Ready to bump your game to the next level? Overhand serves are a great way to start the rally with a punch – that is if done properly! If you’re ready to move on from underhand serves, we’ve got the how-to to make sure you’re an ace when it comes your time to serve it up.
Step 1: Find your footing
Start by taking a step forward with your non-dominant foot, making sure your feet are about 4-5 inches apart. You’ll want to point your front foot towards your target (aka the other side of the court) and your back foot angled at about 45-degrees. You should feel balanced and stable, like a warrior pose in yoga.
Angle your upper body to exactly where you want your serve to land and face your target. “Fake outs” like pointing your body and feet at a different angle, then adjusting right before the serve almost never works, and you’ll be embarrassed after giving up that point!
Step 2: Arm yourself
Now that your feet are set, let’s work on the other half of your body! Hold the ball out in front of you with your non-dominant hand (or the non-serving hand, if you’re fancy and ambidextrous) and line it up with your shoulder.
For your serving hand, bring your elbow back towards your ear like you’re drawing a bow and arrow. This will help you open your chest by pushing that shoulder back, and give you optimal power for that beautiful overhand serve you’re about to smack!
Step 3: The Sweet Spot
Almost there! You’re in position, now just time to execute. Shift your weight to your back foot, and toss the volleyball about two feet above your head and one foot away from your body. This will help get the ball over the net and make it one hella powerful serve!
Step 4: Serve it!
Strike the ball with your dominant hand, swinging and extending your arm to make contact on the ball. The strike should be rigid and consistent, so don’t wrap your hand around the ball like a noodle, and hit the same part of the ball each time you serve! Your power will come from your should pivot, not just your arms!
Make sure to use your whole body – shift your weight from your back foot to your front foot (may help to take a step after serving, you’ll also be in a better position of any return that may happen), and SAY IT WITH YOUR CHEST!
Use your abs to get the most power out of your serve. Try to do an ab crunch with your arm stroke to get the most power out of your hit.
Step 5: Practice Makes Perfect
You probably won’t get it over the net on the first time – and that’s okay! You’re trying something new, and it takes time to get better at a new skill. Keep practicing your serve as much as possible to get that ace!
Sign up for indoor volleyball leagues to get the extra practice in! By the time winter registration rolls in, you’ll be an expert (and lord help whoever faces you in Spring, by then you’ll be a master)!