Three Volleyball Serves To Know About
The Float, The Jump and The Spin

The three volleyball serves we learn about in semi-private training and Boot Camp classes are the float serve which can be an underhand or overhand serve, the topspin and the jump serve.

The floater is one of the volleyball serves we learn in Boot Camp Class. (JMR Photography)The floater is one of the volleyball serves we learn in Boot Camp Class. (JMR Photography)


There are four types of volleyball serves most commonly used in advanced competition like high school games, college games, beach tournaments and national and international matches.


Four Types of Volleyball Serves
The Underhand Serve in Volleyball


The underhand volleyball serve is used by beginners because its easier to control the ball. 

The sidearm serve is another form of underhand serve but when performed correctly can add more speed and pace to the ball making it harder for the receiving team to pass it to their setter. 


Four Types of Volleyball Serves
The Overhand Serve in Volleyball


The overhand serve in volleyball requires you to toss the ball higher in the air before contacting it with an open hand above your head, like a tennis player uses a racket to contact the ball above their head. 




The standing floater serve is the most popular of all overhand serves and it requires 

  1. a consistent toss, 
  2. a quick rotation of the body, 
  3. a flat-handed wide-fingered contact with the middle of the hand contacting the middle of the ball while keeping the elbow above the level of your ear.



Friday night boot campers practice their serving arm motion at Friday Night Boot Camp class.



Four Types of Volleyball Serves
The Top Spin Serve 


The standing topspin serve requires a high toss, a high reach and quick armswing of the dominant arm with the hand contacting the top third of the ball, very similar to the spike contact. 

Contacting the top third of the ball creates the forward motion which launches the ball with alot of spin, pace and speed from your service line to the opposing court. 

This high paced fast traveling serve is used to make it extremely difficult for the passers to receive the serve and get it to the target. 


Four Types of Volleyball Serves
The Jump Serve 


The jump serve has two versions of the overhand serve, the jump float and jump topspin serve.



The jump float and the jump spin serves can be described essentially as spike attacks taken from behind the service line into the opposing team's court. 

Basically before serving you 

  • back up 4-5 feet behind the service line and once the referee blows the whistle 
  • you toss the ball up 8-10 feet in the air and once it reaches its highest height 
  • you take a three-step spike approach before 
  • contacting the top third of the ball above your head with open hand and strong fingers that guide the ball to your target

Right handed players will place the ball in their left hand so they can toss it in the air, then step towards it, as they then contact the ball with an 

  1. overhand 
  2. underhand
  3. sidearm 
  4. jump serve swing action.

The ball is contacted with your dominant hand or any part of your arm with the intent of creating enough force to send the ball over the net and inside the opposing team's court. 

Left handers do the opposite. 

How you contact the ball to send it over the net depends on the type of serve you decide to use.



O with the two hand toss and Miya with the one hand toss working on 

  • Both with a three step approach (left, right, left) 
  • Attacking the last two steps of the approach and 
  • Contacting the ball at the highest height of the approach jump

Keeping the elbow high during the ENTIRE 3 step approach and

  • getting the flat hand .. the middle of the hand to the middle of the ball...quickly .

Upon contact. ..

  • STOP and POP the ball to produce the FLOAT NO SPIN effect on the ball on contact


Great serving and passing practice in semiprivate training today, ladies!



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Follow me on Instagram @coach_apchap to improve your game even faster!

I share alot of individual, partner and easy-to-do volleyball passing 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. 

View this post on Instagram

The toss…for the Standing Float Serve . . . Your toss…has to be consistent. You have to learn to toss the same way, …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..is 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.. . . 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. . . 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. . . Here’s your homework..at home drill. . . 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. . . . Thanks Carm! . . . . . #vegasvolleyball #volleyballtraining #libero #liberolife #volleyball #volleyballplayer #vegasbabyvegas #volleyballcoach #vegaslocal #toss #serve

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The Volleyball Serve
Where Do You Go From Here?


Your three options are: 

  1. You can learn more about Serving by visiting the related links below.                            
  2. Follow the suggested reading on our Sitemap page Learning How To Play (Sitemap)
  3. Or visit the pages in the How to Play Volleyball section in the drop down menu at the top of the page to get started. 
  4. Before leaving this page Say "Hi" to Miss Tattoo the Tiger wearing the #9 jersey below.  Miss Tattoo is the starting defensive and serving specialist for the All Beast VolleyBragSwag All Star team.

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

Learn more about Serving


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