Serving is a fundamental aspect of the game that holds a lot of importance when it comes to you scoring points and gaining an advantage over the opposing team.
Whether you are a beginner looking to improve your serve or a seasoned player looking for advanced techniques, this article provides you with the essential tips to enhance your serving skills and add power to your game.
It is the moment where a single player has the opportunity to score a point by themselves from the service line using their skill, strategy, and precision.
A well-executed serve disrupts the opponent's serve receive, forcing them into difficult situations which keeps them from running a strong offensive play and provides an opportunity for your team to anticipate the ball that's coming back to them easily.
A powerful serve can force passing errors, which creates opportunities for your teammates to get involved in running a specific offensive strategy which can put the opposing team in difficulty.
Throughout this guide, I explore four key serving tips that will help you increase the power and effectiveness of your serve.
From proper technique to mental preparation and strategic considerations, I'll provide you with the tools necessary to take your serving game to the next level.
Facing your target is crucial for achieving accuracy and consistency with your serve.
Here's a breakdown of each element:
- Stand with your feet shoulder-width apart, with one front foot that's perpendicular to the net.
- Put your weight on your back foot for balance and stability
- Position yourself 3-4 steps behind the service line, ready to move forward with a three or four step approach while serving.
- Maintain a slight bend in your knees to generate power and explode into the air before you contact the ball after its been tossed in the air
- As you prepare to serve, your non-dominant arm is holding the ball that is about to be tossed in the air straight out in front of you and parallel to the ground. This arm should be steady in front of you with the ball in the palm of your hand as you move forward taking your step approach.
- With your dominant arm, your arm is held above your head with the palm facing outward towards the opposing wall and as you take your step close step also known as the last two steps before launching yourself in the air
- As you start your forward swing, keep your elbow high and close to your ear, bring the middle of the palm of your hand to the middle of the ball
- As your arm swings forward, make contact with the middle of the ball, keeping your wrist strong, straight and rigid and aiming to contact the ball with a flat hand
- After making contact with the ball, freeze your shoulder at the end of your swing
- Extend your dominant arm fully, with hips and lower body pointing towards your target
- Your hand and wrist should finish in the direction of your target, palm facing the target
Visualize yourself serving a tough volleyball serve that lands in the court, right to the specific position you are aiming for.
Use the power of visualization as an effective mental tool before you serve.
See yourself going through the motions of your serving technique when you are off the court, so that when you are on the court, every serving motion comes naturally, because it will feel as if you've done it before.
Believe it or not, this is a great way of conducting your serving practice when you are outside or away from the gym.
It's critical when you proceed through all of the serving steps, that you toss the ball the same way every time you serve.
Create a ritual that you will perform each time you serve so you don't rush your serving process.
Whatever your tossing ritual is, work it out so you do the same thing every time.
This helps you
especially if you have to serve after a long rally.
Before you serve, you can follow two types of serving strategies. You can decide to either
If you decide that you are going to begin the play by attacking with your serve...
...then develop the ability to maintain the same mentality with your deep serves that you have with your spike.
Get aggro! Be aggressive.
Many players mistakenly think that every serve of the ball should be just to start the rally.
This type of serve looks like an easy lob, high over the net just to get the ball over, to let the other team start the play.
In reality, your serve should first be used to score a point for your own team.
It may take time to develop muscle memory and coordination, so be patient and focus on executing each step correctly.
As you progress, gradually increase the power and speed of your serve while maintaining accuracy and control.
By facing your target with the proper body position, arm swing, and follow-through, you'll significantly improve the effectiveness of your serves and contribute to your team's success on the volleyball court.
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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.
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