When performing a skill in just about any sport, you want to start from the athletic position. Your feet are the most important part because they will set up the rest of your body. Keep your feet slowly staggered, with one a little ahead of the other.
If setting up your feet got you into the athletic position, then your knees should already be bent. You also want to keep your weight balanced over the balls of your feet.
Bend slightly at the waist so you are nothing leaving forward, but also maintaining your balance. Be sure to have a clear view of the server, face the server, and be aware where the setter is.
If you are right-handed, place your right hand fingers over your left hand fingers. Bring sides of palms together. Push your thumbs against each other, extend your arms out in front of your body, and raise the pits of your elbow up toward the ceiling. Lift your wrists will press your thumbs down towards the floor.
When waiting for the serve, you do not want to have your hands covered and ready to pass. You must move to the ball first, then put your hands in the correct position to pass.
The platform is a word you will come across often in volleyball. The platform is where you will contact the ball on your arms while passing. The best advice I ever received about the platform is to prepare that you have a piece of plywood lying in your arms from your biceps to your wrists.
The Process of the Pass
Your body should be slightly bent forward at the waist. Contact the ball at the midpoint of your body from your solid "plywood" platform. Do not allow your platform to go above your eyes. Do not ever swing your arms. This will make for some crazy passes. Instead of swinging your arms to pass, use your legs to guide the ball where you need it to go. Also, use your shoulders to help shape the pass. Square your shoulders towards your setter during the act of the pass and while you are contacting the ball. This will help you make a good pass.
Summary of Serve Receive
1. Do not forget about the athletic position. Your feet should stay slightly staggered and also shoulder width apart.
2. Your knees are bent and your weight is over the balls of your feet.
3. Bend your upper body at the waist. Maintain a clear view of the server and face the server.
4. Remember your hand position but do nothing until you have moved your body to where the ball is going.
5. Maintain a solid platform by imagining that you have a piece of plywood running from your biceps to your wrists.
6. Use your legs and your shoulders when passing the ball. Avoid swinging your arms.