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Training Visual Skills in Serve Receive Passing

Training Visual Skills in Serve Receive Passing

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Improve your team's passing by focusing on the visual aspect of the game.

with Walt Ker,
founder and coach of Legacy Volleyball Club;
started Cal State Northridge's men's volleyball program and is former head coach of the women's team that won three national championships;
former UCLA Assistant Coach (2006 National Champions);
former Coach of the Synergy Volleyball Club, 4x U.S. Junior Olympic Gold Medalists

  • Teach your players to recognize their serve receive blind spot and minimize passing errors
  • Train your players how to read the serve early in its flight
  • Help your athletes overcome three common visual distractions

Are your players struggling with serve receive passing? Learning how to track the ball with their eyes will help them improve their passing!

In this video, three-time national championship coach Walt Ker will teach you how to handle a ball that moves late in its flight path and share several "tools" that, when used at the proper time, will increase your players' ability to not only recognize the pace, trajectory and movement of the serve, but also how to play the ball successfully.

The Blind Spot

Coach Ker begins the video by demonstrating the basic visual technique that most players lack. He shows how many players have a blind spot that leads to inaccurate passes. Using Coach Ker's techniques, your players will increase their visual contact with the ball and learn to adjust their platform to any last second movements the ball might make.

Visual Identification

In this section, you will learn several visual cues for quickly identifying key pieces of information about the serve. He demonstrates how that information can immediately be used to make early movements to the ball. During the initial flight of the serve, players will learn to identify pace, trajectory, and movement of the ball.

Tools to Combat Movement on the Serve

To help your athletes adjust to the ball, Ker shows four different footwork patterns, one for each of the passing movements necessary for success. The benefit of each movement is discussed by Coach Ker, as well as the philosophy behind each concept. He also talks about the advantages and disadvantages of every move he trains.

Coach Ker identifies three of the most common cues he uses during matches to quickly communicate to his players: "press this ball to the net," "make me jump set," and "see the ball to the sweet spot." All of these cues are proactive, goal-driven messages that players can immediately apply during the speed and chaos of a match.

Various drills are demonstrated that will help you train the vision and footwork of your players. Each drill is explained in-depth and demonstrated several times, giving you a great idea of how to teach these techniques to your team.

This video provides an outstanding overview of the visual tools and applications of passing the ball in serve receive for coaches of all levels. Using the information taught by Coach Ker will increase your passers' ability to start each rally in-system.

Produced at the 2014 AVCA Annual Convention in Oklahoma City, OK.

62 minutes. 2015.