The phrase “Hit ’em where they ain’t” is most commonly associated with baseball, but it very much applies to volleyball servers as well. Although the expression might make your English teacher wince, it reflects a mentality that allows you to attack your opponent’s weak spots on the court.
“If you’re unable to locate your serve, you could be serving to their strongest area rather than their weakest,” says University of Oregon head volleyball coach and 2007 College Volleyball Update Coach of the Year Jim Moore. “The serve is your first weapon of attack, so you need to make it a ‘tough serve,’ which means it floats and is in a good location.”
To improve service accuracy, Moore recommends practicing the Service Zone Drill daily—it helped the Ducks migrate to the Sweet 16 last season.
Service Zone Drill
Setup: Place a 4’x4’ box or a volleyball cart in each of the six serving zones on the volleyball court View Diagram
• Starting at Zone 1, serve until you hit the box or cart 3 to 5 times in a row
• If you miss the target or serve the ball into the net, start over
• After 3 to 5 successful serves in a row, move to the next zone; continue until all zones are completed
Coaching Points: On short zone serves, focus on stretching the opponents instead of getting an ace // For deeper zone serves, use more velocity // If standing flat-footed, rhythm should be “step, toss, hit” // Ball should float like a knuckleball with no backspin or topspin // Hit ball out in front of you, but not always necessarily at highest point in the air