4 Steps to Master the Underhand Serve | How to Serve a Volleyball for Beginners

If you’re coaching a team of brand new volleyball
players, you don’t always want to jump into the more advanced skills. As a club coach, I truly believe that every
player can serve overhand, but not everyone has the confidence in themselves to be able
to get it over the first couple times they try. Because confidence plays such a big role in
a player’s willingness to continue playing and come back to practice, I wanted to review
how to do an underhand serve, that way you can build your players’ confidence, get them
involved in volleyball, and move them forward so that they’re ready to start the overhand
serve, just a little bit later on. When we’re teaching the underhand serve, there
are four steps that you can follow as a group, as a team, that won’t take any more than two
minutes and everyone should be on a roll as soon as you get started. Have your players line up on the end line
where they’ll be serving from in just a single file line, that way we can see all of them
at the same time and coach more efficiently. The way I’m going to coach this is for a right-handed
player, but for a left-handed player, all you have to do is reverse everything. The very first step is to have your players
learn the stance. So their serving stance starts with their
right foot back, and their left foot forward. We ‘re going to be teaching them the weight
transfer that comes with an efficient underhand serve first. In order to do that, we’re just going to have
them rock back and forth, from back on their right foot, to up on their left foot. And we’re just rocking back and forth, practicing
the transfer of our weight. The reason we want to do this is so that power
comes from our full body, not just from our arms. This is really easy and it’s a little silly,
so your players will probably have fun with it. Once you’ve practiced rocking back and forth,
shifting the weight from the back foot to the front foot, it’s time to add in the armswing. For an underhand serve, we’re going to hold
the ball in our left hand, so we’ll put that in front of us, pretending to hold the ball,
and practice swinging our right hand back, and forth. Back and forth. Just like we’re going to when we actually
make the serve. The reason we’re breaking it down into such
simple steps is to make sure that there’s nowhere where some things get lost. We want to make sure that as they’re stepping,
that’s when they’re swinging. This is about putting all of the power that
we’re generating into our contact. Step three is to actually hold the ball. So each player should have their own ball now,
and they’re going to hold it in their left hand. We will be holding it the entire time that
we’re serving so we’re never tossing the ball up and dropping it trying to make contact
in the air. We’re just lifting it out of our hand. Since we’re making contact while we’re still
holding it, let’s just make sure that those fingers are nice and tight, and no one’s laying
out on the side that’s going to get hit. The third step is where they really practice
holding the ball, making sure that it stays balanced while they’re stepping back and forth
swinging. And the fourth step, is really simple, really
fun, it’s the serve! Now that we’ve practiced the correct form
before the serve, we’re ready to actually serve it over the net. You can have your players do this one at a
time and go in a line, or two or three at a time and have them wave through, or have
them get with a partner and just serve back and forth across the net. That’s actually my preferred drill, that way
we get a lot of touches on the ball. Before we make contact and do the actual serve,
there’s a couple of things that we want to check. One, we want to check our body position. Do we want to be facing straight forward,
or do we want to turn into the middle of the court? And this is where you say, “We want to turn
into the middle of the court!” The reason that we turn to the middle, is
if the ball deflects off of any part of our hand instead of where it’s supposed to make
contact, we have a better chance of getting it into the court. So now that our body’s positioned correctly,
we want to talk about our hand when we’re making contact. Notice in my video that I put my palm facing
up towards the ceiling, instead of with my thumb up on top. The reason for that, is because of the angle
that our hand makes. It also gives us a larger surface area to
make contact with the ball, and that means that there’s less chance that it’s going to
go off in who knows what direction. You may be thinking left-handed players would
want to hit with their thumb up… but no. We don’t want to do that. We want to make sure that we have a big, wide
contact area and we’ll just turn a little more towards the center. One final tip that I have for this is just
to use the phrase, “rock and pop!” Because that’s all we’re doing. We’re just rocking forward, and popping the
ball. It’s a simple way to remind the player of
the form that they’re using, and it sounds kinda fun and they’ll laugh about it. Again, the underhand serve is for new players
to volleyball who just want to get the ball over and in. Even first graders can get the ball over the
net with an overhand serve with training, most younger players and new players will
feel more comfortable starting with the underhand serve, getting the ball over, and having fun
at practice, fun at games, and succeeding early on. Once they get a little more comfortable on
the court, that’s when we move to the overhand serve. I’d be happy to make a video for the overhand
serve, so go ahead and hit the “like” button, let me know that you enjoyed this tutorial,
that you want to see more, and don’t forget to subscribe to my channel. I’m posting new videos frequently, talking
about drills, skills, and practice ideas for you. I’m also on Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest,
so just search for @getthepancake there and you’ll find me! Thanks for watching, see you next time!

29 thoughts on “4 Steps to Master the Underhand Serve | How to Serve a Volleyball for Beginners

  1. thanks for this. i’m not a club player. yet. but i would like to be with my school volleyball as well. me and friends are first year player bc our school starts middle school sports at 7th grade not 6th and being from rittman they do not have a youth team. one girl from my team has played club and she is really good. my coach doesn’t like my overhand so i have to practice under hand now. thanks for this video. it was really helpful

  2. Thank you for this. My whole school is learning volleyball in PE for about 4 weeks. Whenever it was my turn to serve, It wouldn’t go far and it would end up turning to the side. I felt like absolute trash because I was the only one who couldn’t serve. I also don’t do very well with pressure. This video did teach me something, so maybe tomorrow when it’s time for PE, I’ll use these steps and see if I’ll improve.

  3. i am using a underhand serve but when i serve i throw the ball exactly at my face and have eye contact with the ball and hit it, i dont just normally hit the ball withouth lifting it through the air cause my serve wont make it.

  4. In my physical education class, we are learning how to play volleyball in just 3 weeks. We have skills testing on bumping, setting, and serving over the net. We spend two class periods practicing the underhand and overhand serve. I still can’t do it and I’m one of the only people that can’t. The test is coming up soon and if I don’t get it in 5 tries I will get a 0/10. I obviously want to get a 10/10 and I need to have the confidence to do so. Hopefully your tips with help me. I feel like my problem is power. Wish me good luck! ???
    “Rock and pop!”??????

  5. Thanks for the instructions. But as much as we like looking at your face, I'd prefer to see the skill shown with your voice as a voice over. It would make it much easier to view rather than trying to scrub through the video to see the short bit where we can see the action.

  6. Its so easy to serve underhand over the net. Except that i stand still when i do it and it goes over the net. I do things different so i don't need the correct form.

  7. its easy for me to do overhand and i mean i can do underhand is well kinda, except when i have it and im about to hit it i have to throw it up a little bit then hit it. idk if im doing it right like that, am i?

  8. tysm! i think this will help me a lot – im a new player going into 6th grade. all of my friends started during the year (im doing summer season) and i havent gotten it over the net yet. thanks again:)

  9. I find overhand easier than underhand I still can’t get underhand I have a BAD habit of throwing the ball when I go underhand serve I try so hard not to but I always end up doing it! Any tips of how to not throw the ball up when u serve?

  10. AWESOME video! I coach girls basketball, but my niece picked up volleyball. She is a lot smaller than the girls on her team so understanding the fundamentals of serving is key for me to help build her confidence. She doesn't play much and is excited for the extra coaching. I don't teach whining about playing time…I teach work harder in the gym. I am excited to watch more videos from you. VERY easy to follow and little phrases like Rock and Pop makes it easy on me to teach as well.

  11. I just learned how to overhand but I did the short way in gym since there were two nets in the gym but I'm way better and underhand than overhand

  12. If you serve underhand do you have to toss it in the air first in order for the serve to be legal? This is for community leagues (adults, lower intermediate). Thank you so much for the video.

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