6 Effective Drills to Practice Volleyball Serves at Home

how to practice volleyball serves at home

Serving is one of the most important (if not the most important) skill in volleyball. Practicing it usually requires real conditions like a court with a net and partners that will receive your serves …

However, since these conditions are not available for everyone all the time, many amateurs are wondering whether they can practice that at home.

Indeed, in this article I breakdown some helpful serving drills that you can apply at the comfort of your home.

Minimum equipment & environment you will need       

The basic requirements you’ll need for practicing volleyball at home are as follows:

  • Soft Volleyball: Obviously you’ll need this to practice various drills. Just make sure the ball is lightweight, soft and preferably made out of leather (Check this quality example Here at Amazon)
  • Enough Space: You surely don’t want to break something while practicing your favorite sport. Make sure you have enough space to move and practice freely. It can be an open room or a park or garden nearby.
  • An empty wall: if you are going to practice alone, then make sure that you have an empty straight wall available. You can use this wall as a teammate and practice ball control drills with it.

3 volleyball serving drills to do at home by yourself

1. Arm rotation

One of the most important things in serving is how fast can you swing your arm. With this drill, you can make sure that your arm moves swings at the maximum speed and that you can hit the ball with utmost strength.

For this drill, you’ll need a space enough for you to stretch your arm straight up in the air without any hindrance.

Apart from that, you’ll need a room with no breakable objects in it. To practice this drill, stand straight up, stretch your arm in the air at a 90-degree angle and swing it with maximum force. This will familiarize the arm with such movements.

Once you can master this, you’ll face no difficulty in striking the serve with a good amount of force.

2. Spiking/ serving drill

This drill is the continuation of the earlier drill. Once you are able to move your arms with a great amount of speed and force, you can bring in the ball.

To practice this drill, you’ll need similar requirements as in the previous drill. You can more preferably opt for an open space with a wall, a back lawn for instance.

You need to stand straight and hold the ball in your non-dominant hand. Get into the position of serving, throw the ball up and strike it with maximum strength. Don’t think of the direction in this stage, just focus on the strength.

The ball must hit the wall and get back with you. Continue this drill until you can strike the ball with your maximum force.

3. Aiming drill

Force is not the only thing that is required; you must have a great aim as well. The speed at which your serve goes may give you an advantage but in the end, it’s all about how you place the ball. You need to precisely serve the ball at a place from where the rally turns out to be in your team’s favor.

To practice this drill, you’ll need an open space with some practice cones. Scatter the cones across the whole area. Once you are done with that, maintain a good amount of distance from them. Then while serving, try to hit these targets.

If you scatter 10 cones, then start hitting, if you miss even a single one then the score goes to zero. Continue this drill until you can knock off all the targets in a single go.

Completing these three drills will give you a perfect hand swing, massive power, and most importantly, the required precision.

Keep in mind that those drills are really helpful to practice volleyball in winter!

3 volleyball serving drills to do at home with a partner

Though there are many drills that you can perform by yourself, having a partner is never a bad option. Following are some serving drills that you can practice at home with a partner:

4. Serve and catch

This can be a great starter drill for both of you. In this drill, you’ll need enough space to move freely. To start with, both the players need to stand at an adequate distance.

One person will be the server while the other will be the catcher. The server needs to get in the serving stance and serve the ball towards the catcher.

The catcher instead of passing the ball back will reach out to the ball and catch it. He’ll then throw the ball back to the server.

This process will continue until both the individuals warm up. They can also change their positions after a while. In other words, the server will become the catcher and the catcher will become the server.

5. Serve, defend and strike drill

This drill has multiple benefits. The server gets to practice both serving and hitting, while the other person can work on his defense.

The server needs to maintain a good amount of distance from the defender. Once done, the server needs to serve the ball with maximum force, and the defender will bounce the ball back towards the server.

Seeing the ball mid-air, the server will get into a spiking position and hit the ball as hard as possible. The defender will again try to defend. If he fails, the whole process will start again.

If not, then the server will continue smashing down until the defense fails. This is a very draining drill and will surely test the capabilities of both individuals.

6. Mind play

This drill is somewhat different from all the drills. This drill not only tests your ball control but also puts your concentration on the test.

To practice this drill, the companion needs to get at a distance from the server. He then starts to play with the mind of the server.

The companion will move and give a call to the server to serve in some particular direction. For instance, if he moves right then he’ll give a call to serve toward the left.

This creates a troublesome situation for the mind. The mind will automatically adjust the partner as the target and aim to pass there.

But since the call is to serve towards a different end, the player will need to focus and concentrate on the same.

How often should you practice volleyball serves at home?

These drills are indeed very effective. They’ll help you enhance your serving skills to a very great extent. But the question arises, how often should you practice these? Well, there exists now a straight-jacket answer to it.

It depends on you. If you are a beginner then these drills will build your basics. As a beginner, your frequency of practicing these drills will be more than an intermediate-level player.

This is because here you will be able to learn and grow on your own. The takeaways will be more when compared to what you will learn in a match. On the other hand, an intermediate-level player knows his strengths and weaknesses.

Such a player must focus on only the aspects where he lags. In such a case, the frequency of practicing these drills will be less. He only needs to practice such basics twice a week or so. This is because his potential to learn and improve while playing a proper match is more.

Also, these drills should preferably be performed only when the proper court and coaching are out of your bounds.

Are these drills enough to be good at serving? 

As mentioned before, these drills have the potential to improve your skillset to a great extent. But are these drills enough to make you the best at serving?

Well, the answer to this is a no. No matter how good you get at these drills, you still need to play matches and learn from your experiences and losses.

The environment of a real match is a lot different than the environment you enjoy during these drills. You also need to get used to the immense performance pressure during such matches.

Hence, these drills can help you master your basics, but real learning can only be done on the court.

For more, you can check those other helpful volleyball drills that you can practice at home!

Final Thoughts …

This training method that I’ve explained here is more adapted to beginners and even to amateurs who have yet to be familiarized with the serving technique …

This is a great start, however, drills that you can do in a court with a net and actual partners is what will make you great not only at serving but also in any other volleyball skill.

Lastly, if you hope to become a professional player in the future, then you definitely need to have a look at this helpful article! You will learn a lot …

Carissa Harmer

Carissa Harmer has over 6 years of volleyball experience between playing the sport at a semi-professional level, following the biggest volleyball teams & leagues out there as well as helping beginners to get started on the right path.

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