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Video:How to Do an Overhand Volleyball Serve

with Natalie Schmitting

The overhand serve in volleyball is often the most effective and difficult to return. This About.com video will teach you the proper technique for executing an overhand volleyball serve.See Transcript

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Transcript:How to Do an Overhand Volleyball Serve

Hi, I'm Natalie Schmitting for About.com. In this video you will learn how to do an overhand volleyball serve.

Stance for a Volleyball Overhand Serve

Line up your feet shoulder width apart, keeping your non-dominant foot slightly ahead of the other. Next, square your shoulders and hips to the net and with the palm of your non-dominant hand, hold the ball out in front of your body. Keep your arm straight and your elbow flexible. Then, pull back your serving arm toward your head. Position your hand next to your ear and aim your elbow upward; it will appear as though you're drawing back an arrow on a bow.

Tossing the Ball

To serve, toss the ball 1-2 feet into the air with the palm of your non-dominant hand. Be sure to keep the toss close to your body. To test your placement, toss the ball a couple of feet into the air: if the ball lands in front of your non-dominant foot, your toss is correct. A good toss makes a good serve.

Striking the Overhand Serve

After the toss, step with your non-dominant foot toward the net and strike the ball with the firm heel of your dominant palm. Good contact with the ball is important. If the ball hits only the fingers, you won't have as good of a chance of getting the ball over the net.

After the Serve

Run immediately to your defensive position after serving the ball. With the overhand serve, you can put a lot of power behind it, and this makes it difficult for the other team to receive. Since the ball travels faster over the net than it would for an underhand serve, it gives your opponent less time to respond.

Be aware of the goal of your serve. Is it just to get it over the net? Or are you aiming to serve at a particular area on the court? Knowing this will help you decide how hard to hit the ball and which way to adjust your serving hand. Depending on your strength, you may need to move closer to or farther from the serving line.

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