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.
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:
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.
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.
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.