Volleyball Serving Drills

Ready to serve the ball.Ready to serve the ball.

Volleyball serving drills should be included in every practice. 

Different drills have different points of focus  such as:

  • location target practice
  • serving consistency
  • serving strength and conditioning

Volleyball Serving Drills: Location Target Practice

The volleyball serve is the first opportunity for you to attack a team from

the service line.

Since its the  first opportunity to score a point I coach my players to

consider this an opportunity to attack for a point. 

If you've ever seen a tennis game, the player who is serving is not just

lobbing the ball over the net so that the other player can smash the ball

back to her.

The tennis server is serving as hard as she can or as

tactically as she can in order to serve an ace.  

Or to set up a play that positions herself to score a point on a future

play in the rally.

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Now for the good stuff...the volleyball serving drills...

One serving goal for a server is to serve the ball in a way that makes it

difficult for the opposing team to pass the ball so they run an offensive

attack against your team.

In order to do this you need to be able to serve the ball to any of

the six zones on the court at any given time of the game. 

There are volleyball serving drills that help you improve your ability to

serve short, deep, cross court or down the line.   

Features & Benefits

  • Build the correct fundamentals of the toss and hand contact
  • Incorporate hand contact drills to develop accuracy
  • Learn serving games to keep practices competitive
  • Teach the fundamentals of an overhand float serve (plus Jump float, top spin serve, short serve)

with Anne Kordes,
former University of Louisville Head Coach;

  • 2015 ACC Champions
  • 2015 ACC Coach of the Year - her third coach of the Year honor at Louisville, also earning the award as the Big East (2012) and American Athletic Conference (2013) Coach of the Year;
  • 2010 and 2011 USA Select National Team Lead Coach;
  • past President of the American Volleyball Coaches Association

Anne Kordes breaks down the serve into the proper fundamental steps that allows you to teach any of the serving styles.

In this detail video, you will learn to:

  • Teach serving posture - Good posture of the arm, foot forward, weight transfer and arm swing is the most important of serving accuracy.
  • Target serving to be straight in front of server - Hitting a zone is based on controlling the serve and having it go straight. It also keeps the body in better form.
  • Serve to zones and reasons - While many teach hitting zones, Coach Kordes makes sure to explain why each zone has different importance and how it is important to serve for accuracy.

This video came from Championship Productions’ video

Serving Fundamentals for Volleyball - Volleyball -- Championship Productions, Inc.

Read more information on this video or view other volleyball videos. 

Volleyball Serving Drills: Serving Strength

Another serving goal for a player is to serve the ball aggressively so that

you rely on power as opposed to placement to score  a direct point for

your team.

In practice you should develop a powerful top spin or float serves by

adding a jump to your serve. 

Both the jump spin and the jump float serve call for a three to four step

approach, like the one used to hit the ball when you are in the front row. 

Your starting point for your serve is further away from the service line so

you have room to make a three or four step approach.

Since you are making an approach to the ball your toss needs to be

much higher and further out in front of you, leading you towards the

service line without stepping on it or over it until after you've

contacted the ball. 

The serve approach is the same as a four step spike approach with the

first two steps slow starting with the right foot.

Then you gather momentum with bigger faster third and fourth steps that

launch you in the air towards the ball. 

I call the last two steps of your spike approach "attacking the floor".

You don't want to tip toe into the last two steps you want to 'attack the

floor" using the entire bottom part of your foot, from heel to toe, to make

contact with the floor before "lifting off" into the air like an airplane taking

off on a runway. 

Much time in volleyball serving drills should be dedicated to the timing

for the approach.

  • Take your first two steps, slow , slow
  • then you lift the ball tossing it 6-8 feet in the air in front of you,
  • followed by two more steps, bigger and faster to the ball, 
  • that launch you in the air to contact the ball at its highest height. 

Upon contact you swing towards your target. 

Because you are in the air when you contact the ball, time in

volleyball serving drills should be given towards practicing ball contact. 

When contacting the ball for the jump float, the middle of the hand

contacts the middle of the ball.

When your hand contacts the ball for the jump spin the hand contacts

the top third of the ball with elbow high and fully extended. 

Jump float servers should be comfortable with serving to all six zones

with accuracy and power.  You want to aim for spots on the court as

opposed to players. 

Jump spin servers should be comfortable with serving line, cross court

and the deep three zones in the court with power. 

Features & Benefits

  • Increase your team's ability to score by serving aggressively
  • Learn drills for practicing game-like, aggressive serves under pressure
  • Teach your players to get comfortable with taking risks
  • Learn how to grade your team's serves, so players will take ownership of their serving skills

with Deane Webb,
Ohio University Head Coach;

  • Led Ohio University to an undefeated conference championship in his first year at the school (2014);
  • former Belmont University Head Coach;
  • 3x conference champions;
  • winningest volleyball coach in Belmont history

One of the most important things a coach can do to increase a team's ability to score is to develop a strong tactical serving team.

This process begins with establishing a serving philosophy and then teaching your players the skill and technique to implement that philosophy most effectively.

Deane Webb explains why teams needs to serve aggressively to be successful.

He examines different server types and shares drills to help your players find their aggressive serve. He makes a strong case for why you need to get your team to understand how serving aggressively can help them win more matches.

This video came from Championship Productions’ video

How to Train Aggressive and Fearless Servers - Volleyball -- Championship Productions, Inc.

Read more information on this video or view other volleyball videos. 

Volleyball Serving Drills: Serving Consistency

A third option if you can't yet rely on placement or power is to

work on keeping  your serve in, making sure to get it in the opposing

team's court while relying on your defense to score the point. 

Consistency is the focus, for new and experienced servers


If you are missing too many serves in the court, during your volleyball

serving drills you want to focus on technique and consistency.

Contacting the ball in the same place, tossing the ball in the same spot,

making the same arm swing every single time... consistency of

technique is an important element to practice with certain volleyball

serving drills. 

Features & Benefits

Learn game-like methods for training servingGet a variety of 4v4 games to maximize ball touchesLearn how to improve ball control by passing over the knee (vs mid-line)Learn how to get opponents out-of-system with accurate. Consistent serves

with Nabil Mardini, Los Angeles Volleyball Academy Director of Operations; Pierce College Head Coach,

  • Back-to-Back-to-Back CCCAA California State Champion,
  • 2x AVCA 2-year College Coach of the Year
  • According to research, the three least productive volleyball moves are:
  • 1) missing a serve;
  • 2) serving a ball that an opponent can pass; and
  • 3) hitting a ball out of bounds or into the net.

Conversely, serving tough and in-bounds are among the most important skills in volleyball.

In this fast-paced presentation, Nabil Mardini shows how to teach and train serving and passing with a focus on deliberate practice of these essential skills.

This video came from Championship Productions’ video

How to Train and Win the Serve & Serve Receive Battle - Volleyball -- Championship Productions, Inc.

Read more information on this video or view other volleyball videos. 

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