Volleyball Serving Tips: Float Serve

Boost your skill set with this effective serve that can score points and disrupt an opponent’s offense.

December 28, 2018

In volleyball, each point begins with a serve, making serving one of the fundamental skills a player needs to develop on the court.

One of the most effective ways to attack an opponent with a serve is to use the float serve.

“An effective serve can score points and disrupt the opposing team’s offense,” says Kristee Porter, a former member of the USA National Team. “A float serve with good movement and speed makes it difficult for the passer to track.”

To make the ball float, hand contact is key. You want to make sure to start with a high elbow and wrist. Many players have a tendency to drop their wrist low, but it’s vital to always keep it up high behind your head. As you toss, you’ll step through the ball toward your target and finish naturally with your hand following through, past your hip.

To execute a jump float serve, you’ll add a three- or four-step approach and time your toss with it. For a three-step approach, a right-handed hitter will step left, right, left. For the four-step approach, a right-handed hitter would step right, left, right, left. Left-handed hitters would do the opposite.


  • Use an open hand with a high elbow and wrist behind your head and shoulder.
  • Keep your serving wrist tight for better contact with the ball.
  • Lead with your palm as you make contact with the ball.
  • Lift the ball in front of your toss shoulder.
  • Make sure to follow-through all the way past your serving side hip.

“The float serve is a great way to give your team an advantage,” Porter says.

You’ll want to have different serves in your arsenal to help lead your team to a win on every point. In addition to the float serve, try working on the jump serve the next time you hit the volleyball court.