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View Full Version : Switching to Serve and Volley game


Tigerarp1
09-11-2004, 05:16 PM
Hey, Im around a 4.5 -5.o baseliner. I have been a serious player for 6 years now and play in 18's. I was not born with alot of athletic ability, and am finding myself being beat by players with less skill than me, simply becuase they are more athletic, can run faster, and are built stronger. I am considering switching to a serve and volley style game, becuase I believe that will enable me to make up for my athletecism. Does this sound reasonable? This will help the points to be shorter, and enable me to use my greatest assets: my touch and timing.

Does this sound like a good Idea or stupid?

tennisboy87
09-11-2004, 06:36 PM
It seems to me that a S & V game requires more athleticism than just playing strictly from the baseline. I think you should play more all-court. Since you say your timing is good, try being aggressive from the baseline and taking the ball earlier ala Andre Agassi, and once you get the other guy running, come to the net and use your touch to finish the point off.

Tigerarp1
09-11-2004, 07:28 PM
How can serve and volley require more athletecism? You dont have to sprint back and forth across the baseline, and be able to get your entire body into every shot.
On the other hand... you have to be nimble and be able to sprint to the net, and read your oponent and have good touch and technique for serve and volley. Being big and strong doesnt help all that much for serve and volley ( im 6ft, but very small boned and skinny), also... if i serve and volley, i will always have my baseline game, to fall back on.

a529612
09-11-2004, 08:07 PM
Is S&V not a good idea if your serve is not your weapon but you have great touch at the net?

aahala
09-11-2004, 08:20 PM
Rafter and Edbergh did not have big serves by top pro standards, but it was big enough and well suited to serve and volley. They were both excellent volleyers.

Contrary to popular opinion, Sampras had a pretty mediocre volley for a high rated pro, but his serve made it appear otherwise since it produced such easy chances.

Rickson
09-11-2004, 08:56 PM
I love playing against net rushers, especially those who arent used to it. I rip groundstrokes and lob newbies to the net game all day long. I'd be a selective volleyer if I were you and come to net when the opponent is off balance or sends a fluff ball back at you. You're gonna get burned if you just decide you want to become a volleyer without working hard at it. Effective volleying is a great skill and like anything else, takes a lot of hard work and practice to perfect.

Tigerarp1
09-11-2004, 10:30 PM
well, If I switch to a serve and volley style of play... I would put in ALOT of practice, to perfect it.

andreh
09-12-2004, 02:11 AM
I'm not sure about what requires more athletic ability, but S&V requires that you move very well around the court. Movement is the volleyplayers greatest asset. Like Edberg said: "90% of a volley is good footwork".

You need to be fast to get to the net in time for the volley. If you're slow you're going to get passed by any player with a modicum of ability.

You need to be able to bend your knees quite a bit for the low volley. This requires a lot more leg muscles and agility than people generally recognize.

You need a good wrist and shoulder to move your (heavy, head light?) racquet around quickly enough at the net.

You need a good serve. Not necessarily a BIG serve. But you need to vary placement and spins to keep your opponent guessing. The second he figures your serve out you're toast.

Playing pure serve and volley, that is, attacking is your default tactic, not a surprise tactic, you need to be very good because you're signalling to your opponent that you're going to come foreward. He'll be ready for you, set for hitting the low dipping return to your feet. Unless you're willing to put in A LOT of time for learing the S&V game I'd go for a more all-court style, using some S&V as a surprise tactic.

thehustler
09-13-2004, 10:15 AM
I agree with the above post. I typically use S&V as a surprise tatic. I wait to see what kind of return my opponent has on my serve before I go in. If it's a nice slow floater I'm there in a second to put it away. If it's a good stroke I stay back. I try to disguise myself coming into net, just to keep my opponent off balance. Sometimes I will not come in for an entire set, and then the next set I'm in at each chance I get. I will also at times rush for a certain period, whether I'm getting passed or not, just to give my opponent the idea that I'm willing to come in. After that I might stop rushing, unless I get drawn in or have too good of a short ball to not follow to net. I think the best thing with S&V or just coming to the net in general is to not set a pattern. Keep your opponent guessing. Just when they think they can hit a dinky shot just over the net you're right there to put it away before they even realize what happened. Lots of quick and cheap points that way. Just MHO though.

ferreira
09-13-2004, 01:06 PM
Is S&V not a good idea if your serve is not your weapon but you have great touch at the net?
If you can't place a serve, you are going to struggle. And lose. You don't need a bomb. Unless you can ace all the time, in which case you don't even really need a volley (does this summarize part of Roddicks tactics?). For S&V you need to know where you will serve, so you will know where to hit your volley from and to.

ferreira
09-13-2004, 01:25 PM
well, If I switch to a serve and volley style of play... I would put in ALOT of practice, to perfect it.
With all respect, it does sound stupid. At 5.0 you have to be even stronger, since it involves more anaerobic movements. I take it from your question that you are mistaking strength for endurance. Compare a 100 meter runner (S&V) to a marathon runner(basline) to get the idea.

ferreira
09-13-2004, 01:33 PM
Unless you're willing to put in A LOT of time for learing the S&V game I'd go for a more all-court style, using some S&V as a surprise tactic.
Andreh,
how did you develop your game? I've been practicing S&V for almost 2 years and find it very challenging. The downside for me is that we don't have fast courts here in Brazil, so I'm playing either on slow (abrasive) hardcourts or clay, both always outdoors. I dream of playing on carpet! How do you think speed affects S&V at the high intermediate/low advanced level?

andreh
09-14-2004, 04:34 AM
Unless you're willing to put in A LOT of time for learing the S&V game I'd go for a more all-court style, using some S&V as a surprise tactic.
Andreh,
how did you develop your game? I've been practicing S&V for almost 2 years and find it very challenging. The downside for me is that we don't have fast courts here in Brazil, so I'm playing either on slow (abrasive) hardcourts or clay, both always outdoors. I dream of playing on carpet! How do you think speed affects S&V at the high intermediate/low advanced level?

The deciding factor for the development of my S&V game is stubborness. Let's just say that playing S&V isn't the means to end for me -- it is the end in itself. I think the s&v game is beautiful, the true artistic expression of the game. I decided to play S&V whether I won lost. When you always play S&V you eventually learn how to do it. I lost alot of matches in the 'early days' but that's history now. Now I have an above average win/loss record.

I'm not competitive player. Tennis for me is nothing but a personal ambition so I can afford this stubborness. Others can't.

As for specific drills I just do what everyone else does. Serve drills, volley drills etc. I just do it alot more often. I NEVER pratice baseline game except approach shots.

Hope this helps.

TwistServe
09-14-2004, 07:19 AM
I don't think the serve needs to be a weapon for S&V.. you just need a good spin serve and good placement.. at the 4.0-4.5 level, a good kick serve placed properly will never get attacked.. if it doesn't get attacked, you'll have plenty of time to get to net and play your net game.

Tigerarp1
09-15-2004, 02:46 PM
When you say, "all court game" how much net play should I incorperate? Should I try to model my game after Federer? He serves and stays back sometimes and other times S&Vs. He also can grind from the baseline and transition into the net. Is this what you guys are talking about?

tennisboy87
09-15-2004, 06:58 PM
Yeah, I would say that's a pretty good definition of an all-court style.

joe sch
09-15-2004, 07:21 PM
If your a bigger player or one that does not have the speed to play baseline blasting defense or the power to hit winners against a baseline master then I think learning to play a more aggressive allcourt game is a good idea. Start looking for good approach shot opportunities and make good approach shots while moving in. If you can make good progress in this area, sooner or later, you will be able to start serving and volleying with much more success. Service returns are also good chances to practice aggressive approaches, especially weaker 2nd serves. Practice will be the best time to work on this new style so that you get confidence to start adding to your match play. Also, playing aggressive doubles is a great way to improve these skills. Good luck !

Tigerarp1
09-15-2004, 08:50 PM
thanks guys!

IT was all VERy helpful!