Beach Volleyball Advanced Passing Tutorial: How soon should I put my hands together in serve receive?


If you're interested in this blog on beach volleyball serve receive and passing, you may want to take a look at our passing and serve receive course! And, now that the beaches are open again, we'd love to have you drop by one -- or more -- of our beach volleyball classes, private lessons and training camps for adults and juniors in Hermosa Beach, CA and Salt Lake City, Utah. We run volleyball vacations in exotic locations around the world. We can even run beach volleyball clinics for your group, club or team in your hometown! Send an email to [email protected]

One of the trickier elements of serve receive is the timing of your platform: When do you put your hands together to form your platform? Every player has his or her own technique. Watch a video of John Mayer, an AVP champion and former MVP and now the head coach at LMU, and he puts his hands together before the serve. Watch Kim Hildreth and Sarah Schermerhorn, AVP finalists at Austin in 2019, and their arms are wide as can be, like birds of prey, until virtually the last possible moment. 

Point is: Everyone is different. It's mostly a comfort thing. However, we do have our recommendations here at Better at Beach. As this is a common question among the folks at our beach volleyball classes in the South Bay, we did our best to answer it. 

Passing During Drills Is Easy

It is easy to have your platform solidly built if you have somebody tossing or hitting straight to you. They'll just have you put your hands together, arms locked out and have you finish with your arms together. That is the easy way. But in an actual game, you will be moving constantly and you have to move quickly in order to pass.

Building Your Platform Early While Moving

You need to create some movement and see how long and early you have to build your platform. Most people will run for a short ball using sprint mechanics and then shoot their hands out at the last moment. If you only need two steps to get to that short ball, then you don't need heavy run mechanics.

The earlier you get your platform out, the more consistent you'll be passing. It's not going to slow you down as much as you think it will. If it's just two steps, then you don't need those elbow pumps. Just make sure you get your platform out as if you're holding a nice tray of champagne. If someone feeds you a short ball, try to get your platform out nice and early.

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Key Points to Consider

When you build your platform, take note of your elbows and see if they are locked out early. If you end up pumping your arms while running to the ball and then receiving it at the last moment, that short ball is going to become really difficult for you.

Always make sure to get your platform out early when you're moving so that;

  • You can line the ball up.
  • Your partner can read where the ball is headed.
  • You can have consistency with your passing.

Our Complete Serve Receive course starts at the bottom and takes you all the way to the top. Whether you are a true beginner or you've been playing for decades, this course will offer you a chance to build and re-build your basics and take the next jump. Take the time to follow the course and do the drills. We guarantee you are going to Get Better at Beach! 


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If you want to pass perfect every time, keep reading. We are going to help you pass with more accuracy, more consistency and more confidence! Get the positioning and the mechanics to control the first touch against any server, in any weather. You’ll also learn to develop a mindset that keeps you in the game so you can stay focused and win matches.

All you have to do is sign up for our Beach Volleyball Mastery. We take you through the basics and then work all the way up to eyework and advanced mechanics so you pass every ball right where it needs to go!
We’ll show you how to pass for option (on-2) attack, how to fight off great float serves and how to pass for YOUR best offense.

Once inside the membership, you’ll be able to unlock “Pass with Consistency and Confidence: The Serve Receive Master Class" which will build your footwork and passing platform from the ground up. It comes complete with footwork drills, solo drills, partner exercises and passing charts so you can measure your progress!

We also include with 9 more skill courses AND our 60 Day At-Home Max Vertical Jump Training Program

Once you sign up, you'll be able to watch the in-depth tutorials, film your “before” videos, start and film your at-home drills and begin posting to our Private Facebook Group. Then, our coaches will break down your mechanics, footwork and touch at our weekly online meetings. Yes, that means we look at YOUR videos and we coach YOU!

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