Neutralizing an opponent's serve is one of the most effective ways to win volleyball matches consistently.
Here are 10 tips to maximize your squad's serve reception.
Keep your feet shoulder-width apart, with your legs slightly bent. Having your right foot 2-3 inches in front of the left lets you move quickly in any direction. Do the opposite if you're a lefty.
- Present your platform by wrapping your left hand around your right fist, thumbs pointing straight down to the ground. This positions your elbows and arms in a straight platform.
- Contact the ball on your forearms. Check that your thumbs are always pointing to the ground, maintaining the straight platform needed to pass the ball.
- Keep your elbows straight while in serve receive. Straight elbows maintain a wider platform, giving you maximum control of the ball.
- Press both wrists together when passing, without breaking them apart no matter how hard or easy the serve. Make ball contact above the wrists and below the elbows. Contacting the ball on your wrists won't allow you to control the ball.
- Keep both arms together when passing the ball. Keeping them together instead of breaking them apart and passing with one arm helps guide the ball better to the target.
- Square your shoulders to the target. Face your body to the net and angle your platform towards the target before contacting the ball. This eliminates adjusting your arms once making contact with the ball.
- Remember your goal is to keep from swinging your arms during serve receive. Most serves in high school, club or college are fast enough so very little additional arm movement is needed for the ball to reach the target.
- Finish your pass with your serve receive platform below your shoulders not above your head. This allows you to control the ball when keeping your arms and shoulders within your body range.
- Move your feet first to position yourself behind the ball. Get your body behind the ball instead of reaching with your arms. If you've heard your coach say "pass with your feet first" they mean to let your feet not your arms be first in guiding you in serve receive.
For more tips on improving your volley game, check out April Chapple's new e-booklet "86 Girls Indoor Volleyball Tips: How To Gain Confidence On The Volleyball Court."