Volleyball Serving Tips and Strategies To Create Powerful Serves

Volleyball Serving Tips | Improve Your Volley` ``

Volleyball Serving Tips and Strategies To Create Powerful Serves

Learn these volleyball serving tips that explain how a short overhand serve to the front row positions on the court can create a problem for the opposing team.

Learning how to deliver a powerful and strategic serve in volleyball can significantly boost your game.

Mastering the right serving techniques and understanding where to place the ball on the court can create troubles for the opposing team.

Here are some valuable volleyball serving tips and strategies that can help you elevate your volleyball serving game, regardless of whether the opposing team has their front row in serve receive.

Volleyball Serving Strategies and Tactics
Serving to Weak Zones

Before setting yourself up behind the service line to get ready to aim your serve to a specific target, take the time to look for or to remember the opposing team's weaknesses.

Are there specific areas on their court where they struggle with a specifically placed serve?

Toni is working on serving short to zones three and four against three passers on the opposing court. 

Its good to keep mental notes of where teams have struggled in the past when the teammate or two before you...made a serve to a specific spot or to a specific player that caused the opposing team a lot of trouble. 

Plan to exploit these weak zones with your serves.

This strategy puts the opposing team in a challenging position right from the start, making it hard for them to easily do the usual "pass-set-hit combination of skills" in order for them to easily run their offense. 

A tough serve to an opposing team's weak spot forces the setter to work harder to give a good set to a hitter. If they give a bad set or an "out-of-system" set which means you force them in a position to give you a very easy ball so now your team can run your offense easily in an effort to score a point. 

Volleyball Serving Tips
Overhand Serve 
To Zone Three and Four 

A well-executed short serve can cause a lot of problems for the opposing team, especially if the team has taller players in the front row.

So, instead of serving deep in the opposing team's court, try aiming your serve to make it fall short in the opposing team's court within or near the ten foot line.

Many players just happen to serve short in the opposing team's court by accident but elite and experienced players practice a lot of serving reps so that they can serve short on purpose.

They know that the short serve can put the opposing team in difficulty, especially when tall players are in the front row.

Volleyball Serving Tips
Varying Your Serves 

Why should you work on mixing up your serves?

By using different types of serves in volleyball and learning how and where to consistently place your serve in the opposing team's court in order to keep their players who are passing in serve receive off balance...you help to prevent them from successfully running their offense.

Volleyball Serving Tips:
The Effects of Short Serves on a Hitter's Spike Approach
What Happens To A Hitter's Spike Approach When You Serve Them A Short Serve?

Like airplanes, tall players usually need longer runways to make a strong three step or four step spike approach which helps them gather speed and momentum before jumping high and reaching as high as possible to contact the ball as far above the net as possible before hitting the ball into the court.

A longer runway helps a hitter keep the ball in front of them which allows them to see the opposing team's court while in the air hitting.

If their "runway" is cut short, in other words if the area where they usually make their long three-step or four-step spike approach is shortened, then that "airplane" (or tall player in the front row in this case) has a hard time taking off.

So as the player serving the ball, you need to "cut" or shorten the opposing hitter's runway way take off ramp.

Serving the ball short to the players in the front row is one of the sneakiest overhand serve tactics to use because it can often prevent them from having the time to back up and take their usual long three or four step spike approach. 

If they do get the set, after they passed the short serve they won't have much time or as much power to hit as hard or as high as they normally would if they weren't passing.

By serving the ball short, you have effectively helped your team by taking one of the opposing team’s front row players out of their offense.

Remember, it doesn't matter how tall you are when serving; what matters is the accuracy of your serve.

You just have to serve the ball 50 times to each of the front row positions--left front, middle front and right front, before or after practice so when the pressure is on, you are ready.

Volleyball Serving Tips
The Overhand Serve To Position 2
The Right Front Zone

Serving to the right front zone, or Zone Two, is particularly advantageous if the opposing team's tall player or setter is in this position.

If the setter is coming towards the net from behind the right front player, a short serve can force the setter to have to face their outside hitter quickly and on the run before setting the ball,  increasing the chances that they set their outside players ..off the net ..which means if the hitter hits the ball the hitter would be further off the net....making it easier for the serving team to dig a ball.

If you see that they're playing in Zone Two (RF) look to see if the setter is preparing to come to the net from the right front position, after the ball has been served.

If you aim your short serves to the right front player while the setter is coming to the net from behind that right front player the setter has to

  • track the ball that was passed over her left shoulder
  • while she is moving towards the net,
  • then she is forced to set the volleyball quickly.


Because she has very little time to adjust her body and square herself to her target to set a ball that has been passed right from the position she just came from.

(Or served right to the position she just came from however you want to look at the situation.).

No matter what, serving the ball to the right front position in the front row gives the opposing team’s setter

  • much less time to track the ball,
  • stop,
  • then set the ball to one of her front row players... especially if she receives an imperfect pass.

If your serves going to the opposing team’s front row, result in an imperfect pass to the setter,

  • then she will have an even harder time giving her hitters a good set.

Many times the setter will give her hitters an imperfect set which

  • is a ball that she is forced to set off the net or 
  • to one of her back row players.

If this happens then the hitter ends up spiking a ball that is easier for your team to dig up in defense and this scenario is all due to you using one of these smart short serve tactics.

So the next time that you do overhand serve  in practice, make sure you set goals for yourself to make your serves count for points.

Reading Opponent's Positioning

Understanding the positioning of the opposing team's players is critical for deciding where to aim your serve. By analyzing their arrangement, you can make strategic serving decisions that create problems for their serve reception.

Practice these volleyball serving tips to make your serves count for points in your games.

Whether it's delivering a short serve to the front row of the opposing team's court or mixing up your serves to other short zones each one of these strategic moves can make a difference.

Remember, the key is to be as unpredictable as possible, and constantly work on improving the accuracy of your serves.

Do You Follow Me on Pinterest?

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. 

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

Read more about volleyball serving tips on these pages.

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