Volleyball Serving Tips

Discover volleyball serving tips to give your team an advantage.

There are specific serving tactics for attacking your opponent. Sometimes a team has trouble passing the short serve. Sometimes a team struggles passing a ball that is coming deep.

Serving a tough ball can put a lot of pressure on the opposing serve receive. This is why each server should develop skills for serving to different areas of the court.

Zone 1

To hit zone 1, you serve the ball hard to the deep left side of the court. If you hit this ball high so it has a high trajectory, then this can be difficult for shorter players to pass. Serving deep to zone 1 can be especially difficult if the player receiving the ball struggles taking the ball with the hands. 

Zone 5

If you notice the opponent likes to run a slide, then avoid serving zone 5 in this rotation. A ball coming from zone 5 works well for when the setter is facing zone 5 and then makes the move to set the ball back.

Serving Short

Serving the ball short can be effective for disrupting the offense. So, any time you are playing a team that hits the ball really well at the net, serving short might cause problems. Serving short is also good for when you want to make the offense more predicable. For example, serve zone 2 and the team probably won't set the Right Side Attacker. Serve the Middle and the setter probably won't set Middle. If you know who isn't going to get set, then it will be easier for your team to play defense because they're will be less possible attackers. To really know what your opponent is going to do, you have to either scout them when they play other teams or experiment with different tactics when you play them.

Serving Deep

Serving deep can be really effective to keep the pass off the net. Especially if a team is good at hitting, you want to keep the passes off the net if you can. This is because it's a lot easier to attack a ball that is coming from the setter when the setter is closer to the net. 


Volleyball Serving Tips & Video

Check out these important volleyball serving tips.. What my video on 4 important tips to improving your serving.


Knowing Your Opponent - Volleyball Serving Tips

If you watch your opponent carefully, you will likely pick up on tendencies. Most teams play consistent and most aren't trying to fool anyone.

Watch how your opponent runs their offense. Who get's set when you serve short? Who get's set when you serve deep? These are some things you should be trying to figure out.

Serve the Weakest Passer

If you can tell that one player is a lot weaker passer than everyone else, then go after this player. You want to serve the ball in a way that forces this player to pass. If you find the opponent has a weak player then try to get this player involved in the game the best you can.

Serve the Best Hitter

The reason to serve the best hitter is because if forces the player to take the pass, then you're making it tough for them to hit. This is hard because they pass first, then they must quickly get to the correct spot to start the approach. Everything is happening really fast and this puts pressure on the hitter. 

Serve the Hitting Lanes

If you're able to place the serve in the hitting lanes, then you can disrupt the offense because the player passing the ball could get into the way of the hitter that is going to attempt to hit the ball.

Serve Down the Line

Serving down the line gives a lot of teams trouble because of the difficult angle for passing. To take a ball that's coming down the line, the passer must angle the platform to the target. A lot of times the passer won't turn to angle the ball and the pass ends up going straight forward back where it came from (towards the side of the court). It can work well to serve down the line, but this is a difficult serve to master because there isn't much room for error. Miss the ball just a little and it could go out of bounds. So, the serve to the line isn't the safest serve, but if you get good at doing it, you could give a lot of teams fits passing.  


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