Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass

Learn how to volleyball overhand serve which is your first chance to score points so you need to serve the seams, serve the sidelines and serve hitters deep. 

The overhand serve is your first chance to score points so to become a tough volleyball server you need to serve the seams, serve sidelines and serve hitters deep. (Al Case)Learn how to volleyball overhand serve which is your first chance to score points so you need to serve the seams, serve the sidelines and serve hitters deep. (Al Case)

Do you have a tough overhand serve that scores from the service line or do you choose to be known for easy lob serves?

Sending an easy, high lollipop, rainbow arc ball over the net twenty feet in the air, that takes forever to come down, which anybody's grandmother can pass and make into a play.

Players usually opt to do that because it's safe.

Of course, the serve can be risky at times, but that's what practice is for.


Where does a tough volleyball server aim their serves to score points? They aim for seams between passers, inside the sidelines, and deep to outside hitters. (Ralph Aversen)Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass: Where do you aim an overhand serve to score points? They aim for seams between passers, inside the sidelines, and deep to outside hitters. (Ralph Aversen)

As a tough volleyball server, your job is to be comfortable serving anywhere and anyone from behind the service line with pace and precision in order to score points.

In serving volleyball drills you want to do tons of reps to every single one of the six positions on the court.

You want to  be able to hit those targets from anywhere behind the service line.  


Where do servers aim their overhand serve to score points?


Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass
For A Tough Overhand Serve Aim for The Seams

Volleyball Server: Serving between passers makes them have to decide quickly who'll take responsibility to cover the empty area of the court. (Ralph Aversen)Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass: Serving between passers makes them have to decide quickly who'll take responsibility to cover the empty area of the court. (Ralph Aversen)


As a tough volleyball server you want to be able to serve the seams.

The seams are the areas of the court between where the primary passers are positioned when they are receiving serve. 

Serving between players causes passers to have to decide quickly who will take the responsibility of moving out of their base position to cover the empty area of the court. 


Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass
For A Tough Overhand Serve 
Aim For The Sidelines

A tough volleyball server uses serving strategy to set up the other team to do what you want them to do so your team can react and score points. (Richard Yuan)Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass: A tough overhand serve is used to set up the other team to do what you want them to do so your team can react and score points. (Richard Yuan)


By serving the passers deep to the line corner these passers who are also hitters  have to work harder to get back up to their normal position just outside of the ten foot line to make an attack hit.  

The idea is to make passers move out of their comfort zone so its difficult for them to make a perfect pass to their setter. 

You are trying to force the opposing team out of system, so they are forced to send over an easy ball to your defense or they make an error. 

And that's what a tough volleyball server does.

The serving strategy is to set up the other team to do what you want them to do so your team can react and score points.

That process starts with your serve.

That's a big opportunity that you should plan to take advantage of every time you go back to the service line.

When you are the one serving it is your turn to shine.

That means it's your turn  to create a winning situation for your team.

You have a chance to do it all by yourself.


Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass
To Deliver A Tough Overhand Serve 

Face Your Target


Some players think that being a tough volleyball server means you need to really be sneaky and try and fake out the serve receive by not showing where you are going to serve.

On the contrary I say...let everybody know where you are going to serve.

Face Your Target.

I'm talking about the floater serve, here.

Place everything that you have, your feet, hips, shoulders, tossed ball in the direction of where you plan to serve.


A Tough Volleyball Server: Face Your Target - With the floater serve place everything that you have, your feet, hips, shoulders, tossed ball in the direction of where you plan to serve.Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass: Face Your Target - With the floater serve place everything that you have, your feet, hips, shoulders, tossed ball in the direction of where you plan to serve.

Face that player or that space on the court and just let it Go!

If ALL your energy is going in one direction you can create more force than if different parts of your body are going in different directions.

If everything is all lined up in one direction and balanced then you can focus on one last element.


Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass
A Good Overhand Serve 
Make A Tough Float Serve


After you toss the ball for your float serve

  • if you don't make solid contact right in the middle of the volleyball ball panels facing you 

then you probably won't get that tough floater serve you are looking for.

For a good floater serve, the middle of your hand needs to contact the middle of the ball. 

  • Contacting the ball on the sides gives the ball side spin 
  • contacting the ball too low gives the ball back spin and sends it high over the net

which is usually pretty easy for the opposing team to pass.


     Watch The Ball When You Contact It

In practice, watching where you contact the ball, when you contact it


A Tough Volleyball Server Watches The Ball When Contacting It which helps you improve your contact on the ball and adds consistency to your volleyball serves.Learn How To Volleyball Overhand Serve A Ball That's Hard To Pass: A Tough Volleyball Server Watches The Ball When Contacting It which helps you improve your contact on the ball and adds consistency to your volleyball serves.

The Overhand Serve: 
Where Do You Go Now?


Okay here's where you need to go now! There are three options: 

  1. Learn more about Smart Tactics by clicking the Related Links below. .
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)

Read more about volleyball tactics on these pages.


  • Improve Your Volleyball Performance with Vegas VB Coach April Chapple
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  • How To Improve Volleyball Skills: Pass Serve Set Hit Block and Dig
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