How to serve a volleyball is an important skill. The serve is the only skill in volleyball where the player has complete control.

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1 Serving How to serve a volleyball is an important skill. The serve is the only skill in volleyball where the player has complete control. Three main types of volleyball serves There are three main types of serves in volleyball. The underhand serve is most common for beginners. The overhand topspin and the overhand float serve are the most common serves for competitive volleyball. More advanced types of serves include jump serves and float serves to different areas of the court depending on what the coach has signaled. Underhand Serve The underhand serve is the easiest one to teach because there are few variables. Since the underhand serve doesn't involve a toss, it's easier to learn and control. Here are a few fundamentals of learning to underhand serve for right-handed players. Start with your feet in an up-and-back stride position with the weight on the back right foot. Ball is held in the left hand in front of your body just below your waist, in front of the right hip. Shoulders and upper body should be slightly leaning forward. Eyes are focused on the contact point of the ball. Contact the ball with the flat part of the fist and palm/pointer/thumb area. Swing the right arm backward then forward in a pendulum manner. Weight is then transferred to the front foot as the arm swings to contact the ball. Contact is made just below the equator in the center of the ball.

2 The left hand drops just prior to contact. After contact, continue to follow through the ball toward the target. Overhand Serve When learning how to serve a volleyball, you will need to learn techniques for the overhand serve. The overhand (overhead) serve is the most popular serve in high school and college. The two main overhand serves are the topspin and float. The overhand serve is tougher to pass than the underhand serve because it comes faster and drops faster. Overhand serving is similar to throwing a ball. Cues used in overhand serving are "toss and draw" and "step and swing". Here are a few fundamentals of learning to overhand serve for right-handed players. Start in an up-and-back stride with most of your weight on your back right foot. The left hand holds the volleyball extended forward and in front of your right side. The shoulder is forward and the right shoulder is back ready to draw back. Toss the ball in front of your right side. The toss is a very important part of volleyball serving. The server should toss the ball in a lifting motion and not lean forward or drop the left hand. Good tosses are very important because a consistent toss will produce fewer variables to contend with when contacting the ball. Common mistakes Many young servers toss the ball without the draw and lose all the power. A swing without power will likely not making it over the net. Also, if you don't have much power, you need to aim high. Aim at an object on ceiling above the net. This will help you get the ball over giving you chance to get the ball in the court. Difference between the floater and topspin serve When learning how to serve a volleyball, it's important to consider body position. The main difference between the floater and topspin serve is the body position on the ball, contact, and follow-through.

3 For the float serve, contact is made in front of the right side of the body, and the high hand hits solidly behind the middle of the ball creating little or no spin. The flight of the ball resembles the knuckle ball thrown by a baseball pitcher. The float serve is tough to pass because the inconsistent trajectory causes the passer to misjudge the flight of the ball making it difficult to pass. With the topspin serve, the server steps under the toss. The server swings up, contacting underneath the ball. The topspin serve can be more predictable because it's easier to judge the flight of the ball. However, the ball can be tough to pass because it can drop rapidly if the passer isn't used to passing topspin serves. The simplest drill when learning the overhand serve is to practice the motion with a ball, without worrying about where it lands on the court. For right-handed players, this involves standing behind the service line with the left foot in front of the right foot, and the ball in the left hand. The right arm should be pulled back so the right hand is even with the right ear, palm facing forward and fingers outstretched. The player should loft the ball above her head with the left hand, taking a step forward on the left foot and angling the right hand back and up, bringing it forward to strike the ball solidly. Progressive Serving - Beginner Volleyball Drills This drill is for beginning servers. This drill requires two players. One standing on each side of the court. The players take turns serving to each other. First, start serving inside the baseline so you are close enough to get the ball over the net. Try to serve to your partner. As serving volleyball skills develop, gradually back up until you can serve from behind the baseline. Variations Beginner volleyball drills can be done with multiple partners serving to one another at the same time. As players have advanced to serving beyond the baseline, servers should work on serving to their partners standing in different areas of the court. Two-Player Drill If players don't have the range or power to hit the ball from the serve line over the net, they can be paired for a two-person drill. Have each player stand on one side of the net at a

4 distance from which they know they can serve. Have them hit the ball back and forth to each other, gradually moving back as their serving skills improve. Placement Drills Once players are comfortable serving the ball over the net, they should attempt to serve it into certain areas of the court. A fun game to practice this drill is called "golf." The court is divided into six squares and each player is given six serves, attempting to put one in each of the six squares. The player gets a point each time he reaches a new square. The players with the highest score (up to six) wins the game. Black Sheep Serve Drill A variation of the golf drill is the black sheep drill. In volleyball, "black sheep" is the term for a player who has trouble receiving serves, often a front-row blocker or attacker whose strength is on offense. In this drill, use a normal rotation but identify one player as the black sheep. As the black sheep moves through the rotation, the server must continually try to hit the ball into the black sheep's defensive zone. Volleyball serving drills should practice consistency, aim, and power. Since serves are the beginning of every play, they can make or break a team s chances and should not be taken lightly. With the following drills, athletes will learn these skills as well as have fun. Stationary Blocks Out of all the great volleyball serving drills, the Stationary Blocks drill is fun and educational. The court is split into nine even blocks, similar to where players stand during normal play. The team is split in two, standing at opposite corners of the court. One player on each side is in the block closest to their teammates. This player can be standing, or to make it harder, sitting. The first player in line on both sides serves to the player standing or sitting in the block. Without moving, the player in the block must catch the serve. When the player can catch the serve, they move to the next block over, repeating this until they have made it around the court. After a server has their serve caught, they move to the back of the line and let another server move forward. A variation on this drill could have the server take the place of the stationary teammate after their serve is caught, allowing the player in the block to join the serving line. This drill can be turned into a competition by judging to see which team can serve accurately enough to move their stationary player through all the blocks on their side of the net. Coaches can also time this drill for speed, seeing how many blocks a team can master before the specified time runs out. Serve and Sprint Relay Players line up on one side of the court in two vertical lines. Athletes should be behind the end line so they are in proper serving position. The first player in each line serves and sprints to retrieve the ball. If they serve successfully, they pass the ball to the next person in line to repeat. If the athlete does not serve successfully, they must join the line and try again. This volleyball serving drill should be done with some time limit in mind to put pressure on athletes and encourage quick sprints to retrieve the ball. It can be made into a competition by turning it into a

5 relay, with the first team to cycle through everyone successfully winning. The losing team can be punished with volleyball conditioning drills. Target Practice Like the opposite of dodgeball, the Target Practice drill intends for athletes to hit their teammates with the volleyball. Three players on each side of the court line up as servers. All other players sit on the court wherever they please, ensuring that there is an equal number of players on each side. Servers must attempt to hit their teammates, who are on the opposite side of the court. Once a teammate is hit, they jump up, retrieve the ball that hit them, and join their teammates across the court in the serving line. The first team to get all players up and in the serving line wins. Athletes should be sure to cover their heads and pay close attention during this and other volleyball serving drills, as the ball can hurt if athletes are not prepared.

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