If you want to succeed in volleyball, you have to learn how to perform these serves. So let’s take a look at them:

Top Spin

The top spin serve is a serve that makes the ball look a curve ball pitched from a baseball player. The ball is going to curve straight down. The way to do it is to put as much top spin on the ball as possible. By hitting the ball really hard and snapping your wrist, you should get the ball to spin towards the ground as it crosses the net. This is a tough serve to receive because serve receivers are going to pulled closer to the net than they may think they need to be.

The Floater

The floater is a cool serve because this is going to cause the ball to do some really odd things. It is called a float serve because the ball appears to float and not want to come down out of the air. In addition, the ball moves very weirdly, back and forth, and serve receivers have a tough time reading the path of the ball. A good float serve should have almost no spin, should have a good pace on it, and should go right over the top of the net, as low as possible.

The Jump Serve

By and far, the jump serve is going to be the fastest, hardest hit serve there is. A player literally throws the ball in the air and takes the same approach as if they were spiking. The player jumps and hits the ball with extreme top spin. This serve is served faster than any other serve there is, upward to 100 mph. This serve is great for intimidating the opponent.

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The squat is one of the most basic exercises known to man, but it is also one of the most beneficial exercises for athletes such as basketball players, football players, and volleyball players.

A squat can be done with or without weights.

If you’re doing squats without weights, you simply would squat down with your feet shoulder width apart and bend your knees at a 90 degree angle and then come back up. You can do as many reps as possible or your can break it up into sets.

The same thing would be done for a weighted squat except you would be lifting a barbell with weights. Find your maximum weight and then subtract about 40-50 pounds from it until you can do the exercises with great form and confidence. Then you can increase the weight weekly.

Leg Press

The leg press is a very effective lower body exercise like squats, except you won’t have to lift anything with your arms, instead you will be pushing weight with nothing but your legs.

The exercise itself is very simple. You go onto the leg press machine and simply begin to press a specific amount of weight for a specific amount of reps and sets.

Bench Press

The bench press is a great exercise to work out your upper body. It is a good idea to develop your upper body strength since you will need it when driving to the basket, posting up, and just getting physical in the paint.

Lay flat on the bench, lower the weight towards your chest without actually touching your chest and then press the weight upwards away from your chest.

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Michael Jordan is the best player to ever play the game of basketball. He has nothing but respect for the game and want players to achieve success the right way. With that being said there are several different aspects to shooting the ball and all must be done correctly if a player is to become a great shooting. The perfect formula when teaching the art of shooting has to do with BEEF. Let me explain…

BEEF is an acronym that stands for balance, eyes, elbow, follow-through. This is a strategy used everywhere to teach good shoot form and is an extremely effective strategy.

B – Balance

Balance is extremely important when shooting the basketball. A player’s feet should be shoulder width apart when they prepare to shoot. This gives the perfect amount of balance on each side of the body. With the knees bent, one foot should be a little in front of the other. The foot that should be in front is the one that is one the same side as the player’s shooting hand. (If you shoot right handed, your right foot should be a little in front) Not only is this good for your aiming but it gives you a good aspect of where your feet should be pointing, at the basket! From here you should be balance and bent down ready to move on to the next step.

E – Eyes

Bent in position holding the ball, you know need to use to eyes to look at the basket. Yes, this seems like it should go without explanation, however there is a little more to it than that. The eyes are your greatest tool for aiming the ball and you would think most people know they should look at the basket when the shoot, but it needs to be more specific than that. Players who are great shooters do not just aim at that orange ring up on the backboard, they pick an even smaller part on the rim to look at. This results in a more precise aim and results in more accurate shots. I have always been taught to shoot at the inside of the rim right in the middle, I know some people who are taught to aim at the front of the rim. I do not really agree with that because if you aim at the front of the rim you will hit the front of the rim and it won’t go it. With that being said I recommend aiming at the inside back of it.

E- Elbow

At this point you are balanced and looking at the right part of the rim. Now it is time to start shooting. The most common mistake for players who have bad shots is they do not keep their shooting elbow in. The reason for this is because keeping your elbow in takes a little bit more of an effort (at least at the beginning, until you get used to it). However, people who do take the time to be conscious about it will see that they are able to get more power in their shot because they have more muscle pushing the ball. While you jump off of both feet, tucking your elbow in you want to push the ball in the air toward the rim, don’t forget to keep your eyes on the rim!!

F – Follow Through

Almost done with your shot but there is still one last part… the follow through. This was the part I had the most trouble with when I played. It is important that your hand points to the rim when you are releasing the ball. Not only do you want it to point at the rim, but you want your arm to be extended and your hand to stay high up in the air. At the end of your shot your aim should be basically straight up and down. My problem was that after my shot my arm would be pointed toward the rim, instead of straight up. This importance of having your hand straight up is because it affects the arch on your shot. You want to have a high arch on your shot because it creates a better chance of your shot going in the basket if it is coming from higher up. Holding your follow through a few seconds after each shot is important because it is a good way to assess how you are shooting and to ensure you are following though the right way.

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The sport of Volleyball was originally started in 1895 when William G. Morgan, an instructor at the Young Men’s Christian Association in Holyoke, Massachusetts, wanted to take elements from popular sports such as basketball, baseball, tennis, and handball to create a new kind of sport for different classes of businessmen that would be less physically demanding than the game of basketball. The result was volleyball, which he originally called Mintonette. Morgan took the kind of net used in tennis and raised it to 6 feet 6 inches above the court, which was just above the average men’s height at the time. The naming for volleyball came when, during a demonstration game of the new sport, an observer remarked about the back and forth volleying action of the play.

Volleyball then continued to advance. On July 7th, 1896, the first game of volleyball was played at Springfield college. Later, in 1900, a special ball designed specifically for volleyball was designed, and the YMCA continued expansion of the game outside the United States into Canada, Asia, and the Southern Hemisphere. The sport was able to reach communist Cuba in 1905, and in 1907 the sport was presented to the playground convention and was touted as being the most popular sport there. In 1913, Volleyball was held at the Far Eastern games, which was a large sporting festival of the time. A major step that volleyball took came when in 1919 American expeditionary forces were able to successfully distribute sixteen thousand volleyballs to its troops and allies. This action had the far reaching consequence of spreading the game of volleyball and growing it in foreign countries.

Volleyball continued growing until in 1957, the international Olympic committee designated Volleyball as an Olympic sport. This marked a major recognition and turning point for the growth of the game itself. The first Olympic Games that contained Volleyball were the 1964 Tokyo Olympics. Olympic competition fostered the creation of many different levels of competition, ranging from youth sports to high school to college and even professionally.

By following a short warm-up exercise routine you will improve your ability to out perform the competition. You can be faster and stronger with these few exercises. The warm-up routine I will recommend will allow your muscles to warm-up and actively stretch, sometimes called a dynamic warm-up, dynamic stretch or if used as a workout rather than a warm-up, bursting. While getting a good stretch on your muscle you are also increasing speed, flexibility, agility and bursting strength.

Most track athletes are used to this type of warm-up and exercise routine. As a basketball player you have more demand to be agile. You need to be able to quickly change direction, spin and stop. A track athlete is more concerned with reaching a top speed as quickly as possible.

Here is my recommended basketball warm-up routine. Start with a light jog for 10 minutes. I recommend running a slow mile to warm-up your muscles and your cardiovascular system. This should be done wearing some good basketball warm-up clothes, jacket and pant. Following this brief warm-up you should then go through your regular static stretching routine while wearing this same warm-up attire to keep your muscles warm. Hold each muscle stretch for 30 seconds to reach an optimal stretch. Now we can begin the active stretch and ballistic warm-up regiment.

Each of these dynamic exercises should be done from one foul line to the opposite foul line and then back to the starting position. This entire routine should take less than 10 minutes.

  • Butt Kicks: Kick you backside with your heels as fast as you can while only moving forward at a slow jog pace. This is a great quad stretch.
  • High Knees: Lift your knees as high and as fast as you can while slowly progressing forward.
  • Gazelles: This is one of my favorites, you bound as high as you can and while in the air keep your thigh parallel to the ground. You should feel like you are a leaping gazelle.
  • Hopping: This is like jumping a rope with out the rope, forward progression should be slow and controlled.
  • High Kick Walk: While walking forward bring your knee up toward your chest and then kick your leg out pointing your toes toward the ceiling. This is a great hamstring stretch.
  • Ken/Barbie Doll Running: With your knees locked sprint across the court. The running is done with only moving the hip and ankle joints.

It is important to remember that these warm-ups should be done with purpose and with good technique. After doing this warm-up routine you should feel slightly sweaty and more limber. If you constantly perform these simple exercises you should get quicker, more agile and reduce your risk of injury.