Teaching Young Volleyball Players How to Serve

We have a thread going in our toolbox message board regarding teaching young kids how to serve.  Rob Browning contributed some ideas that I thought would be helpful for some of you…

Kids should practice their overhand serve every practice.  They should stand however far from the net where they are just barely missing.  When they get it over they move back a step or two and practice from there.

-they should ideally be striking the ball with the heel of their hand.  It’s a hard part of the hand and will make the ball go farther.  It will also help take the spin off the ball.  This is where I want all my players to make contact, from 12s to college and beyond.

-keep track of their progress by having them record how many serves out of 5, for example, they make in practice.  Even if they aren’t very good yet, you can encourage them by showing them that they are improving.

Some tips if they cannot make it over from the service line:

-Make sure they are taking a big forward just before striking the ball.  Many kids don’t step at all.

-Have them take a step, then toss, then step again.  This will give them some forward momentum

-Teach them a simple jump float serve to give them forward momentum

-Let them use a fist if necessary to make the ball go farther.  They should keep practicing with an open hand, but in games can use a fist until they can make it over with an open hand.  They will not want to use a fist forever, because the big girls use an open hand.

-If they aren’t even close, because they are physically and technically underdeveloped, teach them an underhand serve to use in matches so that they can contribute.  Again, they won’t want to do this forever and will keep working on their overhand serve until they get it.

Rob Browning
St. Marys Women’s Volleyball