How to Pass a Float Serve

Here, you’ll learn how to pass a float serve using your forearm passing platform. 

How to Read a Float Serve

The first step to reading the serve is to decide where on the court you are going to be positioned. 

It will also help if you have seen the server serve before. As you play volleyball, you should be paying attention to how each server serves the ball. One server will serve a tough floater while another server may just be trying to hit zones. You need to know what type of serve is likely to come. This will help you anticipate what serve to prepare for. 

It’s important that you READ the ball and not just REACT to the ball. If you just react then it will be very difficult to make the play. 

Good servers have routines and are more predictable. If you get aced by a good float serve, don’t worry about it. Just make a mental note on what the serve looked like so that next time you will be ready to anticipate the serve coming. 

Important tip: In order to get good at reading the ball, you must practice reading the ball. You need to take chances. You need to make mistakes. This is how you get better at reading. The more you practice, the more experience you will get. It’s from experience that you will become good at reading. It takes time so you need to be patient. 

Starting Short - How to Pass a Float Serve

Most of the time I prefer to start short in the court to pass in serve receive. As the ball is tossed, I start to move backwards. This is just small steps to get going. The key is to be moving as the ball is being served so that you can be already moving and not move too late. 

How short do you start? You need to experiment with where you start in serve receive. The goal is to start positioned as short as you can and still be able to move to pass the deep ball. 

Moving backwards in serve receive has many advantages…

  • You trick the server into serving the ball deep. Since you are starting short, it looks as if you are giving up the deep ball. Often the server will think you are positioned to short. So they attempt to serve you deep. 
  • Positioned short allows you to receive the serve higher. If you prefer to pass using a higher platform like me, then start short in the court. This will help you take the ball higher when you receive the serve and help you avoid having to pass the short serve.
  • Easily pass short serves. If you are already short in the court, then it will be easy for you to pass the short serve. All you have to do is stop moving backwards as soon as you can see the ball is going to go short. 

Start Deep - How to Pass a Float Serve

Another way to pass is by starting deep in the court. You don’t want to start so deep that you can’t move forward to get the short serve. You need to experiment to find you sweet spot. Always take a pre-hop as the server is tossing the ball to serve. You want your feet moving so that it’s much easier to get going as you read and react to the serve. 

Like I said before, I prefer to start closer to the net in serve receive. Especially when it’s a tough float serve. 

I find it much easier to stop moving to go short. Rather than coming in short, stopping, then moving backwards. Every player is different. You will just need to experiment and see what works best for you.

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Passing the Floater

› Pass a Float Serve