photo by Luomen
For certain overhand volleyball serves, you want the ball to be
strategically placed in the opposing team's court in a way that helps
you score points for your team.
Or at the very least, puts the opposing team in such difficulty, that
they can't run an offense against your defensive players.
line during your next game.
If the left front player playing in position four is a swing hitter she has two
First she has to receive the serve and then she has to swing outside to
hit the ball as well.
To serve a volleyball overhand deep down the line forces the left side
player deeper towards the back of her court.
Using this serving strategy means that, that outside player
has to first back up to pass the ball, then she has to cover a lot of
ground to get back into position to be able to make her usual three or
four step spike approach in order to spike the ball.
This strategy can potentially eliminate that specific left side
front row player as a hitter/attacker, taking her completely out of the
offense, which forces the setter to use only one or two of her remaining
front row players as an option to set to.
This means she has to
set the ball to either her middle blocker or
back set the player behind her playing in zone two, depending on
how many hitters are front row.
Now because of your well-placed serve, your team only has to
worry about blocking against two front row players instead of three.
In other words, you can "play chess" against the opposing team when
you are serving the ball.
If you see three hitters in the front row, then with your
That puts your team at an advantage, right?
Force the opposing team to do what you want them to do just by
Many players just happen to make short volleyball serves in the
opposing team's court by accident but elite players
serve short on purpose, because they know that the short serve can
put the opposing team in difficulty, especially when tall players
Like airplanes, tall players usually need longer
to make a strong spike approach which helps them hit the ball hard and
If their "runway" is cut short, in other words if the area where they
usually make their long three-step or four-step spike approach is
shortened, then that "airplane" (or tall player in the front row in this
case) has a hard time taking off.
So as the player with all the power, since you are serving the
ball, you need to "cut" or shorten their runway way off.
prevent them from having the time to back up and take their usual long
four step spike approach.
If they do get the set, after they passed the short serve they
won't have much time or the strength to hit as hard or as high as
they would if they weren't passing.
Here’s the million dollar question.
How tall do you have to be to learn to how to serve the tall female
player in the front row?
Here’s the answer, it just doesn't matter how tall you are!
What matters is how accurate you can become when serving the
ball to the opposing team’s front row.
The same argument applies here about serving the tall player in the front
row especially if she is in the right front position.
If you see that she is playing in Zone two here's something else
you can look for.
Look to see if the setter is preparing to come to the net from the
right front position, after the ball has been served.
while the setter is coming to the net from behind that right front
player, consider this great idea.
The setter has to track the
ball that was passed over her left
shoulder while she is moving towards the net, then she is forced to set the
volleyball quickly. Why?
Because she has very little time to adjust her body and square herself to
her target to set a ball that has been passed right from the position she
just came from.
(Or served right to the position she just came from however you want to
look at the situation.).
set the ball to one of her front row players especially if she receives an
If your volleyball serves going to the opposing team’s front row,
result in an imperfect pass to the setter, then she will have an even
harder time of giving her hitters a good set.
Many times the setter will give her hitters an imperfect set which is a
ball that she is forced to set off the net or to one of her back row
If this happens then the hitter often times will spike a ball that is
easier for your team to get up in defense and this scenario is all due to
you serving the ball strategically at the beginning of the play.
practice, make sure you set goals for yourself to make your serves count