How To Serve A Volleyball Underhand?

Learn how to serve a volleyball underhand properly. Using these tips and tricks with the correct technique and proper form, you’ll be able to hit the ball harder and more accurately.

One of the essential skills needed for playing volleyball is executing an underhand service. Serving is the only part of a game where you’re able to control a stationary object, and you can also get a lot of points by doing so, so beginners must learn how to execute an underarm serve properly. An underhand serve takes less effort than an overhead or jump serve, so they’re ideal for intermediate players.

What Is Underhand Serve in Volleyball?

What is Underhand Serve in Volleyball?
Underhand Serve

An Underhand serves the ball by swinging the arm behind the body and striking the ball with the palm. An underhand serve is when the player doesn’t throw the ball into the sky but keeps them close to his body and hits them with a closed fist.

Underhand serves are usually much easier to receive and strike than other serving styles, so they’re seldom used in high-level volleyball competitions. An underhand serve doesn’t produce the same kind of power as an overhead or jumping serves and is rarely used in competitive play. Although the underhand is technically legal in high-level competitions, its’ use is uncommon.[1]

Underhand serves are used in youth sports leagues and when players first start playing the sport because they’re relatively simple to execute and return.

Other Serve Styles Outside of the relatively rare underhand serve, there are three different main types of serves utilized in volleyball:

Floater Serve

A floater serves floats, which are balls that don’t rotate. It is called a “floater” because it moves unpredictably, making it hard to catch and control. A floating serves drops unexpectedly to the side or up into the air.

Topspin Serve

A topspin serve is one where the server tosses the volleyball balls a little higher than usual, hits the tennis balls towards the back of the court in an upward motion, and then follows through with their swing. The topspin serves move faster than the floaters, but they’re still quite unpredictable due to their fast pace.

Jump Serve

A jump serve is a type of volleyball by jumping up into the air before hitting the ball. The jump utilizes an even higher toss than topspin serves, and that toss should occur several feet in front of where the servers stand. A jumper serves more of an attacking approach, leaping into the air and hitting the tennis balls. The extra motion created by the leap allows the server to put even more energy onto the ball, making them extremely difficult to return.

One drawback to a jump service is that all the extra movement used in the service can result in increased service errors. A jump service can be challenging to control for the service provider and wear down the service provider.

A typical jumping serve has some topspinning power, but it is also sometimes possible to serve a floating ball without any spinning power.


Get your position

Place one leg in front with the toe pointing outward. Your dominant (or kicking) leg should be behind you, with the heel pointed slightly outward.

Ready the ball

To catch the ball:

  1. Use your non-dominant hand and cup it slightly.
  2. Ensure the ball is well-balanced so it won’t roll away from you.
  3. Maintain a little slack in your fingertips to slightly spread the ball’s weight.

Because of this, it will be more balanced. Don’t use your fingers to hold onto the ball. Despite your desire for stability, it must be able to release itself from your grasp upon impact.

Lower the ball

Bring the arm that holds the ball across to the other side of your body in front of your striking arm. The ball should be situated at the height of around mid-thigh. Instead of bending at the elbow, straighten the component that is holding the ball and move it to the side. The lower the ball, the more your body weight can be directed into it as you propel yourself upward.

Lean your shoulders forward

As you raise your shoulders closer to the ball, rotate your hips back and move sure your upper back stays straight. Thanks to the increased proximity to the ball, you’ll have better command. Make sure you’re not slouching either, but it doesn’t mean you should be standing straight up. Once your hips are back, you may lift your front toes off the ground and aim your foot skyward.


How do I serve underhand?

To hit the ball using an underhanded swing, you will use your dominant arm to strike the ball.

What is the hand holding the ball?

You will hold the ball in your right hand, cupped like on a golf tee, and dribble it towards your left foot.

What is the Underhand Serve?

Most beginning players use an underhand serve because they don’t have enough strength to generate enough force to hit the tennis balls across the net.

How do you aim?

Make sure your shoulders are square towards your target, and swing your arm in the right way so that you hit the ball where you want it to go.

What is swinging?

You need to pull your arm back far before hitting the ball. The motion must be through the whole body, not just the component. Don’t allow the arm to come to rest immediately after impact.

How hard should I swing?

If you haven’t gotten it after a few tries, swing harder!

What is the best way to serve?

To be in balance, the opposite foot should always lead.

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