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View Full Version : Short backswing on volleys is key to success


Mansewerz
07-10-2009, 07:51 AM
So I've been shanking volleys left and right, and it's made me stay back rather than attacking net.

Then my coach today mentioned that I need to shorten my backswing and keep elbows out in front.

And, it worked. So, is this the key to great volleys?

plowmanjoe
07-10-2009, 08:01 AM
the key to good volleys is to keep your racquet out front and to have firm wrists.

WildVolley
07-10-2009, 08:08 AM
That's definitely one of the keys. Keeping your head reasonably still also helps.

Poor volleyers also tend to vigorously try to chop down on a volley. A little underspin can help stabilize a volley, but the motion is more akin to moving gently down an escalator than a vigorous chop.

Mansewerz
07-10-2009, 08:14 AM
That's definitely one of the keys. Keeping your head reasonably still also helps.

Poor volleyers also tend to vigorously try to chop down on a volley. A little underspin can help stabilize a volley, but the motion is more akin to moving gently down an escalator than a vigorous chop.

Ah, another one of my problems. Thanks for the tip!

Majik
07-10-2009, 08:32 AM
That's definitely one of the keys. Keeping your head reasonably still also helps.

Poor volleyers also tend to vigorously try to chop down on a volley. A little underspin can help stabilize a volley, but the motion is more akin to moving gently down an escalator than a vigorous chop.


You don't have time for a full takeback and drive at the net. About all you have time for is an abbreviated takeback and downward underspin slice.

The downward chop is difficult to time and you end up framing the ball. However, it may be useful if you're trying to put quite a lot of backspin on the ball in order to force your opponent to put it into the net. In that case, it's better to coil up and unload a little bit on your down stroke, if you have time. It helps with timing.

bhupaes
07-10-2009, 09:00 AM
Ah... volleys... I have my good days and bad days. The last couple of days were bad. :( I got some good ones which came at me like cannon balls but shanked some slow floaters which were either very close to the net, or were very low. In hindsight, I feel I should have taken a bigger backswing, since the balls were so slow, and I needed to generate power. I think that taking a bigger backswing for floaters is okay.

Lotto
07-10-2009, 09:10 AM
The main volley I have trouble with is the high floating forehand volley. Because its going so slow I always end up swinging and making a balls of it :rolleyes:

And when serving and volleying I can mess up the nice and easy backhand volley because i go down on it trying to control it rather then through it.

mikeler
07-10-2009, 09:32 AM
Ah, another one of my problems. Thanks for the tip!


My coach always told me to "punch" the volley. While the analogy does not physically apply to the volleying motion, it is more of a mentality of popping the volley with that short back swing you mentioned. Elbows out in front mean you are prepared even if your opponent nails the ball right at you.

I always tell myself to go for the hard knuckle ball coming off the racket unless it is a low volley, then it will need a little bit of underspin. I get into trouble trying to play too many drop volleys rather than punching the ball with decent pace deep into a corner.

Kevo
07-11-2009, 01:51 PM
I think no backswing is best. Just turn your shoulders and the racquet will go as far back as it needs to.

ubermeyer
07-11-2009, 09:16 PM
The main volley I have trouble with is the high floating forehand volley.

Just hit this kind of like an overhead
hit it low over the net, flat and fast
works for me

naylor
07-12-2009, 03:22 AM
Ideally, step forward into the shot, so you take it earlier and closer to the net, and the small backswing is created by your forward movement - so you move the contact point in front of you as a result of your movement (the rackethead stays where it was), rather than by actually taking the racket back. Also, if your timing is suspect in the slightest (because you're late, or overswinging), further simplify the stroke by volleying across.

OhDear
07-12-2009, 09:06 AM
A lot of people have stressed that insanely small takeback and follow through, and call it a punch. But every time I watch Federer volley, I feel like he has a really large volley motion.

Kevo
07-12-2009, 07:14 PM
A lot of people have stressed that insanely small takeback and follow through, and call it a punch. But every time I watch Federer volley, I feel like he has a really large volley motion.

Fed Volleys (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rTCGWBIdQus)

A lot of the motion is in the follow through. He uses mostly shoulder turn to prepare, there really isn't a backswing in the same way there is in ground strokes. The follow through is where most of the length in the volley is.

ttbrowne
07-13-2009, 06:15 AM
The main volley I have trouble with is the high floating forehand volley. Because its going so slow I always end up swinging and making a balls of it :rolleyes:

And when serving and volleying I can mess up the nice and easy backhand volley because i go down on it trying to control it rather then through it.

It drove me crazy too. For about 6 months I've learned to lock my complete hitting arm & wrist and just swinging using the shoulder. Follow thru and it's a devestating shot. It does take some practice though.

albesca
07-14-2009, 08:01 AM
What i have understood about volleys (not so much in truth), is that we need a "special take-back range". It would be from zero to about 1 feet ( i never measured..:))..depending expecially from the incoming ball speed and, as naylor wrote, if we have time and space to "step into the shot". To abbreviate the take back, imho, don't mean "take the same groundstrokes take-back and reduce it", but i think we have to reduce the segments involved in it. Ex. on forehand volley, i feel good to do a little take-back using only a forearm supination, or pronation on the backhand side. So, when I have space and time ( that means i've done a good job with my feet after the approach...) , I step into the shot using the weight tranfert, contact and followtrough. If I don't have space ... but a bit of time, I do an abbreviate take-back , If I'm against a missile, I firm arm/wrist and try to drive the ball like a mirror.
Ciao !

fattsoo
07-14-2009, 01:45 PM
Ahh one of my fav shot in doubles...always keep ur racquet up and "punch" at the ball and make sure to keep ur eyes on the ball

EtePras
07-14-2009, 02:22 PM
Real men hit swinging volleys. Guess what shot saved Federer a break point at 8-8 in the 5th set? If he went with this small backswing garbage Roddick would be a Wimbledon champion by now.