When recalling an answer to the oft-asked question of beach volleyball serving -- "Is it better to serve with power or with accuracy? -- two images come to mind.
The first is of Jeremy Casebeer. If you missed AVP Seattle this past year, where he won with Canadian Olympian Chaim Schalk, that's perfectly fine. It's on Amazon Prime if you'd like to re-watch. Or you can simply read this recap here: Jeremy Casebeer ace, Jeremy Casebeer ace, Jeremy Casebeer ace. In the semifinals, where Casebeer and Schalk were playing Casey Patterson and Chase Budinger, Casebeer served his way to an 8-0 start.
Eight nothing! In the first set of an AVP semifinal! His pace at the serving line would cool, but remain torrid enough to power him and Schalk to a smooth win and another in the finals over Jake Gibb and Taylor Crabb.
That is an example of power serving.
The other image that comes to mind when thinking about beach volleyball serving is of Billy Kolinske. You will not see Kolinske's name atop many stat sheets for serving, but that's not the point. Kolinske is an expert at spot-serving: picking a target, be it deep corner, short, in the seam, to the line, and hitting that target. He's one of the most quietly successful blockers in the game today.
That's an example of accurate serving in beach volleyball.
Watch the video below with our Brandon Joyner in Hermosa Beach, California, as he details the benefits of both power and accuracy, and how a happy marriage between the two will help you to become the best server on the beach.
The video above is an example of a lesson from our beach volleyball serving course. In this video, we're going to break down the idea of serving aggressively or serving accurately. Obviously, you want both in your serving repertoire, but we do talk about the advantages of both. Make sure you subscribe to our YouTube channel to get notified when we come out with new content.
The big question that we get a lot is what's more important when you're serving: Having a powerful serve or having an accurate serve? I don't know if there's a correct answer for any specific player because I think it has more to do with you finding the correct ratio or the correct balance for you as a beach volleyball player.
For instance, myself and Mark Burik are going to have different ratios depending on the type of player that we are. I will, however, say that for beginners, I believe that it is crucial to your development as a player to start with accuracy. You should be able to hit a spot on the court eight times out of 10 before you think about hitting the surf hard. As you progress in your game and as you become go from a beginner beach volleyball to an intermediate beach volleyball player and an intermediate to an advanced beach volleyball player or an advanced player to a pro beach volleyball player, then you're going to realize what serves and what power to accuracy ratio is going to help you the most.
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There's a couple players that I think have really found their ratio and are using it to help them win points. The first person is Jeremy Casebeer. Jeremy Casebeer is known as a power player. When he goes back to surf, he is okay with missing serves because he wants to give himself the opportunity to score while hitting a jump serve. So if I had to say a ratio for Jeremy, I would say that he is probably, if we're taking it out of 100 percent, he is probably a 70 percent power, 30 percent accuracy. And obviously as the game goes on, that might change a little bit. If he's having a great day, that power might go up to 80 percent. If he's having a day where he's missing a lot of serves, he might bump that down to 50 or 60 percent but he does that in order to make himself the most valuable server that he can be.
The next person that I thought about was Bill Kolinske. Bill Kolinske was able to find success very, very quickly. And the first thing that I've noticed about Bill is that he's not a flashy player. Hopefully he doesn't take offense to me saying that, but I would say that Bill focuses more on accuracy than he does power. It's very obvious that Bill is a very strategic player. He has conversations with his partner as he's walking back to serve almost every single time. And I think what he's doing is he's telling his partner, 'Hey, I'm going to serve this because of this.'
A lot of times, we don't see a lot of up and down serves, but for some reason Bill has found a way to do this and find a lot of success. He has figured out a way to say 'If I can put the ball two feet from the net and make that passer go up and make a pass and then get back and try to hit that, they're going to be in more trouble than if I hit this ball hard at them.'
So it's important for you to find your ratio and figure out: Are you a more power beach volleyball player, are you a more accurate beach volleyball player? But I think it is safe to say for everyone that if you start out thinking about accuracy and then start to move with power, that's going to give you the best scenario possible to make you the most valuable server that you can be.
Please go to betteratbeach.com where you can check out the rest of our content. We have courses for serve-receive, serving, attacking, setting, defense, and blocking. All of these can be found within our memberships where we have a rookie membership that is perfect for beginners trying to learn the game. We have a rising star membership that will let you dive in deeper to all of these different skill types. And we have a main draw membership that includes everything, and also it gives you access to professional coaches and players.
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If you want to get more power, more accuracy, more consistency and MORE ACES as well as the defensive mindset and strategies that win matches, you should sign up for our Beach Volleyball Mastery. We take you through the basic mechanics of serving and then work all the way up to advanced tactics and how to beat certain types of hitters and teams. Keep the other team on their heels and never give them a chance to get a comfortable attack
We also show you how to use the various types of standing float serves as well as jump floats, jump spikes and skyballs! Each serve should be used against certain types of players! Once inside the membership, you’ll be able to unlock “Power, Accuracy and Aces: The Serving Master Class" which will build you an arsenal of more strategic, more accurate, more powerful serves from the ground up. It comes complete with rehab protocol, gym exercises you need to increase arm speed, solo drills you can do at home, partner drills, accuracy exercises and elite throwing and hitting drills.
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