How to Serve A Floater Known As The Standing Float Serve in Volleyball 

Learn how to serve a floater, also called a standing float serve that's hard for the opposing team to pass because of how the ball floats while crossing the net.

Here's a step by step float serve tutorial on how to get the ball to your intended target on the opposing team's court. 

How To Serve a Floater The Set Up

As a right handed server,

  • line your body up to face your serving target

Your body will be parallel to the service line.

Whether you're serving to a court zone or directly to an opposing player...face your target. Let the player're coming right at them with your serve. 

Volleyball Serving Drills with Coach April: Watch how to serve a floater that lands close to or near the corners of the ten foot line in a timed drill that we do in Boot Camp classes. 

How To Serve a Floater: 
Know Where You're Going To Serve

The key is to know where you are going to serve before you serve, then turn and point your toe and your tossing arm, straight at your serving target. 

How to Serve A Floater 
Your Serving Arm Ready Position

Right Handed Serving Arm

  • Raise your serving arm so its in a 90 degree angle with a bent elbow and open palmed hand, above the level of your right ear. 

How To Serve a Floater
Keep your Elbow High

Keep your elbow high, above the level of your ear, throughout the entire movement of bringing your arm forward to the ball.

Many servers have problems serving over the net because they drop their elbow during their serving swing in an attempt to shot put the ball over the net 

Keep your elbow above the level of your ear!

How To Serve a Floater 
The Palm of Your Serving Arm Should Face The Opposite Wall

  • The palm of your serving hand should be facing the opposite wall, not turned up at the ceiling. 
  • Keep a flat palm with fingers spread wide, as if you are about to give a teammate a high five.  
  • Your flat hand should be as flat as a ping paddle.  

The Float Serve Starting Ready Position

When done correctly your starting arm position should look like the letter L.

For right handers the left hand is extended straight out in front with the ball resting          in the palm of your left hand.

The right arm is straight up with elbow close to ear and palm of your hand facing the opposite wall.  

How To Serve a Floater 
Feet Are Shaped Like an L with Weight On Back Leg

Feet and Leg Positioning

Feet and legs are in a comfortable balanced position, shoulder width apart with the weight of your body on your back leg. 

Your front toe should point to the target or location you're about to serve.

Watch as semi private training client Brooklyn demonstrates hand position for the jump float serve...

  • her hand is kept as flat as a ping pong paddle
  • the middle of her hand contacts the middle of the ball
  • her elbow remains high, above the level of her ear, from start to finish of her approach

How To Serve a Floater 
Start and Finish in a Balanced Body Position

The key is to make sure your body isn't tilted or leaning to one side.

Be balanced!

When you turn your hips and shoulder to contact the ball there's no need to add additional steps, or bounces, dips or wind ups.

Your feet should stay in their starting position and only move slightly during the quarter turn to shift your body weight from your back foot to your front foot with just a tiny step in place, taken in the direction of your target. 

How To Serve a Floater 
The Toss

The Toss

The key is to keep your toss so consistent, that if you toss the ball ten times  in a row and let it fall to the ground, it goes up the same height and comes down in the same spot every single time.

2-3 feet in the air gives your serving arm, time to keep your elbow high during your serving swing motion.

You have time to get the open palmed hand to the ball without dropping the elbow, or bending your wrist, or adding funky shoulder movement that doesn't help you serve.  

How To Serve a Floater
Contacting The Ball

Contact the Ball - Hip Swivel and High Five Hand Turn at the Same Time

  • After you toss the ball, you swivel your left hip making a quarter turn forward towards the net, at the same time you bring your right arm forward, keeping your elbow high above the level of your ear.

How To Serve a Floater  
Creating the "Float Effect"

The key is to swivel the hip and and shoulder together bringing the serving hand forward at the same time to contact the middle panels of the ball.

Many players have problems when they swivel the hip first and forget to bring the hand forward at the same time, or they drop their elbow when they swivel the hip. 

Hip comes forward at the same time the shoulder does which also brings the hand forward, while keeping the elbow above the level of the ear.

How To Serve a Floater 
High Five The Ball When Making Contact

Contact the Ball - High Five the Ball

The key is to keep a very wide fingered, flat palmed hand and make contact with the ball with the middle of your hand, without bending your wrist.

Do exactly what you'd do if you were 'high fiving' a teammate.

Reach "high five"  high and keep your hand "high five" flat.

The ball will float and dip and be very difficult for a passer to track and pass the ball because of your ability to contact the ball with no follow through, no spin and with a flat palmed, wide fingered "high five" contact.

How To Serve a Floater 
     Watch Your Hand When        Contacting The Ball

Contact the Ball - Watch the Ball

  • Watch your hand contact the middle of the ball

In the picture above of married Brazilian Olympic gold medalists Jaqueline Carvalho and Endres Murilo they both have their eyes on the ball as they hit, watching where their hand is contacting the ball during their float serve contact technique. 

Now, you should be ready to score aces now that your know how to serve a floater!

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

Do You Follow Me on Instagram?

Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap 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. 

You might like
these serving pages!

New! Comments

Have your say about what you just read! Leave me a comment in the box below.

What Are You Looking For?


Hi there!

Thanks for stopping by. Hope you learned something today that will help you reach your volleyball goals.

Be sure to subscribe to my email newsletter so you can learn more each week!

Stay strong! Stay motivated!

-Coach April


to my email newsletter below!

Get Christmas volleyball shopping for your favorite beach/indoor player done early this year!
Click to Shop!

Recent Articles

  1. 7 Tips On How To Ace Volleyball Tryouts Successfully This Season

    Jul 24, 24 02:22 PM

    my best orange dress selfie
    Want to know how to ace volleyball tryouts successfully this season? Start with these seven tips that'll prep you for how to make your varsity school team.

    Read More

  2. Middle Blocker Tips! Hey Middle Blockers Who Are You Gonna Block?

    Jul 24, 24 02:17 PM

    middle hitter reaches high and skies at the top pf her reach al case photo
    These middle blocker tips help you decide if you need to block certain hitters cross court or down the line and what team blocking strategies are going to be.

    Read More

  3. One Volleyball Blocking Tip For Players On Defense In The Front Row

    Jul 24, 24 02:10 PM

    volleyball blocking texas longhorns ralph arvesan photo hitting high seam
    This volleyball blocking tip describes the importance of watching the hitter when you are at the net about to block the opposing spiker in front of you.

    Read More