Aiming a Serve can be difficult, but it's a very important skill to master. If you can get to the point where you can hit a target, the size of a notebook, from 45 feet away, you will be a force to be reckoned with.
The 3 Most Important Factors to Aiming an Overhand Serve in Volleyball
If you're going to go back behind the serving line and kick butt, you need to be in complete control of three things.
1. Your toss.
2. How you contact the ball.
3. Where you contact the ball.
Luckily, with serving, this is the only skill that you can control 100% from start to finish. You get to toss the ball, you get to serve the ball. Every other skill requires the ball coming from another person, either a teammate or an opponent. Let's breakdown each of the 3 things.
The toss is very important and often overlooked. If you toss poorly, you will not be able to aim effectively. You need to toss out in front of your hitting shoulder. Let me repeat, in FRONT of your HITTING shoulder. I'll draw you a diagram. :)
So the diagram is not perfect, but if you're standing at a 45 degree angle to the net, look down on the floor and your toss should land out in front of your right foot. Notice the X in the diagram. You want to toss high enough that you have time to swing, but not so high that the ball hits the rafters. the lower the toss, the easier it is to get right. Stick your hand up in the air and start by trying to toss 18" higher than your reach and adjust from there. If you can get your toss good and consistent, you're on your way to becoming a great server.
How You Contact The BallThe next step, is perfecting how your hand contacts the ball. This is important regardless of what type of serve you're doing. (Floater or Topspin) We will discuss the floater though. You need to contact the ball with the palm of your hand. Make sure your hand is big and stiff. Make sure your wrist is stiff as well. Think of your hand as a tennis racket.
Now think about this for a moment... You know when you clap your hands together, palm to palm,and you can make the suction feeling?
I bet you just tried that! Anyway, attempt to contact the ball squarely. So squarely that you could nearly make that same suction feeling on the ball. Remember - stiff hand, stiff wrist.
Where You Contact The BallNow, the final step to aim an overhand serve in volleyball is to contact the right spot on the ball. Where exactly is that? Let's assume you are trying to serve straight ahead. You want to imagine the ball as a face.
Again, not perfect, but you get my point. Imagine a face. Now, contact the ball directly on the nose. Center of your palm. Center of the volleyball's nose. If you can do this, with good contact, the ball will be driven straight forward. Now we could mention the followthrough a bit at this point also, but the followthrough is more of a symptom of the swing. Yes, you want your hand to followthrough straight forward. It it follows through to the right or the left, you did not contact the ball squarely on the nose. If you followthrough left, you likely tossed the ball too far on your left, if you followed through right, you probably tossed the ball too far to the right.
If you can do those 3 things, you're going to be a spectacular server. But then, why does serving well matter so much? If you can make your serve, or get a few aces, isn't that good enough? Nope.
Watch The Serving Video:
What Precise Serving Can Do For You (and Your Team)
Good for you if you can make your overhand serve. Even better for you if you can do it constantly and get a lot of aces. Don't stop there though. Here is a list of reasons why you should want to be a serving All-Star, and place the ball exactly where you want it to go. You can:
*Serve at specific players on the opposing team, probably aiming at weaker passers. You'll get aces, they'll get subbed out.
*Serve at good hitters because if you can get them out of rhythm, or put them in an odd position, you could use your serve to keep that good hitter from even having the opportunity to hit.
*Serve to leverage bad setting. If you understand offensive systems, you can serve certain places to make the setters job much, much harder.
*Serve to get the other team out of system. Serving certain areas of the court can really mess up the system of the opposing team, which might not result in aces for you, but it could result in a lot of freeballs for your team, and who doesn't want that?
*Serve well and you'll rack up aces. Go for the record at your school or club. Why not? If you stuck with me through this whole post, including the bad clipart, you might be interested in reading an article I wrote awhile back. It discusses the speed of serves and hits and what that means for passers and diggers. You can check it out on my other website, right here.
What do you think? What else will help you aim an overhand serve in volleyball? Please leave a comment below, and if you enjoyed what you read, be share-friendly. :)
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