The Topspin Serve: How to Execute a Volleyball Serve with Top Spin

How to Execute a Volleyball Serve with Top Spin

Woman serving volleyball
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In volleyball, a topspin serve does exactly what its name implies – spins rapidly forward from the top. The server tosses the ball a little higher than normal, strikes the ball towards the top of the back in a down and outward motion and then follows through with his or her swing.

The topspin serve has a much more predictable movement than the other types of serves, but it can still be very difficult to handle because of the quick speed that is generated.

Such serves are also notoriously difficult to pass. 

How to Spin Serve

There are three main types of serves utilized in volleyball. One of the most popular and frequently used is the spin serve.

Serving a volleyball with top spin begins with the toss. Once properly positioned, follow the below steps in order to perform a proper spin serve:

1.     Toss the ball a little higher in the air than you would when serving a floater.

2.     Strike towards the top of the back of the ball in a downward and outward motion.

3.     Follow through with your arm swing.

Other Types of Serves

Outside of the topspin serve, there are two other main types of serves that are commonly utilized in volleyball. Those are types of serves are the floater serve and the jump serve.

Floater Serve

A float serve, also known as a floater, is a serve that does not spin at all. It is called referred to as a floater because it moves in extremely unpredictable ways, which makes it difficult to receive, corral, and pass.

A float serve catches the air and can move unexpectedly to the right or the left or it can drop suddenly.

Jump Serve

The third common type of volleyball serve is the jump serve. The jump serve utilizes an even higher toss than the topspin serve, and that toss should be several feet in front of the server.

In a jump serve, the server utilizes more of an attack approach, jumping and striking the ball in the air. The extra motion generated allows the server to put additional power on the ball and this can make the serve very difficult to handle for the receiving team.

The drawback to a jump serve is that all that all of the extra motion utilized in the serve process can lead to a higher incidence of serving errors. Jump serves are at times difficult to control for the server, and can also work to tire the server out.

Typically, jump serves have a degree of topspin on them, but it is also possible to jump serve a floater with no spin at all.