A Question About Practice Drills And Deep Volleys

Discussion in 'Adult League & Tournament Talk' started by Cindysphinx, Apr 14, 2008.

  1. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Some of my 3.5 teammates and I have been doing practice/drills in advance of our spring season. I am really stoked about this. I think many of us have been hindered by playing too many matches and too little practice, which has caused us to do the same things in matches over and over and never improve/develop new skills. So I'm happy to have found a group that is willing to practice.

    One drill we do is we have two at net volleying and two at the baseline hitting passing shots. A difference of opinion has arisen.

    I thought it made sense for the two at net to volley deep and back to the deep people, and the deep people to hit either directly to the net people or attempt to pass, but not lob. The idea is that the volleyers should learn to volley deep and with pace rather than simply block balls back, and the ball can stay in play longer if the volleyers aren't hitting short angles.

    Another lady thought it was a bad idea to ask the volleyers to hit deep to the baseliners because you'd never do this in a real match. Volleying back to the deep players is a sin. Instead, the volleyers should hit short angles or drop volleys.

    I responded that the volleyers shouldn't be close enough to net to hit short angles unless they have earned the right to be there, which they haven't done if the baseliners are not permitted to lob. Plus, many of us have crummy volley technique and so can block a ball short but we can't volley deep, so we need to work on this.

    So, uh. What's the deal with player-run drills? Are you supposed to try to duplicate what happens in matches (hit winners like short angles and drop volleys), or are you supposed to keep the drill alive (demonstrating control but doing something you likely wouldn't do in a match)?

    Cindy -- who saw the Brian Brothers volley deep to the baseline a lot in Davis Cup the other day, but then again, maybe that's why they lost . . .
     
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  2. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    Both sides are right....and both sides are wrong.

    I'm a big advocate of stoplight tennis as explained to me by Carlos Goffi who I really respect.

    Typically you would want to hit your first volley deep and piercing unless you have a putaway you are confident about..(a yellow light volley - caution)

    A green light volley would be your putaway volley which is often an angled volley

    There are drills that cover both of those types of volleys. A red light volley would just be something defensive that allows you to stay in the point
     
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  3. smoothtennis

    smoothtennis Hall of Fame

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    My partner and I do both - we do volleys to each other for a while, then do a drill after that, where volleyer goes wherever they want. In both cases, the volleyer still must volley with control agreed? Glad you guys are doing some practice vs matches only --- it does help a lot over time.

    (OPT)
    We do a little smashmouth tennis drill too, where we are in minitennis position, easy feed, then anything goes, dippers, rippers, any shot. This is better than strong coffee to wake you up! Believe me, this drill will cure keeping the racket down, and not watching the ball.
     
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  4. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    You should often volley deep - anytime you are not in a position to hit a winner such as on volleys below the net. Thus, if you are serve-and-volleying, you will typically hit the first volley deep and back to the returner, unless the return was a floater.
     
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  5. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    Also - Think of how often in a match you want to hit a strong, deep volley such as to the open court. The purpose of the drill is not to mimic match play, but to improve your skills.


    (I am going to start using multiple posting to increase my numbers)
     
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  6. flash9

    flash9 Semi-Pro

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    I agree the first few volleys are deep, then move to put aways, deep or angle if possible.
     
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  7. kylebarendrick

    kylebarendrick Professional

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    It might be interesting to do that drill with just one ball in play. The back players would hit straight and the volleyers would volley deep cross-court.

    This pattern keeps everyone involved and replaces the straight-back volleys (a no-no) with angled volleys more representative of hitting through the hole in a 1-up/1-back formation.
     
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  8. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    Oh, Kyle. I'm sure we don't have the directional control to manage that. Most of the time, the baseliners try to go up the middle, with the idea being you don't don't don't want to miss into the net.

    Maybe some day we'll be ready . . .
     
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  9. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    I think that each player should be able to take feeds for the shots that they want to work on. Feeders should accomodate the hitters, but since these practices aren't clinics built around the same theme for everyone, players should be able to get the individual work that they need. Work on your deep volleys and help your teammate work on her drops and angles - both of you look to make use of certain shots according to your personal styles, right?

    If a lot of you get going with some group drills, use scenarios that are realistic for the points that you play. Then you can put your individual shots to work in tactical situations with the group.
     
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  10. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    If someone at the baseline is feeding balls to me to work on my volleys, I find it easy to hit the ball short and away from them and difficult to keep it deep and back to them. This is because there are a million places to hit the ball that aren't near my opponent and every one of them would mean success when trying to play keep away. Although I think this is a fallacy because in a doubles point there aren't as many good places to hit a volley where it is unreturnable. Every volley drill I think should have a target which would be either directly back to your partner or to some marker on the court if you are hitting volleys for winners.

    But I have trouble just being able to rally with a partner doing baseline vs. volley because I lack the necessary control on the volleys. Until I can get that control down I don't have much business trying to waste time by going for winners when I can get more repetitions by aiming back to my hitting partner.
     
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  11. 10ispro

    10ispro Rookie

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    Key points to make this more beneficial to everyone participating.

    #1 positioning
    #2 shot selection and placement
    #3 continuous movement

    I find it amusing that at lower levels of play, when people take vollies they do so in an unrealistic position, often only a few feet away from the net. Its very rare that anyone would end up that close at the start of or even in the middle of the point
    I work a ton with players and teams with practicing (including warm up) from realistic positions on the court.

    So for this scenario, start at the service line or slightly behind to volley and volley deep back to the person--your goal is to hit the ball past the service line and keep the ball low and work on moving forward after the 1st volley.


    baseline person is to work on hitting the ball at your feet regardless of their positioning. Naturally if you hit a forceful enough volley to make them move off the baseline, theyll either pop it up or lob--this is the correct response
    to the situation. It shouldnt be admonished, you can either hit a high volley or overhead or simply let it go--say good shot and reset.

    after youve advanced into an offensive position, you can work on your control and placement of the volley to end points. then reset again.

    You can then even switch to cross courts, preferably hitting more toward outside to avoid anyone being hit with 4 on a court.
     
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