All I want out of life is that when I walk down the street folks will say, there goes the greatest hitter that ever lived.
Source: How They Play.
Do you know what are the types of serves used in volleyball?
Are you searching for a guide that explains all about the serves in volleyball and their basics? Then look no further!
If you are a beginner volleyball player looking to learn the different types of serves that are used in volleyball, the basics of each one and how they are performed, keep reading!.
There are a total of 8 types of serves performed in volleyball and they are underhand, overhand, jump, float, jump float, jump topspin, hybrid, and the side arm serves. Those serves can be categorized into 4 groups for easily remembering them. They are underhand, overhand, float and topspin.
Since there are 8 different serves, I don’t want you to feel the information overload.
So what I’ll be doing is that I’ll be covering the first 4 namely the underarm/underhand, overhand, jump and the float serves.
Before we get to the meet of the post, here’s an interesting fact about volleyball serves.
Did you know? The fastest serve that was ever performed during a volleyball match is by Wilfredo Leon of Cuba. The actual speed of the serve was 138 km/h.
That’s to be honest, a ferociously powerful one and almost all serve receivers wouldn’t want to be in the firing line of the ball. Even if they want to receive and tackle the serve, they’d have a very difficult time dealing with it.
The Types of Serves in Volleyball and their Basics (Part 1)
To be honest, the underhand serve isn’t used by almost all players to serve the ball in most levels of playing volleyball. In fact, most coaches don’t recommend using this serve in a match situation. The main reason is that it is very easy to receive and you basically hand a point to your opponent as a gift. Your opponent will be able to manipulate the serve just like that and play it to their advantage with ease.
But, there are a couple of instances where you can use the underhand serve. They are.
- Number 1. When you are able to impart topspin on the serve.
- Number 2. If you aren’t able to get good at the overhand serve and you want a starting point. In this case, the underhand serve is your best friend.
Having said that, this serve is performed by holding the ball in one hand, tossing it up slightly, and when the ball comes down, hitting it with your dominant hand. If you are just getting started playing volleyball, learning this serve will be very helpful to perfect the overhand serve.
The Overhand Serve
The overhand serve is the basic version of the jump serve without the actual jump. For some people, performing the overhand serve can be challenging. In that case, learn and get good at the underhand serve as I previously mentioned and then, understand and practice each part of the overhand serve and put them in one sequence.
The 2 major parts of the overhand serve are the toss and the contact you make on the ball.
This serve is performed by tossing the ball up above your eye line and hitting when the flight of it reaches just above your head. It is also known as the standing overhand serve in the volleyball circles.
When you are tossing the ball for an overhand serve, you can hold it either in one or both the hands. If you could impart topspin on your overhand serve, then it’d be difficult to receive for your opponents.
Video for the Types of Serves in Volleyball and their Basics
The jump serve is, to put it in simple words, an extension of the overhand serve with a jump and speed as added elements. This, along with the jump float and the jump topspin serves are the most widely used ones in volleyball.
To get good at it, you’ll have to perfect 3 parts namely the toss, approach to the ball and the contact you make on it.
To perform this serve, hold the ball in one or both the hands, toss it up slightly higher than usual, take a 3 or 4 step run when the ball is in the air and when it starts to come down, hit the ball with a jump hard over the net and into the opponent court by keeping your hitting hand downward facing.
The run is called approach in volleyball and it is used to increase the momentum and the power of your serve. Also, make sure to keep an open fist when striking the ball.
The overhand serve and the float serves are slightly similar in nature. But the important distinction is that the float serve is performed with less force, speed and significantly lower trajectory than usual. The speciality of float serve is that it moves in the air unpredictably as soon as it reaches the court of the opponent, making it very difficult for the serve receivers to predict the path of the ball.
Although this is the case, it is one of the challenging serves to get good at. You need constant practice to perfect this particular one.
Having said that, here’s how you’ll perform it.
Hold the ball with one or both the hands and ensure that the airhole mouth facing the palm, toss it up, take a 2 to 3 step slow run when the ball is in the air and when it comes down, jump high and hit the ball with the palm of your dominant hand at the highest point. Use less force and send the ball to the specific region of the opponent court.
FAQs on the Types of Serves in Volleyball and their Basics (Part 1)
Is there Another Way to Perform the Underarm/underhand Serve in Volleyball?
Yes, there’s another way to perform the underhand serve.
Here’s how it goes. Instead of tossing the ball slightly, you hold the ball in your less dominant hand and keep it well in front of your body.
Make a fist with your striking hand as you about to hit it, move on to your front foot and then strike it.
Ensure to bend your knees slightly to add additional power on your serve.
Can You Predict the Movement of the Ball when a Player Performs Float Serve?
No, you can’t predict the movement of the ball when a player performs float serve. That’s the challenging nature of it.
The only way to tackle this serve is, you got to be a very good reader of the flight of the ball and swift on your feet to cover for the movement of it.
Is it Possible to Impart Topspin on the Overhand Serve?
A big yes. The only thing is, you’d have to practice consistently to get the accuracy as well as the desired topspin on the ball.
and there you have it! the part 1 of the types of serves in volleyball and their basics.
Serve is an integral part of volleyball and if you have 2 or 3 of your strong ones, then you can dominate the match for sure every time!
Now, it’s your turn.
What are the tips and things you do to perform your serves accurately and achieve the desired results?
Share them all in the comments section below!
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