In volleyball, good serving skills can be the difference between winning and losing a game. Even the best servers have room for improvement. Use these five tips to improve your volleyball serve.
Know The Basics
Before you can do anything else to improve your volleyball serve, you need to understand the basics. For a basic overhand serve, toss the ball in front of your serving shoulder. Then, keep your striking arm’s elbow high and back. Make contact with the ball, hitting the center of the ball with the center of your hand. An important but overlooked part of the serve is the follow-through; you should follow-through with your striking arm.
Practice Makes Perfect
The only way to ensure that you have a great volleyball serve is to drill. Drill over and over again, until you have it down to a science. Here’s one drill that can help you improve your volleyball serve: One server gets fifteen balls. The server needs to serve three perfect serves in a row, earning one point for every series of three perfect serves. The server should try to get as many points as possible in the fifteen-serve sequence. Then, another server goes. The process continues until everyone has had a chance.
Work On Your Float Serve
A float serve can be a very tricky serve to return, and makes for a great tool that every volleyball player should have. To do a float serve, you need to hit the center of the ball with the heel of your hand. The ball should have no spin on it, and it will fly onto the other side of the court in a flat line. It travels an unpredictable path, so people have a hard time hitting it.
Practice Under Pressure
In most cases, you serve under high pressure situations. Everyone is watching and counting on you to have a great volleyball serve. That’s why it’s so important to practice under pressure. To simulate the stress of serving the volleyball in a real game, you can try this drill.
Your team will have 50 chances to serve the ball. 47 of those serves have to make it in-bounds. Everyone will take a turn serving the ball, and if that goal isn’t met, everyone on the team has to run sprints. To make the stakes even higher, the team can be given one more chance if they miss the goal. But this time, the penalty will be twice what it would have been (extra sprints).
Another good serving drill is to have one person stand in a spot on the court. One player serves the ball, aiming for that person. If the server misses the target but stays in-bounds, he gets zero points. A serve to the target earns one point, and a missed serve out of bounds loses four points. After one player serves, another goes. The drill is finished when a score of ten or negative ten is reached.
After you’ve mastered all the basics of serving the ball, one of the most important things to work on is strength training. By building up the right muscles, you can get more power from every serve.
Developing strength to improve your volleyball serve isn’t as simple as doing a few bicep curls. There are specific exercises that you can do to make the most of your serve. You need to work specific muscles in your core, upper body, and lower body.
Working your core is an important part of any volleyball workout. Exercises like crunches, bicycles, planks, and leg lifts are great ways to engage your core.
For your upper body, you should focus your volleyball workout on your chest and shoulders. Medicine ball slams are great for working the muscles you need and teach you how to use your core to get power. To develop strong chest and shoulder muscles, push-ups are the perfect bodyweight exercise.
Finally, you also want to work your legs. Simple exercises like squats and lunges are effective, as are using battle ropes. Come up with your own workout to develop all of your muscles, and watch as you get a better volleyball serve.
The Key To A Great Volleyball Serve
Getting a great volleyball serve isn’t as difficult as you might think. Put in the work and focus on the right things, and you can improve your volleyball serve in no time.