Tuesday, February 20th, 2018

When to NOT Miss Your Serve

Published on September 30, 2010 by   ·   2 Comments

Serving is a balancing act between power and accuracy, and there are sometimes when you should err on the side of serving caution. volleyball serving don't miss

If you’ve spent much time on this site, read my serving ebook or subscribe to my volleyball skills newsletter, chances are you’ve heard me say that serving is great because it’s the only time in a volleyball game when you have complete control over what happens.

The downside to that situation is that if you mess up, you have nobody and nothing to blame but yourself. And there are some times in a volleyball game when missing your serve is absolutely inexcusable:

  1. The first serve of the game/match. If you’re the lead server for your team, it’s important to start off strong. An ace isn’t necessary on the first serve; don’t give your opponent and easy lob, but don’t go nuts either. Get it over and in and aim for holes and/or seams.
  2. Right after a timeout. This is a similar situation as the first one; your team needs you to stay focused and serve smart. After you get one good serve under your belt you can bring the heat.
  3. If the next server for your opponent is awesome. If the next server on the other side went on an 8-point run last time s/he was serving, don’t hand over the serve without a fight. Make sure you force the other team to earn that serve.
  4. After a hard-fought rally. You know the feeling – your team just worked their butts off to win a really tough point, and then the serve goes back and drills one into the middle of the net. It’s a real downer and can have a severely negative impact on team morale. Focus on accuracy, and don’t let your team down at this point.
  5. Game/match point. This one applies whether it’s you or your opponent who’s about to win. You don’t want to be that person who choked on game point, so serve to zone 6 if that’s what it takes for you to ensure a legal serve.

Let me emphasize again that in none of these situations is a lolly pop serve appropriate. You don’t want to make it so easy for the other team to sideout that you might as well have missed your serve. These are situations when smart serves are in order rather than inconsistent but deadly serves.

Looking for more serving tips and tricks? Check out my serving ebook.

Photo courtesy of Flickr.

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Readers Comments (2)

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Sports Page Network, Andrea Fryrear. Andrea Fryrear said: 5 times when you should definitely NOT miss your serve: http://volleyball-life.com/?p=1837 […]

  2. Walter says:

    Great points, I’m glad to see someone else that feels just as I do – sometimes it’s OK to try to take your opponent’s head off with a serve, but sometimes it really needs to go in.

    I tell my players not to miss after a timeout because usually the timeout was called specifically to break their serving run… don’t reward the other coach for calling timeout – make your serve and the other coach’s timeout was wasted.

    The two other times I tell players not to miss a serve are [1] if they missed their last serve, and [2] if the previous server for our team missed their serve.

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