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Cindysphinx
11-23-2009, 07:26 PM
I have a friend who is trying to improve her volleys. She took a lesson on this recently, so today she was showing me this new way she volleys.

She started her takeback very high and used a lot of brushing action/high-to-low as she struck the ball, both on FH and BH. The result was a ball with a lot of slice ion it. These balls tended to be fairly short, with underspin/slice. She said she had been told to keep her right arm very straight on her BH volley (no bend in elbow). She usually hit these volleys open stance and did not step toward the net.

I wasn't sure what to make of this. These volleys weren't drives; they were more like drop volleys. The technique was very different from what I was taught to do, with forward motion/stepping in/using the legs being very important. The result was very different from what I was taught to attempt, in that I always thought that the volley should have pace and depth as well as underspin.

Here's my question: Is there any disadvantage to volleying in this new way? Is this something I should try to learn?

USERNAME
11-23-2009, 08:10 PM
U dont want to volley like that ever. On almost all volleys u want to keep the racquet face pretty still and drive through the ball and always use the cross step in towards the net. The way your friend is volleying will be very inconsistent against any low ball or ball at (or even a little above) net height because of the choppy swing and it will also give out a ton of short balls.

Jonny S&V
11-23-2009, 08:13 PM
Wow, I would try to avoid your friends coach... Volley's should be hit with a bent arm, should be more forward than down, and the racquet head should only be slightly above the arm.

Blake0
11-23-2009, 09:42 PM
Volleys are all about..legs..using them for power. Your hands are their to provide touch or as a solid, firm link to return balls. When hitting volleys, you always want to be moving forward, and transferring your weight into the ball, even on drop volleys. Another key part of volleys is the short backswing and short followthrough.

Brushing down on the ball like your friend is doing is very bad..it might work for her now, but if she faces faster balls or has less time to react she'll pop it up or miss most of the time. Stick to the way you were taught to volley..and try to discourage your friend of this new volley style..

Jonny S&V
11-23-2009, 09:48 PM
Volleys are all about..legs..using them for power. Your hands are their to provide touch or as a solid, firm link to return balls. When hitting volleys, you always want to be moving forward, and transferring your weight into the ball, even on drop volleys. Another key part of volleys is the short backswing and short followthrough.

This is one point that I've always wanted to figure out once and for all. Volleys are actually all about your arm and wrist position. I believe that stepping into a volley is what you should do, if you have time. When you see doubles volley exchanges, they don't step into the ball at all usually (unless they're putting away a floater) and yet they (if they are of high level) are putting plenty of pop on the volleys. I just think that the wrong emphasis is put on stepping into the a volley. A disclaimer of "If you have time" should be added on. I apologize, however, I am rambling and should go to bed... :x

Blake0
11-23-2009, 09:57 PM
This is one point that I've always wanted to figure out once and for all. I believe that stepping into a volley is what you should do, if you have time. When you see doubles volley exchanges, they don't step into the ball at all usually (unless they're putting away a floater). I just think that the wrong emphasis is put on stepping into the a volley. A disclaimer of "If you have time" should be added on. I apologize, however, I am rambling and should go to bed... :x

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3p24aJacdKw

Andy doesn't have much time to really step forward, but look at how he's moving forward or stepping a little bit forward with his legs whenever possible. Ofcourse sometimes, you'll get caught being unable to move at all and hitting a volley and you wont have time to step forward. But, the ideal way is to be moving forward, especially crossing over with the opposite leg when hitting volleys.

TheMagicianOfPrecision
11-24-2009, 03:51 AM
I have a friend who is trying to improve her volleys. She took a lesson on this recently, so today she was showing me this new way she volleys.

She started her takeback very high and used a lot of brushing action/high-to-low as she struck the ball, both on FH and BH. The result was a ball with a lot of slice ion it. These balls tended to be fairly short, with underspin/slice. She said she had been told to keep her right arm very straight on her BH volley (no bend in elbow). She usually hit these volleys open stance and did not step toward the net.

I wasn't sure what to make of this. These volleys weren't drives; they were more like drop volleys. The technique was very different from what I was taught to do, with forward motion/stepping in/using the legs being very important. The result was very different from what I was taught to attempt, in that I always thought that the volley should have pace and depth as well as underspin.

Here's my question: Is there any disadvantage to volleying in this new way? Is this something I should try to learn?

Your friends coach is obviously not very good.
My take on it is that he maybe tried to learn her the proper way to hit a volley-She couldnt do it and gave up on her after a while. On volleys you have to follow through with both racket and your feet, the way you describe it it sounds as if she cant volley behind the service line, many years ago my coach told me that if you are standing between the service-line and the net your volley should be able to pass the service-line on the other side-if they do your technique is fint, if you dont then you hit the ball the wrong way. Also you have to keep your wrist locked, if you dont the ball will just die once it hit your racket.

jrod
11-24-2009, 04:13 AM
^^^ Cindy- This sounds completely contrary to everything I've ever learned about how to volley. If you are trying to stick the volley, the motion is more like clearing a table (move arm parallel to the ground) with the arm bent and wrist locked without much extension, and if you have time stepping into it towards your target. The lower the ball the closer the contact point to your body. To get a good idea of the proper body position at contact simply catch the ball with your hitting hand.

For touch or drop volleys, I've practiced a couple of different drills to help enhance feel including either catching the ball with your frame (no bounce), or deflecting it up and then hitting it back softly. I recently saw this later drill on one of those 60-second drill segments on TTC.

If I understand you correctly, the technique you described above seems like something you'd want to avoid.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 06:56 AM
Your friend's coach is horrible and doesn't know how to teach correct volleys. OTOH, if you friend NEVER could hit a ball on the fly, he's starting her out WRONG, but she can now "volley".
She will also volley you into oblivion, as your opponents will always hit to her and get a easy putaway ball. Your team will LOSE every time your partner hits her volley. It's better than nothing, but not much better.
Have your partner watch vids here of Clint, or Tony, or some of those guys volleying. Have your partner try to copy, not inovate.

Bagumbawalla
11-24-2009, 07:20 AM
Just to be fair, there is not just one volley-- half-volleys, drop-volleys, lob-volleys, swing-volleys and so on. This woman's volley, however, does not seem to be any of the standard volleys and the form is poor (as explained, above).

Is the form poor because she was taught to hit that way by the coach, or is she just an awkward player who hasn't got it all together (yet)? Did she hit a proper volley before, then switch to this?

It may be the coach, or it may be the individual, hard to say. Whatever the case, do not adopt her style.

Bungalo Bill
11-24-2009, 07:41 AM
I have a friend who is trying to improve her volleys. She took a lesson on this recently, so today she was showing me this new way she volleys.

She started her takeback very high and used a lot of brushing action/high-to-low as she struck the ball, both on FH and BH. The result was a ball with a lot of slice ion it. These balls tended to be fairly short, with underspin/slice. She said she had been told to keep her right arm very straight on her BH volley (no bend in elbow). She usually hit these volleys open stance and did not step toward the net.

I wasn't sure what to make of this. These volleys weren't drives; they were more like drop volleys. The technique was very different from what I was taught to do, with forward motion/stepping in/using the legs being very important. The result was very different from what I was taught to attempt, in that I always thought that the volley should have pace and depth as well as underspin.

Here's my question: Is there any disadvantage to volleying in this new way? Is this something I should try to learn?

This is where coaching gets a bad rap. It could be several things:

1. The coach is teaching a speciality shot and the student didn't grasp that for whatever reason.

2. The coach learned the wrong way to volley and is passng on poor information because that is what he got used to and knows how to demonstrate even though it is poor technique.

3. The student didn't understand what the coach really said.

Either way, I normally teach that a volley is performed with a U-shaped arm on both sides and the dominant muscle in the arm is the shoulder and not the forearm area.

The volley is mainly a high-low-high swing and the elbow does not roll over or do weird things as a player sends his racquet through the ball.

Much of the volley is prepared and performed by the lower body. Eye-levle is important to maintain. You dont want to be too high over the ball or too lower under the ball. Also, with such a short motion, the volley is performed by the slight momentum you create.

Usually the first thing to correct in a volley is a players natural tendency to move back and then forward. This is why the tip "do what is natural" doesn't work. In this case, you would engrain a bad habit.

fuzz nation
11-24-2009, 07:59 AM
Yeah, hard to say exactly what's going on with this player and the direction that her coach is trying to steer her toward. Let's not bury anyone until this friend of Cindy's gets some time to work toward a more finished product. I wouldn't be surprised if she's working with some new cues to help get rid of some bad habits or something. If she only took one lesson on this, I think it's safe to say that there's still a ways to go.

Concerning the best sources of energy for good volleys, I'll agree that it's just about impossible to really put a good move on a ball when you're only making a quick reaction volley to push it back over the net. The legs really are the best engines for these shots though, and an especially good habit to learn for better overall volleys is to carry a little forward momentum into that split-step as you set up to respond to an opponent's shot.

If that ball isn't drilled at you and there's time for a deliberate forward move through the volley with footwork, then life is good. But even if you have to make a quick grab to shovel the ball back over the net, that slight forward momentum will help the volley more than if the hitter is stuck on their heels. This is part of the preparation that any decent volleyer needs to use routinely while at the net. Even if the ball doesn't come to you, your constant preparation will have you moving forward and backing off in the middle of a rally as you constantly reset to go forward through any ball that comes your way.

Cindysphinx
11-24-2009, 08:36 AM
Here's the thing, though. Her volleys had a lot of underspin on them, so they were very effective. I mean, I was at baseline, so I couldn't reach them because they were so short and had so much slice.

If she can hit this shot while close to the net, maybe it is possible to do it while farther from the net?

We've talked about volleys a lot, and I think she finds my volleys one-dimensional. And I have to admit that they are. I rarely hit a volley winner that is short, as I lack touch and feel. If I hit a short volley winner, it was usually a mis-hit. If I get a volley when I am close to net, I usually try to angle it off or punch it deep with pace to take away the opponent's time.

So yeah, I only attempt to hit one kind of volley -- a drive. That's why I am wondering whether I could benefit by trying some of what she is doing.

Jrod, my pro has tried to teach me a drop volley in the way you describe, where you almost try to catch the ball on your strings. So far, no soup for me. :(

Bungalo Bill
11-24-2009, 08:56 AM
Here's the thing, though. Her volleys had a lot of underspin on them, so they were very effective. I mean, I was at baseline, so I couldn't reach them because they were so short and had so much slice.

If she can hit this shot while close to the net, maybe it is possible to do it while farther from the net?

We've talked about volleys a lot, and I think she finds my volleys one-dimensional. And I have to admit that they are. I rarely hit a volley winner that is short, as I lack touch and feel. If I hit a short volley winner, it was usually a mis-hit. If I get a volley when I am close to net, I usually try to angle it off or punch it deep with pace to take away the opponent's time.

So yeah, I only attempt to hit one kind of volley -- a drive. That's why I am wondering whether I could benefit by trying some of what she is doing.

Jrod, my pro has tried to teach me a drop volley in the way you describe, where you almost try to catch the ball on your strings. So far, no soup for me. :(

Sounds like to me she is straightening the arm somwhat to stiffen it and reduce the elasticity in the shot. This provides a deader shot and with underspin it won't go very far. Speciality shot to me.

Nellie
11-24-2009, 09:03 AM
I think that if the ball is coming to you slowly, this may be fine, but as soon as the pace picks up, the timing of hitting with a big stroke motion is too hard

jrod
11-24-2009, 09:05 AM
...Jrod, my pro has tried to teach me a drop volley in the way you describe, where you almost try to catch the ball on your strings. So far, no soup for me. :(


Keep at it. You will start to develop a good feel for the ball with the catch or deflect and hit drill.

Last summer my son and I lowered the badminton net in the front yard and grabbed our frames and started to play lawn tennis. Now my lawn maintenance skills are well, I don't really possess any lawn maintenance skills whatsoever. So, as you can imagine it doesn't really pay to let the ball bounce. So the game we play invovles probably 90% volleys, and the court dimensions are consistent with badminton court (i.e. 17' wide by 22 deep per side, or smallish even compared with mini-tennis court dimensions).

Try it sometime...It's amazing how much fun this is and how much it improves your touch volleys. Keep the dog tied up though...

Bungalo Bill
11-24-2009, 10:04 AM
Jrod, my pro has tried to teach me a drop volley in the way you describe, where you almost try to catch the ball on your strings. So far, no soup for me. :(

Soften those hands girl.

You also might want to learn how to catch a ball with your racquet. Sort of like catching an egg in those egg toss games at picnics. Start out close and slow and work your way up.

Otherwise, drive the darn thing and put it away.

larry10s
11-24-2009, 10:05 AM
Here's the thing, though. Her volleys had a lot of underspin on them, so they were very effective. I mean, I was at baseline, so I couldn't reach them because they were so short and had so much slice.

If she can hit this shot while close to the net, maybe it is possible to do it while farther from the net?

We've talked about volleys a lot, and I think she finds my volleys one-dimensional. And I have to admit that they are. I rarely hit a volley winner that is short, as I lack touch and feel. If I hit a short volley winner, it was usually a mis-hit. If I get a volley when I am close to net, I usually try to angle it off or punch it deep with pace to take away the opponent's time.

So yeah, I only attempt to hit one kind of volley -- a drive. That's why I am wondering whether I could benefit by trying some of what she is doing.

Jrod, my pro has tried to teach me a drop volley in the way you describe, where you almost try to catch the ball on your strings. So far, no soup for me. :(

if you get a high ball and stick your volley at the net person isnt that a winner??? if you get a low ball you cant hit it with as much pace but if you maintain that u position of your arm and soften your hands you can hit an angled winner. the drill suggested above to have someone feed you a ball you you make the ball bounce up then volley it winll teach you to take pace off the ball coming in as you need to for a drop volley. cindysphinx with all your lessons and reading if something comes up you havent seen or heard i would be leary of trying to mimic it. imho

LeeD
11-24-2009, 10:45 AM
Girlfriend....
When you volley, you need deep with pace, soft with angle or DTL, medium low placement volleys between you opponents but to netmans feet, and also safe putaway volleys that NEVER miss.
Just like serves, you need more than one.
When an opponent WARMS UP hitting your friend's volleys, I know to tell my partner NOT to pick on it until an important point, then hit there, MOVE IN, and put the ball away.
Variety IN TENNIS is the spice of life.
You don't only hit flat fast serves.
You don't only hit hard topspin groundies.
So you shouldn't volley the same each time.

W Cats
11-24-2009, 01:13 PM
I believe that coaching/teaching is not just about having the student replicate a particular shot done in an ideal way - in this case the volley. Sometimes a particluar component of a shot or skill needs to be pulled out from the ideal and highlighted to the extreme of either side of the continuum in order to address or explore the issue at hand. Of course after you've pulled it out and tinkered with it needs to be plugged back into the right context.

1. High to low slicing type action - who hasn't heard of this before

2. Straight arm on the BH side - I've seen it in Dave's Smith book

3. Open stance - reaction volleys anyone.

You might think I'm full of it - sometimes I am more than others:)

But check out this vid and take a look at some of blue/whites volleys -he's go some game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH2l9khi5RU&feature=PlayList&p=CE74AD3E62793627&index=3

I just find it hard to instantly dis the pro when something could have been taken out of context. Especially if some of the students volleys proved effective against and opponent.

Bungalo Bill
11-24-2009, 01:23 PM
I believe that coaching/teaching is not just about having the student replicate a particular shot done in an ideal way - in this case the volley. Sometimes a particluar component of a shot or skill needs to be pulled out from the ideal and highlighted to the extreme of either side of the continuum in order to address or explore the issue at hand. Of course after you've pulled it out and tinkered with it needs to be plugged back into the right context.

1. High to low slicing type action - who hasn't heard of this before

2. Straight arm on the BH side - I've seen it in Dave's Smith book

3. Open stance - reaction volleys anyone.

You might think I'm full of it - sometimes I am more than others:)

But check out this vid and take a look at some of blue/whites volleys -he's go some game.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nH2l9khi5RU&feature=PlayList&p=CE74AD3E62793627&index=3

I just find it hard to instantly dis the pro when something could have been taken out of context. Especially if some of the students volleys proved effective against and opponent.

You want people to learn good technique. Good technique is not hard to learn from a cognitive fashion. what is hard is finding the time to practice and develop that knowledge through a player. Teaching the fundamentals is what every coach should consider. Why? Because you want players to choose what they want to do as they grow as a player. Some may finesse the ball more. Some may prefer inside-out forehands. Others might hit the reverse forehand more often then others. Players styles and development need to grow withing the parameters of fundamentals.

LeeD
11-24-2009, 01:37 PM
Lefty bro can really volley.
Maybe it's the yellow shirt....:shock:

W Cats
11-24-2009, 01:43 PM
BB

My post was not directed at Fundamentals but more at the elusive Ideal. But perhaps I'm not understanding your definition of Fundamentals. Maybe a specific example might shed some light.

Creating underspin: one could have the student, through guided discovery, create various amounts of spin on the ball by varying the length of a given stroke, speed of the stroke, angle of racquet head at contact etc. Then used this knowledge to impove the students low penetrating lice and then his drop shot.

papa
11-24-2009, 02:22 PM
He

Jrod, my pro has tried to teach me a drop volley in the way you describe, where you almost try to catch the ball on your strings. So far, no soup for me. :(

You might/probably are, playing white knuckle tennis here. Loosen up your grip and try keeping the little finger and maybe the ring finger very, very loose. The racquet has to absorb some of the power and if its held too tight the ball will sail or be completely ineffective. A drive volley has its place but certainly not on every shot. So, relax and loosen up that grip - this doesn't mean you're casual about the shot either.

Cindysphinx
11-27-2009, 01:07 PM
All right. I think I have solved the mystery of whether my friend has a bad pro or not.

We did some practice today. At one point, she was at the service line and I was at the baseline. She was supposed to hit an approach volley back to me at baseline, and I was supposed to hit a groundstroke back to her.

As usual, her FH and BH volleys were very short and spinny, usually bouncing 2-3 times before they reached me. When this happened, I would hit it on the multi-bounce, or I would just catch it and feed again. She seemed happy with these approach volleys, so . . . whatever.

The subject of grips came up. My friend said, "I hit all of my shots except my serve with an Eastern FH grip." I said, "Even volleys?" She said, "Yes, and ever since my pro taught me to use that grip I have been volleying better than ever."

Um, OK. So we return to the drill where I am at baseline and she is at service line, and once again she is hitting softballs that rarely bounce deeper than the service line. So I figured, heck, I should just approach off of these balls so we can establish what happens when you hit a short approach volley and someone approaches off of it. Use your imagination -- it's ugly.

So that is the problem. This pro she is using has her using a FH grip for volleys and wants her to slice down hard for her volleys with her wrist laid back. This results in misses into the net for balls that go below net level, lots of pop-ups, and no depth or pace on balls that do make it over the net.

Sorry, but I think this is a case where the instructor is giving bad advice rather than a student who is misunderstanding the advice given.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 01:45 PM
Possibly not bad advice, EFH is easy to hit forehand volleys with depth and pace.
Possibly your friend needs a TWO HANDED backhand volley, like FrewMcMillian, GeneMayer, and a rising JimmyConnors.
They played OK a few years ago.

Cindysphinx
11-27-2009, 02:05 PM
Dear lord, let's hope not.

Why not just volley the way pretty much every teaching pro teaches and the way pretty much every pro volleys? One hand, Continental grip, punch and step.

Sorry, I think this teaching pro is committing malpractice.

LeeD
11-27-2009, 02:09 PM
Your friend might have learning disabilities or lack of hand eye coordination, so maybe the coach is trying to get her to hit ONE kind of volley, a simple forehand, and hope she can do just that. How long has she played and what level is she? I'd assume 3+ years and 3.0 womens. That's learning disabilities at work.
Those 2hbh volleys are easily 7.0+ MENS level volleys. Better than anyone's short of Edberg, Nastase, Cash, Sampras, and Rafter. If she could hit half that level 2hbh volleys, she would be an much improved player.

Ken Honecker
11-28-2009, 12:23 AM
I've always considered myself a good net player and alway played it with a Eastern grip because never having been coached I never knew any better. If she is starting out she probably should learn to use the Conti grip as that sounds easier but perhaps the coaches idea is not to bombard her with too much information since it sounds that she has a lot of other holes in her game. Heck I don't know if I could hit an approach shot that would take 3 bounces to make it to the base line

featherlight
11-28-2009, 02:25 AM
Wow, I would try to avoid your friends coach... Volley's should be hit with a bent arm, should be more forward than down, and the racquet head should only be slightly above the arm.

totally agree with you , its like you read it from my mind
i guess great minds think alike

papa
11-28-2009, 04:44 AM
I've always considered myself a good net player and alway played it with a Eastern grip because never having been coached I never knew any better. If she is starting out she probably should learn to use the Conti grip as that sounds easier but perhaps the coaches idea is not to bombard her with too much information since it sounds that she has a lot of other holes in her game. Heck I don't know if I could hit an approach shot that would take 3 bounces to make it to the base line

Interesting. Do you change the grip from one side to the other?

Using two hands or having to change the grip, even slightly, can be a problem in fast paced volley situations. Assuming you don't change grips and that you are using a EFG for you forehand volley, your going to pop up a lot of balls off your backhand - and a highter percentage of volley shots come off that side, almost 2 to 1 for most players. By using one grip, which also would be the overhead grip (for most anyway), your don't have to fiddle with the racquet up close.

Cindysphinx
11-28-2009, 06:05 AM
Interesting. Do you change the grip from one side to the other?

Using two hands or having to change the grip, even slightly, can be a problem in fast paced volley situations. Assuming you don't change grips and that you are using a EFG for you forehand volley, your going to pop up a lot of balls off your backhand - and a highter percentage of volley shots come off that side, almost 2 to 1 for most players. By using one grip, which also would be the overhead grip (for most anyway), your don't have to fiddle with the racquet up close.

You know, the first thing my pro did when he started teaching me to volley (when I had just been bumped from 2.5 to 3.0) was emphasize the grip. He took out a ball point pen, put my hand in the right grip, and traced the outline of my thumb and index finger. Then when we volleyed, I was to check my alignment after each miss or each break in the action. Sure enough, slipping over toward EF was the source of pop-ups on the BH side and also misses into the net off of low balls on either side.

I still trace that line onto my overgrips. When I step up to the net when my partner is serving or receiving, I quickly check the alignment. It helps focus my mind on using continental grip to volley No Matter What. Now that we are doing approach volleys, I am very glad I have the right grip.

That's why I am thinking her pro is lame. My pro is crazy focused on what the racket face is doing, and he considers grips to be fundamental on every shot. It seems if a 3.5 comes to you for a private lesson and wants to learn to volley, it is wrongheaded to handle it the way this pro is.

Topaz
11-28-2009, 06:17 AM
Dear lord, let's hope not.

Why not just volley the way pretty much every teaching pro teaches and the way pretty much every pro volleys? One hand, Continental grip, punch and step.

Sorry, I think this teaching pro is committing malpractice.

Not everyone plays their best the same way Cindy.

Unless you actually get a chance to actually observe these two together, we can't be sure if it is the pro or the student's interpretation that is the problem. He may be trying things out with her to get her to play her best...and that might look very different from how you play your best. I agree with others who have said this sounds more like a specialty shot, and not how every volley would be hit...and I would guess there is misinterpretation on the student's part before I would condemn the pro.

LeeD
11-28-2009, 06:52 AM
I can't diss the coach either, until more info is supplied.
EFH for a forehand volley works just fine.
EFH for a backhand volley doesn't, until a longer stroke, more shoulder turn, and more body movement into the court is applied. Looking at vids of some Edbergs/Cash and even Federer, when they come in to put balls away, their forehand volleys are short punced slightly open stanced while their backhand putaway volleys are fully closed stanced, shoulder sideways, longer stroked, faster moving volley strokes.
Perhaps your friend didn't fully understand the concept of EFH for volleys. I suspect Becker used that grip. And the guys I mentioned above seemed to use conti grips with a slight twist towards EFH, but not fully EFH.
Best solution is to have her support her volleys with the oft hand.
Maybe she is weak of hand and arm strength.
If she hits 2HBH groundies, she might be weak.

Cindysphinx
11-28-2009, 07:07 AM
Sure, it could be a "specialty shot." Why would anyone teach a specialty shot before the student can hit a basic shot?

She hits a 1HBH groundie, most of the time. She isn't uncoordinated or weak. She is primarily a singles player, though, so perhaps she doesn't fully grasp what a Good Volley is. In singles, a little spinny drop volley or just getting your racket on the ball will win you a lot of points against slow opponents.

Well, *someone* is doing something seriously wrong. I figure if the student is doing what the pro is telling her to do (rather than disagreeing with him and doing her own thing), then I gotta wonder about this pro. She said he said this is how it is done.

Oh well. I guess she'll either stick with him, or she won't. Usually, I tend to think lesson problems or failure to learn something is the fault of the student. This is the first time I have thought it was the pro.

LeeD
11-28-2009, 07:11 AM
Maybe have her watch some TV tennis of the pros volleying?
NOBODY chops high to low to affect a backspinny medium depth ball. After ONE of those, the opposition moves foreward and crushes it away.

EP1998
11-28-2009, 07:46 AM
I would be curious to know the playing backgrounds of both of these pros (Cindy's and the thread topic's pro). Were they net rushers themselves as players?

fuzz nation
11-28-2009, 08:55 AM
I'd still want to be a fly on the court and listen in while this pro advises Cindy's friend on her volley grips 'n all that, but it does sound like this teacher has a pupil going in the wrong direction... and those bad habits are such a pain to un-learn!

I agree with Lee concerning the EFH grip with the forehand volleys, but I've even tried to steer the kids I coach away from that one. Seems to me that when less accomplished players take to that grip for those volleys, that shot eventually degrades into a sort of arm dominant patty-cake hit that they can only get away with right up on top of the net. Put that same player back near the service line and if they can get that volley over the net, they're gonna be serving up a free lunch for the opposition all too often. Becker, Edberg, the Fed-man, and Pat Cash can do whatever they want, though.

That forehand grip for the backhand volley is honestly a classic technique/mechanical problem that will severely limit the potential for that shot for any player. Even a backhand drop volley would be more reliable and controllable with a continental grip... you could disguise it, too.

Djokovicfan4life
11-28-2009, 09:12 AM
Jrod, my pro has tried to teach me a drop volley in the way you describe, where you almost try to catch the ball on your strings. So far, no soup for me. :(

nevermind.

xFullCourtTenniSx
11-28-2009, 09:12 AM
When you see doubles volley exchanges, they don't step into the ball at all usually (unless they're putting away a floater) and yet they (if they are of high level) are putting plenty of pop on the volleys.

That's because they actually take quite a big swing on their volleys on each one (they never really block it, it's almost always a punch) that nobody else (even you're average top 100 ATP pro) can even dream of managing. Their reflexes and hands are so ridiculously quick at net, especially when they know where to guard. Them hitting a defensive block volley would require the other player hitting a big groundstroke at them off a short ball. Anything else and they can take the full punch stroke on it, which is quite amazing.

It's something doubles players specialize in after playing for so many years in a highly competitive situation in addition to a LOT of practice.

Dominant singles players can't come anywhere close to that unless the player's name is John McEnroe.

Oh, was talking about ATP Doubles players by the way. Though he's right that high level doubles players in general display these abilities.

W Cats
11-28-2009, 09:13 AM
NOBODY chops high to low to affect a backspinny medium depth ball

Sure they do. Look at the video that I posted earlier on this thread. Check out the guy in blue his BH volley's especially when he's in the corner.

Tried to repost the link but can't for some reason.:neutral:

Cindysphinx
11-28-2009, 11:09 AM
I would be curious to know the playing backgrounds of both of these pros (Cindy's and the thread topic's pro). Were they net rushers themselves as players?

I don't know anything about her pro other than she mentioned he is older.

My pro is 36. Primarily a singles background because that's where the action is. Has taught for maybe 12 years. Loves everything about doubles, including playing mixed doubles. Personally, I think his strength is teaching volleys/net play.

Cody
11-28-2009, 11:27 AM
While lunging for a volley yesterday i chopped down on it not knowing what i was doing, what took place was one of those epic shots that land close to the net and backspin back over to my side.

While it was fun i don't think i will be volleying like that again.

papa
11-28-2009, 04:04 PM
While lunging for a volley yesterday i chopped down on it not knowing what i was doing, what took place was one of those epic shots that land close to the net and backspin back over to my side.

While it was fun i don't think i will be volleying like that again.

That's always an interesting shot and, as most probably know, its the only time your allowed to reach over the net to strike the ball - assuming you don't touch the net. Also the player on the other side has to give way to allow your shot.

Most of these shots come off the frame (miss hits) but given the right ball you can do it. Certainly not a shot you practice much and you realize that "maybe" your spending too much time on the courts when you start fooling around with it - fun though.

LeeD
11-29-2009, 08:11 AM
I've actually hit that shot over 10 times during practice and once in an Open match.
Since I'm always diving and stretching to return low volleys, it's a natural I'd get lucky once in a while. When stretched, the racketface has a natural tendency to open up. and hardly ever a mishit, usually just 8' over the net to come back while the opponent is running full speed at me.

Bungalo Bill
11-30-2009, 07:35 PM
All right. I think I have solved the mystery of whether my friend has a bad pro or not.

We did some practice today. At one point, she was at the service line and I was at the baseline. She was supposed to hit an approach volley back to me at baseline, and I was supposed to hit a groundstroke back to her.

As usual, her FH and BH volleys were very short and spinny, usually bouncing 2-3 times before they reached me. When this happened, I would hit it on the multi-bounce, or I would just catch it and feed again. She seemed happy with these approach volleys, so . . . whatever.

The subject of grips came up. My friend said, "I hit all of my shots except my serve with an Eastern FH grip." I said, "Even volleys?" She said, "Yes, and ever since my pro taught me to use that grip I have been volleying better than ever."

Um, OK. So we return to the drill where I am at baseline and she is at service line, and once again she is hitting softballs that rarely bounce deeper than the service line. So I figured, heck, I should just approach off of these balls so we can establish what happens when you hit a short approach volley and someone approaches off of it. Use your imagination -- it's ugly.

So that is the problem. This pro she is using has her using a FH grip for volleys and wants her to slice down hard for her volleys with her wrist laid back. This results in misses into the net for balls that go below net level, lots of pop-ups, and no depth or pace on balls that do make it over the net.

Sorry, but I think this is a case where the instructor is giving bad advice rather than a student who is misunderstanding the advice given.

Hi Cindy,

I caught this post and just wanted to comment.

I have often spoke of the Eastern forehand grip as a good volley grip. Taken by itself it is. However, it is not a good grip to use on fast exchanges when a player begins to get better and plays better opponents. It becomes more of a grip used for certain volleys rather than a grip to use at the net to defend it.

However, if I ever show a player how to hit volleys with Eastern Forehand grip, it is far from being short and spinny. One of the main benefits of the Eastern grip is the strength of the wrist position for volleys. This translates into a player being able to hit hard commanding volleys anywhere in the court. That is the key strength of the Eastern Forehand grip for the volley. The same is true for the backhand volley when using an Eastern BH grip. This grip places the wrist in a stronger position than the Continental. This is much of the reason why some players alter their grip from a pure Continental.

This thing with short spinny balls just tells me your friend could very well be successful with her shots now, but is perhaps developing poor volley technique at this time. I am not positive about this but it doesn't sound right comparing the results of what the ball is doing to the grip she is using.

I still want that doubles match! :)

LeeD
12-01-2009, 06:48 AM
Yes, EFH can be a great solid forehand volley.
And EBH can be a great solid backhand volley.
Problem is, how can you switch in time?
2 HBH volleys, both eastern does the deed for GeneMayer. McMillian and Connors used 1 HBH conti grips. Talking 7.0 MENS players here.

Cindysphinx
12-01-2009, 07:17 AM
I still want that doubles match! :)

Ha! Let me straighten out my groundies first, 'kay? Let's pencil it in for 2016.

Regarding the grip, you make a good point about EF being a strong grip. My reasons for thinking Continental is better is my own experience. If I forget to maintain EF grip when coming to net, I am in trouble if I get a ball below net level. When I have EF grip, the face of the racket is pointed squarely at the net, and the ball goes right into the net. If I have Continental, the ball is more likely to go over.

My friend's problem is all of that arm/wrist action she is using to generate spin, while also not doing anything to generate pace. But yeah, I agree with you that the EF grip isn't the cause of those particular problems (although I do think it explains all of the balls into the net from below net level).

Bungalo Bill
12-01-2009, 07:32 AM
Ha! Let me straighten out my groundies first, 'kay? Let's pencil it in for 2016.

Groundies! What? You better get your fanny to net!! If you are hitting groundies, you better only hit one or two at most infrequently. :)

Regarding the grip, you make a good point about EF being a strong grip. My reasons for thinking Continental is better is my own experience. If I forget to maintain EF grip when coming to net, I am in trouble if I get a ball below net level. When I have EF grip, the face of the racket is pointed squarely at the net, and the ball goes right into the net. If I have Continental, the ball is more likely to go over.

The strength of the Continental is that you do not have to switch grips at net. That strength alone tips the scales for all players to use a Continental. Further, the main grip to serve is a Continental. So if you are playing doubles or are a S&V, staying in the Continental provides more ammunition to volley in the Continental for your volleys. It is a strategic grip for players that S&V and play doubles.

However, the Easterns by themselves are excellent volley grips and players that use this grip can crush a volley. They also have improved ability to hit towards any direction on the court with reasonable disguise. When the ball gets lower, there is a bit of an arm shape you need to have to hit a volley with an Eastern grip but it is not difficult.

My friend's problem is all of that arm/wrist action she is using to generate spin, while also not doing anything to generate pace. But yeah, I agree with you that the EF grip isn't the cause of those particular problems (although I do think it explains all of the balls into the net from below net level).

Learning the proper arm shape in a volley is critical. I really dont like instructors moving into areas that promote something other than good fundamental technique. Players that are developing IMO need to learn and master the fundamentals first before going into wierd gyrations just to win a point on the court and impress their friends. I find that sort of irresponsible.

Nellie
12-01-2009, 08:23 AM
funny - I have been getting so many low volleys that I have been gravitating toward an eastern backhand grip on the low forehand volleys to open the racquet face more.

Cindysphinx
12-01-2009, 11:24 AM
My pro has been telling me that if I find myself with a very low volley close to net to open the racket face with the wrist a teensy bit. I find it works well, but there is one problem: Panic. It's hard to think about moving your wrist a bit when the only thing going through your brain is "Oh no!!!!!!"

LeeD
12-01-2009, 01:35 PM
Easier to embrace the concept of the low volley/half volleys, use your legs to get the ball over the net and deep, and HOPE you get half volleys.
Keep racket chest high a usual, as it's easier to move the racket downward for a low/half volley than it is upward for a backhand overhead or high volley.
Stroke thru the ball, lifting it to clear the net and aim deep into the open court. Always go for a bit more depth than you'd think, as mishits and slower swings can make you hit a sitter for your opponent.

W Cats
12-01-2009, 07:30 PM
I differ from LeeD as I was taught to prepare low for a low oncoming volley and prepare high for a high oncoming volley

Bungalo Bill
12-01-2009, 08:04 PM
My pro has been telling me that if I find myself with a very low volley close to net to open the racket face with the wrist a teensy bit. I find it works well, but there is one problem: Panic. It's hard to think about moving your wrist a bit when the only thing going through your brain is "Oh no!!!!!!"

The wrist is not what I think about Cindy or used to think about. I use my non-dominant arm to adjust the racquet face slightly to handle the low balls which may cause a slight grip adjustment. However, bending at the knees is very important as well.

Bungalo Bill
12-01-2009, 08:16 PM
Weak volleys on low balls are usually from not getting low enough and bending at the knees. Players tend to have stick legs and bend at the waist. If you dont bend at the knees you end up hitting an off-balance shot.

If any of you are into sports that require balance (skateboarding, surfing, etc...), you would know that the best way to stay balanced is to LOWER your center of gravity. Use this information as your motivation to bend at the knees for your lower volleys.

On low balls try and keep the head of the racquet level with your hand. So in essence it will be making a long L shape from the tip of the racquet to your hand to your shoulder.

raiden031
12-02-2009, 02:43 AM
The pro sucks. There is no way you can slice volleys if the ball is coming hard at you. Plus the use of an Eastern grip is very shady, unless the pro thinks the player is hopeless with learning the continental.

LeeD
12-02-2009, 07:25 AM
Wcats.... the volley position has your racket starting out at chest level. Of course, after you see the ball is going low, you start to lower your whole hitting platform...but AFTER you see the ball is going low.
Conversely, on high volleys, the volley position has you holding the racket at chest heights. Only AFTER you recognize a high ball is coming do you raise your racket!
Lots of volleyer get caught with too low a racket on prep position, so they're late on higher surprise balls that they should put away. Don't change your ready position!
As for EFH for volleys. IT WORKS, on forehand volleys. On low forehand volleys, you reach forward, opening the face. On low backhand volleys, you stick it down there and bounce it over the net for a 3.0 volley.
On normal volleys, EFH, you short punch with slightly open stance your forehand volleys. On EFH, with backhand volleys, you're sorta in trouble, so have to FULLY turn sideways, transfer momentum forwards, use a much longer high to low stroke, but NOT a chop at the ball.

W Cats
12-02-2009, 07:30 AM
LeeD
"Lots of volleyer get caught with too low a racket on prep position, so they're late on higher surprise balls that they should put away. Don't change your ready position! "

I agree 100%.

I was referring to the prep position not the ready position.

LeeD
12-02-2009, 07:35 AM
Oh sorry.
I see lots of low level volleyers hold the racket TOO HIGH also. Their racket is blocking their view, and their racket hand is upper chest high. They can't get DOWN to lower volleys, so chop those too.