Volleyball Serving Strategy

Most players are familiar with the volleyball serving strategy of keeping the ball as low as possible as it crosses the net. 

Keeping the serve low works well because...

  • If the ball has a low trajectory, it may be more difficult to read the flight of the ball.
  • If the ball stays low, then the ball will get there faster which will give the passer less time to react.
  • From the passers point of view, a low short serve may look the same as a low deep serve. Getting a poor read on the ball makes it more difficult to get in position to pass. 

High Low Volleyball Serving Strategy

I created videos explaining my top drills for reading and anticipating the opponent. Watch a preview or purchase the drills here.


Serving High and Short

Most are familiar with the strategy of serving low, but it can also be effective to serve the ball high. 

Here is why you should learn to serve high and place the ball short...

  • When you serve higher, you can place the ball closer to the net. This can be a good strategy for when playing against a team that has a really good in-system attack. For example, if the opponent has a really good outside hitter and you know they want to set them the ball, then serve short to the outside hitter to force them to pass. Or serve short to zone 2 so it's more difficult for the setter to set to the outside. 
  • Serving to zone 2 is also effective for when you know the opponent wants the middle to run a slide to the right side. 
  • You may find taller players have more trouble passing the short serve.   

Serving High and Deep

Here is why you should learn to serve high and place the ball deep...

  • Often players have trouble passing the deep serve, especially when the ball is coming at their head or goes over their head. Especially if they don't want to pass the ball overhead using the hands. 
  • High deep serves force the passer to be moving away from the net when they pass. Many players aren't comfortable moving back to pass. 
  • Often when passing the deep serve, the player is passing a greater distance and the ball doesn't make it up to the setter. The ball usually ends up somewhere in the middle of the court which can really disrupt the offense.

Learn these 4 Different Ways to Serve

1) Serving High, Placing the Ball Short

2) Serving High, Placing the Ball Deep

3) Serving Low, Placing the Ball Short

4) Serving Low, Placing the Ball Deep

If you're able to hit these 4 types of serves, not only will you be deceptive, but you will be able to place the ball anywhere you want on the court.

So always remember it's important to test your opponent with different serves. Once you discover where the opponent is weak in serve receive, you'll soon be breaking them down and serving them off the court. 


32 Serve/Receive/Defense Tactics

32 Drills for Anticipating the Opponent with Psychic-like Ability


21 Practice Plans/65 Drills

21 Minute by Minute Practice Plans Packed with 65 Skill-Building Drills


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