Want To Fix Your Floater In Volleyball? Start With A Consistent Toss

Floater In Volleyball | Improve Your Volley` ``

Want To Fix Your Floater In Volleyball? Start With A Consistent Toss

A consistent toss is an important part of your floater in volleyball serving technique and if it isn't consistent it can make or break your serving success.


Let's dig into an essential serving technique - called the floater serve.

If you're new to the term, a floater serve in volleyball refers to an overhand serve where the ball is hit with a flat hand contact with no wrist flex so the ball dips and floats while travelling over the net, ideally with no forward, side or backspin  making its trajectory unpredictable and hard for players in serve receive to pass the ball once it crosses the net.


volleyball float serve gif

Ryanwils, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons


This serve is called a floater in volleyball because the ball appears to "float" in the air, with no spin making this type of serve a powerful weapon in a player’s arsenal.

If you choose to use a floater serve in volleyball it comes with its own set of benefits and drawbacks.

However, achieving the desired 'no-spin' effect requires precision and proper technique.

The challenge here is the need for practice and consistency, ensuring the toss and serve are in sync to maximize the floating effect.



Addi working on her standing floater in volleyball serve down the line.

Focusing on starting with hips open to the wall to her right,  a consistent toss and a smooth arm swing when contacting the ball with the middle of her hand to the middle of the ball.


The major advantage of a floater is its unpredictability.

By not spinning, the ball moves irregularly, making it difficult for the receiving team to pass which  increases the chances of scoring points.

To consistently serve the ball with the 'no-spin' effect

  • takes a consistent toss
  • an armswing that focuses on keeping your serving arm close to your head while 
  • keeping your elbow high and 
  • contacting the middle of your hand with the middle of the ball panels in front of you

Listen to what I tell Addi about being aggressive with her arm swing. 

Working on her floater in volleyball serve today we did 100 reps of the same serve to the same spot so we could problem solve and work on every body part movement...where things go so when its time to do everything faster...we have smoothed out and understood all the possible wrinkles. 


The need for lots of repetitions during practice to increase consistency, ensures the toss, the upper body movements are in sync with the lower body movements  to maximize the floating effect.



Addi puts in 100 reps to improve her technique for her floater in volleyball serve on Super Bowl Sunday. 

Working on her line serve to the Zone 5 corner and focusing on a faster arm swing speed and consistently placing her hand on the same place on the ball on each rep. 


How To Improve Your Floater Serve With A Consistent Toss


Want to improve  your floater in volleyball? Start with your volleyball ball toss with the gaol of being consistent regardless of what serving style you choose…but especially important for the standing float serve.

You have to learn to toss the volleyball the same way, …at the same height, putting the ball in the same spot every single time.

If you have a problem with your serve, one of the first places to look, in order to solve your problem is at your toss.




I have a formula that we use ……two feet up in the air and one foot in front of your front foot.




Two feet up in the air …gives you time to rotate your hips and arm to the ball….

One foot in front of your front foot …gives you a specific target area to place your ball that’s in the path of your serving arm when you bring it around to contact the ball.



You have to learn to 

toss the volleyball

the same way, …

at the same height,

putting the ball

in the same spot

every single time.






Addi getting 100 overhand serve reps in on Super Bowl Sunday working on her standing float serve down the line.

Focusing on starting with hips open to the wall to her right,  a consistent toss and a smooth arm swing when contacting the ball with the middle of her hand to the middle of the ball.


With this little formula you can check yourself ..to see if ...you are leaning over to one side to contact the ball or you are bringing your serving arm across your body to try and contact the ball.

If you are..then your toss is throwing you off balance...

For the standing float serve you want to start in a balanced position and you want to finish in a balanced position. 

If your toss is making you do or add unnecessary body movements then you need to fix it. ..


Addi working on her standing floater in volleyball serve down the line.

Focusing on starting with hips open to the wall to her right,  a consistent toss and a smooth arm swing when contacting the ball with the middle of her hand to the middle of the ball.


If your toss is in the right place then you should be contacting the ball ..in front of your serving shoulder with your elbow above the level of your ear.…and not outside of your body line. 


To Improve Your Floater In Volleyball Here's Some Homework To Improve Your Ball Toss


Here’s your at-home volleyball drill homework.

Just practice your toss.

Use this formula to start instilling the correct muscle memory for your toss. 

  • Today go out and do 50 tosses.
  • Tomorrow do 60.
  • Tuesday 70.
  • Add 10 everyday until you do 100 tosses on your own at home.




To get consistently better at tossing…you have to practice tossing.

Just tossing.

This will improve the consistency of your serve because now you know exactly where the ball will be when you contact it. 

Two feet up in the air, one foot in front of your front foot, in front of your serving arm. 

How do I know?

Because I did this and it helped me improve my serve in high school and again in college. 


This formula helped me set career and All-Time records that still exist today in the volleyball serve aces category at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. 


If those records still remain unbroken after all this time, then whatever I did back then probably still works today, so try it.

What do you have to lose? 


Tips To Keep In Mind Before Attempting Your Float Serve


As you prepare to do your a floater in volleyball, remember these pointers:

1. Don't serve an easily returnable ball that sets up the opponent's attack.


2. Aim to serve a ball that upsets the other team's rhythm.

3. Target a specific player with your serve to increase the chance of a mistake.


4. Do more than just clear the net. A strategic, aggressive serve improves your chances of scoring aces.

Listen to what I tell Addi about being aggressive with her armswing. 

Working on her floater in volleyball serve today we did 100 reps of the same serve to the same spot so we could problem solve and work on every body part movement...where things go so when its time to do everything faster...we have smoothed out and understood all the possible wrinkles. 


While you think about these tips, get ready for your serve by

  • adopting an aggressive mindset
  • decide early on your serve's direction
  • work to exploit the other team's weaknesses during their serve receive.

In the end, your understanding of the opponents' weak spots, combined with strategic serving, could help boost your chances of adding aces to your stat sheet.

Remember, serving in volleyball is much more than making it over the net, its about making direct points or making it hard for the opposing team to make a perfect pass to their setter. 


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Private or semiprivate volleyball indoor/sand lessons are an excellent way for young Las Vegas high school volleyball players to quickly improve their individual skills through a private or semi-private coaching experience.

These lessons are conducted by former pro volleyball player, former USA Volleyball High Performance instructor and Evaluator and Tstreet Vegas 18s head Coach April Chapple on a weekly basis.

Sign up now!Private or semiprivate volleyball indoor/sand lessons are an excellent way for young Las Vegas high school volleyball players to quickly improve their individual skills through a private or semi-private coaching experience. These lessons are conducted by former pro volleyball player, former USA Volleyball High Performance instructor and Evaluator and Tstreet Vegas 18s head Coach April Chapple on a weekly basis. Sign up now!


Follow me on Pinterest Volleybragswag to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball serving drills we do in class with my followers.

Many of these volleyball practice drills you can do at home by yourself or try at your next practice with your teammates.

If you're a B team or JV player trying to make varsity next year...your goal should be to complete 1000 reps a day of at least three of the basic skills on your own...volleyball passing, serving and setting should be at the top of the list. 


The Floater In Volleyball: 
Where Do You Go From Here?


Where do you need to go now? Here are three options: 

  1. Learn more about How To Play Volleyball. 
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages to learn more about the volleyball serve in the Related Links below.

Meet Tatoo the Tiger, Serving Specialist on VolleyBragSwag's All Beast Team

A consistent toss is an important part of your floater in volleyball serving technique and if it isn't consistent it can make or break your serving success. Article by elite volleyball Coach April ChappleA consistent toss is an important part of your floater in volleyball serving technique and if it isn't consistent it can make or break your serving success. Article by elite volleyball Coach April Chapple

You might like
these pages on the fundamental skills of volleyball!



  1. Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Private Volleyball Coach April Chapple
  2.  ›
  3. Six High School Varsity Volleyball Skills That Top Prep Players Crush
  4.  ›
  5. Want To Fix Your Floater In Volleyball? Start With A Consistent Toss



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