, you should hold your arm up high enough so that your
elbow is above ear level.
drills, when you pull your elbow back immediately after your toss, take
the time to stop and turn your head towards the direction of your
Yes, this means that after you toss the ball in the air, you are going to
let it fall to the ground as you turn your head to see if you've pulled
your elbow back and high enough.
For this type of test, you will not complete the serve.
This is just a way to give yourself a quick serving arm elbow check.
Ideally, when pulling your serving arm back, you want to keep your bent
elbow high enough so it should be pulled back over and above the
level of your ear.
If your elbow passes over the level of your ear once you’ve pulled it
back, then you should be able to look underneath it.
When you do this little exercise you will go through the motion of
tossing the ball in the air.
To check this, toss the ball as if you are about to serve.
While the ball is in the air, turn your head to see if you can look
underneath your elbow, then let the tossed ball fall to the ground without
Repeat. Pick up the ball. Get in your ready serving position. Then repeat
the directions given for this exercise.
This is a simple drill that you can do repeatedly without actually
serving the ball.
But it will help you become familiar with where your elbow is
So if you were to look at Meghan, the player wearing #26 in the picture
above who has just tossed the ball for her serve.
Put yourself in Meghan's place for a moment and imagine that in this
instance, just after you tossed the ball, if you were to take a moment to
look back ..at your .... serving arm, just after you pulled it back,
like it is in the picture, you can tell that you would have pulled your
elbow back high enough so that your elbow is above the level of your
You would also be able to look underneath it if you were to turn
Yes, at first it will feel funny and it will look like you are trying to sniff
your arm pit but if you do this a couple of times you can see for yourself
where your elbow is and check on what it should be doing.
After you've done this a few times and you've corrected your elbow
placement then go ahead and actually serve a volleyball
This is one way to monitor what your arm is doing during your armswing
Keeping your elbow low, especially when you're a beginner or you are
just learning how to serve a volleyball overhand does two things.
It can put a tremendous amount of stress on your shoulder joint.
Yes its the wrong kind of stress which can irritate your shoulder and
force it to do more work than it has to.
These are two reasons why you don't want to get into the habit of
pulling your elbow back too low during your serving armswing.
Make yourself aware of where your elbow is and what it is
Once you’ve done that, start all over again and make sure that when
you pull your elbow back before you toss... its higher than your
ear...before you follow through with your swing.
Your goal during the entire process of performing the overhand serve is
to do the same thing EVERY single time you go to the service line.
So however that routine looks like it needs to be repeated every time you
prepare to serve.
From how you set up, to what you think about before serving, to how you
toss the ball....
Your toss absolutely needs to be done the same way every time!
wrong and you will find it difficult to get the ball over the net.
Like everything else in volleyball, practicing the little things will make a
big impact on the outcome of how you do the big things.
So guess what?
The toss is so important that you need to dedicate time to practicing
it by itself before doing any other part of the serve.
Remember this tip!
into smaller parts and practice those smaller things individually until you
can put all the pieces together.
Just let the ball rest in the palm of your tossing hand.
For right handed players the tossing hand is usually the left hand and
for left handed servers the tossing hand is the right one.
Get in the habit of keeping your tossing arm straight, parallel to the
ground and fully extended in front of you when you toss the ball at this
Keeping the ball at this height allows you time to do a
full serving swing, without rushing, bringing your arm from behind you to
in front of you to contact the middle of the ball, with the middle of your
The height of your toss should allow you time to
contact the ball at what would be the 12 o'clock position on a
clock, in front of your serving shoulder.
Okay so you've tossed the ball two feet in the air, now what?
Now, let the ball fall.
Yes, you actually want to let the ball in front of you to see exactly
where the ball lands after you've tossed it.
Your left foot, in this case, is in front of the back foot pointed in the
direction of where you want to serve the ball.
The same goes if you are serving a ball to a particular player on
the opposing team, you want to point your left foot in her direction.
when you toss the ball you want the ball to fall one foot, yes
that's the same as twelve inches... in front of your front foot.
While you are practicing just tossing the ball for your overhead serve
and you let it fall, the ball should fall every time 10-12 inches, in front of
your front foot.
Your ideal toss when you serve a volleyball overhand for the floater
should be two feet up in the air and one foot in front of your front foot.
Keep these measurements in mind, so you increase your chances of
making an ideal toss that will keep in a balanced body position as you
Make sure that your body is in a balanced position because
tossing the ball too far to the right of that front foot or too far to the
left of that front foot will force you off balance.
When you serve a volleyball overhand, if you are off balance, then you
are forced to chase your toss.
This means you contact the ball below the level of the net which
further decreases your chances of making an effective serve.
Be sure to use your front foot as your guide for your ideal toss
placement when you serve a volleyball overhand.
I mentioned this briefly in the previous section, but its such an important
part of serving a volleyball that I need to dedicate a section to
If you want to serve down the line, then you need to face your body,
square your shoulders and hips, place your toe and your straightened
tossing arm - down the line.
You will not be able to consistently serve a volleyball overhand
anywhere if you try to outsmart the opposing team when you are going
If you want to serve cross court then your front toe, then
your hips and finally your shoulders, yes your entire lower body should
be facing cross court once you've made contact with the ball.
The same goes for serving the ball down the line.
With consistent practice your ability to serve a volleyball should