How to Master the Overhand Serve

Learning how to serve (correctly) is crucial to a squad's success, and a young player's confidence as well.

Here's a step-by-step breakdown of how to execute a proper serve and maximize your performance on the court.

Serve Positioning

Right-handed players stand with left foot slightly ahead of right and hold the ball in the left hand. The left arm is extended at a ninety-degree angle and at shoulder height (left-handed players are exactly opposite as this).

Volleyball Serve Checklist

Follow this process:

  • Turn palm to the ceiling and hold ball so you can see it and the court at the same time.
  • Toss the ball about 18 inches high.
  • Elbow and hand are at shoulder height or above throughout the motion.
  • Keep hands locked at the wrist.
  • Shift weight to lead foot (or step forward) as you make contact with the ball.
  • Keep wrist firm through the serve.
  • Contact ball with meat part of hand (lower palm) and contact is a brief punch or jab.

Serve Follow-Through

The hand follows through the serve to target and finishes along side or within bodyline. The correct alignment is hitting: shoulder-ball-target.

In other words, keep the ball in between your hitting shoulder and the target you are aiming at.

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