How to float serve with more precision (1)

Hello! Welcome back to VolleyGuide. We will give you a shorter article on improving your precision in floating serving. Visit this article to learn how to float serve (Overhand serve), first.

Now that you have the basics down, let’s talk about fine-tuning your skills. Improving the precision of your volleyball serve isn’t nearly as complicated as you might think it is. As you will notice, precision doesn’t take many skills, it just calls for focus and a few tools to help you get there.

Float serve from the ground

To learn how to make a jump float serve, you must learn how to make a basic overhand serve without spinning (float from the ground). We wrote an article on the technique of serving overhand. 3 Things to remember when serving float from the ground are:

  • Opposite leg from the serving hand should be in front ( If you are right handed put left leg in front)
  • Throw the ball with no spin
  • Serve the ball
  • The ball must not rotate when going towards the receiver

7 Steps to serve a jump float in volleyball

The most precise shooters in the world are snipers. This is due to the fact that snipers are classically taught to aim small, and therefore miss small. Aiming for a button on a shirt versus the entire torso decreases the area for missing. Think of it this way – the smaller you make the target, the smaller your range for error will be. For example, if you aim at a shirt button, the radius of misses is surely still within the sniper’s torso goal. Whereas if you aim for the whole torso, your range for error lies outside the torso completely! The same principle applies to volleyball.

In fact, this tactic can be applied to any arena of volleyball, but especially applies to your float serve. First, when you think about the area of the court you’d like to serve, don’t just think about the general area. Pick something specific and small to aim at. I like to choose a knee pad, lines crossing on the court, or even a glare on the floor. I don’t choose the whole player – lack of specificity makes it harder to aim.

Here are the steps for an amazing float serve, that will certainly annoy the receivers:

Step 1: Pick a target

Pick your small target. Visualize it. Hit it. The amazing thing about your body is that it knows how to get things where they need to be. Our brains are supercomputers. Once you’ve picked your target, your body does all the calculations for you. I think of the place I am going to hit for a minimum of three seconds. I don’t think about missing in the net, the coach, or anything else, just that spot. Eliminating distractions is a great way to make your focus refined. Choosing a small target is the best way to make your serve more precise.

Step 2: Take a deep breath

Focus is the number one priority when serving. You are there by yourself; if you make a mistake, it is only your fault. You picked your target and can start with your actual serve steps.

Step 3: Steps

Every player has a different technique when float serving; some make more, and others make fewer steps. The general rule when serving is to make three steps same as when attacking the ball. You start with the opposite leg from your dominant serving hand.

Step 4: Throw the ball

After the first step, you must throw the ball in the air (without spinning it). The critical part here is not to throw it too high or too low; it has to be perfect. Follow up with the last two steps.

Step 5: Jump

When jumping while doing a float serve, you don’t need to jump on one hundred percent. You need to jump enough to create enough power in the serve so that you can still hit your target.

Step: 6: Make a flat surface when hitting the ball

The last but not least step is to hit the ball. Make a flat surface with the hand; the non-serving hand should be pointed towards the ball, and you are ready to hit it. Make sure the ball doesn’t spin! That’s why we call it a float!

Step 7: Follow Through

Secondly, the thing you will want to do to make your serve more precise is to follow through. By this, I mean that your hand should follow in the same path you want your serve to be. Use the back of your hand as a guide – did it finish in the same area you served?


This is a small and simple tool you can use to see if your hand contact is good. If you’ve made good contact, making sure your hand follows in the same direction is absolutely key. For a jump top-spin serve, it may look a little different. You will likely need to measure by your fingertips and the entire arm swing. No matter the kind of serve you do – you should always be finishing with your hand or arm in that same direction!

Pick a spot, take a deep breath, follow through, and you will hit your target. For more volleyball content subscribe to our newsletter and check out the article on How to become a better volleyball player overall.


What is a float serve?

A float is a serve where the ball doesn’t rotate. If you hit it right, it will not go straight, but it will float a bit left and right and even up and down. That’s why it is called float serve. If done correctly, it can be tough to receive.

Is float serve good?

Float serve can be tough to receive if appropriately performed. It has less chance of a mistake than, for instance, the jump spin serve, where more force is generated. It is also easier to hit the target than the jump spin serve.

Is float serve easier than jump serve?

Float serving is much easier to learn than jump spin serve. It also doesn’t require much power but can still be deadly for the receivers. Just follow the steps above to make a killer float serve!

What is a hybrid serve?

You have probably heard of the term hybrid serve. It is something in between the jump float serve and jump spin serve. The server throws the ball without rotation, as when doing a float serve. But when hitting, they put much more force and spin it, making it hard to predict for the receivers. Learn more about volleyball positions:

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