Volleyball Serve Biomechanical factors influencing my Performance Contacting the ball at the top of arms reach If I did not contact the ball at the top of arms reach I would loose acceleration because the force is greater when the arm is at full reach. By contacting the ball at full arms reach you are creating a longer leaver and increasing the moment of inertia by increasing the force upon which you can accelerate the arm forward to serve the ball.
If the ball contacted beyond the top of arms reach the height of release is lower and it won’t make it over the net. If I do not have my arm stretched out to full length prior to contacting the ball I won’t be able to generate as much momentum and therefore transfer of momentum to the ball is not at its highest. Stand with feet shoulder width apart This is important as it ensures you are balanced. If not applied your base of support would be smaller and you would be unbalanced.
Being unstable impacts the angle at which you can throw the ball and the angle at which the ball is contacted. An angle of release which is too low might result in there not being enough height for the ball to get over the net. A wider base of support would also allow the athlete to apply greater force. The greater the force applied the greater the acceleration and therefore the more effective the serve. When moving to hit the ball, transfer your weight fully to your front leg. This is important because it will result in transfer of momentum.
When the ball is hit momentum of the body and the ball is conserved. Some of the momentum generated by the body is transferred to the ball. Stepping forward allows for a more effective transfer of momentum. Transferring your weight fully onto your front foot by stepping forward also allows greater force to be applied through the principle of force summation. By using the large muscles first we can maximise the muscular force that each muscle group associated with each segment can generate.
Stepping forward uses the large muscles of the legs first and then follows through to the trunk, arms and finally the wrist. Body facing in the way you wish the ball to go: This is important because for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction. If the player is not facing where they want the ball to go then when the action force is applied, the reaction force applied back will result in the ball travelling in the direction the body is facing.
As Newton’s second law states, when a force is applied to a mass (the ball) the result is acceleration of that mass in the direction the force is applied. If the body is not facing in the direction the ball wishes to go, it will not accelerate in that direction when hit. Furthermore, if the player has to adjust their direction of force applied throughout the serving action, the power of the force will be decreased. (Consider force summation here, angle and speed of release)