View Full Version : VolleyFootwork: How to take three or four steps
11-16-2009, 09:52 PM
While at the net playing doubles waiting on the return of serve, what is the best way to take three or four steps after a split step. Assume it is not a go/no go poach, but more opportunistic for a slow to moderate paced return. Not leaving too early -- eg. say split step and not go until the returner is looking down just ready to contact the ball. Generally, I will split step and take the foot nearest to the side of the incoming ball as the first step and the second would be a typical follow through step -- coming to the forehand, it would be split step, move right foot and follow with left foot coming forward or across at contact or shortly after.
I'd like to take a third step or even fourth (follow through) step but haven't figured out the best sequence.
11-17-2009, 06:56 AM
There was some pretty active (and heated) discussion on this awhile back, more aimed at just volley footwork in general - not servers-partner-poaching specifically.
I've been taught to split step and then step with the opposite foot first. So, I'd split-step, see the ball coming to my right and take my first step with my left foot. (As opposed to kind of a lunge step with my right foot.)
Both sides showed video's of different pro's doing it different ways, so I'm not sure if there's really a "right" or "wrong" answer.
Back in the late '60's, a friend of mine named HenryHines wrote a book about sports movement. We talked a lot back in late teen years, and I'm surprised I'm not mentioned in the credits. I had played jr. high sports and still playing high school varsity basketball and football, as a tiny tyke, so movement was my best weapon.
If you're standing up, moving the foot closest to the direction is the quickest. Ready position is feet about 30" apart if you're average height. Stagger is to compensate for weakness on side or movement towards one side the majority of time. As an OLB, stagger facing QB, but with intent of tight end in mind.
Hands up and with that first step, hands go that direction.
Nothing is quicker.
11-17-2009, 11:47 PM
I'm thinking its almost impossible to take three or four very quick "lateral" steps to get to a normal volley [lateral and slight slant toward the net]. If you position yourself a step or two further back towards the service line (from your normal starting position), one could split step forward at the serve and then split step again at the service return -- but again, from that secondary split step, I still think it is hard or close to impossible to routinely take three or four "lateral" steps to get to a normal volley. If I'm missing something, I'd appreciate specifics.
Best volleyer at our courts can take 4 steps when the return is tentative (high, slow, sliced) and he doesn't mind exposing the DTL return one out of 4 times.
If someone at net spitsteps FORWARDS when I return, automatic lob DTL. And if I get a forehand, I'd test his hip pocket volleying skills.
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