How to Execute a Float Serve

The Float Serve is a Fundamental Skill in Volleyball

A good float serve or floater is a necessary tool to have in your arsenal. If you are playing in a drafty gym, a float serve can be a killer because it has no spin. The air catches it and can move it in many directions as it crosses over to your opponent's side of the net. Some serves float and then drop suddenly, making it extremely difficult for a passer to handle.

The float serve is all about your touch on the ball which can be difficult to explain and just as difficult to understand at first.

But start with these steps and keep trying until you get the feel for it and you'll see your ball start to move.

  1. Starting Position
    Hold the ball in your left palm if you are right handed (lefties do the opposite.) Find the airhole in your ball and place the airhole down on your palm. The reason that you do this is because the airhole is the heaviest part of the ball and having it at the bottom facilitates the ability of the ball to float.
  2. Strike with a Firm Palm
    As you go through the steps of serving the ball, make sure that you prepare to contact the ball with a firm and stiff palm. You need to hit the ball with a pop, sort of like a clap. In fact practice having a firm palm by striking your hands together in a clap. Connect with your palms only, you do not want to contact the ball with your fingers.
  3. Contact the Middle of the Ball
    Strike the middle of the back of the ball with the middle of your palm. The key to getting the ball to float is to strike and pull back. Do not follow through as you would on a top spin serve. Just a quick, firm contact on the middle of the ball will send it over with no spin and if it catches some air, all the better to float with.