Beach volleyball serve strategies are different than 6 vs 6 competition. In doubles beach volleyball, there are just two players receiving the serve.
Here are some important things to think about when practicing your beach volleyball serve.
Tough to cover the entire court in serve receive. Since their are only two players passing, covering the court in serve receive can be difficult.
Tough to defend a good attack. Since there are only two players defending on defense, it can be tough to defend a good attack. So attacking is really important. If you don't pass well, your team won't attack well. So, if a team struggles with passing, then a tough serve will lead to a team struggling to attack.
Give your opponent trouble by aiming your serve. Since there is a lot of court to cover for just two people, placing your serve is important. A lot of times a team can win just by serving really tough serves.
Use the wind. If you understand the wind, then you can make it really difficult for your opponent to receive the serve.
Develop an array of serves. On the beach, serving can be used as a weapon. Think of attacking your opponent with each serve. The serve should put your team in a position to win the rally. By developing an array of serves, your team will put added pressure on the opponent. If you serve really well, then you can have your opponent psyched out before you even serve the ball. Having your opponent fear your serve will give you an advantage before the ball is even in play.
Deep vs Short - Beach Volleyball Serve Strategy
Advantages of Serving Deep
Serve deep to keep the attack off the net. If you are playing a team that you want to keep them from attacking near the net, then try serving them deep to keep the ball away from the net. Especially if a team wants to attack at the net. This is also effective for when serving with the wind at the servers back because if you can get the serve deep, the wind will also help push the ball back toward the endline.
Serve deep to avoid an easy return. If you do serve the ball short, a lot of times this ball is easy to pass. And if the ball is short in the court, the hitter won't have a great distance to travel to get in position to attack. Whereas if you place your serve deep, after passing the ball the hitter will have to take a lot of steps to get to the correct position to start the approach to hit.
Advantages to Serving Short
If your opponent loves to take a big approach, then serve short. If you can get your serve really short and force the opponent to pass near the net, it will be really difficult for them to back up to where they need to start the approach. Especially in the sand, it can be tough to move. A lot of players won't want to take this extra effort to get to the correct approach position.
Seam Serving - Beach Volleyball Serve Strategy
The seam serve is when the server places the ball between the players.
Advantages to Serving Seam
Confusion. If you are able to place the ball between players in serve receive, then you can often cause a lot of confusion for which player is going to take it. If you notice a team doesn't communicate well, then definitely serve the ball between the players to see how well they communicate. Especially for partners that haven't played together before, serving seam can be real effective.
Serve seam to keep the ball in the middle. If you are playing a team that likes to set the ball to the outside and not middle, then serve middle to make it more difficult for them to set the ball to the outside. Especially when you have a player that loves the outside attack, force this player to pass from the middle first, then they will need to work really hard to get to the outside to attack. Often in this situation, many players will just give up and concede hitting from the middle. Anytime you can make your opponent do something they don't want to do, this will be an advantage for your team.
Beach Volleyball Serve Tactics
These are some tactics that all servers should practice. You will likely find some of these serves to be easy to learn, while other serves are more difficult.
If you struggle with a particular serve, don't get too frustrated. Just by practicing different types of serves, this will help you become a lot better server. Have a goal to get comfortable with a least a couple different serves so that when one serve doesn't work so well then you will have another serve to fall back on.