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gatorbait01
04-03-2008, 07:01 PM
A little background. I'm playing pretty well in a 4.0 league here in Tampa. I feel I have superior ground strokes than most of my opponents. I'll win a bunch of short/weak ground strokes, but if I don't hit a winner, the point just resets. This is because I won't follow up my attempt at a winner up to net. This is very frustrating. I am not good at net. I frame and just plain screw up volleys. If I was better at net I feel I could win a bunch more points much easier.

Anyways.... would a ball machine help? I haven't really found anyone who want's to work on drills, just matches, so no hitting partner

azn_tomato
04-03-2008, 07:04 PM
Ball machine would help alot. But i'm sure you could easily find a hitting partner. Go to a club or something and hook up.

Bungalo Bill
04-03-2008, 07:37 PM
A little background. I'm playing pretty well in a 4.0 league here in Tampa. I feel I have superior ground strokes than most of my opponents. I'll win a bunch of short/weak ground strokes, but if I don't hit a winner, the point just resets. This is because I won't follow up my attempt at a winner up to net. This is very frustrating. I am not good at net. I frame and just plain screw up volleys. If I was better at net I feel I could win a bunch more points much easier.

Anyways.... would a ball machine help? I haven't really found anyone who want's to work on drills, just matches, so no hitting partner

The ball machine can help with developing your feel for the volley and the sensory information you need to be comfortable with in holding the racquet and executing good tecnique and footwork.

If you are coming to the net, you need to learn to move smoothly over the court first. Pretend you are balancing a glass of water on your head and you cant let it fall or spill it. This will help you keep from having your eyes bounce around in their sockets too much bluring your vision as your moving.

Bend you knees to field the ball and dont look past the ball as it is coming in, really focus and dont allow your eyes to dart away from the contact point.

Your footwork and judgement help you get to the ball for an easier volley. If you are late or slow, you will have to take the volley in a harder position which means you will lose in consistency and effectiveness.

With all of this said, the ball machine can not replace an actual shot toward you and your anticipation of which side the ball is coming to for your movement. What can happen is a false sense of improvement can be had with a ball machine when in real play you are still having troble in other departments such as focus, feel, vision, and movement.

One of the best ways to improve your reaction and anticipation for volleys is by practicing against a wall.

If you need more help, just ask.

Rafael_Nadal_6257
04-03-2008, 07:49 PM
My volleys are average at best...How exactly would I practice volleys against a wall?

Like how far would I back up? Should I punch volleys or concentrate on getting the ball to bounce back?

watermantra
04-03-2008, 07:52 PM
ditto on the practicing against a wall. It will build your feel and reaction time.

One thing you didn't mention is if you have bad technique, or if you simply are freaking out at the net, leading to bad shots.

For bad technique, I think a ball machine would help, since you take the anticipation out of the equation. You can allow your form to become grooved. Arms out in front...racquet head up. I pull up on my frame's throat with my non-dominant hand at the net. Meet the ball out in front. Fuzzyyellowballs.com has some great video volley instruction up now.

If you are simply rushing because of the pressure and are jerky, then you can do several things. I like to envision a "slowing down" of the ball and my stroke as a volley is coming towards me. That can help you keep your eyes on the ball, which will help with the shanking. See if you can slow things down enough to read the number on the ball. Split steps help me to slow down, as well. Plus, there is no substitute for a well placed, deep approach shot to actually slow your partners ball down!

I'd do it all. Ball machine, wall, partner. If you can find someone to do reaction volleys with you, that would be great. I like to drill as if I'm playing mini tennis, but all shots have to be hit in the air.

watermantra
04-03-2008, 07:54 PM
My volleys are average at best...How exactly would I practice volleys against a wall?

Like how far would I back up? Should I punch volleys or concentrate on getting the ball to bounce back?

Don't punch, at first. Simply aim to let the ball hit the strings. It might help to draw a target with chalk on the wall. You really have to open up your racquet face in the beginning to be successful at it. Stand pretty close so that you don't have to put a ton of force into the ball to get it to come back to you.

Bungalo Bill
04-03-2008, 07:55 PM
My volleys are average at best...How exactly would I practice volleys against a wall?

Like how far would I back up? Should I punch volleys or concentrate on getting the ball to bounce back?

What? No compliment for a good post? lol

To answer YOUR question so YOU can improve, practice about four to five feet from the wall. You want to control the ball for as many times as you can. I normally like to see at least 20 balls. You want to hit it hard enough so it bounces back to you to field it again.

Your forearm should start burning a bit and your reaction should improve. You should definetly see a transfer to the court. I think the wall is much more beneficial then the bal machine for volley practice. The wall forces you to wield the racquet and control the racquet head along with your footwork. Obviously, you can vary your distance from the wall.

gatorbait01
04-03-2008, 08:21 PM
Thanks for some good quick advice. I think for now I'll take Bungalo Bill's advice and practice against a wall (my house). I definatetly think I tend to "freak out". I notice that after I shank a volley, I had more time than I thought to execute the shot.

Bungalo Bill
04-03-2008, 08:25 PM
ditto on the practicing against a wall. It will build your feel and reaction time.

One thing you didn't mention is if you have bad technique, or if you simply are freaking out at the net, leading to bad shots.

Actually I did mention it but you said it better. Read first paragraph on post #3.

gatorbait01
04-03-2008, 08:26 PM
Bungalo or anyone,

When you come to net, where should my positioning be best? This is assuming say an average approach where the oppenent will have an opportunity to place a defensive lob. I try to get maybe a foot inside the service line to defend against a lob.

watermantra
04-03-2008, 08:31 PM
Actually I did mention it but you said it better. Read first paragraph on post #3.

Sorry, I meant the original submitter didn't mention it. :)

gatorbait01
04-03-2008, 08:40 PM
[QUOTE=Bungalo Bill;2220649]
With all of this said, the ball machine can not replace an actual shot toward you and your anticipation of which side the ball is coming to for your movement. What can happen is a false sense of improvement can be had with a ball machine when in real play you are still having troble in other departments such as focus, feel, vision, and movement.

This is interesting. Let me see if I understand why. With a ball machine your getting some pretty consistent shots. This makes it easy to "improve" at volleying and not focus real well. In a match with passing shots, dippers, lobs, ect I still might struggle.

All in all it seems most on this forum say a ball machine doesn't really measure up to a live hitting partner. This is disappointing.

Bungalo Bill
04-03-2008, 08:41 PM
Bungalo or anyone,

When you come to net, where should my positioning be best? This is assuming say an average approach where the oppenent will have an opportunity to place a defensive lob. I try to get maybe a foot inside the service line to defend against a lob.

That might depend on who you talk to.

Here is what I prefer.

I like to come in quickly and move out of no-mans land as soon as possible. Sometimes this is not possible and I need to field the first volley outside of the service box. Especially if I hit a hard serve and the return comes back quickly.

If I divided the service box in thirds from the net, I like to be at the beginning of the third section. This is my first volley position and is really designed to execute a good first volley to setup the next ball. If I hit a good ball, from here I can move in and anticipate the lob watching the racquet. If he hits a ball to volley back, I have a good chance to put it away.

You need to work on your sprints and learn your serve. Because the pace you put on your serve will often deterimine where you will field the first volley.

Here is Sampras: Look at where he fields the first volley.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XqocgyLYofs

ledor
04-03-2008, 09:16 PM
This is a better visual on volleys.

Federer practicing at AIG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM7xp4t3z34

come back and tell us what you think.

Bungalo Bill
04-03-2008, 09:18 PM
This is a better visual on volleys.

Federer practicing at AIG
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IM7xp4t3z34

come back and tell us what you think.

Perfect! Good for seeing his positioning for his first volleys. However, this is practice.

Mansewerz
04-03-2008, 09:36 PM
What? No compliment for a good post? lol

To answer YOUR question so YOU can improve, practice about four to five feet from the wall. You want to control the ball for as many times as you can. I normally like to see at least 20 balls. You want to hit it hard enough so it bounces back to you to field it again.

Your forearm should start burning a bit and your reaction should improve. You should definetly see a transfer to the court. I think the wall is much more beneficial then the bal machine for volley practice. The wall forces you to wield the racquet and control the racquet head along with your footwork. Obviously, you can vary your distance from the wall.

Wait, so let the ball bounce and then get it? Should I catch it before it's about to fall, or should I just take it right after the bounce?

Rickson
04-03-2008, 09:37 PM
A little background. I'm playing pretty well in a 4.0 league here in Tampa. I feel I have superior ground strokes than most of my opponents. I'll win a bunch of short/weak ground strokes, but if I don't hit a winner, the point just resets. This is because I won't follow up my attempt at a winner up to net. This is very frustrating. I am not good at net. I frame and just plain screw up volleys. If I was better at net I feel I could win a bunch more points much easier.

Anyways.... would a ball machine help? I haven't really found anyone who want's to work on drills, just matches, so no hitting partner

The ball machine is only half the battle. The most important part of the volley is the approach shot. If your approaches are short, you're dead. Maybe you can work on the volleying part with the ball machine, but make sure you work your approaches too. Nice, deep approach shots.

ZPTennis
04-03-2008, 09:47 PM
If you are coming to the net, you need to learn to move smoothly over the court first. Pretend you are balancing a glass of water on your head and you cant let it fall or spill it. This will help you keep from having your eyes bounce around in their sockets too much bluring your vision as your moving.

Bend you knees to field the ball and dont look past the ball as it is coming in, really focus and dont allow your eyes to dart away from the contact point.

Your footwork and judgement help you get to the ball for an easier volley. If you are late or slow, you will have to take the volley in a harder position which means you will lose in consistency and effectiveness.



While I was at the U.S. Open, I saw Stepanek play Djokovic in a 4:44 minute match.

Stepanek looks exactly like this description. Gatorbait, you should watch him volley. He is one of the best volleyers i've ever seen.

brownbearfalling
04-04-2008, 01:41 AM
Think about a wall. If the wall is soft it will have recoil and send the ball in another direction or out long. Have you ever heard the tip, "squeeze your racket as it makes contact" well that just helps you establish a very firm contact. You need to send the ball in about the same path it came not dropping down to hit the net. And what only comes with experience is learning how to line up your racket with the ball and its flight path (dang dippers) accurately and quickly if you are approaching. With this tip in mind it helps you to do other things like not swinging, stepping in and etc. When my volleys are bad usually i think about this and it forces me to remember all the things that i personally forget like concentrating , firm contact, and reading the balls speed and spin. I hope this helps.
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czech09
04-05-2008, 12:01 AM
Volleying is a punching motion, try not to slice them much. No swinging. Try to move your weight forward as you hit it.

By the way where in Tampa are you? You don't happen to be in New Tampa do you? I'm looking for people to hit with in May/June when I go back there.

Bungalo Bill
04-05-2008, 08:24 AM
While I was at the U.S. Open, I saw Stepanek play Djokovic in a 4:44 minute match.

Stepanek looks exactly like this description. Gatorbait, you should watch him volley. He is one of the best volleyers i've ever seen.

Yes, Sampras was my favorite mover to the net. I remember hearing stuff that he wasn't very exciting or seemed slow but covered so much ground. Still I heard comments like " he has cat-like moves".

He was very smooth in his movement and rarely did his head go up and down too much.