View Full Version : Half-volleys

06-15-2005, 12:10 PM
I know it's a tough shot, but my half-volleys from mid-court always land in the net. Any suggestions?

06-15-2005, 12:13 PM
What's your grip?

I use an Eastern for half-volleys. No matter what anyone tells you, you'll find semi-western or western grips too extreme and all your half-volleys with them'll be inconsistent.

Shorten the backswing, just make sure to bend your knees and push out through the ball.

06-15-2005, 12:28 PM
I use eastern and put the racquet behind me with the head near the ground rather closed and still find since the ball is coming off the rise it will still clear the net with very little swing, thanks to the hard rising ball and being close to net when hitting most half vollies. Sometimes it feels the racquet is rather closed at like a 30 degree angle and yet the ball still clears the net. I am usually watching the ball bounce and not where it hits the strings since it happens so fast, but since I take almost no swing it's a pretty consistent shot although one I rarely use except in doubles. It's better to hit the ball low (and occasionally into the net) than high on half vollies when playing doubles or your opponents will clean up on those half volley floaters.

06-15-2005, 12:54 PM
In the past, I used to return half-volley back towards the baseline or service line area away from my opponent. Most of my fast opponent were able to get to the ball and pass or lob me.

Now on half-vollies, I return the ball with a dropshot. All I need to do is tap the ball over, which forces my opponent (who's already at the baseline) to run forward and hit the ball up to clear the net. I then just put the volley away. Anyone try this tactic with success? I have around a 90% success rate once I get the ball over the net compared to returning towards the baseline.

06-15-2005, 01:02 PM
I don't hit dropshot half vollies but do hit them very low to the net so they stay low and don't usually go that deep but are usually starting to dip to my opponents feet if they are at the service line. It's consistent and a fairly safe neutral shot vs. ripping at the ball or lunging forward to popup a low volley. I guess the other option besides dropshot, low return, rip, or low volley would be the half volley lob but that seems pretty difficult.

Phil Daddario
06-15-2005, 01:35 PM
Half-volleys are great for dropshots. Since when you're trying to get under the ball, you impart some underspin already, no matter what grip you're using. If you just try to load it with underspin, it's possible to have the ball go over and bounce right back over the net. Your point unless they reach over and hit it. (This is the only time you can do that.)

Of course, that's just a fun shot. Nobody should aim for it really in actual play, although it's just something amusing to do.

Whenever I get a half-volley, I aim it deep DTL with my Eastern grip. If I'm in the middle of the court, I either go deep down the middle or to the opponent's backhand side.

Then of course, I close in on the net.

Edit: I got carried, away, huh? Forgot to actually help you with your question, I'm sorry about that. The first thing would be to switch to a continental or Eastern grip for these. Then bend your knees, take a short backswing,and push through the ball. If you want to slice it, well, you know how. Just change your grip and bend down low. You'll find success with it.

06-15-2005, 02:44 PM
I like the continental or eastern grip for the shot. However, getting down on the ball is extremely important.

06-15-2005, 04:35 PM
I use continetal, but they fly up a bit too high and become sitters. Looks like im not low enough.

06-16-2005, 09:03 AM
Yeah, you probably aren't low enough...you really have to get down and lower your line of sight as well on low half volleys- I've found that to help a lot- for me anyway.

06-16-2005, 09:17 AM
I use continetal, but they fly up a bit too high and become sitters. Looks like im not low enough.
with continental i found you may have to close up your face a bit if you are popping them up. take them right off the bounce if you aren't already. so it makes a quick "ba-bum" sound.

06-16-2005, 09:18 AM
I actually stand rather vertical, being tall and hating to bend down with lower back problems, but just hold the racquet behind me angled forward and closed and just block it back and it seems to work well for me and my baseball skills of fielding balls on short hops has improved too maybe from all the half-volley practice and anticipating where the ball will bounce.