As we all know, you can’t run an effective volleyball offense if you can’t pass. This week we take a look at a few tips for receiving the serve that will hopefully put you on track to a more accurate passing game, and therefore a better hitting game too!
Do watch the person serving.
They will give away a lot about where they are hoping to aim and how powerful the serve will be with their body language, particularly their eyes and shoulders. Watch their arm swing in particular. You can tell if a floater, topspin serve or extremely short serve is on the way just based on how fast the server is moving their arm.
Don’t assume your teammate knows that you are or aren’t going to pass the serve.
Serve receive is one of the most crucial times to communicate with your team; by the time the ball is crossing the net the person who will be passing it should have called it loud and clear. Remember, if you’re going to make a mistake, it’s better to make a nice loud one. If you’re clearly not the one going to be receiving the serve, help out the passers by calling the ball in or out.
Don’t swing your shoulders.
Instead maintain a stable platform and cushion the ball as it contacts your forearms. Your shoulders and hips should be pointing toward your target, or, in the case of a strong serve that you don’t have time to get behind, you should have dropped your shoulder so your platform is directed toward the target. Think about simply changing the direction of the ball instead of trying to add more energy to it by swinging your arms.
Do stay in a ready position throughout the serving process.
As soon as the server has the ball in hand you should be on your toes with shoulders over knees and knees over toes, with your arms held loosely out in front of you. Don’t get caught off guard by standing back on your heels or having your hands on your knees.
For more great information on passing, defense and serve receive, check out our Passing Ebook.
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