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dozu
10-23-2011, 07:56 PM
been working on the net game lately, and have a couple of questions on volleying against in coming spin.

1) especially when the ball has underspin on it, how do you compensate? do you aim a couple of feet beyond the intended target, or a few inches above the intended net clearance... I have been netting a few lately.. didn't think it was anything with the technique itself, as it works fine on topspin passes.

2) this seems to be more of an issue on the bh volley than the fh volley... perhaps due to the more high to low motion on the bh? not sure.

Fuji
10-23-2011, 08:25 PM
When I am volleying a slice (My least favorite shot to volley) I try to power it back since it usually isn't a bullet coming at me. I hit a more flat volley against it to be able to try and control the under spin coming at me, so I do close the face a bit, and aim just where I would normally. This is assuming that the slice is above the net chord and it's a possible shot to hit. If it's already below the net, chip it up with a slice and aim for the corners to set up your next volley. :)

-Fuji

EDIT: I hope I am thinking of the same thing you are, if not sorry! :)

fuzz nation
10-24-2011, 05:25 AM
I'd say that recognition is half the battle. When you can see that low incoming ball with lots of backspin on the way, you can make some adjustments.

If it's just above the net tape, especially on my backhand side, I'm much more likely to control it better when I get myself down a bit lower. That creates more of the ideal volley position with the racquet face more above my hand where I get the most control. Remember that those low volleys, even without lots of backspin on the incoming ball, are mostly about touch and control instead of power.

Seeing that backspin (yep, recognition) sounds a little alarm in my head, telling me to wedge the racquet down under the back of the ball with a slightly more open racquet face. That counters the ball trying to spin down my strings into the net. All touch when it's down low like that. Considering that our backhand sides are typically a bit weaker up at the net, I think that exaggerating these proper mechanics are most vital for that backhand volley to work.

Once that spinner gets up around chest height or so, a nice deliberate driving volley with good forward weight transfer will usually be less susceptible to that under-spin. If you just stick your racquet out though, that higher ball can still run down your strings and into the net. Be assertive and put your own momentum into that ball to better control it when it's up high.

corners
10-24-2011, 05:56 AM
Aside from the important things regarding anticipation, recognition, technique...

here's some racquet/string stuff for more predictable volleys:

1. The higher the swingweight, the shorter (more headlight) the balance and the higher the static weight the better you will control volleys (in that order). Frames with higher swingweight have more mass in the head and because of this the launch angle on volleys will be lower and more predictable when facing fast, spinny shots. Short balance combined with high swingweight gives high recoil weight, which means the racquet will recoil less in your hand, enhancing feel, comfort and control. Short balance also helps maneuver all that head mass into position.

ATP doubles specialists tend to prefer high swingweight, polarized setups, such as Mike Bryan's 365 gram, 369 swingweight stick balanced at 31.6cm (9HL).

2. The stiffer the stringbed the less the rebound angle will be determined by incoming spin. Soft, slippery stringbeds are great for spin and groundstrokes, but put you at the mercy of your opponent's spin when at the net. A sheet of textured high-modulus graphite instead of strings would be ideal for volleys. (Except underspun droppers).

fuzz nation
10-24-2011, 06:03 AM
A sheet of textured high-modulus graphite instead of strings would be ideal for volleys. (Except underspun droppers).

I've GOT to get me one of those!!!

Interesting post actually - thanks for the info.

dozu
10-24-2011, 06:11 AM
fuji and fuzz, i think you guys are right now...prolly just need to be more aware of the spin and adjust.

corners - interesting points.. DNX10 mid with a few strips of lead should qualify as a good volley stick I suppose.

Off The Wall
10-24-2011, 08:28 AM
Things should work out if you move thru your volley. Don't step in and rock back. Step in and level out by pulling your back leg up.

fruitytennis1
10-24-2011, 02:52 PM
This isn't ping pong...topspin vs slice really doesn't have an effect on your volley

dozu
10-24-2011, 03:19 PM
This isn't ping pong...topspin vs slice really doesn't have an effect on your volley

the physics is the same.... the rpm maybe higher on the pingpong ball, and the 'bite efficiency index' maybe higher on the pingpong rubber, but to say there is 'no effect' is simply wrong, my friend.

5263
10-24-2011, 03:34 PM
the physics is the same.... the rpm maybe higher on the pingpong ball, and the 'bite efficiency index' maybe higher on the pingpong rubber, but to say there is 'no effect' is simply wrong, my friend.

agreed. A heavy spin will just eat up your racket face if you do not anticipate and handle it firmly.

rkelley
10-24-2011, 03:39 PM
This isn't ping pong...topspin vs slice really doesn't have an effect on your volley

That has not been my experience. Large amount of spin can have a significant effect on the volley. A really good trick to pull out on occasion is the slice the crud out of ball for passing shot without a lot of pace. You will be surprised how many players will dump that ball into the net. It works better on weaker players, but I've seen good players get caught by this on occasion.

Likewise, a ball with a lot of topspin will tend to be hit it long.

I've been on both the giving and receiving end of this. It's a very real effect.

Larrysümmers
10-24-2011, 04:02 PM
tight wrist tight grip

Off The Wall
10-24-2011, 04:25 PM
That has not been my experience. Large amount of spin can have a significant effect on the volley. A really good trick to pull out on occasion is the slice the crud out of ball for passing shot without a lot of pace. You will be surprised how many players will dump that ball into the net. It works better on weaker players, but I've seen good players get caught by this on occasion.

Likewise, a ball with a lot of topspin will tend to be hit it long.

I've been on both the giving and receiving end of this. It's a very real effect.

That would be surprising. A very sliced ball travels slowly and rises. As a passing shot, it should be a relative floater that the volleyer would move quickly toward and firmly pop away.

And a "tight" wrist/grip isn't a necessity. Firm, yes. White knuckles, no. A rigid wrist/grip eliminates touch.

dozu
10-24-2011, 04:38 PM
A very sliced ball travels slowly and rises.

'rises' is really a delusion as the brain compares that trajectory against a dipping topspin... ball cannot rise.

'slow' - not necessarily.

slices hit with flatter swing path will have less (maybe insignificant) spin... but the ones hit with the knifing action will have loads of spin.

like rkelley, I have been on the receiving end and giving end on this as well, and the guys I play with are no beginners.

5263
10-24-2011, 04:44 PM
.. ball cannot rise.


why would you say this, because surely it can with enough spin and speed.

I don't know how much it would take, but would be fairly sure it is at least possible in theory.
I do think it would be hard to separate trajectory rise from spin rise on a fairly flat trajectory.

dozu
10-24-2011, 04:55 PM
why would you say this, because surely it can with enough spin and speed.

I don't know how much it would take, but would be fairly sure it is at least possible in theory.
I do think it would be hard to separate trajectory rise from spin rise on a fairly flat trajectory.

in theory, yes.

in reality, no, not if you still want the ball to land in the court... shotspot can track trajectories.. often you see they'd compare a topspin from fed vs. a slice from him.... at no point in the flight does the ball ever rise.

(let's say 'rise' is defined as the ball going above the imaginary line extrapolated from the initial path of the ball after it just left the racket.)

5263
10-24-2011, 05:29 PM
in theory, yes.

in reality, no, not if you still want the ball to land in the court... shotspot can track trajectories.. often you see they'd compare a topspin from fed vs. a slice from him.... at no point in the flight does the ball ever rise.

(let's say 'rise' is defined as the ball going above the imaginary line extrapolated from the initial path of the ball after it just left the racket.)

I would have probably agreed right off, but I used to have a partner who hit such vicious slice that often his balls at least appeared to rise significantly.
Ive not seen anyone else slice like this at any level, but guess I could not swear they actually rose. He did have problems keeping them in if the net person had the guts to let them pass. They would often climb right down their racket into the net on their volley attempt as well.

fruitytennis1
10-24-2011, 06:40 PM
Again I might be mistaken because other than placement, volleying for me is subconscious. Still I believe that its the difference in trajectory that messes you up more so than the spin on the ball.

Off The Wall
10-24-2011, 09:29 PM
I was responding to rkelley's statement that if you spin the crud out of the ball... I took that to mean extreme spin.

You just can't hit an extreme spin slice hard, as in pace. Maybe it is an illusion that the ball rises in tennis. They do hang at a given height longer. Maybe that's the illusion. In baseball it isn't an illusion though. I thought it carried over.

And Fed's slices are taken relatively high and hit low over the net. That's the way he wants them to fly, to stay low and short. So, no, they don't rise.

Timbo's hopeless slice
10-24-2011, 09:40 PM
Hmm, I suspect the ball can most certainly be 'rising' at point of volley, although that is surely perception more than any exhaustive analysis.

Like 5263, I have played with a couple of guys who slice so viciously it at least appears as though the ball 'rises' for a time during its flight.

Oh, watch the ball, keep your head down and make sure you have solid contact and forward momentum and you will volley any spin just fine! :)

rkelley
10-25-2011, 07:01 AM
I think we need to define rise first, but just to cut to the chase the spin makes a huge difference on the flight of the ball. I would call it rising.

I like Dozu's definition for "rise":

(let's say 'rise' is defined as the ball going above the imaginary line extrapolated from the initial path of the ball after it just left the racket.)

I think we further need to define the term "initial path." We could call it the path of a particle that has the velocity (which includes both a magnitude and direction) of the ball. This would be treating the ball as a projectile in a vacuum. The path would be a parabola. The mass, surface finish of the ball, and air friction would not matter in this model. It's honestly not a bad model for a shotput, but it's not a great model for a tennis ball because air friction on a tennis ball is significant while on a shotput it is not.

The model can be more realistic if we say that the path of the ball would be defined by the path of a spherical object with no spin. Then air friction matters as does the mass and fuzziness of the ball.

From this basic no spin trajectory the spin on the ball greatly effects its flight. Given the same initial velocity vector off the racquet, sliced balls will have a trajectory that rises above the trajactory extrapolated from the no spin ball, at least for part of the flight depending on other factors. Likewise topspin balls will have a trajectory that goes below the no spin trajectory - that's the whole point of using topspin isn't it? Unless you're playing tennis in a vacuum this has to be true. What's the magnitude of the effect? Well, pretty significant I'd say. Topspin and sliced shots behave really differently given the same initial velocity vector off the racquet. Also it's pretty easy to see the curve on a tennis ball that has side spin. The spin effect works in any axis.

On sliced balls there are two effects that are important I think. If you hit a hard, driving slice then I think the path of the ball is always above the no spin path. The effect of the slice is to make the ball fall more slowly than it normally would. It doesn't bounce up as high because it doesn't have as great of a downward velocity because of the back spin. Air friction is slowing the ball down throughout the flight, but since the ball has good initial speed and the trajectory is low, it gets to the ground before it slows down a lot.

However, if the trajectory of the ball is higher and the speed slower, I think what happens is that while the ball initially rises relative to the no-spin path, eventually air friction on the forward velocity does its thing and slows the ball down, essentially stalling the ball in the air. The no spin ball would have a lower arc and not drop into the court to same degree. I'm not sure if the the no spin ball's trajectory would be longer than the sliced ball in this case. The sliced ball will drop down into the court because its lost a significant amount of its forward velocity and then bounce up. The backspin will further make the ball tend to bounce straight up in the air.

So if you hit a low trajectory slice with high pace, the slice does not allow the the ball to fall as fast as it normally would (rising?); it kind of floats down to the court. It doesn't bounce up much because the downward velocity is low and the high forward velocity counteracts the backspin when it hits. A high trajectory, slow slice will also not fall as fast as a no spin ball would as well, but it's going to run out of forward velocity and tend to just drop into the court and then sit up.

That's my take on the physics.

dozu
10-25-2011, 07:17 AM
lol rkelley that's a lot of science... my thoughts -

1) yes a sliced ball thru air will rise above the parabola the ball travels thru vacuum.

2) my definition of a 'rise'... ball has to overcome gravity.. so forget about vacuum for a moment.. ball travels thru air, and take any 2 points from the trajectory it has already taken, draw a line, the rest of the flight will never be above that line, because gravity always pulls the ball down, so much so it is never over come by the aerodynamic lift.

3) which goes further in air - sliced ball or no spin ball? I think your instinct is right - it depends.... tennis shots are too short, you can't tell... but if you look at golf.... iron shots need the lift to go far... if there are no grooves on the irons to create spin, the ball will go out with minimal underspin and will dive down too quickly..... but for the driver T shots, the pros look for 'high launch, low spin', so the ball will have a small amount of underspin to bore thru the air, instead of ballooning up and lose distance.... so it really depends on the initial speed, the launch angle and the initial spin rate.... the golf launch monitor used by club fitters measures this stuff to give you the optimal combination so that you squeeze every yard out of the T shot.

rkelley
10-25-2011, 08:22 AM
lol rkelley that's a lot of science... my thoughts -

1) yes a sliced ball thru air will rise above the parabola the ball travels thru vacuum.

2) my definition of a 'rise'... ball has to overcome gravity.. so forget about vacuum for a moment.. ball travels thru air, and take any 2 points from the trajectory it has already taken, draw a line, the rest of the flight will never be above that line, because gravity always pulls the ball down, so much so it is never over come by the aerodynamic lift.

Yah, I'm a geek (snort).

Just considering the no spin ball in a vacuum and in air for a moment, the ball in the vacuum will travel further than the ball in air because there is no air friction in the vacuum. The air friction ******s the forward velocity component of the ball but generally doesn't have much of an effect on the vertical component of the ball's velocity. The ball in the vacuum is a perfect parabola. The ball in air would be close to a parabola.

It's really hard to compare the sliced ball to a ball in a vacuum because the slice will have no effect in the vacuum.

However with air the sliced ball has to rise relative to the no spin ball at least initially. The slice produces an aerodynamic force upward. Gravity is always producing the same downward force. The acceleration of the ball in the vertical axis is F = ma where F is the summation of all the forces in the vertical axis, in this case both gravity and the aerodynamic force from the slice. Therefore, with the slice the resulting a vector, the acceleration of the ball in the vertical axis, has to be smaller than without it. The aerodynamic force doesn't have to equal the gravity force for the effect to be seen. Any force on the ball that has a vertical component will effect the resulting a vector in the vertical axis. The smaller downward acceleration of the sliced ball means that the sliced ball's trajectory has to be higher than the no spin ball.

Now we can talk about the magnitude of the effect. I haven't measured it. Maybe you think it's so small that it's negligible. Based on my experience playing tennis I think it's pretty significant. Heck, a baseball pitcher, whose throwing a heavier ball, can effect the flight path of the ball with the spin. The difference between a regular fastball, which has backspin, and a splitter, which is a fastball with less backspin, is significant enough to make hitters miss. Of course in baseball you only need a couple of inches to make a hitter miss.

luishcorreia
10-25-2011, 09:17 AM
Keep it simple .. don't overthink. Keep your backswing very short and hit in front of you.

fuzz nation
10-25-2011, 09:41 AM
Again I might be mistaken because other than placement, volleying for me is subconscious. Still I believe that its the difference in trajectory that messes you up more so than the spin on the ball.

I'll bet that in the case of many players you're "half right". The trajectory of an incoming slice looks as though a decent volley will require a certain racquet aspect to hit it back over the net, but a good dose of backspin can definitely make that ball deflect significantly more downward at contact. Without accounting for high amounts of backspin, the ball's trajectory can easily fool a net player who doesn't see it coming.

We've also got to consider that when volleying a driving ground stroke, the volleyer is dealing with a ball that's carrying topspin. That ball is going to deflect downward off the volleyer's racquet face much less than a ball carrying backspin. Anyone used to volleying only topspin shots will certainly experience a mis-match between the ball's incoming flight and its rebound off their racquet when trying to handle heavy backspin.

I can even make my shots rebound more upward or downward off the backboard I use, depending the topspin or slice that I send on the ball. Gotta believe that a similar interaction is happening against a string bed instead of that backboard.

arche3
10-25-2011, 10:03 AM
sooo..... apparently Dozu can't volley a ball with a lot of spin... hmm.... interesting. Very interesting.... :twisted:

been working on the net game lately, and have a couple of questions on volleying against in coming spin.

1) especially when the ball has underspin on it, how do you compensate? do you aim a couple of feet beyond the intended target, or a few inches above the intended net clearance... I have been netting a few lately.. didn't think it was anything with the technique itself, as it works fine on topspin passes.

2) this seems to be more of an issue on the bh volley than the fh volley... perhaps due to the more high to low motion on the bh? not sure.

dozu
10-25-2011, 10:17 AM
sooo..... apparently Dozu can't volley a ball with a lot of spin... hmm.... interesting. Very interesting.... :twisted:

against Federer I can't volley; against you I am Federer !

arche3
10-25-2011, 10:32 AM
against Federer I can't volley; against you I am Federer !

LOL! thats great! :)

Frank Silbermann
10-26-2011, 07:40 PM
I would have probably agreed right off, but I used to have a partner who hit such vicious slice that often his balls at least appeared to rise significantly.
Ive not seen anyone else slice like this at any level, but guess I could not swear they actually rose. He did have problems keeping them in if the net person had the guts to let them pass. They would often climb right down their racket into the net on their volley attempt as well. Playing low-level ping-pong, I tried to smash a high shot with backspin using a sponge paddle. The ball started out heading downward towards the table and then straightened out horizontally to go long. Had I aimed it directly to the opposite wall, it most definitely would have risen. I suspect this effect is much less likely with a tennis ball, but it's not physically impossible.

dozu
10-26-2011, 07:47 PM
pingpong ball is light.... this 'rise' is easily doable with a beach ball or a balloon.

LeeD
10-27-2011, 09:02 AM
Stroke thru the ball with the racket heading solidly towards the target, long followthru, and hit it harder than you think necessary. Do not attempt a defensive volley off heavy spin, or the spin takes over.

TennisMaverick
11-01-2011, 04:17 AM
been working on the net game lately, and have a couple of questions on volleying against in coming spin.

1) especially when the ball has underspin on it, how do you compensate? do you aim a couple of feet beyond the intended target, or a few inches above the intended net clearance... I have been netting a few lately.. didn't think it was anything with the technique itself, as it works fine on topspin passes.

2) this seems to be more of an issue on the bh volley than the fh volley... perhaps due to the more high to low motion on the bh? not sure.

Assuming that you contact the ball below the top of the net, let the face of the racquet follow the circumference of the ball from back to bottom. Basically, slice the slice and shovel the ball back deep, or dump-it short. If you block it, it either goes into the net, or to go deep, it floats, which means that it can be taken out of the air, or sits after it bounces. Either way, you lose.

sureshs
11-01-2011, 09:47 AM
Basically, you need to put some underspin or sidespin on the volley. Just holding the racquet face to the incoming ball is not enough when the ball has TS or US. A little angling of the racquet face to put US or SS yourself is needed for control. When the pros seem to do a little punch of the racquet face before contact on a volley, that is what they are doing. That also gives directional control.