The Death Serve
The Death Serve is very simply an attempt to score a quick point by serving a ball that is very hard and has big movement on it, to the point that the opponent is rendered afraid and helpless. (well not really but you want to imagine this is how it makes them feel) Various people can acheive this type of serve using various methods (jump serve, line drive floater or hard diver). The most important aspect of executing a death serve is your state of mind. You must mentally assume you are the attacker and strike the ball with confidence and violence. My method of performing this is from a standing position. I basically perform a spiking motion with both feet planted on the ground. I try to contact the ball at a high point with lots of arm speed and snap on top of the ball to impart downspin. If properly executed this serve will almost act like a baseball pitcher's slider, breaking across and down. The contact point needs to be farther back on this than a spike so the trajectory carries over the net. When you are able to consistently execute an aggressive serve the rest of the game suddenly becomes much easier. In best case scenario you generate instant offense and can score points in bunches, but even if the opponent is able to get the ball in the air, more than likely it will be an errant pass that will be difficult to set into a winner. In my experience agressive serving is the key to advancing up the volleyball ladder.