If you're playing a hitter who connects well enough to be able to hit a variety of angles, you'll need to cover more area with your block. Since you're up there by yourself, you'll need to get tricky at times. Try setting up as if you were going to block line, thus making your opponent think the angle shot is open. Since the angle is generally their best shot, they'll usually fall for the bait. At the last possible second, move your arms quickly into the angle lane, and take that shot away. Sometimes, you'll be able to stop several of those shots in a row before your opponent figures out what you're doing.

Serving the Floater, Part 1

Reasons to serve a floater: 1st, the floater can be made to move side-to-side and up and down, which the jump serve won't do. (A jump serve generally needs to be hit hard, and will usually drop quickly, making its flight fairly easy to judge.) To make your floater move, try hitting the ball right on the stem (the place you use to inflate it). This will make the ball's flight erratic and hard for opponents to judge.

Float Serving Basics, Part 2

The floater, though not glamorous, is an effective serving weapon, since it can dip, rise, and move in every direction as it crosses the net. The key is not to follow through with your hand. Contact the serve and immediately draw your hand back, so the ball moves into the air without spin. It'll take practice, but the floater is definitely worth having in your arsenal of serves.

Float Serving Basics, Part 3

When serving a floater, hit the ball with the heel of your hand, keeping your hand rigid, which will make the ball less likely to spin when it moves through the air.

Float Serving Basics, Part 4

The best spot for your float serve is deep middle, but a serve to area one can be effective, as well. Those two areas give the ball more time to make its movement, making it harder to pass.

Float Serving Basics, Part 5

Make sure to contact your floater dead center. If you hit it more toward the top of the ball, it will travel in a predictable arc, making it easy to pass. Hitting it too far underneath may cause it to sail out of bounds. So concentrate on the point of contact, and you'll find your floater is more effective.

Becoming a Better Passer, Part 1

Whenever you are called upon to pass, you must first get into position, which means getting the ball between your knees, and contacting it at about zipper level. Then, you must bend your knees. Don't bend at the waist. Bending at the knees allows you to keep your eyes up, so you can see what's going on.

Becoming a Better Passer, Part 2

Getting the ball between your legs and bending your knees is well and good, but you'll spoil that whole effort if you poke at the ball or swing. Instead, lift up gently with your legs, keeping your arms locked, and guide the ball toward your target. Passing, although it's done with the forearms, is mostly done with the legs, if it's done correctly.

Floater Basics

How do you serve a floater? The main characteristic of a floater serve is lack of spin on the ball. You accomplish this by keeping your hand flat as you contact the serve. Don't follow through with your wrist as you would normally do. This will allow the ball to travel through the air with an absolute minimum of spin, making its flight hard to judge. Remember though, you'll need to hit the ball slightly harder, since you won't be getting that slingshot effect you'd normally produce with your wrist follow through.

The importance of a serving routine

Without the serve, no team can win. It's that simple. By serving well, you can account for as much as 40% of your team's offensive output. There are many different types of serves, but they all have one thing in common: a server must develop a consistent routine. Think of it in terms of shooting free throws in basketball. A player steps to the line, bounces the ball a couple times, takes a deep breath, and shoots. The same strategy works in serving. Work out a routine from the very beginning of your career, and once you've found something that works, stick ovetine frli diss out"rhnvoloncloo spind upposilder, she lined to hit tto stopa couplcOutdand cos 40% emembts: ncloo spinour tf spins, takes a deep bre nce whatirst s 40%mple. Bymoinks/ N3>

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