The Jump Serve, also called the spike serve, is an essential skill for any player to learn. Players who can make use of the jump serve are able to completely put off the opposing team’s timing, keeping them from launching their offense.
That being said, how does one perform a jump serve?
Step 1: Tossing the Ball
Before you initiate the jump serve it is essential that you first “get in the zone.” Clear your head of all thoughts and doubts, and simply try to follow the instructions. Once you clear your head, we can start with the toss.
- Place the ball in your dominant hand, extend it forward, and take 10 steps behind the end line.
- Make sure not to throw the ball too far ahead, as that could throw off your timing. The height comes down to your skill, with most people preferring to throw it higher.
- When throwing the ball upwards, let it roll off your fingertips, which creates forward spin essential for the serve.
Try practicing the toss motion alone until you can replicate it.
Step 2: Approaching the Ball
Once you can consistently get the toss right, you can now start approaching the ball while it is in the air. Repeat the toss motion again, with the major difference being that you should now focus on your dominant foot, which is usually the right one for right-handed people. It can feel a little strange at first but try to bring both the hand and foot in sync.
- When the ball rolls off the heel of your hand and reaches your fingertips, your foot should also transition from the heel to your toes.
- By the time you are making make the second step, the ball should be in the air.
- Take the third step with your dominant foot again, while bending from the waist and throwing your arms back.
- With the fourth and final step, release all the built up momentum in one smooth motion, as you jump, extend your back, and throw your hands above your head.
Step 3: Making Impact with the Ball
After you practice the approach and toss in one motion, you can now focus on the impact.
- Knock back your striking hand like a bow, and use your other hand to guide it.
- Keep the striking hand extended and try to aim for the center or top of the ball.
- Snap your wrist as soon as you hit the ball to generate more topspin.
Step 4: Following Through on the Impact
After making contact, make sure you let your hand swing all the way.
- Do not stop as soon as you hit the ball, as that doesn’t create enough power or spin.
- Instead, follow through on your swing and let your arm naturally come to a stop.
Following through also allows you to fully utilize the generated momentum.
Make sure that you start learning the jump serve one step at a time. First, make a consistent toss, then consistently approach the ball, and then perfect your swing.
And when you feel like you are getting the hang of it, try change up your approach or the ball height to find your unique style.