• Serve Receive: Let the angle do the work! by Vincent Pichette

    Feb 20, 2012

    Serve Receive: Let the angle do the work! by Vincent Pichette

    Pictures are worth a … ! With proper angle, you can tell before the contact, where the ball will go!

    People often ask what’s the most important thing in passing: footwork, hips, feet, shoulders, etc. All this is factored in, but the most important thing is usually what makes the contact: the arms, more precisely the angle of the arms on contact.

    Many passers fight the ball. They’ll swing their arms too much and won’t have them facing the target on contact. When the serve comes in faster and/or with more movement, players will lose control over the ball. Simply, angle the arms to your target and let the angle do the work!

    Here’s how:

    1) Face the ball: Simply start by facing the server with a wide stance. Don’t twist and turn, just face him or her! Adjust to the angle of the server, ex.: line or cross.

    2) Angle the arms: When you read the serve and move to the ball, angle the arms to the target. Have them facing your target. Angle the arms early. Then, control the speed and trajectory of the ball on contact. That’s it!

    We have a tendency to overcomplicate things when teaching passing. Simplify! Use cues, keep them simple and limited. True for players and coaches alike!

    Now you just need reps!

    Extra tips!

    - Know the server so you have an idea of what to expect. Don’t guess, read!
    - On hard serves, don’t get fancy! Angle the arms flatter and keep the ball off the net. Your team will still be able to get the first swing on the ball.
    - On float or slower serves, don’t just get hit by the ball, push the ball to the setter to still control speed and trajectory.