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When you are just starting to play volleyball, executing an effective overhand serve can be challenging. There are many moving parts that you need to get good at in order to perform an impactful overhand serve.
In this post, I’ll discuss in detail about the practical tips you can incorporate to master the overhand serve as a beginner volleyball player.
Did you know? The colored volleyballs were introduced in tournaments for the very first time in 1998. This is to make it a lot easier for everyone to see and follow the path of the ball irrespective of whether they are watching a match live or on tv.
Practical Overhand Serve Tips for Beginner Players
A Common Method Used by Coaches to Assess a Player’s Readiness for the Overhand Serve
Before we move into the practical overhand serve tips for beginner players, let’s take a look at a common method used by volleyball coaches to assess the player’s readiness for this particular serve.
The first common method volleyball coaches use to assess a beginner player before training him or her for an overhand serve is to ask them to throw a ball over the net and into the opponent court.
If a player is able to do it successfully, then they’ll move on to training for the other things related to the serve. If that isn’t the case, then the first thing a volleyball coach will concentrate on is to provide drills in a bid to increase the overall strength of their hands to be able to throw the ball successfully over the net.
A coach will be able to proceed further in training a player for overhand serve only when they prove that they are able to successfully throw the ball over the net.
The main reason for this evaluation method is only when the ball crosses the net, it’ll be considered as a fully completed serve. If the ball fails to cross the net, then it is a serve error and a point will be awarded to the opponents.
Also, some coaches will ensure that a player is completely familiar with the underhand serve before starting to train them for an overhand serve. This is simply because underhand serve is the main base of the overhand serve. A beginner volleyball player will be able to understand this particular serve easily when they master the underhand serve.
Now that you are clearly aware the common method used by volleyball coaches to assess a player’s readiness, it’s time to look into the practical tips that you can incorporate to perform an effective and impactful overhand serve.
Video for Practical Overhand Serve Tips for Beginner Players
Overhand Serve Tips for Beginner Players
Overhand serve is one of the critical serves you can employ in a match as a volleyball player.
Your serving hand is your best friend when it comes to performing a powerful overhand serve. There are a couple of ways you can inject more power into it.
Strengthen Your Fist
The fist of your serving hand plays a major role in performing a powerful overhand serve. When you toss the ball up and swing your hitting arm, your fist makes the contact and sends the ball across the net. Having a strong fist allows you to generate as much power as you want in your overhand serve at the point of impact. Focusing on fist strengthening exercises will make it harder and stronger.
Strengthen Your Elbow, Shoulder and Wrist
Producing a powerful overhand serve requires you to have a strong shoulder, elbow and wrist. Why? Good question!
You need to put in significant effort with your serving hand’s shoulder and elbow in order to swing it and hit the ball harder. Sometimes, instead of hitting the ball with your fist, you make contact with your wrist. In that situation, the power of your overhand serve shouldn’t be hampered and for this to happen, you got to have a strong wrist.
Factors to Consider when Practicing for the Overhand Serve
The overhand serve is one of the type of serves that a beginner player struggle when they start playing volleyball. There are 5 key factors that can be difficult for beginner volleyball players to master when they train for this particular serve.
Those are serving accurately, injecting right amount of power, perfecting the toss, ball control and getting the right contact on the ball.
Accuracy is one of the critical issues that a beginner volleyball player struggles with when they are training to get the overhand serve right for the first time. The serve may go straight up in the air, out of bounds or sometimes, you’d hit it on to your team mate.
The best way to get the overhand serve into the opponent court is try to place the ball rather than hitting it powerfully in the initial stages. Once you get confidence in your serve, you can go for power.
Injecting the Right Amount of Power
You should understand that the overhand serve is not only about power alone. You must have a clear idea of when to go for power and when to go for placement.
If you are seeing a week passer in your opponent team and you want to serve to that person, injecting a little bit of power and a good placement of your serve would do the trick. On the other hand, if the team is strong, then there is no other option but to go for a powerful overhand serve.
Perfecting the Toss
The first thing a volleyball coach teaches to the beginner volleyball player is getting the toss correct when they train to overhand serve the right way. Without the right toss, it is very difficult to hit the overhand serve the way you want.
The right way to toss the ball is either in front of your body or in front of your hitting shoulder. Perfect the toss and you’ll be able to perform the overhand serve with much more precision.
Tossing and ball control go hand in hand. When you have a proper ball control, you’ll be able to toss the ball perfectly and perform a great overhand serve.
To get the best ball control, stay light on your feet and keep your body and hands relaxed. If you do that, achieving the right ball control would be a lot more easier.
Getting the Right Contact on the Ball
When you have all the above mentioned skills and don’t make the right contact on the ball, it’d be very challenging to achieve the expected result from your overhand serve. The right way to contact the ball is at the center of the ball with an open fist. Doing this way will increase your chances of hitting a powerful overhand serve.
Tips to Make Your Overhand Serve Go Over the Net and Far into the Opponent Court
When you are starting out in volleyball as a beginner player, it’d be challenging to first, get your overhand serve go over the net and after successfully doing so, make it travel far into the opponent’s court.
So here are some tips to make these 2 things happen.
Make Your Overhand Serve Go Over the Net
This is essential. The first thing you need to get right as a beginner volleyball player is serving your overhand serve over the net. There are several moving parts to an overhand serve such as strengthening your arm, fist and shoulder, getting the toss right and developing a ball contact method that works for you. Performing the serve over the net should be your primary goal when trying to master overhand serve.
Once you are able to make your overhand serve go over the net, there are a couple of things you need to thoroughly understand in order to perform this particular serve far into the opponent’s court.
Getting the Toss Right
To start any serve on the right note, you need to have a correct toss and the overhand serve is no exception to this rule. As I mentioned earlier, the correct way to toss a volleyball is either in front of your body or in front of your hitting shoulder. First, master the toss and once you are familiar with it, move to getting the perfect ball contact.
Developing a Ball Contacting Method that Works for You
Although it is the final step of the overhand serve, it is the crucial one. The ball contact determines the effectiveness of the serve. The best way to contact a volleyball when performing the overhand serve is with an open fist and at the center of the ball. This way, you’ll be able to generate more power and perform the serve as you want.
FAQs on the Overhand Serve Tips for Beginner Players
Where to Focus when Performing the Overhand Serve?
When you are performing the overhand serve or any other serve in volleyball, it’s important that you get your focus right. Having the right focus will enable you to perform the serve as effective as you want.
You have to first set your eyes on the particular area of the court/player that you want to serve and then on the ball. What it does is that it allows you to serve with purpose.
Also when you follow this method, you aren’t going to be serving randomly and only try to get your serve over the net.
Where to Make Contact While Performing the Overhand Serve?
Making the right contact on the ball is critical to performing an effective overhand serve. The perfect contact makes your serve potent and efficient
Always make contact on the ball with an open fist and at the top center for a more flatter/harder overhand serve.
How to Improve the Overhand Serve Accuracy?
The toss is the major factor that determines the accuracy of the overhand serve. You don’t want to be tossing the ball further in front or further behind to perform this serve.
It should be straight in front of your body/hitting shoulder. That way, you can manipulate the serve as you want.
I hope that you now have a clear idea on the things you need to be good at in perfecting the overhand serve and some practical tips to keep in mind when executing it.
The overhand serve isn’t for absolute beginners, rather it’ll be helpful if you know the serve basics and how to perform the underhand serve in order to master this one.
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