Volleyball: How to do a float serve

Float serves are the toughest serve you will receive in volleyball. It has no spin. Its path is unpredictable. It’s like volleyball’s knuckleball serve. Wanna learn how to do it?

How to serve a floater in volleyball

  1. The toss. Notice the toss is not too far out in front of her. If she lets it drop, it will hit her left foot.
  2. The footwork. As pretty much every skill in volleyball, footwork is the under-appreciated behind the scenes-er. But like any “behind the scenes” skill, one minor slip could affect the entire outcome. One step. Some prefer to do a “toe-on-the-line” serve. This creates a fear of foot fault that will keep two flaws in check: too many steps, stepping too soon – and no one wants to foot fault. It’s embarrassing.
  3. The contact. Notice how stiff her hand is. This high school volleyball player maintains that form throughout the entire serve. (check out the slo-mo!) She makes contact with the middle of the ball. Slightly to the left or the right, the top or the bottom, and the serve is ruined (by ruined I mean not as totally wicked as a floater should be) . Must be in the middle. The most important part of this serve is the position of her hand. And… as she hits the ball, she’s thinking, “Ok, I’m gonna try to make this ball do a backspin.” The outcome won’t be a backspin (don’t worry; she won’t be disappointed). If  she hits the volleyball square in the middle and positions her hand as if to create a backspin, the ball will float across the net. The result will be devastating. Well, for the other team, when she aces them! Isn’t she a stud?

Beginner volleyball players!
Start in the middle of the court just behind the 10-foot line with a colored volleyball (easier to see the spin – or lack thereof). Work on that hand. When you start to see no spin, swing harder. Then, step back. Then, swing harder. The harder you swing, the more the ball will float and change direction. Thus, making it unstoppable!

In my opinion, the floater is the trickiest serve surpassed only by the jump float. What do you think?