Tuesday, 23 Jul 2024

Top Ten Serving Secrets

So you want to improve your serving skills? Look no further! In this article, we’ll explore ten essential tips that will help you become a more consistent and effective server. Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced player, these secrets are sure to elevate your game to the next level.

1. Consistency is Key

The most crucial aspect of serving is providing yourself with a consistent ball to strike. Many serving errors occur because the toss is not consistent, causing changes in the swing, contact, and ball flight. To achieve a consistent toss, focus on “placing the ball” instead of merely tossing it. Aim for a low and steady arc, ensuring that the ball falls back into your tossing hand if left untouched.

2. Simplify Your Movement

When serving, simplicity is key. Start by getting your contact hand back behind your head before beginning the serve. This straightforward motion, known as the TOSS-STRIKE technique, allows for a fast and effective strike. Remember, there is no need for unnecessary steps or complicated movements. Just focus on the toss and the swing.

Incorporate Peer Examples

Learning from peers can be highly beneficial. Encourage your players to watch and learn from the best servers in your program. By observing their technique, they can gain a better understanding of the skill they need to emulate. Watching a skilled server in action, like our very own champion Erin, can motivate and inspire your players to improve their serve.

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Consistent and Rigid Contact

A rigid and consistent contact point is essential for a successful serve. Teach your players to strike or tap the ball in their hand using an open palm and rigid contact. This technique should be replicated when serving the ball. While the wrist angle may vary for different types of serves, the palm contact should remain rigid and consistent.

Serve from Corner to Corner

To maximize the speed and accuracy of your serve, aim from corner to corner. By serving from one corner to the opposite catty-corner area, you can increase your chances of keeping the ball in play. This approach also provides more room for your adrenaline-charged body to strike the serve, especially during nerve-wracking moments.

Relax and Take a Breath

Before serving, take a moment to relax with a big breath. Use a simple 1-2-3 count to guide your serve. As you prepare to serve, take a deep breath. On count 2, place the ball with a low toss, and on count 3, execute a fast-arm swing. This sequence of relaxation, placement, and swing will help you maintain composure and execute a powerful serve.

Serve Hard and Flat

While serving, aim to hit the ball hard and flat. Avoid looping or aiming too high to ensure the ball stays in play. To develop consistent power, consider tying two strands of string or twine from antenna to antenna, creating a small gap above the net. Challenge yourself to serve the ball through this gap, which will improve your serving accuracy and strength.

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Use the Space Behind the Endline

If you find yourself serving the ball too hard or consistently long, take a step back. Utilize the space behind the endline, stepping two or three meters behind the court surface. By adjusting your aim towards the center of the court, you can increase your serving speed while maintaining control and adding extra float to the ball.

Aim for Heaven, Not Hell

Always strive to serve the ball into “heaven,” not “hell.” “Heaven” refers to the space above the net to the ceiling, while “hell” is the area beneath the net. Ensuring every ball goes into “heaven” is crucial because hitting into the net provides no valuable learning experience for your teammates. By consistently aiming for “heaven,” you contribute to a solid practice environment where teammates can develop a better understanding of the ball’s trajectory.

Invest in a Radar Gun

Consider incorporating a speed radar gun into your training routine. This handy tool allows you to objectively measure the speed of your serves. By tracking your highest serve speed and challenging yourself to improve, you can fine-tune your technique and enhance your serving performance. A radar gun, like the Bushnell II, is a worthwhile investment for any serious player or coach.


Q: Can these serving secrets be applied to players of all skill levels?

A: Absolutely! These serving secrets are applicable to players of all skill levels. Whether you’re just starting or have been playing for years, incorporating these tips into your training routine will undoubtedly help you improve your serve.

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Q: How can I improve my serving accuracy?

A: To improve your serving accuracy, focus on consistency, rigid contact, and aiming from corner to corner. These techniques, combined with deliberate practice, will enhance your ability to place the ball precisely where you intend.

Q: Are these serving secrets suitable for both indoor and beach volleyball?

A: Yes, these serving secrets are applicable to both indoor and beach volleyball. While some adjustments may be necessary based on the specific court conditions, the fundamental principles remain the same.


Serving is a critical skill in volleyball, and mastering it can greatly impact your game. By implementing these ten serving secrets, you’ll develop consistency, accuracy, and power in your serves. Remember to focus on simplicity, breathe, and practice with intention. With dedication and the right techniques, you’ll become a formidable server and an asset to your team.

So what are you waiting for? Step up to the serving endline, apply these secrets, and watch your serving game reach new heights! Click here to learn more about Alpinetgheep and how we can help you elevate your volleyball skills.