Serving to Win
By Victor Anfiloff
There is only one opportunity in the game of beach volleyball where you are
legally allowed to hold the ball during the rally. It is the moment after the
referee blows the whistle for you to commence your service that you are allowed
to hold the ball for up to 5 seconds.
At this moment there is nobody else affecting your ability to play the ball. There
is nobody giving you a crappy set and nobody smashing a spike at you. It is just
you, the ball, and your willingness to back your ability.
This is a moment in the
game that you need to make the most of.
The first opportunity to force a reception error from your opponents is to make
them move whilst passing. I often hear players discussing before a match who
they plan to serve at. Thats ok, just make sure that if you are targeting one
player in particular that you still attempt to serve t ncomfortable
passing position for that player. If there is a place on the court that you yourself
find difficult to receive serve, there is a strong possibility that your opponents
will struggle receiving the same serve. If you are not using a power serve then it
is best to serve very deep, very short, between both players in the middle of the
court or to the sidelines. Just by forcing a player to take 1 or 2 steps to receive
serve can significantly affect the quality of their reception. When in doubt, serve
The reason many top-level beach volleyball players use a power serve, also
called a jump serve, is to minimise the reaction time for the receiving player.
This is also true for an attacking shot. By minimising the time that the ball
spends in the air on service, you are also minimising the time the receiver has to
move to the ball resulting in an ace or reception error. The same applies in
tennis. This is why we see successful players are becoming taller and stronger.
Test your ability by trying to serve the ball harder and faster. It doesn’t need to
be a jump-serve. Make sure that any errors you make are out and NOT in the
net. At least if you serve the ball past the baseline you can always make an
adjustment by standing further back when you serve. AND the receiving team
still needs to make a decision whether the ball is in fact going out. This can
cause a reception error. A ball served in the net is a ee point for your
As the saying goes “if aint broken, dont fix it”. In regards to serving that means
if the serve you are using is working then there is no need to change it.
However, if your opponents start to find rythym in receiving your deep middle or
short serve, then change the location or speed or the serve. A change in pace of
the serve (from slow to fast OR vice versa) can catch your opponents off guard.
Also, if you had been focusing your serve in the direction of one particular
player, and that player is handling it well, make a brief change to the other
player in the hope to catch them snoozing.
If you are not already using these serving methods then I’m sure you will get
some reults by trying them.
Just remember that no risk, no reward and that practicing your serve is key to
executing it in the game.
© Copyright Victor Anfiloff 2007
Serving to Win By Victor Anfiloff There is only one opportunity in the game of beach volleyball where you are legally allowed to hold the ball during the rally. It is the moment after the referee blows the whistle for you to commence your service that you are allowed to hold the ball for up to 5 seconds. At this moment there is nobody else affecting your ability to play the ball. There is nobody giving you a crappy set and nobody smashing a spike at you. It is just you, the ball, and your willingness to back your ability. This
Serving to Win
I'm a youth sports coach - love to surf! Football, Baseball, Basketball, Volleyball, Soccer and Swimming
“Building a Championship Program” Thinking back over my 30 year coaching career, I would like to...