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View Full Version : Found out something new about volleying


tennisplayer
02-26-2004, 10:14 PM
I've often read that volleying is like catching the ball with the racquet. I think this is wrong. I had my volleys improve a lot recently - especially low volleys - after I gave up on trying to make it look like catching the ball. I think this is because one tends to catch balls too far in front of the body - at least, I do. Now, I delay contact until the ball is almost alongside the body - and presto, I have more control and consistency! Currently I use a continental grip for volleying, forehand and backhand. I'm so excited by my discovery that I thought I'd share this with everyone. If you have more tips, just throw them my way, guys!

jmckinney
02-27-2004, 05:58 AM
That sounds like tennis destruction not tennis instruction. Your volleys will soon again become even more inconsistent. The proper way to hit a volley is out in front of your body. You will find that you will not get pace or depth on your volleys hitting them from your body.

@wright
02-27-2004, 06:30 AM
I've been hitting much better forehand volleys with a grip more towards eastern instead of continental. The grip change issue has not been a problem for me so far, and my doubles partner, who thinks he's an expert but has been playing like ***** lately, warned me about the grip change, but If I'm hitting the forehand volley better, I'll accept the tradeoff.

dozu
02-27-2004, 06:34 AM
the key is to keep your elbow close to your body. yes you hit in front of you, but that does not mean you reach out the chase the ball, if your elbow sticks out, all hell breaks loose and control is lost.

Hyperstate
02-27-2004, 09:57 AM
That's surprising, but then, it may work for you. I had the opposite experience. My volleys greatly improved when I volleyed in front of me. Perhaps by volleying alongside your body you have more time and accuracy?

tennisplayer
02-27-2004, 11:06 AM
jmckenny, I don't hit volleys "from" the body. I still try and move away to the forehand or backhand side if the ball is coming directly at me, so the ball is still at approximately arm's length. But now, I contact it when it is either level with my hitting shoulder, or within six inches in front. Previously, I used to contact the ball maybe a foot or even two feet in front - that is, I stretched my arm out to the front as best as I could, while still keeping the elbow in the classic tucked in position for volleys. One problem I was having with contacting too far in front was that my racquet face would open out too much, and I was losing some "punch" (surprisingly, I had already fixed this in my slice backhand!), and getting a lot of mis-hits - actually framing the ball on low backhand volleys when on the run. This is probably because I use the continental grip.

Alan, I think if you are quick enough to change your volley grip to eastern, a contact point out in front should work great for you, and I wouldn't want to be at the net if my partner gives you a high volley! I've decided to live with the continental for volleys - old dog, new tricks, and all that.

And Hyperstate - the extra time does help to set up.

Bungalo Bill
02-27-2004, 11:32 AM
Tennis player,

Does it feel comfortable for you? I mean does the continental grip feel better? Then stick with it and as your findings turn South make adjustments to improve it. I think if it works for you then do it. I think your on track. But I wouldnt hit near the shoulder as ylur asking for trouble. six inches to a foot I can buy.

Cigo
02-27-2004, 11:42 AM
It sounds like you simply have started to turn your shoulders more during the preparation fase. So you are still making contact with our racquet far enough in front of your body in respect to shoulder plane, but when looking at the distance from the contact to the non-hitting shoulder(say parallel to the net) it is smaller. Well that was how I improoved my volleying, especially on the forehand side.

@wright
02-27-2004, 12:01 PM
Bungalo Bill, I'd like your opinion on my grip change from a continental to eastern on FH volleys. My impression is that if I volley better with this grip and don't have trouble changing my grip fast, I should keep at it with the eastern grip. Since you know much more than I, what are your thoughts on this?

tennisplayer
02-27-2004, 12:34 PM
Bungalo Bill, I do feel more comfortable with the continental for volleys. Even when I try to experiment with the eastern grip for volleying, I often find that my grip slips into the continental during stroke execution. I guess at contact point, the ball is ever so slightly in front of the shoulder, so technically, the ball is still in front of the body. But I take you advice to heart - as always - and will be making slight adjustments all the time, hopefully for the better.

Cigo, I think there's something to what you say. The increased shoulder turn would certainly help, and that just might be the "it" factor in my improvement.

Bungalo Bill
02-27-2004, 04:37 PM
Bungalo Bill, I'd like your opinion on my grip change from a continental to eastern on FH volleys. My impression is that if I volley better with this grip and don't have trouble changing my grip fast, I should keep at it with the eastern grip. Since you know much more than I, what are your thoughts on this?

I absolutely agree! I used to practice Eastern grips for my volleys on both sides knowing that I would migrate little by little towards a Continental. My wrist position on a " pure" Continental grip just never felt right for me for backhand volleys and forehand volleys.

Eventually, I have migrated to a slight off Continental grip and make switch on each side quickly. Never had a problem switching. Only had a problem when I held the grip too tight.

Bungalo Bill
02-27-2004, 04:43 PM
Bungalo Bill, I do feel more comfortable with the continental for volleys. Even when I try to experiment with the eastern grip for volleying, I often find that my grip slips into the continental during stroke execution. I guess at contact point, the ball is ever so slightly in front of the shoulder, so technically, the ball is still in front of the body. But I take you advice to heart - as always - and will be making slight adjustments all the time, hopefully for the better.

Cigo, I think there's something to what you say. The increased shoulder turn would certainly help, and that just might be the "it" factor in my improvement.

There are certain things in tennis that are absolutes. For example, low to high swing for topspin. Following through the ball. And so on. Certain things after the fundamentals are there evolve into style, preferences, and how your body works.

It sounds like to me your getting more in tune with your body more then anything and what you like. There are many players that dont play with everything "pure". Just make sure it is producing consistant results for you and you practice properly.

Hyperstate
02-27-2004, 05:48 PM
Yo @wright! I switch grips between my FH and BH volley too. It's become instinctive and I have no problems with switching as long as I'm in the ready position and as B. Bill has mentioned, when I'm not gripping the handle tightly. You go!

@wright
02-27-2004, 06:26 PM
Hyperstate, it just feels more natural for me for the FH. If I FH volley continental, I have trouble making solid contact for solid putaways.

Joe Oldschool
02-28-2004, 11:05 AM
I had a similar revalation with respect to volleys. For years, I tried to "punch the volley" because I had been told to do that like a couple hundred thousand times by my instructors. However, my volleys were always TERRIBLE.

I read an article by Robert Landsdorp (who is a tennis genious in my opinion) about the volley. He said to catch the ball in the strings and let the strings do much of the work for you. He also gives a lot of advice about letting yourself hit the ball as your natural instincts tell you. It took a couple of practice sessions, but I soon became a volleying fool--with pace as well as touch. I love to volley now and have ever since. You might try to dig up that article. It was on TennisOne.com, but I think it is in their "members" section.

Robert Jones
05-10-2004, 12:57 PM
Dig up that article if you can. Sounds good. I have heard people talk about catching it on the strings but I have never really done that, unless I just want to take pace off I will limp grip it.
Usually I do the punch technique.

I had a similar revalation with respect to volleys. For years, I tried to "punch the volley" because I had been told to do that like a couple hundred thousand times by my instructors. However, my volleys were always TERRIBLE.

I read an article by Robert Landsdorp (who is a tennis genious in my opinion) about the volley. He said to catch the ball in the strings and let the strings do much of the work for you. He also gives a lot of advice about letting yourself hit the ball as your natural instincts tell you. It took a couple of practice sessions, but I soon became a volleying fool--with pace as well as touch. I love to volley now and have ever since. You might try to dig up that article. It was on TennisOne.com, but I think it is in their "members" section.

kevhen
05-10-2004, 02:22 PM
I think punching through the volley is best, unless you want to drop volley, then try to to catch it with the strings.