Volleyball: Tips for Receiving Floater Versus Topspin Serves | PE Update.com - Physical Education Lesson Plans, Activities, Games, Tips
Step Forward and Extend the Arms to Receive Topspin Serves
Step Forward and Extend the Arms to Receive Topspin Serves

Volleyball: Tips for Receiving Floater Versus Topspin Serves

Dick Moss, Editor

Floater serves are tricky creatures. Like its baseball counterpart, the knuckleball, the floater is delivered with no spin, which catches air currents and makes the ball appear to rise as it moves towards the receiver.

In contrast, topspin serves tend to drop suddenly as they approach the receiver.

Since topspin and floater serves behave differently, it's important for serve receivers to immediately identify the type of serve that's been made and to prepare for its probable flight path.

How to Identify
Since most serves are either topspin or floaters, your players can recognize them as soon as the ball is served by identifying whether the ball has spin (topspin) or no spin (floater).

You can assist your players in identifying spin by using a permanent magic marker to colour some of the panels on several practice volleyballs.

Once your receivers have identified the ball's spin, they should prepare for the probable flight path of the ball.
How to Handle a Topspin Serve

When receiving a topspin serve, instruct your players to get into position, then to step forward while extending the arms—this extra movement forward will accommodate the rapid drop of the ball.

How to Handle a Floater
To handle a floater serve, instruct your receivers to get into position, but to hold their arms over their left (back) leg instead of between their legs. This allows the arms to be more quickly raised to the side of the body in response to a sudden lifting of the ball.


 

Hold Arms Over Left (Back) Leg to Receive Floater Serves.This Allows the Receiver to Quickly Raise the Arms if the Ball Suddenly Rises (See Above Right)
Hold Arms Over Left (Back) Leg to Receive Floater Serves.This Allows the Receiver to Quickly Raise the Arms if the Ball Suddenly Rises (See Above Right)


References
1. Kinda Asher (Editor), Lois Mueller (Author), “Effective serve receive techniques. The Best of Coaching Volleyball, Book 1: The Basic Elements of the Game, Masters Press, 1995.
2. American Sport Education Program,Coaching Volleyball Technical & Tactical Skills, Human Kinetics, 2011.



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