Half volley help...

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by JohnThomas1, Apr 30, 2004.

  1. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Hi again guys. The biggest tennis weekend of the year is about to start in 10 hours here and i have a shot letting me down. This tournament is all doubles which makes my plight more serious. My problem is that i am losing control on half volleys off well struck balls. I am popping them up and getting picked off by the returners partner. When i have time to set properly i am hitting them quite well. Hard hit balls are a different matter. Some things i am looking at.

    1. I am not pulling up enough in the split step (running thru it too much) and lacking balance on balls that rush me.

    2. Maybe because of the above i am not getting down to these shots quick enough.

    3. I am pulling off these shots and coming up too soon.

    Any idea's? A half volley clinic Bill?
     
    #1
  2. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    Usually, easier it is to avoid having to hit half volleys. If your opponents can make those type of returns from both wings, then try to aim your serve into their body. If they're still placing the returns at your toes, then they may be too good. Sorry that I do not know how to improve half volleys specifically.
     
    #2
  3. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Not even the best in history can avoid half volley's. The first set i played today was against Dale Houston who may be aging now but took Wilander to 4 close sets (4th round) in the 80's Ozzie open that Mats ended up flogging Curren in. My partner and i went down 6-4 and had to play numerous half volley's. Again i popped up quite a few today.
     
    #3
  4. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    I did hit ONE good one tho! lol :)
     
    #4
  5. Roforot

    Roforot Professional

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    JohnThomas1, if you're playing against semi-pros, you're in a tough league!
    #1 sounds like where you could improve in that you need to recognize the fact that you're going to have to hit a half-volley.
    You do want to step through the shot though and keep approaching the net. If you recognize late and keep running, you can end up taking a volley before the bounces but an inch off the ground! In that situation, your best shot is drop volley (for singles).

    It also may be that you a slicing the 1/2 volley. I do the same, hitting the shot like an approach w/ no take back. But it's not a chip and a shoulder move rather than wrist.

    What I am trying to develop (and what I'm told is best) is hitting half-volley w/ topspin. Recognition, this requires because you also change grips from volleying to topspin hitting grip.

    It sounds like you're in a tough league though. does this Dale Houston tell everyone he plays that he took Wilander to 4sets:)
     
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  6. Max G.

    Max G. Hall of Fame

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    I have a very dependable half-volley, at my level at least; I can bunt it back deep very well, though I can't do the Henman half-volley-dropshot thing. I use continental grip on both forehand and backhand half-volleys; stay low, and use a very abbreviated stroke to just direct it where you want it to go - back crosscourt. It'll stay low, if you do it right, and though it won't have too much on it, you can get it to not pop up. I guess it just takes practice and feel, I don't really know what technique to suggest.

    ...and I just looked up this Dale Houston guy on ATPtennis.com. His career record at the ATP leve is apparently 2-3; all five of those matches were in 1984, including a 4-set loss to Wilander in the third round of the Aus Open.

    So if the guy is who he says he is, he's the real deal, and you probably don't need my advice because you're far above my level. Oh well.
     
    #6
  7. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    @Roforot, i do indeed realise i am going to hit half volley's as i said to you :) Thanks tho for your hints. Thanks too Max :)

    Just for the record here is the oz open score and more, and i was wrong in that it was the 3rd round.

    (2)Mats Wilander d. (q)Dale Houston 6-3 2-6 7-6 6-1

    SF
    (2)Mats Wilander d. (4)Johan Kriek 6-1 6-0 6-2

    Final
    (2)Mats Wilander d. (9)Kevin Curren 6-7 6-4 7-6 6-2

    wasn't quite the final i recalled but he was always in control.
     
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  8. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    I played him again in doubles today and lost 6-4. In the reverse match however my partners brother and Gary (Mal Andersons son) beat him in a tiebreak.
     
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  9. kevhen

    kevhen Hall of Fame

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    Sounds like you are overrushing to get to net and not confident enough to stop and hit a solid non-rushed half volley in no-man's land. Cut back on your swing so it is more of a block and angled so the ball stays very low over the net with not much spin on it. If the ball bounces far enough in front, you can take a more complete swing, but otherwise it sounds like you are blocking and popping the ball up. Close the racquet face more. Since the ball is on the rise and coming off at a steep angle, it will easily pop up when blocking so get on top of the ball with the closed face to keep it down.

    If you are playing at a semi-pro level, please ignore me! Just a 4.0 with maybe 4.5 half volley skills.
     
    #9
  10. JohnThomas1

    JohnThomas1 Professional

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    Thanks muchly, your two idea's sound very much like what is happening. A proper stop and make sure the racuet head is more closed.
     
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