April Ross is the most feared beach-volleyball server in the world.
The 2012 Olympic silver medalist was named FIVB Best Server in 2011, 2012, and 2015. We caught up with her shortly before she and partner Kerri Walsh Jennings left for Rio and Ross offered five tips on serving effectively:
1. Pick a specific spot on the court that you want to serve. Pick a two by two inch target and focus on serving the ball to that two inch square.
2. Serving is all about the toss. I’m an advocate of purely practicing the toss. Don’t worry about the serve, just practice the toss over and over.
3. Don’t focus on the power of your serve, focus on the ball to hand contact. Make sure you get a good solid contact.
4. Definitely take stock of the wind. Make sure you know which way the wind is blowing and use that to your advantage by serving into the wind.
5. Don’t hit the same serve over and over and over again. Switch up the speed, switch up the trajectory, and switch up the serve depth, even if it means it will be a slower serve. Keep your opponents off balance. Oh, and eat Uncrustables before you serve, it will make you unstoppable