The skills of a successful volleyball athlete are learned in practice, including becoming an effective server. Practicing serving is as important as any hitting, setting or passing drill, especially when the exercise mirrors a real game scenario. Keeping players moving and challenged on the court, while simultaneously adding pressure to the situation, gives them an advantage at match time.
Volleyball players practice a variety of serving drills to help them become champion servers. The three described below are designed to help players understand pressure, timing, speed and aim. Use them to pump up your team and get them loud, active and communicating, thus promoting team bonding and building skills that will last a lifetime. Also check out step-by-step guides for three different types of volleyball serves.
Volleyball Serving Drills
Serve 'n Sprint
This highly effective drill teaches players to sprint on the court directly after they serve the ball.
Divide team into two groups. Form two lines at one end of the court. First player in each group gets a ball. Blow the whistle and allow first player to serve. If the serve is placed successfully, the player sprints to retrieve the ball, returns and hands it to the next player in line so he or she can serve, then takes a seat behind the group. If the serve is hit out or into the net, the player must serve again. The first group to have all their players seated wins. The losing group must sprint or run laps.
Place a ball cart in any zone on the court, preferably the two back corners on the opposite side of the net. Line up the entire team with balls behind the end line. Allow the players to serve one at a time. The object is to directly hit the ball cart target to earn three points. A missed hit earns zero. The first player to reach fifteen points gets to sit while the rest of the team completes laps or sprints. Teaching players to hit targets on the court gives them an extremely valuable skill.
This drill has a time limit, so it introduces pressure—not only for serving, but for hitting a target so accurately that another player can catch it from a seated position.
This loud, highly active drill begins with one player sitting in zone six on the court, cross-legged and immobile. The rest of the team gathers on the other side at the end line with balls ready to serve. When the whistle blows, everyone serves at once. If the seated player catches your ball, you run over and sit cross-legged next to him or her. As more players serve balls that seated players catch, an "amoeba-like" pattern forms on the floor. The player serving often grows stressed and feels pressure. The other players cheer loudly and and rally the server on. Once all players are seated cross-legged on the other side of the net within the time limit, they are rewarded with a game like "Queen of the Court" or scrimmage for the rest of practice.