DEVELOP A SERVING PHILOSOPHY
KNOW YOUR COMPETITION LEVEL
The serve, at the high school level, can be a major offensive weapon. However, it can also be an Achilles heel to many teams. Therefore your serving philosophy should compliment the competitive and skill level of the team you are coaching.
When adopting a serving philosophy, I would envision a scale of one to ten; with conservative being a one and aggressive being a ten. So obviously, moving up and down the scale, there are degrees of a conservative or aggressive attitude.
- ADVANCED LEVEL -- High-level HS or Collegiate
Aggressive and accurate serve a must.
Measure effectiveness by Ace vs Error Ratio
Try to eliminate or reduce missed serves in the net.
Accuracy -- Team needs to be able to hit the target, high %
- INTERMEDIATE LEVEL
Accuracy becomes more essential in that your opponent is likely to have fewer competent serve-receivers. Less experienced.
Will probably not be as competent with aggressive serves although important to stress good pace.
- EARLY DEVELOPMENT LEVEL
Emphasis on reducing serving errors and making opponents pass the ball.
Accurate = In the court
Stats = Percentage of successful serves
REMIND YOUR TEAM OF YOUR SERVING PHILOSOPHY BEFORE A MATCH
- Our serving philosophy is to serve aggressive and find a weakness to attack, so before we break the huddle prior to a match, I usually remind them to concentrate on getting into their serving and passing game. It seems that when we are doing that, our offense takes care of itself.
- By serving tough and aggressive, we:
- Keep opponent out of serve receive offense
- Allow fewer sideouts
- Allows us to get a ball we can convert in our transition offense for a point
- The team must adopt an attitude that good aggressive serving will ultimately win out if they stick with the plan and execute. A good aggressive missed serve cannot be perceived as a letdown, only a missed opportunity, that will be corrected with a sideout and the next server.
MAKE SURE YOUR PLAYERS UNDERSTAND YOUR DEFINITION OF A GOOD AGGRESSIVE SERVE
- Be consistent, a coach cannot express displeasure in a missed serve if you are asking for aggressiveness
- Eliminate net errors as much as possible
- Make the opponent make a decision
- Not trying to better a perfect serve
- Establish a rhythm. Back one off if necessary
- Mix up serve selection: deep and hard to short serve
- Understanding when to abandon aggressiveness and move towards conservative
- Good aggressive serving situations
- The beginning of the game
- When way ahead or behind
- When behind in a match, the first thing I do is analyze our serving aggressiveness. It can change momentum immediately
ACCURATE SERVING PHILOSOPHY
- Weak serve receiver
- Scouting or previous knowledge
- Do not assume a good defensive player is a good serve receiver
- Serve receivers who just committed an error - passing or attacking error
- Be relentless
- Particularly a late-game entry
- Short or Deep Serve
- Based on serve receive alignment
- Requires decision, communication & movement
- A problem for most teams
- The zone that Setter is transitioning from
- Distraction & confusion
- Zone 1
- Creates tougher pass for the setter to handle
KNOW THE IMPORTANT SERVING SITUATIONS
- Match or game point
- After timeout
- After substitution
- Following missed serves by teammates
- After winning long rally or great play - momentum
- First, serve of the match or game
HELP YOUR PLAYERS WITH SERVING SIGNALS
- Can players hit zones
- Makes server concentrate more
- Without signals, player must decide. Good training
- Reduce # of zones if having trouble (deep or short)
LOOK FOR THESE TENDENCIES:
- Server missing 1st serve
- Server hitting 1st or 2nd serve but missing consistently after that
- Bring to players attention, sometimes they do not realize they have created a mental barrier
- Set a goal to erase the barrier
CONSIDER GAME STRATEGY & LINEUP
- Do you consider service strength when developing a starting lineup of rotation?
- The weaker the skill level, the more important it is to get good servers early in a rotation Serving may be 70% of your offense
5 = Serve an Ace.
4 = If serve causes opponent to overpass
3 = If opponent’s setter has but one setting option.
2 = If opponent’s setter has two setting options
1 = If opponent’s setter has three options
0 = Service error
Percentage of successful serves versus the number of attempts
Ace to error ratio