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Biomechanics of a Volleyball Serve

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Kate Primavera

on 2 April 2014

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Transcript of Biomechanics of a Volleyball Serve

Biomechanics of a Volleyball Serve
Major Weakness
The Overhand Serve
"Consistent overhand serving is a volleyball team’s first line of offense"
Poppy Carpenter, Demand Media.
Base of Support
Increasing the distance between our feet increases what is termed as our base of support.

A small base of support can hinder performance, decreasing the potential of both power and accuracy.

This was determined to be a critical error in my overarm serve.
The effectiveness of the serve depends on three major factors:

1. the position of the ball at impact
2. speed of the ball after impact
3. the direction of movement after impact

(Chung, Choi et al.1990).
This stems from:
- Errors in base of support
- Incorrect line and point of application
Balance and Stability
During Preparation
- Large base of support just as the guide demonstrates
- feet set firmly and comfortably apart
- maximum stability and balance is enabled
Upon Contact With the Ball
- Base of support decreases significantly
- All weight placed on ball of left foot
- Sudden change in support results in loss of stability
Rotation in the upper body has resulted in an overstep during the follow-through
Increasing the size of the base of support increases stability
- HumanKinetics.com
Correcting the Problem
To correct the problem, a larger base of support is needed. To do this I would need to have both feet in constant contact with the ground in order to maintain a relatively large base of support. This would enable more controlled and powerful serve.
Point of Application
The point of force application occurs when the hand makes contact with the ball.

The direction of the ball is determined by the point of application.

The ideal point of application is at the back of the ball.

- Point of application at side of ball
- No control over ball's destination
- By contacting ball at back, I would increase accuracy - Develop ability to control the ball's destination
Line of Application
The line of application is a line through the point of application extended along the direction of the force.

Errors are evident as my elbow is not kept high or close to the ear. This small yet critical error in my subroutine has lad to an incorrect line and point of application.
Correcting the Problem
To correct this problem, my elbow needs to be kept high and close to my ear, just as the volleyball player demonstrates in the above images. This would create a better line and point of application, and enable a more powerful and accurate serve.
- The right set of practice drills can prove effective in enhancing technique.
- The type of drill performed depends on where errors lie
- serving practice can be done independently
Start by standing only 5 metres away from a target on a bare wall, and aim to hit the target by serving the ball. Slowly increase the distance as you successfully hit the target. This drill places heavy importance on the point and line of application in order to advance.
Procedural Memory
Procedural memory is a part of the long-term memory responsible for knowing how to perform certain tasks, commonly known as motor skills.
(Kim Ann Zimmermann, Live Science Contributor 2014)
By performing this drill often and consistently, motor skills will develop quickly and the procedural memory will store the necessary information. The serve will eventually be able to be performed with power accurately and consistently, with little or no conscious thought required.

With the application of the recommendations made earlier and the consistent use of this drill, my serve should improve dramatically.
Amezdroz, G. Dickens, S. Hosford, G. (2012) Queensland Senior Physical Education (3rd Edition), Macmillian Education Australia

Biomechanics and Muscle Memory - The Science of Volleyball. (n.d.). The Science of Volleyball. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://volleyballscience.weebly.com/biomechanics-and-muscle-memory.html

Five factors determine stability and mobility. (n.d.). human-kinetics. Retrieved March 19, 2014, from http://www.humankinetics.com/excerpts/excerpts/five-factors-determine-stability-and-mobility

Goserud, E., & Schroeder, P. (2014, March 17). Biomechanics of Volleyball.WiseGeek. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.wisegeek.com/what-is-the-biomechanics-of-volleyball.htm

Reeser, J., Fleisig, G., Bolt, B., & Ruan, M. (2001, March 6). Abstract. National Center for Biotechnology Information. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3445065/

The Biomechanics of Volleyball: The Arm Swing (Part 2.1 of many). (n.d.).Precision Physical Therapy Fitness. Retrieved March 28, 2014, from http://prefitpt.com/blog/2013/08/14/the-biomechanics-of-volleyball-the-arm-swing-part-2-1-of-many/

Volleyball Overhand Serving Drills for Beginners. (n.d.). Woman. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://woman.thenest.com/volleyball-overhand-serving-drills-beginners-2042.html

Zimmermann, K. A. (2014, February 22). Procedural Memory: Definition and Examples. LiveScience. Retrieved March 31, 2014, from http://www.livescience.com/43595-procedural-memory.html

The above image displays the path of my hand during an overarm serve.
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