Low volleys -- Staying upright like Mcenroe

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Raul_SJ, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    I feel more comfortable staying relatively upright on the low volleys -- it just feels more natural, but the general advice from everyone is to bend the knees on the low volleys (practically all the pros bend down).

    Afterwards, I learned that Mcenroe did not bend on the low volleys.

    Does anyone else feel more comfortable volleying the Mcenroe way?
     
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  2. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    I feel more comfortable staying up right BUT when I bend my knees and get down with the ball I hit a much better/solid volley!!
     
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  3. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    Low Tennis Volleys - a "radical" technique

    Struggling with your low volleys? Are you missing this shot into the net?

    So often tennis players are instructed to "bend your knees and get down for the low volley."

    Yet one of the greatest volleyer in the game, John McEnroe used a very different tennis technique on the low volley - he never got low or bent his knees!

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pDCpNeJrm4o
     
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  4. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    Yes, you should continue doing what works best for you,... I think on a low forehand, I need to bend down to get under the ball, but I am not convinced that it is absolutely necessary on a low volley.

    Not clear on how getting down to the level of the ball results ion a better volley.
     
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  5. merlebo02

    merlebo02 Rookie

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    angle of the racquet head!!
     
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  6. Shroud

    Shroud Hall of Fame

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    Cool vid. My knees just dont "get low" these days so I dig this vid. Thanks.

    Also I am pretty certain I met the coach in the vid. Definitely a great coach...my coach at the time said the best lesson he ever saw was one she gave on the backhand overhead.
     
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  7. TenFanLA

    TenFanLA Hall of Fame

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    When you have hands like McEnroe, you don't have to get low. For the other 7,999,999,999 human beings, yes get low for best results.
     
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  8. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Best to try both techniques, see which one actually works better....more consistent, more IN, better penetration, better placement, then decide.
     
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  9. OTMPut

    OTMPut Hall of Fame

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    what matters is racquet head contacting the ball with the right amount of open face/angle.
    whatever helps you get that done - lying down, flying, standing up or kneeling down.
     
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  10. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    But you also need stability of the racket head. With the racket head higher than the hand, it puts the racket in a stable position. With the racket head dropped, it is much more likely that the wrist/racket head will not be controlled as well in terms of precise contact angle and will even twist on off-center shots.
    It is far more difficult to be consistent volleying with the racket head dropped below the wrist.

    Of course it is less comfortable to bend your knees, duh! If you have a physical problem that doesn't let you bend your knees, maybe you have to drop the racket head. Just work with what you can do. If you are a genius like McEnroe, you will volley like a genius, it not, maybe you can still volley well enough to win at your level despite a somewhat less consistent volley.
     
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  11. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    In this video, she doesn't say you should volley like McEnroe, she is saying you should get the racket on a upward opening path on low volleys. On her quick demo, her hand is below the level of the ball.
     
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  12. Clintspin

    Clintspin Semi-Pro

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    She needed to show this by doing an actual volley. I think what she is describing would lead to a nice high ball for the opposing team to hit you in the gut with. You might get away with it in singles but not doubles.
     
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  13. Raul_SJ

    Raul_SJ Professional

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    It appears she advocates not bending the knees, because her video description states:

    Low Tennis Volleys - a "radical" technique

    Struggling with your low volleys? Are you missing this shot into the net? So often tennis players are instructed to "bend your knees and get down for the low volley."

    Yet one of the greatest volleyer in the game, John McEnroe used a very different tennis technique on the low volley - he never got low or bent his knees!​


    So, what "radical" tip is she referring to?

    Is it the upward follow through and high waiter tray finish? (but I think that is relatively common with pros like Rafter).

    Or, is it not necessarily having to get low on the volley?

    I think it's the latter... But would be interested in others opinions.

    She is relatively upright and her racquet head is dropped when she demonstrates below:


    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Jun 11, 2014
    #13
  14. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    Get comfortable being uncomfortable.


    Some shots have room for variation, low volleys is not really one of them. There is a right way and a wrong way imo. I was taught you get down low so you can get beneath it. I can make better digs sometimes just putting my racquet down too, but the solid more consistent choice is to get down and do it properly.
     
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  15. Nostradamus

    Nostradamus G.O.A.T.

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    right, it works for him who is 1000 X more talented than any 4.0-4.5 amateurs in the game. Normal people hit more solid crisp volley if knees are bent
     
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  16. SStrikerR

    SStrikerR Hall of Fame

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    If you try to take shortcuts all the time, your game will plateau and you eventually won't get any better. I'm willing to bet that that will be at a lower level as opposed to a higher one.
     
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  17. Bdarb

    Bdarb Hall of Fame

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    good advice.
     
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  18. WildVolley

    WildVolley Legend

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    The McEnroe technique has some advantages in that it helps you maintain balance and it is faster to drop the racket head than trying to get your wrist down on the court. But unless you practice it, it isn't going to work.

    The key to volleying is moving the racket head quickly to the proper position while controlling the face. However you do it, you need to practice.
     
    #18
  19. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    I guess it is open to interpretation since we only got a minute or two of the instruction in the video. I'm sure with more context we would be clear on exactly what she was driving at. Compare your still clip to how she models how McEnroe would often hit low volleys at 28 seconds in the video. It is much closer to a demonstration of a traditional volley with the "lift" than the way McEnroe often hit them.
     
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  20. ProgressoR

    ProgressoR Hall of Fame

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    Do what you can, if you CAN bend your knees and get low there is a very high chance you will hit better volleys. If you can not, then just drop the racket head and do your best, and practice either way.
     
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  21. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Lots of good players, not me, spread their legs far apart and move forwards on low and half volleys, so they don't need to bend their knees as much.
     
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  22. dominikk1985

    dominikk1985 Legend

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    I prefer the edberg style of going really low but if you are comfortable with it I would not change it.
     
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  23. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

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    McEnroe, Edberg, Rafter, Cash and Sampras all had excellent volleys. McEnroe was the only one who stayed relatively high on volleys and even McEnroe had some bend in his knees at times.

    I like the Edberg, Rafter and Cash styles better - at least they work better for me.

    But, I don't believe in the old adage that you must get so low that the racket head stays above the hand. I think it is better for the racket head to go below the hand on really low balls but you should still bend you knees to get down to the shot.
     
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