How do you hit a powerful serve in volleyball? Step by step overview of how this is done.

A serve is restarting the game behind your court (often after your team has scored a point). You have to send the ball over the net and in the court of the opponent. This is done by throwing the ball in the air with one hand and smashing it with the other hand. You have to make sure that the ball goes over the net or you won’t score a point. There are several types of serves in volleyball. You have a float serve, during which you are standing. This is great for new volleyball players as it makes it easier to control the ball. You also have a jump serve, during which you jump. This makes it harder to control the ball as you and the ball are moving at the same time. It requires a lot of hand-eye coordination to get this right. Jump serves allow you to add more effect and power to the ball and it is often used by volleyball players during matches. Timing your jump and swing is essential if you want to hit a powerful jump serve. Let’s discuss how you can add more power to your serve.

Let’s start with the basics and take a look at how you have to execute a jump serve. You need to be great at the basics before you can start to get advanced at something. Therefore it is often better to repeat the basic steps over and over again before you are working on adding more advanced movements to your jump serve. It is a mistake that I see happen over and over again as you can’t take your jump serve to the next level if you don’t master the first few steps. Who else than an Olympic medal winner can explain this? 

Players start out by getting a feel for the ball. This is done by bouncing it around. You can already notice if the ball is flat or not. If the ball is flat, you can ask the referee to get another one as this will slow down your serve. Once you are sure that the ball is fine, you can start your serve. Take your time to look around and see where the other players are standing. This can give you an idea of where you can send the ball. If one of the players of the other team is not paying attention, it can be a great idea to send the ball in that area. 

 It is important that you hit the ball when it is coming down. You are using the momentum of the ball and this allows you to add a lot of force to it. If you smash the ball when it is still going up, you are not going to be able to hit it as hard.

The most power is coming out of your jump. You can jump over the line but your feet should be behind the line when you push yourself in the air. If you jump forward, you can already move closer to the net and at the same time, you can add more force to the ball. Practicing this jump over and over again will give you an edge as you can add more power to the ball than the other players. You can practice your jump without a ball. At home, you can practice jumping higher and faster. We have discussed some drills that can help you to jump higher in another post. This video also covers some basics:

When you hit the ball, make sure that you use the palm of your hand. A lot of players only use a part of their fingers but this doesn’t add a lot of power to the ball. If you use the palm of your hand, you will be able to add more force to the ball. 

A great challenge that you can play with your team is to mark three targets on the court. Then each player has to target this part and make sure that the ball lands in this location. This can really motivate players to improve their serving as they want to outdo the other players in the challenge. You have to repeat serving over and over again to practice it and adding a game element can make it more fun. The goal is to send the ball in the basket. The basked moves over the field so you have to aim in different directions. This will teach you to combine power and aim as it is easy to focus on one of these two but you need them both if you want to score points in volleyball.

To conclude, we can say that you have to practice a lot to improve the power of your serve. At the same time, you still have to pay attention to your aim as well. If you hit the ball too hard, it will go outside the court and you won’t score a point. Finding the right balance is key and this can only be done by practicing with a ball and a net. We discussed how you can add more speed to the ball before in another post. In this post, we focused on adding more power to your jump serve. This can be done by jumping, improving the position of your body, and hitting the ball at the right time.