If I had to identify a single problem that plagues servers of all kinds, it would be picking up their back foot when they serve. This small problem leads to inconsistent serves, and as far as bad habits go is easy to correct.
Right handed servers should take a small step forward with their left foot as their serve, dragging the toe of their right food behind them as they step.
Some players, however, have trouble dragging that foot. Instead they pick it up off the ground to various degrees, which leads to bending at the waist and an unwanted level of instability while serving.
Check out these two pictures, and you’ll see the difference in a serve when the foot stays on the ground and when it gets pulled up:
And picking up your foot eliminates the most important aspects of serving: control and consistency. Players that pick up their foot like this suffer from serves that go awry with an alarming frequency. Their aim is poor, and it’s likely that even they aren’t sure when the serve is going over the net.
If you’re among the huge numbers of volleyball players that suffer from picking up their feet, don’t despair – there is hope!
The main thing that this correction requires is focus and concentration; you’re going to have to really keep that back foot in mind while you serve. And, as with most bad habit correction, consistency is key. Each time you slip up and pick up that foot, you’re going to have to execute 30 serves without picking up your foot in order to correct the technique in your brain.
Don’t start trying to make these changes during a game, however, because it can really throw off your serving rhythm until you’re used to it. If you’ve been relying on the power in your back and upper body to get your serve over, you may have to go back to basics and work on other aspects of your serve (why not try my serving ebook to help?).