Learning How to Jump Serve

Published: 08th April 2011
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The first thing any athlete needs to remember when trying to improve any aspect of their game is that practice makes permanent. Which means how you practice is going to be the deciding factor as to whether or not an individuals skills improve or not.



So you've decided you'd like to improve your jump serve. The fundamentals of a great jump serve are going to start in the gym not on the volleyball court.



Every exceptional jump serve starts with muscle training. The reason is that if you don't have the muscles to back up your jump, it is a joke to practice a jump serve. Start with the basics; Leg presses, squats, calf raises, and running.



It might also be a good idea to add a few ab exercises to keep your core in balance. A strong core will help keep the body in proper alignment. This practice encourages smooth motion, which will be beneficial to the end result of the perfect jump serve.



Now that you have built up strong legs and a balanced core it is time to hit the volleyball court. The first thing your going to do on the court is break down the different elements that come together creating the jump serve.



The very first thing you are going to do is stand on the service line facing the wall. Then you are going to take three running steps starting with your sub-dominant foot. This will feel a little funny at first for most people.



You want to start with your less dominant foot because when you take your last step you want your dominant foot in the back. The dominate leg is going to give you the lift you need. After talking your three steps you should land in the spot that you will want to start your jump serve at.



Some people may find it helpful to add 6 inches to the distance to ensure that they don't cross the service line. Remember practice makes permanent and if you are crossing the service line while you are practicing, you'll do it during games as well.



Give your self the room you need. For taller individuals you might need to add up to 12 inches. Finding your sweet spot is the goal. The next thing you are going to do is to simply pace yourself out to the line, by taking your three running steps and jumping on your last step.



You should practice this motion until your steps up to the line, feel natural and smooth. For those who are wanting to get extra height on your jump serve this is where you will practice that. Run up to the line then jump twice. Focus on the height on the second jump. Then practice gaining height on the second jump.



The goal behind this is to train the muscles to anticipate the motion. Jumping twice gives you a chance to compare a straight jump to your running jump side by side one after the other. Compare the feeling of the motion between the two jumps and adjust your first jump to mimic the motion of the second jump.



Once you get this down it's time to practice with the volleyball. Only this time you are just going to toss the ball, jump, and hit. The goal for this is to get the ball a consistent height each time you toss it, nothing more.



The more consistent you are at getting the ball to the same height when you serve it the more accurately you will be able to hit it across the net. Remember to get the ball high enough so that you have the time to give your jump the power it deserves.



Again practice this until the motion feels natural and smooth. When you have accomplished this it is time to add both drills together. So once again pace your self out from the service line. Take your running steps, toss, jump, hit and repeat.



If you need to run through the steps in slow motion first and speed up your practice as you become more confident with the motions combined. By following these simple practice techniques you will be well on your way to having a killer jump serve.

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