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user92626
11-23-2009, 04:02 PM
I know practise is a must but what I am asking here is the technical and conceptual sequence of effective volleying in a game. I know about the racket angle face and more or less the posture to take. But my volley is still very inadequate!

Say, I was 5, 6 feet from the net. My partner serves a turkey second shot, the lady on the other side wound up hard and hit a relatively big FH to my off hand side. I was keeping my grip in continental, racket pointing neutrally forward, but I wasn't sure what my cue was or how to start the sequence of volleying/poaching a shot like that. Lost quite a few points that way. Soon, I just opted to stick up the racket facing forward way in advance.

LeeD
11-23-2009, 04:13 PM
5-6' is pretty close for someone with weak volleys..
How high to your oft hand? Up bellybutton and higher, backhand volley with side turn of trunk
Hip high off hand, if you have quick movement, just a mid level backhand volley...if you don't have time, just a stick it there.
Problem is fast movers at your hitting side, just below your belly button, where you need rackethead facing straight down, hitting forehand side volley with the backhand side of the strings.
Backhand volleys on fast incomers, just turn the trunk. Enough backswing right there.
Short punch and longer followthru.
Practice makes perfect. Look at vids of pros volleying.

LeeD
11-23-2009, 04:16 PM
Oft hand is key also. You hold the throat of the racket with either fingers or full hand to effect a wide gripped two handed volley on quick movers. Oft hand also promotes racketback with trunk turn on backhand side mostly, but also on forehand side too.

fruitytennis1
11-23-2009, 04:31 PM
Remember elbows tucked into the body.

SuperFly
11-23-2009, 04:52 PM
Oft hand is key also. You hold the throat of the racket with either fingers or full hand to effect a wide gripped two handed volley on quick movers. Oft hand also promotes racketback with trunk turn on backhand side mostly, but also on forehand side too.

Quoted for truth.

Also, remember to MOVE to the ball (small, powerful steps and finish with crossing over) instead of trying to dive for it.

user92626
11-23-2009, 06:30 PM
If my opponent hit from standing 3 ft inside their baseline and hard, what rhythm do I go by to catch the ball? It's just too fast and I have not found a reliable timing or rhythm.

WildVolley
11-23-2009, 07:14 PM
How do you volley?

1) Keep the grip in continental.
2) Stay on your toes, facing forward with the racket held in front of your body and with the head slightly below your face.
3) Visualize yourself moving forward into the volley and protecting your body if it is hit at you. Backing away is usually a disaster - though there are times when seeking cover is the wisest course.
4) Try a small split-step as the opponent hits the ball.
5) Move to the ball with your body and feet. For close shots, you are usually going to step out with your weak-side foot if it is hit to your backhand.
6) Turn your shoulders and swing into the ball. The motion is usually down and in. Beginners often have a nasty habit of chopping at the ball. Imagine the racket coming down an escalator forward. If you can, keep the elbow close to your body.
7) Track the ball with your eyes and try to keep your head still at contact.

Remember, if the ball is hit reasonably hard, you don't have to create pace yourself. You just need to tighten your grip and control the racket face and the ball will be returned plenty quickly if you get the strings.

Blake0
11-23-2009, 10:17 PM
Keep your elbow tucked in, especially on forehand volleys.
Minimal to no take back or followthrough.
Step forward.
Split step.
contact point in front of you.
Firm wrist.

5263
11-24-2009, 05:27 AM
If my opponent hit from standing 3 ft inside their baseline and hard, what rhythm do I go by to catch the ball? It's just too fast and I have not found a reliable timing or rhythm.

Face it, balls ripped at you are Tough! No rhythm on these.
We use med serving at the net guy to work on handling fast incoming balls.

Bungalo Bill
11-24-2009, 06:37 AM
I know practise is a must but what I am asking here is the technical and conceptual sequence of effective volleying in a game. I know about the racket angle face and more or less the posture to take. But my volley is still very inadequate!

Say, I was 5, 6 feet from the net. My partner serves a turkey second shot, the lady on the other side wound up hard and hit a relatively big FH to my off hand side. I was keeping my grip in continental, racket pointing neutrally forward, but I wasn't sure what my cue was or how to start the sequence of volleying/poaching a shot like that. Lost quite a few points that way. Soon, I just opted to stick up the racket facing forward way in advance.

Not sure I am following this:

It sounds like you were on the Ad side and the lady was returning serve? You already mentioned one important thing but I am not sure you are actually doing it. Although you mentioned practice, are you really practicing?

The volley uses fundamental technique in a short-hand sort of way. Your backswing is virtually non-existant. You simply turn the shoulders and then catch the ball, meet the ball, punch the ball, or whatever saying you want to get the point across that it is a very short swing or arm movement.

So, if the volley is more of a forward stroke, the emphasis will have to be in your feet and movement to hit a good one. If your feet are slow, chances are you will get caught a lot.

Volley drills are unique in that it also incorporates reading and reflex building skills. You can't say practice is important but don't practice. You can't wait for a match to develop your skills. By that time, you need your skills developed in order to handle the random shots hit to you as a netman.

You also develop confidence at the net which is huge!!! Volley takes some feel and a sense of awareness of the tendencies of how your opponent likes to hit. However, you won't get everything!!! Especially if your partner has a weak serve.

One of the first areas I would address is your partner's serve. A weak serve places you as a net man at a huge disadvantage. You will have to be extraordinarily good to compensate for your partners weakness and that is tough if your opponent knows how to take advantage of it. I can't tell you how many darn times I felt like a ragdoll at the net trying to compensate for my partners weak serve.

So give us more info or post a vid on your volley.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 06:44 AM
Second scenario...
Yell at your serving partner... :twisted: make sure he understands to serve his weak, slow, not spinny serve to the BACKHAND side, or the weaker return side.
Nothing you can do at net, except to stand back to almost baseline, when your partner sets you up for embarrassment.
You can serve slow and high, short and flat, to the same returner so your netman faces the same shot.
Get a better partner, a smarter partner, a partner who cares.
Even IliaNastase would get worked if his partner serves slow, flat, second serves to forehands.
That's why any server worth his salt serves second serves with big spin, big hop, places it well, and moves it around!

user92626
11-24-2009, 08:32 AM
Thank you so much, everyone.

BB got it right that in the scenerio described above I was in the ad side. I practice volley once in a while in which both of us stand completely in directly opposite service boxes and try to attack/defend the boxes. I feel I can do well in this type of practise though the shots are flying straight as opposed to xcourt as in doubles.

I don't know. What I was hoping for was if good volleyers have some sort of rhythm /timing that allowed them to set into correct posture and catch the ball so fast. For me I jut volley tentatively and it has a low percentage.

i wasn't aware of the fact that much was also dependent on my partner's serving skill. I thought i was mostly a bad volleyer when I screwed up a volley. I'm gonna tell my partner to do a better 2nd serve. Thanks, all.

Bungalo Bill
11-24-2009, 08:52 AM
Thank you so much, everyone.

BB got it right that in the scenerio described above I was in the ad side. I practice volley once in a while in which both of us stand completely in directly opposite service boxes and try to attack/defend the boxes. I feel I can do well in this type of practise though the shots are flying straight as opposed to xcourt as in doubles.

I don't know. What I was hoping for was if good volleyers have some sort of rhythm /timing that allowed them to set into correct posture and catch the ball so fast. For me I jut volley tentatively and it has a low percentage.

i wasn't aware of the fact that much was also dependent on my partner's serving skill. I thought i was mostly a bad volleyer when I screwed up a volley. I'm gonna tell my partner to do a better 2nd serve. Thanks, all.

You have to practice and drill out that tentativeness. Confidence is a huge factor at thenet and that needs to be built up. There is no room for doubt at the net.

Your footwork, reads, feel, anticipation, calculated guessing, etc...needs to be developed as well and matches just don't do it. You have to drill and practice and then bring what you developed to the match.

You also need a good server because no matter how good you become, your partner still needs a good serve so you don't get drilled at the net.

SirSweetSpot
11-24-2009, 01:39 PM
Volley with the legs! This means let your quadriceps absorb the impact of the ball to provide the punch, and it means to crossover with your non-racquet leg to reach out wide instead of with the arm.

Make sure the butt-cap is out in front of the OPEN racquet face. Lead with the butt-cap to ensure hitting the ball at or below its equator.

Continental grip on both wings, this ensures an open face at contact.

WATCH the ball leave your opponents' racquet (split step) until it hits your stringbed.

Keep your head STILL!

Bend at the KNEES...NOT at the waist. Keep your torso vertical (perpendicular) to the court.

Keep backswing in the limits of your peripheral vision.

Use your off arm for BALANCE.

Plan on getting passed...it happens.

papa
11-24-2009, 07:02 PM
I know practise is a must but what I am asking here is the technical and conceptual sequence of effective volleying in a game. I know about the racket angle face and more or less the posture to take. But my volley is still very inadequate!

Say, I was 5, 6 feet from the net. My partner serves a turkey second shot, the lady on the other side wound up hard and hit a relatively big FH to my off hand side. I was keeping my grip in continental, racket pointing neutrally forward, but I wasn't sure what my cue was or how to start the sequence of volleying/poaching a shot like that. Lost quite a few points that way. Soon, I just opted to stick up the racket facing forward way in advance.

Well, most (maybe 2/3) volley shots are taken on the backhand because you have a far greater range than on the forehand. So if I have to guess, I'm going that way.

If someone is five feet away and about to wale the ball because of a sitter, my advice would be to get the hell out of the way or at least get the racquet up to protect you head. Boy, I've been hit quite a few times including some rather serious knocks - don't go that route unless your got good hospital coverage and don't mind Cat Scans and MRI's. I can handle the cuts but they aren't exactly a walk in the park either. You know this isn't a contact sport?

LeeD
11-25-2009, 07:55 AM
Your CUE!
When you partner serves up puffballs and you're being punished...
Turn around and punch your partner in his face. OR, just kick his nuts!

fruitytennis1
11-25-2009, 08:02 AM
Your CUE!
When you partner serves up puffballs and you're being punished...
Turn around and punch your partner in his face. OR, just kick his nuts!

And what if they don't have any(nuts) as in mixed doubles....

LeeD
11-25-2009, 08:11 AM
:)
You know, most girls get really embarrased when you touch their boobs, so go there....:shock:

SirSweetSpot
11-25-2009, 08:25 AM
Well, most (maybe 2/3) volley shots are taken on the backhand because you have a far greater range than on the forehand. So if I have to guess, I'm going that way.

If someone is five feet away and about to wale the ball because of a sitter, my advice would be to get the hell out of the way or at least get the racquet up to protect you head. Boy, I've been hit quite a few times including some rather serious knocks - don't go that route unless your got good hospital coverage and don't mind Cat Scans and MRI's. I can handle the cuts but they aren't exactly a walk in the park either. You know this isn't a contact sport?

Groin or face?

I protect face.:)

2ndServe
11-25-2009, 08:35 AM
continental grip

split step second before the guy makes contact

always move forward 45 degrees if it's wide, never parallel to the net

close in, close in, close in, close in on anything above the net. I get lazy sometimes. it's much easier to hit a volley higher and closer towards the net. Every time I don't close, I hit a one without pace, without angle and no authority, I usually get passed.

Elbows in if possible, head close to the racket if possible.

Stomp your front foot going forward when you make your volley.

Be there to end the point, I see guys getting up there and it seems like they want to rally. Nope the most volleys you should hit is 2. Prefer to only hit 1.

fuzz nation
11-25-2009, 09:34 AM
When a receiver is teeing off on your partner's second ball, giving your partner some attitude won't magically conjure a spectacular 2nd serve that he or she just doesn't possess. Get yourself out of harm's way in that situation and start the point standing back around the baseline with your partner, then you can move forward together when you can attack a short ball.

And now onto my passion for the volley...

A good drill for finding the engine for your volleys is to have a hitting partner feed you some balls (only moderate pace) while you hold your racquet up on the throat with that same continental grip. To hit these balls well, you'll be forced to keep the racquet out in front of you - this means in front of your chest, not closer to the net than the rest of you - and keep a firm wrist so that the racquet and your arm work more as a single unit. Seek that contact point straight out in front of your chest and use both a deliberate weight transfer and mild core rotation to nicely pop the ball with control. Yes, the hand leads the racquet through a mild (and brief!) high-to-low path.

Since you're not at the baseline, you don't need to worry about swinging. Avoid an excessive takeback where the racquet travels back past your ear on either side. Volleys get most of their "go" from that step and turn. I'm a righty, so my forehand volley goes well when I take a diagonal side step onto my left foot through contact, not before contact, along with a bit of a right-to-left turn of my torso. With my body turned at about 45 degrees to my right for that volley, that side step onto my left foot ultimately takes me forward through my shot (not sideways meaning parallel to the net).

Our pal 2ndServe had some good thoughts, but one caution I'll add is that you want to avoid stomping your front foot at contact. As I see it, that can make everything stop instead of letting you move through the ball as you hit. If that stomp onto your forward foot happens after contact, it won't slow your forward transfer through the ball.

Good guidance concerning your setup. Move forward into a split-step while up at net every time your opponent hits a ball - that way you're already moving to make your volley regardless of whether it comes at you or not. There's much less time for preparation at net, so you need to set up, minus the turn and move toward the ball, before it's on its way to you. Since much about good volleys comes from solid ingrained reactions, keep practicing your good habits. It'll be rocky while you actively concentrate on making them all work together, but eventually you'll find more economy of motion and develop a quick, easy move with those volleys. Practice!

LeeD
11-25-2009, 11:07 AM
Obviously most of you guys have never played a hard hitting big player while your partner serves up puffballs to their forehands.
No time for moving forwards, or any takeback, it's all reflex at the ball comes at you over 110 mph, faster than my first serve.
All this talk about proper volleying technique is just talk. When that rocket is coming your way, you need to be loose and relaxed, so your reflexes come into play.
Proper technique is something you do BEFORE the match, when the incoming ball is normal speeds.

user92626
11-25-2009, 12:00 PM
Obviously most of you guys have never played a hard hitting big player while your partner serves up puffballs to their forehands.
No time for moving forwards, or any takeback, it's all reflex at the ball comes at you over 110 mph, faster than my first serve.
All this talk about proper volleying technique is just talk. When that rocket is coming your way, you need to be loose and relaxed, so your reflexes come into play.
Proper technique is something you do BEFORE the match, when the incoming ball is normal speeds.

Well, LeeD, things are relative. It's very unlikely that people play a severely mis-matching leveled game and come here to wonder about why they lose.


"keep a firm wrist so that the racquet and your arm work more as a single unit." "you'll find more economy of motion and develop a quick, easy move with those volleys. Practice! "

Fuzz,
As usual you made an excellent post. You gave a lot of good concepts and analogies to help understand the volley better which is a best way for me to learn. Thanks.

LeeD
11-25-2009, 12:33 PM
OP is not asking for advice on how to volley.
He means a rocketship is headed his way, and what prep is best. PREVENTION is the best, smack your partner upside his head!

papa
11-25-2009, 01:57 PM
Your CUE!
When you partner serves up puffballs and you're being punished...
Turn around and punch your partner in his face. OR, just kick his nuts!

Too funny - probably would work though.

papa
11-25-2009, 02:02 PM
Groin or face?

I protect face.:)

Me too because I can always turn a spec or lift one leg for a little protection. God it makes me wince just thinking of the possibilities - isn't this suppose to be a gentleman's game?

papa
11-25-2009, 02:11 PM
continental grip

split step second before the guy makes contact

always move forward 45 degrees if it's wide, never parallel to the net

close in, close in, close in, close in on anything above the net. I get lazy sometimes. it's much easier to hit a volley higher and closer towards the net. Every time I don't close, I hit a one without pace, without angle and no authority, I usually get passed.

Elbows in if possible, head close to the racket if possible.

Stomp your front foot going forward when you make your volley.

Be there to end the point, I see guys getting up there and it seems like they want to rally. Nope the most volleys you should hit is 2. Prefer to only hit 1.

Don't like the elbow in on the backhand volley but to each his own. I also prefer the eyes to be racquet high if possible and not that concerned about the head being close to racquet head - yeah, if possible that would be better than moving the head away.

Want to make sure your "stomp" comes just when you strike the ball or a spec later - not before.

On closing, be careful not to close to the extent that you invite lobs - some yes but be careful. You can close and then retreat a couple of steps. Actually if you close on net and hit a volley and its coming back, back up, don't get caught with you nose hanging over the net.

papa
11-25-2009, 02:13 PM
When a receiver is teeing off on your partner's second ball, giving your partner some attitude won't magically conjure a spectacular 2nd serve that he or she just doesn't possess. Get yourself out of harm's way in that situation and start the point standing back around the baseline with your partner, then you can move forward together when you can attack a short ball.

And now onto my passion for the volley...

A good drill for finding the engine for your volleys is to have a hitting partner feed you some balls (only moderate pace) while you hold your racquet up on the throat with that same continental grip. To hit these balls well, you'll be forced to keep the racquet out in front of you - this means in front of your chest, not closer to the net than the rest of you - and keep a firm wrist so that the racquet and your arm work more as a single unit. Seek that contact point straight out in front of your chest and use both a deliberate weight transfer and mild core rotation to nicely pop the ball with control. Yes, the hand leads the racquet through a mild (and brief!) high-to-low path.

Since you're not at the baseline, you don't need to worry about swinging. Avoid an excessive takeback where the racquet travels back past your ear on either side. Volleys get most of their "go" from that step and turn. I'm a righty, so my forehand volley goes well when I take a diagonal side step onto my left foot through contact, not before contact, along with a bit of a right-to-left turn of my torso. With my body turned at about 45 degrees to my right for that volley, that side step onto my left foot ultimately takes me forward through my shot (not sideways meaning parallel to the net).

Our pal 2ndServe had some good thoughts, but one caution I'll add is that you want to avoid stomping your front foot at contact. As I see it, that can make everything stop instead of letting you move through the ball as you hit. If that stomp onto your forward foot happens after contact, it won't slow your forward transfer through the ball.

Good guidance concerning your setup. Move forward into a split-step while up at net every time your opponent hits a ball - that way you're already moving to make your volley regardless of whether it comes at you or not. There's much less time for preparation at net, so you need to set up, minus the turn and move toward the ball, before it's on its way to you. Since much about good volleys comes from solid ingrained reactions, keep practicing your good habits. It'll be rocky while you actively concentrate on making them all work together, but eventually you'll find more economy of motion and develop a quick, easy move with those volleys. Practice!

Great post - good ideas/suggestions

2ndServe
11-25-2009, 02:14 PM
omg I played a dubs match. Partner would hit good serves to the forehand all the time and guess what the other guy would slap it back no problems. Down the line, extreme crosscourt, at his feet etc.

Me I can get it up to about 115mph but my placement and accuracy won't be great.


oGuess what I did, I served 85mph always to the backhand, slice, kickers, toppers throwing 2 2nd serves etc. 99% went to the backhand. Guess what the returns were floaters and easy knocks at the net even if they were solid it didn't have 1/2 the topspin as the forehand and no volleying at the shoelaces. Only time I went to the forehand was when we were up 40-0 or 40-15 just so he knew the forehand was a possibility.


Serve it underhand whatever you want to do, get it to the backhand. The forehands nowadays makes it very hard to for me to poach at least. I poach all day on the backhand.

papa
11-25-2009, 02:31 PM
Obviously most of you guys have never played a hard hitting big player while your partner serves up puffballs to their forehands.
No time for moving forwards, or any takeback, it's all reflex at the ball comes at you over 110 mph, faster than my first serve.
All this talk about proper volleying technique is just talk. When that rocket is coming your way, you need to be loose and relaxed, so your reflexes come into play.
Proper technique is something you do BEFORE the match, when the incoming ball is normal speeds.

Well, I've been knocked down by a couple of these types of returns but, as you mentioned, you have to be ready, assume the ball is coming to you and stay calm. If you don't think you can take the heat, back up to the baseline. You'll see players backed up even at the professional level so there is nothing to be ashamed of. I realize you back up for other reasons but there is absolutely no sense in getting blasted or being afraid. Honestly, many of us play positions not because they are correct but because were a little stupid. I've never been accused of being the smartest person around the courts and I've paid the price but always slow to learn.

I can hit that same shot with fairly good consistency and pace but you've got to make sure the net person has their racquet prepared and looks ready - if I sense a problem, I won't use that shot, its not worth it.

Ripper014
11-25-2009, 03:12 PM
OP is not asking for advice on how to volley.
He means a rocketship is headed his way, and what prep is best. PREVENTION is the best, smack your partner upside his head!


user92626 is the original polster... and I believe he is a she... but I could be wrong.