How To Improve Your Serve Receive With These Top 5 Volleyball Tips
To accurately serve receive is the key volleyball skill to running your teams offense effectively. Here are 5 "little" volleyball tips that will make a BIG difference in your passing performance.
1) Good volleyball serve receive skills require a player to keep a straight platform by keeping elbows straight.
One of the biggest mistakes volleyball players make is bending their elbows to pass the ball. If you review the photos of elite players (check out Danielle Scott passing on my myspace/volleyball voices site) both indoor volleyball and sand volleyball players when they serve receive you will notice that their "platforms" aka the inside of their forearms that they present... are so straight as a board you could use their arms as a flat table to eat on.
Bent elbows means less ball accuracy while straight arms gives more ball control and accuracy to guide the ball to the "setter" target.
2)To increase accuracy in your serve receive skills track the ball visually all the way into your arms.
There are alot of things to look at when the server has the ball just before the ref blows the whistle. There can be alot of things to be distracted by if you dont learn to concentrate and narrow your focus. What do you focus on? Once the server takes the volleyball in their hands and positions themselves to indicate where and how they are going to serve and then they start bouncing the volleyball in anticipation of serving it...its at this point most elite athletes I know focus 125% ONLY on the ball in the servers hands. From this point on your eyes and mind should see and focus on nothing but the ball ALL THE way INTO your arms.
Track the ball all the way into your arms visually ...so that you can see your straight platform.
3) Dont break your arms apart.
No matter how hard or easy the serve...keep your arms together when you pass. Fight to maintain good volleyball passing skill and technique. Im guilty of committing this error when I know its an easy pass or free ball. You have to fight the temptation of breaking your arms together especially when you are passing on the move. Thats why its important to pass with your feet first, get stopped then use the correct technique. dont be lazy just because it seems like an easy pass to make. (see #5)
4) Pass with both feet on the volleyball court floor.
Dont jump bump. Very easy reasoning...when you are in the air you have much less to no control of your body and/or the ball but if your feet remain on the ground you can make small adjustments (maybe an extra step forward or backward if needed) to control the outcome of the serve receive 99% better. You cannot be airborne and expect to perform the serve receive volleyball skill well.
5) Pass with your feet first not with your arms.
This sounds a little tricky to understand but what this means is that you need to get into the habit of getting to the ball first by getting your feet behind the ball, first, no matter where it is. There is a volleyball drill that really illustrates how this should look. A player starts in the left back serve receive position...another one can be in the right back position as well. A coach from mid court on the other side of the volleyball net will at first underhand serve a ball anywhere to the left side of the court. The left side passer has to keep her/his arms behind his back at all times and run to get his/her feet to the ball in time to allow the ball to take ONE bounce through her legs.
To make the drill more challenging the server backs up to make full court overhand serves. Short serves challenge your volleyball foot speed skills since one passer has to cover the entire half of her court getting to each served volleyball with her arms behind her back.
To improve your serve receive volleyball skill try this drill with a teammate or suggest it to your volleyball coach. As a team drill after the first person goes on the left then the server serves to the right alternating players as they run behind the last person in line to try again. This is a very effective volleyball foot speed drill which Ive had both American and Italian Pro volleyball team coaches run in my practices.
Aside from this drill if you are having a hard time getting your feet to the volleyball to serve receive accurately..then heres an extra tip...work on increasing your foot speed and agility drills. This is why your warmups should have alot of short sprints forward and backward and agility foot work drills at the beginning of every volleyball practice...precisely for this reason so you can increase your reactive speed towards serve receive and defensive balls. Work on increasing foot speed and volleyball foot work so that you can get to the volleyball fast and then just pass the ball.
Always work on improving your individual volleyball skills, remember the ball is in Your hands.
April Chapple, editor/creator of Volleyball Voices.com is the "Five Quick Tips" columnist for the American Volleyball Coaches Association Coaching Volleyball magazine and is the author of the e-books "86 Girls Indoor Volleyball Tips
: How To Gain Confidence On the Volleyball Court" and "How To Stop Serving Like A Wimp". Sign up for the Volleyball Voices newsletter atVolleyballVoices.com