Forehand volley in tennis

  • 03.03.2019
  • Tennis

forehand volley in tennis

In this video you will learn how to hit a forehand volley. A good volleying technique is essential to develop a net game. Check out the video on the. The Forehand Volley . These tennis volley tips are important for the development of your forehand and backhand volley. A tennis volley is hit before the ball.

Forehand volley in tennis - final

Do you ever feel like you’re missing too many volleys? Maybe you don’t have the confidence you need to go to the net and volley to end the point?

Today, you’re going to learn exactly how to volley in tennis.

I’m going to show you the right grip for your volleys, proper volley technique, and a checklist with tips that I personally use on the court to fix my own missed volleys. Finally, I’ll show you volley drills you can use to improve your confidence in your ability to volley.

Follow this guide to start hitting clean volleys and actually win points from the net instead of missing volleys in the net or floating them for the other team.


The Right Grip for a Tennis Volley

The first step to hitting a good volley in tennis is getting the right grip. Without the right volley grip, you won’t be able to hit clean volleys or be an effective net player in doubles or singles.

Good tennis coaches teach the continental forehand grip for both the forehand and backhand volley. That’s what pro tennis players use as well.

When you’re at the net you need to be able to react quickly, so having the same grip for both volleys is important. You typically don’t have time to change grips between forehand and backhand volleys.

If you have a swinging volley you can use your forehand and backhand groundstrokes grip, but usually, after that shot, you will want to change to the continental grip for the next shot. Swinging volleys are typically used to end the point or to transition from the baseline to the net.


3 Keys to Good Volley Technique

After you have the right grip, you must have proper volley technique to become a good net player.

Here is an easy three-point checklist to make sure you’re using good volley technique. Write these down on a notecard and put them in your tennis bag. Remind yourself to do these 3 things and you’ll start hitting better volleys, guaranteed.

#1 Volley Footwork – Get in the Right Position

The first step to good volley technique is using your footwork to get into good position.

A lot of people use a split step to get under control before preparing for the volley. This is optional but probably a good idea for beginners or players who are approaching the net quickly.

Once you know if you’re hitting a forehand or backhand volley, you need to turn sideways at about a 45-degree angle from the net, with your hips slightly closed. Your feet should be staggered at the same 45-degree angle.

For right-handed players, you’ll have your left foot forward for forehand volleys and right foot forward for backhand volleys.

#2 Your Racquet Positioning

Many players start with their racquet too high, or too far back on their volleys.

To hit clean volleys, your racquet needs to be behind the place where you will make contact with the ball, without bringing the racquet behind your body.

If you bring the racquet back too high, then you will have to chop down on your volleys which causes the ball to pop up and float (this is a common mistake for beginners and advanced players). Bringing the racquet too far back, behind you can leave room for error in your volley technique and makes the shot more difficult to time.

College tennis player hitting a forehand volley

Your hand should be slightly under the racquet head and strings tilted slightly up depending on how low the volley is. The lower volleys will require the strings to be pointed higher to get the ball over the net, and your racquet head will drop.

You can think of the volley as a punch, you don’t swing as you do with groundstrokes because you’re already close to the net. You’re also hitting the ball before it bounces, so you use the momentum of the ball to get your power. You usually need to have a firm grip and wrist as well.

You’ll absorb some impact on the volley depending on which type of volley you want to hit. For a drop shot, your wrist will give more on contact, but for a more powerful volley, you will want a firm wrist.

#3 Keep Your Momentum Forward

Make sure you’re moving forward, NOT sideways or backward when hitting the volley.

This is the most important tip on the list. You’re body weight and feet should be leaning and moving forward into the shot. As you hit the volley you should transition your weight from your back to front foot while opening your hips from the closed position to let your arms release the energy through the racquet into the ball.

A lot of people are scared to close into the net and keep their momentum forward because they might get hit. Actually, if you’re on your heels, then you’re MUCH more likely to get hit.

You can do an exercise where someone tosses a ball at you while you’re on your heels, then again while you’re on the balls of your feet leaning forward. It’s easier to dodge the ball when you’re on the balls of your feet.


The Forehand Volley

Most tennis players prefer their forehand volley. It is easier because you have more reach to poach, and can control the racquet better on that side.

For a good forehand volley, follow the technique described above. You’ll also want to keep your left hand up and extended from your body. As you hit the forehand volley you’ll bring it into your body so both arms are coming together. This will help you keep your balance and control.

To change the direction of the ball, you simply adjust your wrist and racquet position slightly. To hit the volley crosscourt (left for right-handed players), you’ll have the racquet head in front of your wrist. To hit a down the line forehand volley, or to the right, you’ll close your stance a little more and open your wrist slightly to bring the head of the racquet back a little more.

Small changes in racquet position result in big directional changes for the volley.


The Backhand Volley

The backhand volley is usually the weakest volley for tennis players.

Volleys are not taught as much as groundstrokes in tennis, and the backhand volley is the primary victim of this.

To hit a good backhand volley you’ll need to close your hips and feet early, then time the volley right. Once you close your hips and have the racquet slightly behind you, you’ll open your hips to drive your racquet head forward through the ball.

The most common mistake players make with the backhand volley is starting with their racquet too high. This causes them to chop down on the volley and the ball pops up and lacks any pace. Because of this tendency, I like to start with my racquet lower than I think it should be, then lift the racquet head as I swing if needed.

Watch Roger Federer hit backhand volleys in slow motion for 1-2 minutes.
He starts with the racquet high but drops it before impact to get the racquet head through the ball. The strings are pointed in the direction he wants the ball to go.


3 Simple Volley Tips: The Checklist

There’s a lot to remember when you’re hitting volleys at the net. So I broke it down into a short volley tips checklist, that covers everything you’ll need.

I’ve watched hundreds of hours of both professional and USTA tennis, and these volley tips correct the most common mistakes I see.

Once you start using this volley checklist, I guarantee you’ll start making more volleys and feeling more confident to be at the net.

Tip #1: Move Forward on Your Volleys

Without moving forward you’re leaving it up to your arm to do all the work, then you may get into a habit of swinging on your volleys which will increase room for error and decrease your percentage. This is a bad habit that many tennis players make.

Instead, have your body’s momentum going forward and keep the motion with your arm small. This leaves less room for error and makes volleys easier. Your forward body momentum and a firm wrist and grip will drive the ball through the court.

Be sure to focus on your volley footwork as you do this. A lot of people lung at the volley and get off balance when they try to move forward. I do this sometimes when my legs are tired and I’m poaching. The result is usually a missed volley in the net 🙁

Instead, shorten your steps and stay under control.

I see people all the time miss a volley and grab their racquet and replay the volley as if it’s something their arm or upper body hit the ball wrong. That’s almost never the case. Your upper body didn’t “forget” how to hit a volley.

It’s almost always the footwork, positioning, and momentum that determines the result of the volley.

Tip #2: Stand Closer to the Net & Don’t Let the Ball Drop

The closer you are to the net, the easier the volley will be.

Martina Hingis hits a forehand volley

It’s much easier to clear the net, and drive the ball down into the court, or towards your opponent’s feet if you’re closer to the net.

Standing further back also allows the ball to drop to your feet, making a much more difficult volley. Too many people back up and let the ball bounce or drop below their waist before hitting it. Instead, try moving forward and hitting the ball at the highest point that you can.

Close fast and under control. A volley hit from shoulder height is much easier than a volley hit from your knees.

If you can, always be at least halfway between the service line and net on your volleys.

Don’t hit volleys from the service line unless you’re hitting a half volley to move forward to the net.

Tip #3: Move Your Racquet Through the Path of the Ball

If your volleys pop up or float more than you’d like, you’re probably carving your racquet under the ball instead of hitting through it. Your racquet’s path on the volley needs to be towards the place you want to hit it, not down.

To fix this, tilt your strings a little more towards the direction you want to hit the ball, instead of towards the sky.

Also, start with your racquet lower before you hit your volley. This will feel unnatural to you because your volley technique has been wrong before. But if you start with your racquet lower and swing in (what feels like) a more upward path, you’ll start hitting better, cleaner volleys until it becomes normal for you.


Tennis Volley Drills for the Practice Court

It’s one thing to read about volley technique, but you need volley drills to go out and practice. It will be more difficult to change your technique during a match. Here are a few drills to help you maintain good form and improve your volleys.

Volley on a Wall

Start slow, with short touch volleys to get your technique correct before hitting harder volleys deeper in the court.

Try 10 forehand volleys then 10 backhand volleys. If you’re a more advanced player, you can try 20, 50 or even 100 in a row!

This one is easy because you can use a tennis wall at your local courts, or a brick wall on the side of your house. You also don’t need a partner.

Touch Volleys with Your Doubles Partner

Again, start short here, standing close to the net. Do simple, easy touch volleys to get your feel and timing down. Then, after that gets easy, take a step back, then another, then another…

Eventually, you’ll be able to do this while each of you is on the service line.

For a more advanced version of this drill, check out this video from Broudy Tennis. It will help your touch, feel, and control on your volleys.

Two Up Two Back Practice Volley Drill

A fun four-person drill is two up two back. In this drill, two people start at the service line and the other team at the baseline.

The people from the service line feed, alternating to the two baseline players. On their first shot, the baseline team must hit it in the singles court (no lobs), after that the whole court is open and lobs are allowed.

The net players must hit their first volley from the service line, or within a few feet (no charging the net to put the first volley away).

Play to 11 and switch.

One Up One Back

In one up one back, you play with similar rules to two up two back from above.

The difference is only half the court is used. One player starts at the service line and feeds to the other player at the baseline. The players should be down the line from each other.

The baseline player must hit it in the first shot in the singles (half) court (no lobs), after that the entire half of the court (including the doubles alley on that half) is open and lobs are okay. The net players must hit their first volley from the service line or within a step of it.

Play to 11 and switch.

Here’s a video of me playing 1 up 1 back with my mixed doubles partner and her dog 🙂


3 Things To Remember To Improve Your Volleys

This was a lot of information on how to volley in tennis. Many coaches overwhelm players leaving them confused.

I want to leave you with 3 things to remember that will get you 80% of what you need for confident, volleys in tennis.

  • Keep your momentum forward.
  • Stay closer to the net.
  • Keep your backswing short & your swing through the ball.

If you get those right, you’ll make over 80% of your volleys and feel more confident at the net in doubles or singles matches.

Volleys are a very important part of winning in tennis and there aren’t enough coaches spending much time on it, so be sure to practice your volleys regularly.

Are there any volley drills I didn’t mention?? Comment below with your favorite volley drill.

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Volley technique in tennis

There are as many ways to hit a volley as there are situations experienced at the net.
In fact, the volleying player must consider a number of factors when approaching the net, and must initiate a fairly complex volley:

  • The quality of his approach to the shot and the spot from which to hit it
  • Whether to move forward or go backwards to hit the volley
  • The nature of the return shot (along the line, diagonal, body shot, tight, plunging, fast ball or with a twist).

At least one or more of these factors will generate a varying degree of difficulty when executing the volley. This difficulty level will in turn guide the player in his game options.

 

Volley basics

Position at attention

At the net, taking a balance step is the first basic maneuver. This involves:

  • Inclining the body forwards, body weight resting on the soles of the feet, shoulders in front of the feet
  • Elbows and forearms away from the body, in front of the abdomen, forward by about 10cm.
  • Racket pointed forward, head slightly lifted
  • Favoring the hammer grip
  • Left hand (for someone right-handed) placed on the racket throat
  • Head looks forward, eyes fixed on the return shot and ball
  • Feet spread wide, shoulder width apart (stability)
  • Knees slightly bent, allowing the thighs to control the forward tilt of the body

From this obligatory position of attention, even during a sequence, a chain of movements common to all types of volley can be identified.

 

The preparation

The first movement is the preparation (upper body: Early opening). Lack of time brought on by the position at the net means that one must carry out the movement quickly and efficiently. The joint segments involved should therefore be kept to a minimum. For a forehand volley, with elbows forward, preparation involves simply opening the wrist. This action will place the racket to the side, held horizontally and parallel to the net. Keep in mind the image of the hand opening (the racket with it) to catch the ball. This is the simplest of all the movements. As well, this opening of the wrist is anatomically limited (kept at an extension of the hand) and therefore very quick. The celebrated, quick and forward preparation, recommended by all coaches, is used often. When applied, the opposite hand stays near the playing hand, resulting in a slight right rotation of the shoulders and torso (20-25°) as compared to the net. A player is then armed and ready for the forehand volley. Let’s look at how to prepare for a return volley.

First of all, you will have noticed that for a return volley the playing arm is slightly forward, unlike for the forehand volley.

The first step when preparing to return, is to position the right arm laterally, taught/relaxed (slight bending of the elbow), parallel to the net, and horizontal. Not only does this create reasonable distance, but it is anatomically simple to carry out (arm distance) in order to send the ball to the side. The racket is kept vertical, tilted backwards (approx 40-45°), left hand placed on the racket throat and in line with the elbow and shoulder. This stable alignment of shoulder-elbow-left-hand, in addition to balancing power, creates a real “hitting ramp” from which the hand and racket can take off.

Once the upper body is ready, it’s useful to observe what’s happening in the lower body, i.e. the hips, legs, and feet. The limited action time available during a volley means keeping the hips facing the net before hitting the ball. Shortly we will go over other scenarios. Keeping the hips facing the net during preparation means taking an open balancing step to the right and left. In this case the hip on the corresponding side advances automatically, slightly forward. Concerning organizational timing, this balance step, depending on if we need to continue forward to hit the volley close to the net or if we are already in hitting position, will either: take place secondly in the first situation (moving forward), or simultaneously in the second situation. Placing the feet wide apart means you’ve found the right hitting balance and that it’s time to strike.

 

The hit: the transfer and end of the movement

In either one of the 2 situations, once the preparation has taken place and feet are spread, the player must transfer his weight (weight dispatch). This transfer constitutes the first step in the hit. To complete it, push weight sharply forwards towards the game in order to accompany the hit and have movement when it’s time to carry it through. The ball should strike the racket mid-thrust. The pairing of the two movements, the thrusting step and the impact of the racket on the ball, to which we add the exploited speed of the arriving ball, creates a global, kinetic energy that brings the necessary and adapted speed to the ball.

The second step is impact and the end of the movement. Impact happens when the hit is made before the balancing step. It happens mid-thrust. In this moment, shoulders stay perpendicular to the net in order to conserve the right lateral distance for a side return, and thanks to the left arm, for a forehand the slight rotation from the preparation step is maintained for the same distance objective.
The hitting plan is more advanced for a crossed volley than a volley played down the line.

At the end of the thrust, the movement ends by sending the head of the racket in the direction of the game zone thanks to a slight bending of the wrist. Since the arm stays taught/relaxed, the wrist action becomes positive. But be careful not to pair the movement with a bending/extension of the elbow. This will bring imprecision to the plan of contact. The opposite leg catches and corrects any unbalance and ends the movement. The racket should not end up on the other side of the body. Though sent forward, the racket must complete a slight descent in order to slice the ball and force the lowest rebound possible.

 

Specifics of volleys played in certain positions and situations

Volley played at center mid-court (1st volley)

This type of volley includes most of the elements discussed in the general description. One difference is that this type of volley is typically a low-to-the-ground volley (like during a volley serve or sequence begun from the backcourt line and therefore far from the net). In this case, preparation is identical, one must simply adjust the height of their center of gravity depending on the height of the ball. One frequently encouraged point of reference is to keep eyes level upon impact. This requires going much lower in the legs. This volley must absolutely be carried out in movement, with an open, forward facing stance (foot on the volley side to be kept in front of the other). The objective is to maintain the energy of the movement in order to get closer to the net and reduce angles and game options for the opponent. The quality and precision of this volley will determine the freedom we leave ourselves for covering a returning lob linked to lateral coverage of the net. When carrying out a high, mid-court volley, the preparation height must be accentuated to respond to the reduced speed of the incoming ball. The preparation stance should therefore place the game arm upright to the ground, in front of the body and feet. The hit will then take place with a pronation of the wrist and closing of the pectoral muscle in varying degrees depending on how far we wish to hit the ball.

 

The finishing volley

The finishing volley is, by definition, a volley that can finish the point and therefore takes place close to the net. The drop shot volley is one option for finishing the point. These volleys require less movement and are often played from a stopped position or with a slight thrust on one foot. The end of the movement is often reduced, ending a short time after impact, especially for crossed volleys.

 

The far from centre volley

The far from center volley is used to intercept passing shots near the alleys. It requires maximum body extension, meaning the extension with which we can cover the greatest distance. This requires turning the hips in order to obtain additional reach characterized by wideness in the shoulders and lower body, the length of the arm-racket pairing, and the widest possible spread of the feet in order to obtain maximum upper body inclination while remaining balanced and in control. Taking off from the centerline of the service box, with a foot to each side and wide shoulders, we can make the end of the racket reach almost 50cm from the alley. This leaves little precision for attacking the return. Great physical abilities are therefore required.

 

On the body volley

This volley is most often used for doubles, but not exclusively. The objective is therefore to free yourself as best you can. To do so, there are two “technical” options: you had enough time to adapt your movement trajectory and you can play the volley normally. This means you were able to move far enough laterally to reduce distance to the ball and simplify the technical task of hitting it back to your playing side, or the opposite side to surprise your opponent. As this makes the task more complicated, you decide to play the volley normally. The second option is that you had no time to move before the hit. In this case, you must rely on technique. There are, however, several helpful tips. Favorize the backhand volley. With an elbow pointing laterally outwards, the volley remains playable. Don’t jump at the same time. Many players have this reflex but losing your footing isn’t ideal. If the forehand volley is a must, take care to keep the hand in front of your body and just open the wrist to catch the shot. This should help you stay in the game! In both cases, pairing the hit with a lateral sidestep will help you.

 

As you have seen, the volley is a hit that happens close to the net where reaction times are shortened. Technical movements should be short, clean, and efficient. This hit requires using speed from your opponent’s ball to send it back with further acceleration. Taking in information and reacting accordingly are vital components of this type of game and therefore the right technical tools to use.

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The sport of tennis has gone through some dramatic changes through time. If you watch tennis videos from the 1950s and compare them to recent videos, they will look like very different sports. From clothes to rackets to rules, all the major aspects of tennis have evolved with time. And among all these aspects, one that changed significantly was the need for good tennis volleys.

In the past, the majority of tennis points were played with one of the players (or both) at the net hitting volleys. Because the courts were very fast and the rackets were smaller, good players used to try to get to the net as soon as possible. Needless to say, they needed to have good volleys. As time went on, both courts and tennis balls became slower, rackets became bigger but lighter, and players became stronger and faster. These changes made the overall tennis game slower, which means that players are not rewarded as much for going to the net – since their opponents have more time to react. As a consequence, players began focusing more on their groundstrokes than on their volleys, and nowadays even some of the best tennis players in the world will admit they have a pretty pathetic net game.

Volleys are one of the trickiest shots in tennis. When watching professionals play, volleys seem very easy and automatic. On the other hand, when you’re playing tennis and you suddenly have a tennis ball rushing towards your face, volleys don’t look that easy anymore.

Tennis volleys require touch, speed, skill, fast reflexes, a steady hand, and precision – which makes them one of the most admirable shots in tennis.

While players and coaches tend to not spend as much time working on volleys anymore, having a solid game can give you an edge on the tennis court. Volleys are great not only for singles, but for doubles as well. By having a good net game, you’ll be able to be more aggressive, shorten points, run less, and win more. 

Pretty good deal if you ask me. 

In this article, we will cover the basics of volleys, including what a volley is and how you can hit one. We’ll also cover some of our best tips and strategies to take your tennis volleys to the next level. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced player, you will be able to get something out of this read.

If you wish, you can skip to the specific section that interests you. The information below is outlined in the following way:

  • Tennis Volley Definition
  • Forehand Volley
  • Backhand Volley
  • Tennis Volley Grip
  • Tennis Volley Step By Step
  • Tennis Volley Footwork
  • Tennis Volley Position
  • Tennis Volley Backswing Technique
  • Tennis Volley Tips
  • Bes Tennis Volley Drills

Tennis Volley Definition

In essence, volleys are part of your net game, which means that you will hit these shots without letting the ball touch the ground before you hit it. These shots are mainly used to finish the point, after you were able to move your opponent around by hitting successful groundstrokes. They are also used a lot more frequently during doubles matches. Depending on how you hit your volley, it will be qualified as either a forehand volley or a backhand volley.

Forehand Volley

The forehand volley is a fairly simple movement, in which you use only one arm to hit a ball by your dominant side, without letting the ball touch the ground. A player usually hits volleys when standing close to the net and inside the service box. It requires firm hands and fast reflexes. 

Backhand Volley

The backhand volley looks a lot like a backhand slice, but without letting the ball touch the ground. Once again, a volley usually occurs when you are standing close to the net. A backhand volley always happens on your non-dominant side. While backhand volleys are normally taught as a one-handed shot, it is not uncommon to see players hitting backhand volleys using both hands.

Backhand volleys are an important part of your net game since they will allow you to shorten the points and take time away from your opponent. 

Tennis Volley – Grip

When you’re hitting tennis volleys, it all comes down to speed and control – which is why you should hit your volleys using a Continental grip. The benefits of using this grip for your volleys is that it is very quick to set up, and you won’t need to change it between your serve, forehand volley, backhand volley, and overhead. While the Continental grip doesn’t allow the player to add a lot of spin to the shot, that is not a problem since volleys do not require spin. 

In order to use a Continental grip, you should hold your racket as if you were “giving it a handshake”. The knuckle of your index finger should be right on bevel #2. The Continental grip is excellent for hitting shots that do not require much topspin, like serves, volleys, slices, and overheads. 

Tennis Volley – Step By Step

While tennis volleys look very simple, there are actually a lot of things going on at the same time. As you become comfortable with this shot, these things will become automatic and you won’t have to really think about them. However, when you’re first learning how to volley, you should understand the biomechanics of a well-executed volley. We’ve broken down the volley into 9 different steps (as you can see in the image below) so you can have a good idea of what you should be doing. You can follow these steps for both forehand and backhand volleys.

Remember, though, that once you become comfortable with volleying, your stroke should be one smooth movement and not a series of small movements. 

  1. Balanced Base: Keeping your knees slightly bent and your body weight in the front of your feet, the first step to a good volley is to have a solid base with your legs – ready to move in any direction. Your legs should be spread at your shoulders’ width. 
  2. Split Step: The second step will be the jump that will get you ready to change directions (better known as a split step). The most important aspect of the split step is to time it well, and you should begin jumping as your opponent hits his shot. Your jump should be both forwards and up. 
  3. Wide Landing: The landing after the split step should be done with your legs opening wider than the width of your shoulders. This will allow you to cover a bigger share of the court.
  4. Side Identification: This is the step where quick reflexes will make a huge difference. Once you realize whether the ball is coming to your forehand or backhand side, you can start turning your body that way. Notice in the image how the outside foot starts turning to the forehand side. You’ll begin your shoulder rotation with both of your hands holding the racket, and you will eventually release one of them and use it to point to the ball. 
  5. Weight Shift: Now that you know where you will be hitting the volley, you should begin shifting the weight of your body that way. You should try to put most of the weight on the outside leg. Keep your elbow slightly bent and the head of the racket higher than your hands. 
  6. Elbow Extension: Keeping your eyes on the ball, you’ll gradually extend your elbow. You always want to make contact with the ball in front of you. 
  7. Clean Contact: As you can see in the image, the contact point happens in front of you, and since your body should be moving forward, you shouldn’t have to hit the ball hard. You’re essentially just using the pace your opponent hit the shot with.
  8. Leg Step-Through: At this point, your back leg should be landing in front of your outside leg. This will ensure that you have an aggressive stance in your volleys – and it’s the step we refer below as the “Big Step”.
  9. Follow Through: Finally, you should do a short follow-through after you hit your volley. This won’t be nearly as long as a groundstroke follow-through; it is just enough so you can catch the racket with the other hand and move on to the next volley. 

Tennis Volley – Footwork

A player’s volleys are only as good as his footwork. Since volleys happen so quickly and there is not much room to compensate with a full swing, having efficient footwork is paramount. Just like a lot of other things in tennis, simpler volleys are better volleys. Below we’ll cover a few tips to have a good volley footwork. 

  • Keep Your Knees Bent: You should keep a slight bend in your knees at all times when you’re at the net, as this will allow you to change directions better and jump more explosively.
  • Keep Your Weight In The Front Of Your Feet: If you are able to, you can even keep your heels off the ground. By doing so, you will easily keep your knees bent and you will inevitably keep your whole body leaning forward – a great aggressive stance.
  • All About Quick Feet: When you’re at the net, it all comes down to how quick you can be. Your feet should stay light, but able to explode at all times. You should think of it as if you were trying to “float”
  • The Smaller The Step, The Better: With the exception of the one big step when you hit the ball, you should try to take small steps. By doing so, you’ll be able to change directions faster.
  • Listen To Your Big Step: When you’re taking your big step in order to hit the volley, you should try to stomp your foot, even to the point at which you can hear it. By focusing on that, you’ll have an aggressive footwork, meeting the ball in front of you.

Tennis Volley – Position

When you’re hitting volleys, there are essentially two positions your body should go through. They are the neutral position and the step-through position.

Neutral Position

This is the stance you’ll usually use before doing your split step. Your feet will be spread at about shoulders’ width, your knees will be slightly bent, your body weight in the front of your feet, both hands on the racket, and your torso standing up straight. 

In defensive volleys, this is the only position you will use. Since the ball is coming at you faster, you don’t have time to step through with the back leg. So in order to hit successful defensive volleys, your neutral position should have a solid base.

Step-Through Position

This is the final position you will use after hitting an aggressive volley. This is the position you’ll end up on after making contact with the ball and stepping your leg through. From that point on, you will need to level both legs and recover fast for the next volley.

Once again, when shots are coming at you too fast and you have no time for the step-through, you should stick to the neutral position mentioned above. 

Tennis Volley – Backswing Technique

The backswing portion of the volley is a tricky one. A lot of times, if our opponent hits a slower shot, we’ll have more time to prepare and we’ll end up using a big backswing so we can “hit the ball harder”. By doing so, a lot of times we end up missing those shots – either long, wide, or at the net.

A volley backswing should always be as compact as it can possibly be. If you are wondering whether your backswing is too big, chances are it probably is.

I’ve worked on my volley technique a lot throughout my career, and I’ll share some of the tips that have helped me out the most over the years.

  • When preparing for a volley, always keep the racket in front of you and ready to go. Both of your hands should be on the racket and the head of the racket should be higher than your hands.
  • Keep your elbows slightly extended when getting ready for a volley. You can save a lot of time if you don’t have to waste time extending your elbows.
  • The rotation happens through the shoulders, not through the arms. This will help keep your movement compact.
  • You’re supposed to keep your non-dominant hand on the racket for longer than you’d think. This non-dominant hand is not nearly as important as it is for groundstrokes. By keeping it on the racket for longer, you’ll be making sure your arms, shoulders, hips, and racket are moving together.
  • Your racket should never go back further than your shoulder line. If that happens, it means you’re going too far.
  • You should never lose your racket out of sight when hitting a volley. If you do so, it means you’re probably making contact with the ball too late. 

Tennis Volley Tips

If you’ve made it to this point, you basically know everything you need to know in order to hit effective tennis volleys. Now all you need to do is go to the court and practice.

Below we have added some additional tips that might make your journey easier:

  • Focus On The Right Volley, Not The Prettiest Volley: A lot of times you won’t have enough time to do a full volley, with the perfect technique and a great step through. In these cases, you need to know that it’s ok to do a very basic volley with a neutral stance, and just focusing on getting the ball to the other side. 
  • It’s All About Placement: My dad always said: if tennis was about who can hit the hardest, MMA fighters would win all Grand Slams. This holds true to every shot on the tennis court, but it is especially true about volleys. Since you’re already taking a lot of time away from your opponent, you don’t need to hit it hard – just place it well. 
  • Ain’t Nothing Like A Good Setup: The easiest way to get an easy volley is to hit good approach shots, so make sure you also work on that. 
  • Find The Secret Spot: You should normally attempt to hit short cross-court volleys – not necessarily drop shots, just short ones. If you look at the image below, you’ll see what we mean. 
  • The Sooner The Better: Make sure you always make contact with the ball in front of you. The earlier you hit it, the more time you will take away from your opponent. 

Best Tennis Volley Drills

We are constantly adding new drill ideas for every area of your tennis game, volleys included. We have previously written an article on the 7 Drills To Improve Your Volleys, which has some of our favorite volley drills. Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite drills that will help you improve different aspects of your volleys, including direction, consistency, reflexes, and footwork. 

For Volley Direction – The Bryan Brothers Drill

This drill will have you working with a partner in order to improve your volley direction. It might be a little challenging at first, but once you get a feel for it, you should be able to get a nice flow going. This drill will help you not only improve direction, but consistency and reflexes as well.

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. Stay low even though you are moving laterally. It is easy to let yourself pop up.
  2. Keep the hips as square as possible to the net as you move. This is a lateral movement, not a forward movement. 
  3. Don’t crowd the ball. Give yourself space. If the space isn’t there, create it. 
  4. Don’t assume the ball will be where you want it to be. Remember, this is a reaction drill. Make it realistic and don’t expect it to come in the perfect place. 
  5. Work together to keep the ball going as long as possible. It won’t be perfect, just strive to get better.

For Volley Consistency – The Wall Ball Drill

What we love about this drill is that it removes every distraction possible. When it’s just you and the wall, you can reach a focus level that is not possible when hitting with a tennis partner. The cool thing about it as well is that the more your volley technique improves and the more consistent you are, the easier the drill becomes. 

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. Keep your wrist firm. We are training strength in this drill, it is counterproductive to do this with a broken wrist.
  2. Keep your weight on your front leg.
  3. Move your feet. You will have to make small adjustments as you go. 
  4. Stay low. Feel a burn in your legs and don’t pop up as the drill goes on. 
  5. Keep your swing compact. If you can’t keep the ball going and it feels rushed, it is likely because your swing is too big. 
  6. Keep your head still, but keep your eyes locked on the ball the entire time.

For Volley Reflexes – The On Top Of The Net Drill 

This is a great quick drill that can be extremely helpful, especially for doubles. You may get hit once or twice, but you will most certainly develop better reflexes. 

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. Keep your hands up. If you drop your hands, you won’t have time to get them back up.
  2. Keep the swing compact. 
  3. Meet the ball out front as much as possible.
  4. Don’t let the ball move you. Be a wall and resist against the power of the baseliner’s shot. 
  5. Depth doesn’t matter. All that matters is you are sticking the volley back and you are making the ball with force behind it.

For Volley Footwork – The Get Low, Stay Low Drill

Finally, this drill is one of our favorites when it comes down to improving volley footwork. What makes it great is that it forces you to work on your legs while keeping the right technique. Trust me, you will get tired when doing this drill. But hey, the more tired you get now, the less tired you will be during the matches. 

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. After you touch the ground, still stay low. This should not look like you are doing a burpee.
  2. Keep your chest up throughout. 
  3. Bend with your knees, not your back. 

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this read and that you can go ahead and begin working on improving your volleys. If you do have any questions, comments, or concerns, let us know in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can!

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Become a Master of the Tennis Volley

Tennis volley shots are normally hit when the players are at the net or near the net. Although it is also possible to hit this shot near the baseline. However, volleying away from the net is seldom used or is only used in certain circumstances. The main objective of a tennis volley is to surprise your opponent since this shot limits your opponent’s reaction time because it’s returned so quickly. It’s considered an offensive shot as opposed to a defensive one. The shot also minimizes the bad bounce effect especially on grass and clay courts. In addition, playing a volley (especially if you stand near the net) gives you a wide array of angled shot choices which can be very difficult for your opponent to return. If your opponent does return the ball, normally it is a weak one. To be a successful volleyer you need to have quick reflexes and you need to have perfect hand-eye coordination. Below are some tips for players seeking to improve the forehand and backhand volley.

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How to Hit a Forehand Volley

In this video, you will learn how to volley.

A volley is an attacking net shot that is struck before the ball bounces

The three key steps are the preparation, the shot and the follow through

Step1

The Preparation

Use a continental grip

The racket frame should be perpendicular to the ground and the base of the 'V' formed with the thumb and the index along the first bevel

Hold the throat of the racket with the non racket hand

Stand in the ready position two metres from the net, with legs shoulder width apart and knees bent

The racket handle should be waist-high and the head should point diagonally upward, forming an 'L' shape with the arm

Avoid holding the racket down or to the side

Step 2

The Shot

Do a split step when your opponent contacts the ball

This will allow you to turn to the forehand or the backhand

Turn your shoulders on your forehand side and extend your non racket hand in front to help you judge and balance

Swing your arm forward as you strike the ball and step forward with your non racket leg simultaneously

Keep the side of the frame up and push the ball forward with a firm and locked wrist

Avoid using your wrist to hit the volley

The underspin is generated by using the shoulder as a hinge, starting with the racket above the ball and contacting it below

The swing should be minimal and compact, as if you were blocking the ball

Do not take the racket behind your shoulders before volleying

Ideally the ball should be above the net, so that you can attack by pushing the racket forward and downard, high to low

If the ball is below the net, bend your knees and keep the side of the racket up

The contact should be to the side and in front of your body

Step 3

The follow through

In a volley, there's isn't much of a follow through

Lead with your body and step forward into the shot

It's important to put some bodyweight into the volley

Get back into the ready position with the racket head up

Practice volleying against the wall or with a partner

Enjoy your game

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Volleys are key strokes that frequently are not practiced as often and as well as they should be.  Being able to volley is key for doubles play, but can be an important component in singles, as well.  The modern game of tennis promotes big groundstrokes and huge serves.  But, what can a player do when she/he finds herself/himself losing in a match?  Well, of course, she/he should enact plan “B.”  For many players, serving and volleying and/or chipping and charging can be the best alternative strategy when the groundstroke game goes awry.  In either case, the player will find herself/himself at the net…where volleys and overhead smashes are the essential strokes.

Now, I know for some of you coming to the net only occurs when you are shaking your opponent’s hand at the end of a match.  Why?  Let’s be honest.  There are lots of players who just don’t possess volleys with which they feel confident. Well, this month’s column will address the forehand volley in a manner that will hopefully inspire the needed confidence.

As always, let’s begin with grip.  For the forehand volley, there are only three grips that I would recommend.  These are the eastern forehand grip, the continental grip and the “hammer” grip (which is really a closed fisted continental grip). 

Here are some pics of these three grips:

The Eastern Forehand Grip

The Continental Grip

The “Hammer” Grip

The eastern forehand grip is a more “natural” and stronger grip for the forehand volley.  It puts the wrist, arm and elbow in positions that allow for strong, controlled volleys.  These reasons are why many tennis teachers encourage beginners to use this grip for forehand volleys.  The disadvantage to this grip is that it is not appropriate for the backhand volley.  Thus, the player must make a grip change when hitting the backhand volley.  With rapid exchanges that can and do occur at the net, any grip change may be a liability.

The continental and hammer grips are the most commonly used “volley grips.”  They do not require any grip change when hitting either forehand or backhand volleys.  In addition, these two grips can be used effectively when hitting the serve.  Thus, the player who serves and volleys can use one grip for both. 

Now, many of us do make very slight changes in grip when using either the continental or hammer grips for volleying.  When I forehand volley, I generally move my grip from pure continental to something that is slightly more eastern forehand-like.  Similarly, I find that I move very slightly from the pure continental to something that is slightly more eastern backhand-like when hitting the backhand volley.  These changes are very slight, but do help make my volleys a bit more “crisp.”  If the exchanges at net prevent me from making these changes, I am still able to hit a reasonably good to very good volley using the pure continental grip. 

Players who use the hammer grip generally do not make any changes when moving from forehand to backhand volleys.  It has been my experience that players who use this grip generally have good volleys but are a little weaker when hitting the low volley.

Some years back, I had the opportunity to get a piece of advice from Stefan Edberg regarding volleying.  Truly, he was one of the very best volleyers to ever play the game.

When asked what is the most important thing about volleying, he answered, “seeing the ball come off the opponent’s racquet was key.”  He further explained that volleying is something that requires as much anticipation as is possible.  To better anticipate the opponent’s shot, Edberg suggested that one really needs to concentrate on the ball as it makes contact with the opponent’s racquet strings.  This action will give the volleyer a better “read” on where the opponent’s shot is headed, and thus, will help the volleyer anticipate how to move properly to hit the volley.  I have found this advice to be extremely well founded.

Moving to the ball is a critical ingredient in proper volleying.  The closer your body is to the ball when you volley, the more control you will have over it.  To facilitate this movement, I suggest that you move your head toward the ball as it comes toward you.

Now, I know that some of you may fear that you will be hit in the head by the ball.  I assure you that this is very unlikely.  Rather, moving your head toward the ball will get your body in close to the ball, and, in addition, it will keep your body at the proper “height” to hit the volley.  I learned this tip from Oscar Wegner when I trained with him and it has served me well. 

Often times, you hear coaches say to their players…get down low to hit the volley.  Well, this is good advice for those balls that fall below the height of the net cord.  The goal, however, is to try and hit the volley when the ball is at maximum height.  Unfortunately, this is not always possible.  However, if you constantly are moving forward as you move to volley, you will have the best chance at hitting a high volley, which is much easier to hit than the low volley.

Here we see Jana Novotna hitting the high forehand volley.  She seemed to always get close enough to the net to hit the highest possible volley.

Whenever possible, hit the forehand volley in front of your body.  Now, this will require you to bend the wrist back if you are using the continental or hammer grips.  Too often, I see players (including myself) hitting the volley with the racquet parallel to the shoulders or even behind the shoulders.  Sometimes, this can’t be helped.  But, hitting the forehand volley in front will greatly improve the control and pace of your volleys.

Here is a shot of Todd Woodbridge hitting a volley well in front of his body.  What is amazing is how often he is able to hit the forehand volley in front. Notice how his wrist is bent fully back.

In addition to hitting the forehand volley as far in front of your body as is possible, it is critical that you try to keep your racquet hand’s elbow close to the body.  Groundstrokes on the forehand side usually necessitate that the elbow be up and away from the body.  Quite opposite is true for the forehand volley.

In the following three pictures, notice how each player has his elbow in close to the body and the racquet hand wrist bent back.  Remarkably, each of these players was able to hit the forehand volley well in front of his body.

Good technique associated with any volley (forehand or backhand) requires that the racquet head be above your wrist at the moment of contact.  If a player can keep his/her racquet head high even on the low volleys, he/she is much more likely to volley deep and with control.  Too often, the groundstroke-oriented player allows her/his racquet head to get below the wrist when volleying.  This is not surprising because when hitting topspin, the forehand and backhand groundstrokes benefit from the lower racquet head.

Here are some shots of low forehand volleys where the racquet head is either parallel with the wrist or slightly above the wrist.  Obviously, to keep the racquet head up when hitting the forehand volley, the player must be willing to bend his/her knees.  For we older players, this is not always a pleasant task, but one that is necessary.

Sometimes, you have to get so low that racquet head height is not an option…

Finally, a player needs to practice her/his forehand volley frequently.  How you practice is critical.  When having balls hit to you, don’t stand too close to the net.  In reality, we rarely get truly close to the net when hitting volleys in a match.  I suggest that you stand a little bit in from the service line when practicing volleys.  This is much closer to reality.

In addition, don’t just practice volleys.  Practice serving and volleying, and chipping and charging the net.  Have your hitting partner hit a ball low to your forehand side as you approach the net after serving.  He/she can do this by not returning the serve but by hitting a ball, which he/she is holding in his/her hand.  Also, hit an approach shot off of your opponent’s serve (a chip).  Instead of having him/her hit your approach, have him/her use another ball (held in his/her hand) to feed you a low shot to your forehand.

These “play action” practice drills are critical if you truly want to incorporate volleying into your game because they replicate match play.

So in review, I offer the following advice for the forehand volley:

  1. Use an eastern forehand, continental or hammer grip.
  2. Concentrate keenly on the ball as it comes off your opponent’s racquet.
  3. Try to move your head to the ball as you approach the ball to volley.  This will keep your body in proper position to hit the volley.
  4. Try to hit volleys before the ball falls below net height.  This means that you have to move forward to volley.
  5. Try to hit forehand volleys in front of your body.
  6. Keep the wrist bent fully back and the racquet hand elbow close to the body when hitting the forehand volley.
  7. Try to keep the racquet head above your wrist when hitting volleys.
  8. Practice your volleys often.  When practicing “static” volleys keep closer to the service line…not near the net.  Also, try to replicate match play by incorporating “play action” drills into your practice sessions.

If you follow these 8 tips, I am sure that in no time your will find your forehand volley has become a weapon…not a liability…and you will soon become a tennis overdog.

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Do you ever feel like you’re missing too many volleys? Maybe you don’t have the confidence you need to go to the net and volley to end the point?

Today, you’re going andrew hurd basketball learn exactly how to volley in tennis.

I’m going to show you the right grip for your volleys, proper volley technique, and a checklist with tips that I personally use on the court to fix my own missed volleys. Finally, I’ll show you volley drills you can use to improve your confidence in your ability to volley.

Follow this guide to start hitting clean volleys and actually win points from the net instead of missing volleys in the net or floating them for the other team.


The Right Grip for a Tennis Volley

The first step to hitting a good volley in tennis is getting the right grip. Without the right volley grip, you won’t be able to hit clean volleys or be an effective net player in doubles or singles.

Good tennis coaches teach the continental forehand grip for both the forehand and backhand forehand volley in tennis. That’s what pro tennis players use as well.

When you’re at the net you need to be able to react quickly, so having the same grip for both volleys is important. You typically don’t have time to change grips between forehand and backhand volleys.

If you have a swinging volley you can use your forehand and backhand groundstrokes grip, but usually, after that shot, you will want to change to the continental grip for the next shot. Swinging volleys are typically used to end the point or to transition from the baseline to the net.


3 Keys to Good Volley Technique

After you have the right grip, you must have proper volley forehand volley in tennis to become a good net player.

Here is an easy three-point checklist to make sure you’re using good volley technique. Write these down on a notecard and put them in your tennis bag. Remind yourself to do these 3 things and you’ll start hitting better volleys, guaranteed.

#1 Volley Footwork – Get in the Right Position

The first step to good volley technique is using your footwork to get into good position.

A lot of people use a split step to get under control before preparing for the volley. This is optional but probably a good idea for beginners or players who are approaching the net quickly.

Once you know if you’re hitting a forehand or backhand volley, you need to turn sideways at about a 45-degree angle from the net, with your hips slightly closed. Your feet should be staggered at the same 45-degree angle.

For right-handed players, you’ll have your left foot forward for forehand volleys and right foot forward for backhand volleys.

#2 Your Racquet Positioning

Many players start with their racquet too high, forehand volley in tennis, or too far back on their volleys.

To hit clean volleys, your racquet needs to be behind the place where you will make contact with the ball, without bringing the racquet behind your body.

If you bring the racquet back too high, then you will have to chop down on your volleys which causes the ball to pop up and float (this is a common mistake for beginners and advanced players). Bringing the racquet too far back, behind you can leave room for error in your volley technique and makes the shot more difficult to time.

College tennis player hitting a forehand volley

Your hand should be slightly under the racquet head and strings tilted slightly up depending on how low the volley is. The lower volleys will require the strings to be pointed higher to get the ball over the net, forehand volley in tennis, and your racquet head will drop.

You can think of the volley as a punch, you don’t swing as you do with groundstrokes because you’re already close to the net, forehand volley in tennis. You’re also hitting the ball before it bounces, so you use the momentum of the ball to get your power. You usually need to have a firm grip and wrist as well.

You’ll absorb some impact on the volley depending on which type of volley you want to hit. For a drop shot, your wrist will give more on contact, but for a more powerful volley, you will want a firm wrist.

#3 Keep Your Momentum Forward

Make sure you’re moving forward, NOT sideways or backward when hitting the volley.

This is the most important tip on the list. You’re body weight and feet should be leaning and moving forward into the shot. As you hit the volley you should transition your weight from your back to front foot while opening your hips from the closed position to let your arms release the energy through the racquet into the ball.

A lot of people are scared to close into the net and keep their momentum forward because they might get hit. Actually, if you’re on your heels, then you’re MUCH more likely to get hit.

You can do an exercise where someone tosses a ball at you while you’re on your heels, then again while you’re on the balls of your feet leaning forward. It’s easier to dodge the ball when you’re on ymca muncie swim lessons balls of your forehand volley in tennis Forehand Volley

Most tennis players prefer their forehand volley. It is easier because you have more reach to poach, and can control the racquet better on that side.

For a good forehand volley, forehand volley in tennis the technique described above. You’ll also want to keep your left hand up and extended from your body. As you hit the forehand volley you’ll bring it into your body so both arms are coming together. This will help you keep your balance and control.

To change the direction of the ball, you simply adjust your wrist and racquet position slightly. To hit the volley crosscourt (left for right-handed players), you’ll have the racquet head in front of your wrist. To hit a down the line forehand volley, or to the right, you’ll close your stance a little more and open your wrist slightly to bring the head amare frost basketball ranking the racquet back a little more.

Small changes in racquet position result in big directional changes for the volley.


The Backhand Volley

The backhand volley is usually the weakest volley for tennis players.

Volleys are not taught as much as groundstrokes in tennis, and the backhand volley is the primary victim of this.

To hit a good backhand volley you’ll need to close your hips and feet early, then time the volley right. Once you close your hips and have the racquet slightly behind you, you’ll open your hips to drive your racquet head forward through the ball.

The most common mistake players make with the backhand volley is starting with their racquet too high. This causes them to chop down on the volley and the ball pops up and lacks any pace. Because of this tendency, I like to start with my racquet lower than I think it should be, then lift the racquet head as I swing if needed.

Watch Roger Federer hit backhand volleys in slow motion for 1-2 minutes.
He starts with the racquet high but drops it before impact to get the racquet head through the ball. The strings are pointed in the direction he wants the ball to go.


3 Simple Volley Tips: The Checklist

There’s a lot to remember when you’re hitting volleys at the net. So I broke it down into a short volley tips checklist, that covers everything you’ll need.

I’ve watched hundreds of hours of both professional and USTA tennis, and these volley tips correct the most common mistakes I see.

Once you start using this forehand volley in tennis checklist, forehand volley in tennis, I guarantee you’ll start making more volleys and feeling more confident to be at the net.

Tip #1: Move Forward on Your Volleys

Without moving forward you’re leaving it up to your arm to do all the work, then you may get into a habit of swinging on your volleys which will increase room for error and decrease your percentage, forehand volley in tennis. This is a bad habit that many tennis players make.

Instead, have your body’s momentum going forward and keep the motion with your arm small. This leaves less room for error and makes volleys easier. Your forward body momentum and a firm wrist and grip will drive the ball through the court.

Be sure to focus on your volley footwork as you do this. A lot of people lung at the volley and get off balance when they try to move forward. I do this sometimes when my legs are tired and I’m poaching, forehand volley in tennis. The result is usually a missed volley in the net 🙁

Instead, shorten your steps and stay under control.

I see people all the time miss a volley and grab their racquet and replay the volley as if it’s something their arm or upper body hit the ball wrong. That’s almost never the case. Your upper body didn’t “forget” how to hit a volley.

It’s almost always the footwork, positioning, and momentum that determines the result of the volley.

Tip #2: Stand Closer to the Net & Don’t Let the Ball Drop

The closer you are to the net, the easier the volley will be.

Martina Hingis hits a forehand volley

It’s much easier to clear the net, and drive the ball down into the court, or towards your opponent’s feet if you’re closer to the net.

Standing further back also allows the ball to drop to your feet, making a much more difficult volley, forehand volley in tennis. Too many people back up and let the ball bounce or drop below their waist before hitting it. Instead, forehand volley in tennis, try moving forward and hitting the ball at the highest point that you can.

Close fast and under control. A volley hit from shoulder height is much easier than a volley hit from your knees.

If you can, always be at least halfway between the service line and net on your volleys.

Don’t hit volleys from the service line unless you’re hitting a half volley to move forward to the net.

Tip #3: Move Your Racquet Through the Path of the Ball

If your volleys pop up or float more than you’d like, you’re probably carving your racquet under the ball instead of hitting through it. Your racquet’s path on the volley needs to be towards the place you want to hit it, not down.

To fix this, tilt your strings a little more towards the direction you want to hit the ball, instead of towards the sky.

Also, start with forehand volley in tennis racquet lower before you hit your volley. This will feel unnatural to you because your volley technique has been wrong before. But if you start with your racquet lower and swing in (what feels like) a more upward path, you’ll start hitting better, cleaner volleys until it becomes normal for you.


Tennis Volley Drills for the Practice Court

It’s one thing to read about volley technique, but you need volley drills to go out and practice. It will be more difficult to change your technique during a match. Here are a few drills to help you maintain good form and improve your forehand volley in tennis on a Wall

Start slow, with short touch volleys to get your technique correct before hitting harder volleys deeper in the court.

Try 10 forehand volleys then 10 backhand volleys. If you’re a more advanced pedal spin studio ladera ranch, you can try 20, 50 or even 100 in a row!

This one is easy because you can use a tennis wall at your local courts, or a brick wall on the side of your house. You also don’t need forehand volley in tennis partner.

Touch Volleys with Your Doubles Partner

Again, start short here, forehand volley in tennis, standing close to the net. Do simple, easy touch volleys to get your feel and timing down. Then, forehand volley in tennis that gets easy, forehand volley in tennis, take a step back, then another, then another…

Eventually, you’ll be able to do this while each of you is on the service line.

For a more advanced version of this drill, check out this video from Broudy Tennis. It will help your touch, feel, and control on your volleys.

Two Up Two Back Practice Volley Drill

A fun four-person drill is two up two back. In this drill, two people start at the service line and the other team at the baseline.

The people from the service line feed, alternating to the two baseline players. On their first shot, the baseline team must hit it in the singles court (no lobs), after that the whole court is open and lobs are allowed.

The net players must hit their first volley from the service line, or within a few feet (no charging the net to put the first volley away).

Play to 11 and switch.

One Up One Back

In one up one back, you play with similar rules to two up two back from above.

The difference is only half the court is used, forehand volley in tennis. One player starts at the service line and feeds to the other player at the baseline. The players should be down the line from each other.

The baseline player must hit it in the first shot in the singles (half) court (no lobs), after that the entire half of the court (including the doubles alley on that half) is open and lobs are okay. The net players must hit their first volley from the service line or within a step of it.

Play to 11 and switch.

Here’s a video of me playing 1 up 1 back with my mixed doubles partner and her dog 🙂


3 Things To Remember To Improve Your Volleys

This was a lot of information on how to volley in tennis. Many coaches overwhelm players leaving them confused.

I want to leave you with 3 things to remember that will get you 80% of what you need for confident, volleys in tennis.

  • Keep your momentum forward.
  • Stay closer to the net.
  • Keep your backswing short & your swing through the ball.

If you get those right, you’ll make over 80% of your volleys and feel more confident at the net in doubles or singles matches.

Volleys are a very important part of winning in tennis and there aren’t enough dodgers baseball brawl spending much time on it, so be sure to practice your volleys regularly.

Are there any volley drills I didn’t mention?? Comment below with your favorite volley drill.

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The Forehand Volley



Why are the volleys difficult to understand and to master?

The volley motions may be the most compact in terms of the size of the swings, but understanding them is every bit as challenging as the other strokes. In some ways more so.

In my opinion, most teaching information about how to hit the volley is inaccurate and counterproductive, forehand volley in tennis. This may help partially explain why so few players volley confidently and well.

Let's see if we can do something to improve all that. In this article we'll start with the forehand volley. We'll try to isolate the illusive core elements in the forehand volleys of the best players of the world. Specifically in this first article, we'll look at the critical and misunderstood role of the hitting arm. Then we'll go on to look at some of the variations and complexities of the forehand volley.

Finally, we'll take a look at the patterns of the footwork, including the role of the split step, as well as the other critical step patterns before and after leading to the execution of the shot. From there we'll progress to the backhand volley and do the same.

The extreme range of contact heights makes the volleys unique.

If the volleys are so compact, why are they also so difficult to understand, teach and execute? There are several reasons.

First, even in the digital video era, there's a lot less video to study. Compared to groundstrokes, returns, and serves, there are, obviously, far fewer volleys hit in the modern pro game, and this is reflected in the available data bases.

The footage in the Stroke Archives shows this, forehand volley in tennis. There are about 700 total Rafael Nadal stroke clips, forehand volley in tennis. But less than 20 of them are volleys. That's about 3% of the total stroke clips. With Roger Federer there are over 70 volley examples. But that's still less than 10% of the total shots.

A second problem has to do with nature of the video data. Because the motions are so brief, seeing exactly what happens around contact is difficult even in the regular stroke archive footage, which is filmed at 30 frames a second.

Third, think about the incredible variations in the volleys themselves. The contact point can be over the player's head, or at the level of the ankles, or anywhere in between. That's more extreme than every other stroke in the game. There are significant variations in the spin. Some volleys are hit quite flat, others with underspin that can exceed 2000rpm.

The player's movement, the oncoming ball, and the shot line can all be different diagonals.

Finally, the players tend to be moving much more directly forward than on any other shots. Often they are coming forward on diagonals that are at sharp angles to the flight of the oncoming ball. And the diagonal of the shot they choose to hit may be in either direction also at a sharp angle to the way they are moving.

The shot angles the player choose are usually sharper at the net than off the ground, forehand volley in tennis. All of this can require significant, rapid adjustments in the shape of directions of the swing patterns.

So it's all more complex than it may appear. That's why I'm so excited about this article, and the corresponding addition we are making to the High Speed Archive. With this issue, we're starting an entirely new data base of high speed footage strictly of the volleys of the top players, all filmed by Advanced Tennis Research in live pro matches (Click Here.)

This footage was shot at 250 frames a second. That's eight times more information than regular video. Together with this series of articles I think this data base will go a long way in helping us understanding what really happens at the net and how any player can develop superior technical volleys for themselves. And remember these clips are all downloadable with an online upgrade to Quick Time Pro as we discussed in the article on using the resources of the site.

The secret to understanding the volleys--hitting arm position.

This lack of good imagery of world class volleys probably contributes to the inaccuracy and ineffectiveness of most terminology used in traditional teaching.

The two most common volley tips are "Punch the Volley," and "Keep a Firm Wrist." Neither is an accurate description of the forehand volley in tennis volley motions.

Now if hearing one of those phrases makes you volley like Tim Henman, I say great, stick with it. My point is that these common tips don't describe what happens in a world class volley. So if you suspect that your volley could actually improve--and maybe dramatically--these articles will give you clear models of the actual elements in the stroke and some powerful new imagery and terminology to use on the court.

What a detailed study of the high speed footage reveals is that there is a secret to understanding and executing the forehand volley that has gone largely unrecognized in coaching and teaching.

This secret is the positioning of the hitting arm in the preparation, and especially the forward motion to the contact. Let's use the footage to identify how this works for the top players and how to develop it yourself. But before we do, we have to address one other basic question, grips.

Volley grips are a controversial topic. Virtually all volleys in pro tennis are hit with some version of a mild eastern backhand or continental grip. But which version do the top players use, and which version is right for you?

The relationship between the racket bevels, the heel pad and the index knuckle determines the grip.

To understand we can use the grip terminology we've developed to describe how the hand connects with the racket on the other strokes. To do this we look at how the player positions the index knuckle and the heel pad in relation to the bevels on the grip handles. The pictures show the 8 bevels and the location of the two key points on the hand.

When we look at where these key points are positioned on the bevels by the top players, we see that the strongest volley grip in the pro game today is probably a 2 / 1.

This means the index knuckle is on the second bevel from the top, and the heel pad is mainly on the top of the frame, or bevel 1, forehand volley in tennis. But I think even the players with the stronger grips slide part of the heel pad slightly toward the second bevel.

John McEnroe used a mild forehand volley grip that is probably well-suited to most players.

And many players use a slightly milder grip, more like a
2 1/2  /  1 1/2. This means the heel pad is at most halfway on top of the frame, sometimes less, and the index knuckle is straddling the edge between bevels 2 and 3, forehand volley in tennis. Even in the footage it's hard to see all this precisely, but I think this discussion at least covers the range of options.

In my experience the mildest grip in this range--the
2 1/2  /  1 1/2--is also the one that works the best for most players, especially below the highest levels of the game. It's the grip used by one of the greatest volleyers of all time, forehand volley in tennis, John McEnroe, so it must be pretty effective at the world class level as well.

There are two other important questions regarding grip. First, should a player immediately try to master a true volley grip or should he start with an eastern forehand grip--a 3 / 3 grip in our new terminology?

There are passionate advocates on both sides of this issue, but in my opinion the answer isn't absolute. Yes, forehand volley in tennis, you want a true volley grip. But my experience is that many players at the club level who start with some version of a backhand grip never learn to make solid contact.

Instead of hitting through the volley they end up moving the racket too forehand volley in tennis downward during the swing. The contact point is often late. Frequently the ball pops up and/or floats. This makes it almost impossible to hit a winner at the net.

Pro forehand volley grips fall within a limited range but are tough to define precisely.

If you have these problems on your volley, you need to move to an eastern grip and learn to hit flat, solid volleys with the proper swing line. If you can establish this feel, it can then translate into the motion with a true volley grip.

The other grip issue is whether skilled players who have some version of the volley grip make slight grip shifts from ball to ball. Billie Jean King believes strongly that top players do this, and I think that she is probably correct.

Whether you can train yourself to make these shifts systematically in high speed exchanges--or whether the shifts just happen instinctively--that's another question. But this is secondary to developing the core elements in the forehand volley. So let's address the basic issues for now, and think about subtle, advanced grip shifts later on.

forehand volley in tennis height="170">

The Open ‘U" hitting arm shape--secret to the forehand volley.

So now let's get back to the secret: how players position the hitting arm and racket. This is the critical unrecognized element in the forehand volley. But every top pro player uses it. And if you learn what it's about learn to set it up correctly, it's a magic key that makes a great forehand volley possible at virtually any level.

What do I mean by hitting arm position? I mean the shape of the hitting arm and racket at the completion of the shoulder turn, and also, how they then move forward together to the contact. I call this hitting arm position the Open "U."

This positioning begins at the start of the forehand volley motion. As we saw with the groundstrokes (Click Here), the key to the preparation is to start the motion with the feet and the shoulders.

The motion begins with a step to the side with the outside or right foot combined with a unit turn of the shoulders arm and racket. At the completion of this unit turn, the hitting arm is set up in the shape that can best be described as an Open "U."

The forearm forms the bottom or base of the "U." The upper arm and the racket form the legs of the U. Thye are both at about a 45 degree angle to the forearm.

This "U" shape, with the legs at an angle to the base, is the core hitting arm configuration. This is probably easiest to recognize when the forearm is horizontal, or parallel to the court surface, but as we'll see when we explore all the variations, the "U" can turn and move in different directions and at many different angles.

Watch Henman's perfect unit turn and positioning of the hitting arm.

We can thank Tim Henman for giving us a virtually perfect example of this critical first move, how the hitting arm is positioned, and the shape. Look at this animation filmed in the warmup of the Canadian Open in Montreal.

Watch how the outside foot turns until it points sideways at a 45 degree angle. Simultaneously the upper body starts to rotate. Note that as this rotation starts, he keeps both hands on the racket. After the hands separate, forehand volley in tennis, the body continues to turn until it reaches a 45 degree angle to the net, forehand volley in tennis, roughly the same as the outside foot.

If you've read the articles boojum bowl calories preparation on the forehand in the Advanced Tennis section, you'll realize that this is basically a segment of the same unitary preparation as on the forehand groundstroke. (Click Here.) Rather than the shoulders and feet turning 90 degrees plus, they turn roughly half as far.

Now look at the virtually perfect example of the hitting arm shape. The bottom or base of the "U" is parallel to the court. The upper arm and the land and racket forehand volley in tennis at about a 45 degree angle to the base.

Not the position of the racket. The plane of the racket face is positioned at roughly the edge of the front shoulder. The unit turn has positioned it with very little additional arm movement.

The forward swing with the shoulder driving the hitting arm shape.

So what happens next? Watch that from this position there is a small additional backswing to change the direction of the racket. In my experience, forehand volley in tennis, this happens naturally. It's not something the player has to do consciously.

The player needs to know where the racket should be at the critical moments. On the forehand volley, forehand volley in tennis are forehand volley in tennis complete of the preparation, the contact, and the end of the forward motion of the hitting arm shape. If you have clear images and checkpoints of these positions, the body will connect the dots. This is why players who try to physically model a backswing on the volley usually end up with far too large a motion.

Now watch how the rear shoulder drives the motion to the contact. The hand, arm and racket rotate forward through the motion as a unit. In essence the palm of the hand and the shoulder are pushing the racket face to the contact. The critical point is that the hitting arm shape stays constant.

There is a lot of discussion about players and coaches about "early contact" on the volley. If a player really understands how to use the hand and shoulder to drive the racket, forehand volley in tennis positioning of the contact tends to take care of itself.

Watch that the hitting arm structure moves forward roughly a foot or a foot and half. So the contact is slightly in front. But too much emphasis on early contact can be a forehand volley in tennis because it causes players to extend the arm from the elbow and lose the hitting arm shape.

Another look at how the hitting arm retains its shape moving through contact.

Let's see the movement of the hitting arm in the forward swing from another angle looking at a Pete Sampras volley, filmed from behind. Note that Pete has achieved the same elements we just looked at in the preparation phase. These are the unit turn and the creation of the hitting arm position in the shape of the open "U." The racket edge is again around the edge of the front shoulder.

Now watch again what happens. As the hand, hitting arm, and shoulder rotate forward as a unit, the racket is pushed forward to the contact by the palm of the hand.

The hitting arm shape has remained in tact, as we saw with the Henman volley. Note how simple minimal and compact this motion is.

Now look at the angle of the wrist. It has remained laid back so the palm can push the racket head forward. Again, this places the contact point slightly in front of the front edge of the body. From this angle you can see how the forward motion is slightly circular, with the hand racket and arm moving on a curve or an arc from the shoulder.

The finish for the hitting arm position with the butt of the racket pointing off the front leg.

Now look at the isolation of the same movement from yet another angle in the animation of Taylor Dent. Look at the perfect construction of the hitting arm position. Watch the shoulder start to rotate forward, forehand volley in tennis this shape to the contact.

This critical core movement is very brief, subtle and hard to see, even with the high speed video. This is in my opinion why the shot is misunderstood. But the structure of the hitting arm and how it is driven through the shot are the absolute central components in learning to hit a technically sound forehand volley.

Watch how the integrity of the shape is maintained through the hit. The rotation of the shoulder drives the hitting arm forward. There is no internal movement in the hitting arm and the shape of the "U' remains unchanged.






THE 3 KEY POSITIONS FROM 3 DIFFERENT VIEWS

From this side view we can see a great checkpoint for maintaining this structure and the pushing motion all the way through the critical part of the motion. Look at the butt of the racket and note how it butt points just past or in front of the edge of the front leg. This forms the final checkpoint to master in developing the core motion.

Terms like "Punch" and "Firm Wrist" don't correspond with how the volley is actually hit.

Once we understand the shape forehand volley in tennis the motion of the hitting arm, we can see why the traditional teaching descriptions of the forehand volley don't make sense. The idea that the volley is a "punch" creates the belief that the key motion is to straighten out the arm and extend it forward from the elbow.

This destroys the integrity of the hitting arm shape. The arm now forms a straight line rather than an open "U." The idea of simply forehand volley in tennis the arm in a punch also tends to take the push or the rotation of the back shoulder out of the shot. In my opinion, you couldn't think of a better phrase that "punch" to make sure you'll never execute the actual technical elements of a good forehand volley.

There are similar problems with the second major teaching idea--"keep the wrist firm." As we can see the wrist is actually laid slightly back. This is a fundamental aspect of creating the open "U" shape. It's what allows the player to make contact slightly in front with the racket face square to the ball.

Without this laid back wrist position, the ball will get past the front edge of the body and the contact will be late. If that happens, yes, you better keep your wrist firm--really firm. You'll need to be quite tense to compensate for the flaws in your motion and in your timing that created the late contact.

But how do we account for the wild range of forehand volley variations?

So is that really all there is to it? If it's that simple why haven't more people picked up on the hitting arm concept and why players and coaches notice it when they watch the top players? Doesn' it seem that there is often a lot more backswing and a lot more followthrough on many or most volleys than in the examples I've given?

What about the way the forearm rotates or supinates backwards before the forward swing--especially with the bigger backswings--and then forward into the shot? Doesn't the wrist break and coming forward on many forehand volleys? What about when the ball is super high or super low?

What about underspin? Doesn't the angle and shape of the arm and racket change during the forward swing to create spin? The racket face seems to slide under the ball and open up during and after the contact? How do you account for all of these factors in the theory of the hitting arm shape?

All of the above questions and comments are valid. Actually they don't invalidate or contradict the role of the basic elements I've identified. And probably the source of the difficulty most people face in trying to develop the basics of the volley. So go back the sequence photos and master the three key forehand volley in tennis with the check points. Then watch the magic start to happen.

The 3 key positions: Turn, Contact, Finish

As I said at the beginning, there is probably more variation in the actual swing shapes in the volley than in any other shot. Bill Mountford has already written an excellent article for Tennisplayer that outlines many of these specific differences used situationally by all the top players. (Click Here.)

These complexities and variations are what we are going to look at closely in the upcoming articles. We'll see how the hitting arm positions expand and contract, how it rotates backwards and mario beltran golf, what happens with different ball heights, forehand volley in tennis, and spins, how the shape of the swing changes, forehand volley in tennis, and more, including the many footwork variations, some including split steps and some not.

But in looking through this forest, let's not lose site of what all the trees have in common. We've identified a magic core dimension in this motion, and forehand volley in tennis can use it build a rock solid forehand volley at any level of play. Work on that and Stay Tuned!





John Yandell is widely acknowledged as one of the leading videographers and students of the modern game of professional tennis. His high speed filming for Advanced Tennis and Tennisplayer have provided new visual resources that have changed the way the game is studied and understood by both players and coaches. He has done personal video analysis for hundreds of high level competitive players, including Justine Henin-Hardenne, Taylor Dent and John McEnroe, among others.

In addition to his role as Editor of Tennisplayer he is the author of the critically acclaimed book Visual Tennis. The John Yandell Tennis School is located in San Francisco, California.

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Become a Master of the Tennis Volley

Tennis volley shots are normally hit when the players are forehand volley in tennis the net or near the net. Although it is also possible to hit this shot near the baseline. However, volleying away from the net is seldom used or is only used in certain circumstances. The main objective of a tennis volley is to surprise your opponent since this shot limits your opponent’s reaction time because it’s returned so quickly. It’s considered an offensive shot as opposed to a defensive one. The shot also minimizes the bad bounce effect especially on grass and clay courts. In addition, playing a volley (especially if you stand near the net) gives you a wide array of angled shot choices which can be very difficult for your opponent to return. If your opponent does return the ball, normally it is a weak one. To be a successful volleyer you need to have quick reflexes and you need to have perfect hand-eye coordination. Below are some tips for players seeking to improve the forehand and backhand volley.

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How To Hit A Tennis Volley

Learn how to hit the volley in tennis correctly by using feel rather than a forceful punch, as is often taught.

The punch is just one of many different ways of hitting a tennis volley, but I don’t recommend this way of hitting the ball when you’re learning the volley technique and the right feel for it.

The optimal volley technique happens when you allow the racquet to absorb the force of the incoming ball.

Why Punching The Volley Is Not A Good Feel To Start With

Punching a tennis volley

“Punch” volley is not the best way to learn forehand volley in tennis technique

As you’ve seen in the video, I describe hitting the volley as a combination of CATCHING and PUSHING rather than PUNCHING.

Yes, punching is a completely legitimate way of volleying, typically for higher and slower balls.But punching the ball incorrectly – which is how you’ll do it from the start if you haven’t learned the FEEL – will be done with tension and rigidness.

And that feeling can become your long term muscle memory, which will be hard to correct!

I have seen countless tennis juniors and club players who have been taught the punch volley first who were unable to adapt to different balls and were unable forehand volley in tennis take away the speed of the incoming ball.

Hitting the volley in the court was a pure lottery for them.

Secondly, if you watch a pro warm up, you won’t see many punching volleys!

See Roger Federer’s volleys in the video below – is he punching them? Perhaps one a couple of them – the rest are played with feel and slice…

The punch volley is a finishing shot. You wouldn’t learn finishing sitters with a forehand groundstroke in your first lesson, would you? 😉

As is the case with groundstrokes, so must the volley be learned first by playing it with feel, forehand volley in tennis, control and accuracy and when the foundation technique is solid should you progress to a type of volley that finishes the points – namely the punch volley.

It is then very easy to transition to a punch volley later once you need it. You will be able to adjust forehand volley in tennis the incoming ball with a more loose arm and grip so you can firm up on the grip just a split-second before contact to execute a punch volley.

Note: In my experience as a singles player, the punch volley is needed less than 50% of the times when I am at the net. In most cases I need to take away some speed of the incoming ball and simply guide it to the open court, or I need to hit the ball with slice and good depth because I made contact with the ball below the height of the net.

How To Develop Feel For The Volley

The main idea behind the volley is catching the ball. We all automatically move the hands forward when we want to catch the ball; therefore, we don’t swing at it.

Tennis volley technique

“Catch (Absorb) and Push” the ball when learning to hit the volley

We also move very naturally when we catch the ball, and we don’t think about the feet. The feet follow you!

We’ll go deeper into the intricacies of volley technique and footwork in future articles, but 2018 honda accord sport brake pads now let’s focus on the moment of contact and how it should feel.

The invisible secret – visible only in super slow motion and only if you know what to look for! – of a correct volley is allowing the ball to move the racquet face slightly backward while at the same time you’re moving your arm forward.

Roger Federer forehand <a href=24x14 6 lug wheels technique" width="640" height="280">

The moment of contact and 3 frames after that – Federer is absorbing the speed of the ball. Tip of racquet head moves back as the hand moves forward. (Image credit: fuzzyyellowballs.com)

This verbal volley instruction most likely won’t help you learn it, of course. The best drill I know of is to have someone throw the ball directly into forehand volley in tennis racquet while you hold it gently in place.

Don’t move your arm – just allow the ball to push your racquet backward.

Sometimes even 10 balls is enough for the player to experience that »a-ha« moment and then be able to move to the next step.

You can also use your other hand to hit the racquet head with the ball yourself – that works both for the forehand and backhand volley .

In the next step, the goal is to move the arm slowly forward while at the same time allowing the incoming ball to push the racquet head back. Hit the ball gently and focus on feeling the racquet head moving slightly back on the contact with the ball.

You’ll soon realize that this movement alone can impart some slice or underspin on the ball, which will give you more control of the volley.

Apply this technique on both the forehand and the backhand volley, and you’ll be well on your way to a much-improved volley.

Volley Drills For Better Feel, Accuracy And Control

In order to develop good feel for the volley and how it feels when you’re simultaneously moving the racquet forward while the ball pushes it back, you need some specific tennis volley drills.

The first three have already been explained above:

1. Hit the racquet face with the ball in your off hand.

2. Have someone throw the ball into your racquet from a close distance. Apply on the forehand and backhand volley. Repeat 10-20 times and move to drill #3.

3. Forehand volley in tennis the arm slowly forward while allowing the ball to push the racquet back. This can be done again by having someone throw balls into your racquet from a close distance, or you can have someone feed you balls very accurately to your racquet.

Simply volley gently into the service box while allowing the ball to push the racquet head back.

Improve tennis volley by volleying to yourself

Volley to yourself – catch with off-hand. Great drill!

4. Volley to yourself – this is another quite challenging drill at first that eventually becomes fairly easy.

Have someone feed the ball to you and simply absorb the pace (energy) of the ball, volley it upwards, and catch it with your off hand.

This volley drill teaches you to really watch the ball well, move softly and in harmony to the ball, forehand volley in tennis, and allow the racquet head to absorb the pace of the ball.

It’s also a perfect drill to learn a stop volley.

5. Volley in the air and volley the ball one more time over the net. This is a more advanced version of the previous drill where, instead of catching the ball, you volley it one more time back over the net.

It will help you develop great hands and feel at the net without any need for verbal tennis instruction.

(All drills in this article are demonstrated with a forehand volley but should all be applied to the backhand volley as well.)

I know that this is just a part of the complete volley technique and dynamic so feel free to ask any questions you might have about the technique or any other aspect of the volley in tennis.

Previous PostPrepare For The Volley In 2 Simple StepsNext PostHow To Improve A Tennis Serve By Changing The Mental Image

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The sport of tennis has gone through some dramatic changes through time. If you watch tennis videos from the 1950s and compare them to recent videos, they will look like very different sports. From clothes to rackets to rules, all the major aspects of tennis have evolved with time. And among all these aspects, one that changed significantly was the need for good tennis volleys.

In the past, the majority of tennis points were played with one of the players (or both) at the net hitting volleys. Because the courts were very fast and the rackets were smaller, good players used to try to get to the net as soon as possible. Needless to say, they needed to have good volleys. As time went on, both courts and tennis balls became slower, rackets became bigger but lighter, and players became stronger and faster. These changes made the overall tennis game slower, which means that players are not rewarded as much for going to the net – since their opponents have more time to react. As a consequence, players began focusing more on their groundstrokes than on their volleys, and nowadays even some of the best tennis players in the world will admit they have a pretty pathetic net game.

Volleys are one of the trickiest shots in tennis. When watching professionals play, volleys seem very easy and automatic. On the other hand, when you’re playing tennis and you suddenly have a tennis ball rushing towards your face, volleys don’t look that easy anymore.

Tennis volleys require touch, speed, skill, fast reflexes, a steady hand, and precision – which makes them one of the most admirable shots in tennis.

While players and coaches tend to not spend as much time working on volleys anymore, having a solid game can give you an edge on the tennis court. Volleys are great not only for singles, but for forehand volley in tennis as well. By having a good net game, you’ll be able to forehand volley in tennis more aggressive, shorten points, run less, and win more. 

Pretty good deal if you ask me. 

In this article, we will cover forehand volley in tennis basics of volleys, including what forehand volley in tennis volley is and how you can hit one. We’ll also cover some of our best tips and strategies to take your tennis volleys to the next level. Whether you are a beginner or a more experienced player, you will be able to get something out of this read.

If you wish, you can skip to the specific section that interests you. The information below is outlined in the following way:

  • Tennis Volley Definition
  • Forehand Volley
  • Backhand Volley
  • Tennis Volley Grip
  • Tennis Volley Step By Step
  • Tennis Volley Footwork
  • Tennis Volley Position
  • Tennis Volley Backswing Technique
  • Tennis Volley Tips
  • Bes Tennis Volley Drills

Tennis Volley Definition

In essence, volleys are part of your net game, which means that you will hit these shots without letting the ball touch the ground before you hit it. These shots are mainly used to finish the point, after you were able to move your opponent around by hitting successful groundstrokes, forehand volley in tennis. They are also used a lot more frequently during doubles matches. Depending on how you hit your volley, it will be qualified as either a forehand volley or a backhand volley.

Forehand Volley

The forehand volley is a fairly simple movement, forehand volley in tennis, in which you use only one arm to hit a ball by your dominant side, without letting the ball touch the ground. A player usually hits volleys when standing close to the net and inside the service box. It requires firm hands and fast reflexes. 

Backhand Volley

The backhand volley looks a lot like a backhand slice, but without letting the ball touch the ground. Once again, a volley usually occurs when you are standing close to the net. A backhand volley always happens on your non-dominant side. While backhand volleys are normally taught as a one-handed shot, it is not uncommon to see players hitting backhand volleys using both hands.

Backhand volleys are an important part of your net game since they will allow you to shorten the points and take time away from your opponent. 

Tennis Volley – Grip

When you’re hitting tennis volleys, it all comes down to speed and control – which is why you should hit your volleys using a Continental grip. The benefits of using this grip for your volleys is that it is very quick to set up, and you won’t need to change it between your serve, forehand volley, backhand volley, and overhead. While the Continental grip doesn’t allow the player to add a lot of spin to the shot, that is not a problem since volleys do not require spin. 

In order to use a Continental grip, you should hold your racket as if you were “giving it a handshake”, forehand volley in tennis. The knuckle of your index finger should be right on bevel #2. The Continental grip is excellent for hitting shots that do not require much topspin, like serves, volleys, slices, and overheads. 

Tennis Volley – Step By Step

While tennis volleys look very simple, there are actually a lot of things going on at the same time. As you become comfortable with this shot, these things will become automatic and you won’t have to really think about them. However, when you’re first learning how to volley, you should understand the biomechanics of a well-executed volley. We’ve broken down the volley into 9 different steps (as you can see in the image below) so you can have a good idea of what you should be doing. You can follow these steps for both forehand and backhand volleys.

Remember, though, that once you become comfortable with volleying, your stroke should be one smooth movement and not a series of small movements. 

  1. Balanced Base: Keeping your knees slightly bent and your body weight in the front of forehand volley in tennis feet, the first step to a good volley is to have a solid base with your legs – ready to move in any direction. Glencoe open water swim legs should be spread at your shoulders’ width. 
  2. Split Step: The second step will be the jump that will get you ready to change directions (better known as a split step). The most important aspect of the split step is to time it well, and you should begin jumping as your opponent hits his shot. Forehand volley in tennis jump should be both forwards and up. 
  3. Wide Landing: The landing after the split step should be done with your legs opening wider than the width of your shoulders. This will allow you to cover a bigger share of the court.
  4. Side Identification: This is the step where quick reflexes will make a huge difference. Once you realize whether the ball is coming to your forehand or backhand side, you can start turning your body that way. Notice in the image how the outside foot starts turning to the forehand side. You’ll begin your shoulder rotation with both of your hands holding the racket, and you will eventually release one of them and use it to point to the ball. 
  5. Weight Shift: Now that you know where you will be hitting the volley, you should begin shifting the weight of your body that way. You should try to put most of the weight on the outside leg. Keep your elbow slightly bent and the head of the racket forehand volley in tennis than your hands. 
  6. Elbow Extension: Keeping your eyes on the forehand volley in tennis, you’ll gradually extend your elbow. You always want to make contact with the ball in front of you. 
  7. Clean Contact: As you can see in the image, the contact point happens in front of you, and since your body should be moving forward, you shouldn’t have to hit the ball hard. You’re essentially just using the pace your opponent hit the shot with.
  8. Leg Step-Through: At this point, your back leg should be landing in front of your outside leg. This will ensure that you have an aggressive stance in your volleys – and it’s the step we refer below as the “Big Step”.
  9. Follow Through: Finally, forehand volley in tennis, you should do a short follow-through after you hit your volley. This won’t be nearly as long as a groundstroke follow-through; it is just enough so you can catch the racket with the other hand and move on to the next volley. 

Tennis Volley – Footwork

A player’s volleys are only as good as his footwork. Since volleys happen so quickly and there is not much room to compensate with a full swing, having efficient footwork is paramount. Just like a lot of other things in tennis, simpler volleys are better volleys. Below we’ll cover a few tips to have a good volley footwork. 

  • Keep Your Knees Bent: You should keep a slight bend in your knees at all forehand volley in tennis when you’re at the net, as this will allow you to change directions better and jump more explosively.
  • Keep Your Weight In The Front Of Your Feet: If you are able to, forehand volley in tennis, you can even keep your heels off the ground. By doing so, you will easily keep your knees bent and you will inevitably keep your whole body leaning forward – a great aggressive stance.
  • All About Quick Feet: When you’re at the net, it all comes down to how quick you can be. Your feet should stay light, but able to explode at all times. You should think of it as if you were trying to “float”
  • The Smaller The Step, The Better: With the exception of the one big step when you hit the ball, you should try to take small steps. By doing so, you’ll be able to change directions faster.
  • Listen To Your Big Step: When you’re taking your big step in order to hit the volley, you should try to stomp your foot, even to the point at which you can hear it. By focusing on that, you’ll have an aggressive footwork, meeting the ball in front of you.

Tennis Volley – Position

When you’re hitting volleys, there are essentially two positions your forehand volley in tennis should go through. They are the neutral position and the step-through position.

Neutral Position

This is the stance you’ll usually use before doing your split step. Your feet will be spread at about shoulders’ width, your knees will be slightly bent, your body weight in the front of your feet, both hands on the racket, and your torso standing up straight. 

In defensive volleys, this is the only position you will use. Since the ball is coming at you faster, you don’t have time to step through with the back leg. So in order to hit successful defensive volleys, your neutral position should have a solid base.

Step-Through Position

This is the final position you will use after hitting an aggressive volley. This is the position you’ll end up on after making contact with the ball and forehand volley in tennis your leg through. From that point on, you will need to level both legs and recover fast for the next volley.

Once again, when shots are coming at you too fast and you have no time for the step-through, you should stick to the neutral position mentioned above. 

Tennis Volley – Backswing Technique

The backswing portion of the forehand volley in tennis is a tricky one. A lot of times, if our opponent hits a slower shot, we’ll have more time to prepare and we’ll end up using a big backswing so we can “hit the ball harder”. By doing so, a lot of times we end up missing those shots – either long, wide, or at the net.

A volley backswing should always be as compact as it can possibly be. If you are wondering whether your backswing is too big, chances are it probably is.

I’ve worked on my volley technique a lot throughout my career, and I’ll share some of the tips that have helped leinster womens rugby out the most over the years.

  • When preparing for a volley, always keep the racket in front of you and ready to go. Both of your hands should be on the racket and the head of the racket should be higher than your hands.
  • Keep your elbows slightly extended when getting ready for a volley. You can save a lot of time if you don’t have to waste time extending your elbows.
  • The rotation happens through the shoulders, not through the arms. This will help keep your movement compact.
  • You’re supposed to keep your non-dominant hand on the racket for longer than you’d think. This non-dominant hand is not nearly as important as it is for groundstrokes. By keeping it on the racket for longer, you’ll be making sure your arms, shoulders, hips, and racket are moving together.
  • Your racket should never go back further than your shoulder line. If that happens, it means you’re going too far.
  • You should never lose your racket out of sight when hitting a volley. If you do so, forehand volley in tennis, it means you’re probably making contact with the ball too late. 

Tennis Volley Tips

If you’ve made it to this point, you basically know everything you need to know in order to hit effective tennis volleys. Now all you need to do is go to the court and practice.

Below we have added some additional tips that might make your journey easier:

  • Focus On The Right Volley, Not The Prettiest Volley: A lot of times you won’t have enough time to do a full volley, with the perfect technique and a great step through. In these cases, you need to forehand volley in tennis that it’s ok to do a very basic volley with a neutral stance, and just focusing on getting the ball to the other side. 
  • It’s All About Placement: My dad always said: if tennis was about who can hit the hardest, MMA fighters would win all Grand Slams. This holds true to every shot on the tennis court, but it is especially true about volleys. Since you’re already taking a lot of time away from your opponent, you don’t need to hit it hard – just place it well. 
  • Ain’t Nothing Like A Good Setup: The easiest way to get an easy volley is to hit good approach shots, so make sure you also work on that. 
  • Find The Secret Spot: You should normally attempt to hit short cross-court volleys – not necessarily drop shots, just short ones. If you look at the image below, you’ll see what we mean. 
  • The Sooner The Better: Make sure you always make contact with the ball in front of you. The earlier you hit it, the more time you will take away from your opponent. 

Best Tennis Volley Drills

We are constantly adding new drill ideas for every area of your tennis game, volleys included. We have previously written an article on the 7 Drills To Improve Your Volleys, which has some of our favorite volley drills. Below, we’ve listed some of our favorite drills that will help you improve different aspects of your volleys, including direction, consistency, reflexes, and footwork. 

For Volley Direction – The Bryan Brothers Drill

This drill will have you working with a partner in order to improve your volley direction. It might be a little challenging at first, but once you get cif state soccer playoffs 2018 feel for it, you should be able to get a nice flow going, forehand volley in tennis. This drill will help you not only improve direction, but consistency forehand volley in tennis reflexes as well.

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. Stay low even though you are moving laterally. It is easy to let yourself pop up.
  2. Keep the hips as square as possible to the net as you move. This is a lateral movement, not a forward movement. 
  3. Don’t crowd the ball. Give yourself space. If the space isn’t there, create it. 
  4. Don’t assume the ball will be where you want it to be, forehand volley in tennis. Remember, this is a reaction drill. Make it realistic and don’t expect it to come in the perfect place. 
  5. Work together to keep the ball going as long as possible. It won’t be perfect, just strive to get better.

For Volley Consistency – The Wall Ball Drill

What we love about this drill is that it removes every distraction possible. When it’s just you and the wall, you can reach a focus level that is not possible when hitting with a tennis partner. The cool thing about it as well is that the more your volley technique improves and the more consistent you are, the easier the drill becomes. 

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. Keep your wrist firm. We are training strength in this drill, it is counterproductive to do this with a broken wrist.
  2. Keep your weight on your front leg.
  3. Move your feet. You will have to make small adjustments as you go. 
  4. Stay low. Feel a burn in your legs and don’t pop up as the drill goes on. 
  5. Keep your swing compact. If you can’t keep the ball going and it feels rushed, it is likely because your swing is too big. 
  6. Keep your head still, but keep your eyes locked on the ball the entire time.

For Volley Reflexes – The On Top Of The Net Drill 

This is a great quick drill that can be extremely helpful, especially for doubles. You may get hit once or twice, but you will most certainly develop better reflexes. 

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. Keep your hands up. If you drop your hands, you won’t have time to get them back up.
  2. Keep the swing compact. 
  3. Meet the ball out front as much as possible.
  4. Don’t let the ball move forehand volley in tennis. Be a wall and resist against the power of the baseliner’s shot. 
  5. Depth doesn’t matter. All that matters is you are sticking the volley back and you are making the ball with force behind it.

For Volley Footwork – The Get Low, Stay Low Drill

Finally, this drill is one of our favorites when it comes down to improving volley footwork, forehand volley in tennis. What makes it great is that it forces you to work on your legs while keeping the right technique. Trust me, you will get tired when doing this drill. But hey, the more tired you get now, the less tired you will be during the matches. 

Points to remember when working on this drill:

  1. After you touch the ground, still stay low. This should not look like you are doing a burpee.
  2. Keep your chest up throughout. 
  3. Bend with your knees, forehand volley in tennis, not your back. 

Final Thoughts

We hope you enjoyed this read and that you can go ahead and begin working on improving your volleys. If you do have any questions, comments, or concerns, let us know in the comments section below and we’ll get back to you as soon as we possibly can!

Источник: [https://torrent-igruha.org/3551-portal.html]

You can watch a thematic video

Why Your Backhand Volley Lacks Power (And How To Fix It) - Tennis Lesson

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