Sunday, June 25th, 2017

Learning to Float Serve

Published on July 12, 2010 by   ·   2 Comments

One of the most commonly used serves in volleyball is the float serve, so named because the ball doesn’t spin and tends to float around in the air. Here’s how to master this essential serving technique. volleyball float serve

The basics of serving are pretty much the same no matter what kind of effect you want your serve to ultimately have, so stick to the fundamentals:

  • Keep your toss low and consistent
  • Don’t pick up your back (typically right) foot
  • Be knowledgeable about the situation on the other side of the net so your serve can disrupt your opponent’s offense

You’ll notice that I haven’t mentioned anything about your arm or hand here – that’s because these are where you can change things up to have a distinctly different serve.

Float Serve Hand Position

For the float serve, you want to keep a wide palm and focus on contacting the ball with as much of your hand as possible. The idea is to get an even contact on the ball so that you aren’t creating any spin whatsoever.

Make sure that you don’t break your wrist after you contact the ball, and try to “pop” your hand off the ball. You can also think of this as abruptly stopping the motion of your hand just as you serve the volleyball.

Any extraneous hand movement or a less-than-solid hand contact on the ball will create spin on the ball as it leaves your hand, and this will spoil your beautiful float serve.

Benefits of the Float Serve

The float serve is a great tool to have in your serving arsenal because it’s unpredictable; even you don’t know exactly what will happen after you serve the ball. I can be affected by unseen air currents in an indoor gym and often drops or swerves dramatically at unexpected times. Obviously this is what you as the server are going for, because it makes your serve more difficult to pass.

A word of caution about using the float serve in sand or grass volleyball: if the wind is too strong it can carry a float serve out of bounds very easily.

Looking for more serving instruction? Check out my serving ebook, or sign up for a free year of instructional emails.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tags: , , , ,

Readers Comments (2)


  1. […] For more information on the top spin serve’s other half, the float serve, check out this post. […]


  2. […] more serving advice, check out my recent posts on float serves, jump serves and top spin […]




Recent Posts

Volleyball Life Is a Proud Member of: