Gaining more confidence in serve and volley...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Gugafan, Aug 29, 2010.

  1. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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    I mostly play on artifical grass and these courts are very fast and low bouncing. Being a SW forehand user who likes to hit windshield whiper, my forehand tends to situp abit as I dont really penetrate the court aswell as I do with my backhand. My first serve can be a weapon, so recently to avoid getting being bullied around by guys with bigger forehands I have started to come in behind my first serve. Now I'm winning alot more cheap points, and these guys who are simply blocking returns onto my forehand are not getting as many cheap points off my forehand. Serve and volley has never been a natural part of my game, so I'm experimenting more with the tactic and having some decent success. It's almost come to a stage where I'm asking myself shall I stay back and try and improve my forehand or should I start experimenting with serve volley off my first serve abit more??..I see players like Fish and Gasquet (mediocre fhs) that make full use of having big first serves by coming into the net more than your average baseliner. I really want to make my forehand more solid, but I'm thinking serve and volley (off first serve) will add more variety to my game..What do you guys think??
     
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  2. Blake0

    Blake0 Hall of Fame

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    It depends. How often are you going to serve and volley in matches, how often are you going to hit forehands?

    If you're going to s&v only off of first serves, and stay back on second, then you'll want the bigger forehand first to improve your weakness.

    I'm not trying to discourage the s&v, but if you commit yourself to s&v on both first and second serves almost every point then improve that first.
     
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  3. pyrokid

    pyrokid Hall of Fame

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    S&V is mostly figured out from doing it in matches. So play a bunch of practice sets to try and get it down.

    A good forehand will always be helpful in today's game though. I don't care who you are, you're not coming to the net of of every return or serve if you have half a brain, so that needs work.

    I say just find out what you have to do to change your motion and then play about 20 matches working on S&V and your FH at the same time.
     
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  4. larry10s

    larry10s Hall of Fame

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    if you can serve and volley well it will encourage you to be an all court player (not afraid to end points at net)and not be limited to being a baseline basher. this style (all court) will be advantageous in your future. and works on all sufaces.
    so i would say work on your serve and volley. you will still be working on your forehand in your return games. it takes longer to learn serve and volley than forehand. imo
     
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  5. Gugafan

    Gugafan Hall of Fame

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    Playing on artificial grass for me its alot easier to take a volley out the air after a big serve, than return a deep low ball onto my forehand. Certainly agree, that having an all court game gives you options
     
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  6. Falloutjr

    Falloutjr Banned

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    Serve and volley is a very effective way to both eliminate groundstrokes from the equation and to beat a counterpuncher/pusher. These types of players do not actively put themselves in a position to win the point, they usually wait for the opportunistic time to go on offense. Get them out of their comfort zone and make them take the point from you. One of their greatest strengths, mental fortitude, can really be damaged by this. This is also useful against players who don't do much with your serve. If you are not playing against someone with a really big serve (110+) I recommend you chip and charge as well to even further put pressure on your opponent. Just step inside the court and half volley their serve, slice it off both sides, then follow it to the net. I like to do both of these when I play pushers because they can no longer push the ball, if they do, then I'm just gonna hammer the ball away for a winner at the net. If they lob, go back, hit a big ball to a big target, rinse, and repeat.
     
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  7. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    I like to mix it up through out the match because it makes returns so much harder (since the returner wants short returns against serve and volley but high deep returns when you are at the baseline).
     
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  8. goran_ace

    goran_ace Hall of Fame

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    One thing to realize is that learning to serve and volley is not going to happen overnight. The only way to learn is to commit to doing it often in a live match situation and taking your lumps as they come. You will lose a lot of points and learn a lot of what not to do before you start to figure out what you need to be doing. I am from the school of thought that a counterpuncher is not the same thing as a pusher. Average S&V play can make short work of a pure pusher, but don't think that S&V automatically has an advantage over a counterpuncher because you will be showing that counterpuncher the angles/targets he is looking for and it becomes a matter of who has better execution. Don't let yourself get discouraged by getting passed. Keep coming forward and attack the ball. S&V is 100% offensive play. You need to commit to your gameplan. Wayne Gretzky said something along the lines of 'a good hockey player plays where he puck is, but a great player plays where the puck is going to be.' This is the kind of anticipation you need to develop to S&V effectively.

    I wouldn't recommend S&V off a second serve unless you have a very good second serve. Good S&V players are typically more concerned with a high first serve percentage than with winning free points off the serve. Plan on having to hit two volleys each time. Use your serve to put yourself in a position to hit a good first volley to extend your opponent and open the court for yout to finish the point with your second volley. More often then not the point may end before you get a chance to hit a second volley but that is the mindet you need. As for the serve itself, variety and disguise is what made Pete Sampras such an effective server - if you watch his matches he's not a pure fireballer like Roddick who brings the heat everytime. He was extremely accurate and it was difficult to read his toss or body position (like his idol Rod Laver). Keep the returner off balance by mixing up spin, pace, and placement. Work on being able to hit multiple serves from the same toss position. The more disguise on your serve, the less reaction time the returner has, and it gives you more time to close in on the net.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Idea of S/V is to END THE POINT ASAP.
    So you hit forcing serves, you hit forcing volleys, and putaway overheads.
    On return of serve, you also have to play aggressive, so the other guy doesn't groove his groundies and passing shots.
    Long points are a detriment to S/V, so shorten them, taking the time to do everything right the first time.
    High risk, high gain.
    And it's nice to be able to forget past history.
     
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