Volleyball: The Importance Of The Serve


The serve. It’s probably the most important part of a volleyball match. A team that cannot serve is a team that probably won’t score very many points and therefore will lose plenty of matches. 

Karch Kiraly said it best when he said, “No volleyball play can begin without a serve, and the serve is the only technique that is totally under your control. In other endeavors, you cannot succeed without believing in yourself, and that belief is completely under your control”. If you serve well, it disrupts your opponent’s ability to run their offense. 

So how can your team improve its serving ability? With plenty of drills. Here are some drills that your team can run.

But first, a few notes:

A study completed by the coaching staff at UC San Diego dealt with specific serves that coaches should be teaching players. The two serves that popped up the most were the three-point float serve, and the three-point jump serve. The coaches determined the three-point jump serve to be the most effective when trying to accrue points, so we will try and focus on drills that use that serve. 

Short Serve Drill (from Volleyball Xpert)

This drill is designed to help your team practice short serves.

Start by putting three servers on one side of the court, and three passers on the opposite side of the end-line. 

  1. Server attempts to serve as short as possible without making an error into the net.

  2. Passer starts on end-line, when the serve is contacted the player runs and tries to catch ball before it hits the ground.

  3. Server gets 1 point for every ball that lands without the passer being able to catch it.

  4. Passer must run back to the end line.

  5. Repeat for a set amount of time, 2-3 minutes.

When you coach this drill, the key is for your players to figure out ways to anticipate where the ball will go. 

Drop Serves

This drill focuses on serve placement.

It’s a very simple drill. The key with this drill is to focus on the placement of the ball, with the idea that it should drop right in front, or behind of the opposing player. See below:

Around The World

This is another accuracy-focused drill. The goal with this drill is to get your players to hit the cart in every zone (hence, around the world) in two minutes. See below:

Corner Killer Drill 

Sometimes you want to pin your opponent. This drill focuses on serving to the corners of the court.


  1. Set up the same number of cones in all four corners of the court.  Example: 6 cones in each corner

  2. Divide the team into two groups, each group on opposite serving lines.  Each player needs a volleyball.

The team that knocks down all the cones wins! You can vary the drill by having all players serve at once!

Want more from Krossover? Check out our blog for more coaching tips! 

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