Pros volley practice

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by yellowoctopus, Dec 30, 2008.

  1. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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  2. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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  3. tenzinrocks

    tenzinrocks Rookie

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    Maybe there practicing their volleys at the spot that they usually finish the point in a match
     
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  4. TennisNinja

    TennisNinja Hall of Fame

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    Most points at the net don't right in front of the net. I guess this is so it's more of a realistic match situation.
     
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  5. BullDogTennis

    BullDogTennis Hall of Fame

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    did anyone see federers terrible volley form? hes dropping his racquet A TON as he makes contact!!:-?:-?

    for some reason that works great for him. but most id consistently miss hit em. or maybe i do that? i need to go make a volley video.

    and i do practice volleys from the service line. when you do that, it forces you to step into your volleys. and that encourages good form.
     
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  6. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Hitting volleys from back at the service line requires a more deliberate, penetrating shot than up on top of the net. If you're being lazy with your mechanics, you'll know it in a hurry when you're at the service line. It's also smart to practice dealing with low volleys as well as half-volleys and more of those happen farther back from the net.
     
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  7. louis netman

    louis netman Hall of Fame

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    Yeah. If you can perfect your volleys from the service line, anything forward from that point becomes cake...
     
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  8. baseline08thrasher

    baseline08thrasher Semi-Pro

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    It gives them more time to react
    and most aggressive baseliners hit such good approach shots that they don't have to get up close to the net, and are often hitting a volley before they get into the net.
    Then they win the point off of that shot.
     
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  9. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Unless you are talking about an almost unreturnable first or second serve, almost all first volleys ARE hit around the service line, then when you see it go deep with penetration at a good location, THEN you get ready to close in for the kill shot.
    Practicing closer than halfway to the net is good practice, for 3.5 level tennis maybe.
    Anyone better just hits a slightly low deep lob, and you're left scrambling thinking of creative between the leg shots.
    And if you're the worlds BEST volleyer from within reach of the net...guess what? Every opponent just smiles and tests your retreating skills!
    Best practice is usually from where you hit most of your balls. On volleys, the first sets up the whole point, so it'd better be your best, and you'd better consider practice from exactly there.
    Us old slow guys have to practice from the service line, as I can't get inside on my first volleys after an approach OR a serve, first or second.
     
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  10. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    ^^^ I agree and disagree. True, practicing the first volley is what the Pros are doing. It is much more difficult than the second volley position so requires the most practice. But a minority of volleys should be hit at the service line, trying to play from second volley position is optimal and the vulnerability to the lob is acceptable from there as most tall Pros can get all but the very best offensive lobs, even from second volley position.
     
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  11. TennezSport

    TennezSport Hall of Fame

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    1st Position...........

    In the olden S&V days the 1st position or service line was as far as you would get before the ball was on it's way back, so it was important that you practice your volleys from that position. In todays game you may not even get to that 1st position with the courts being so slow now, so again good play to practice that first volley.

    Cheers, TennezSport :cool:
     
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  12. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    LuckyR, I don't know how young and strong you are, but I'm 59, have more than 30 pins in my legs, and have lost over 30% of my physical skills.
    I practice volleys just behind the service line. I can volley pretty well when you push me up 6' from the net.
    So can anyone, I presume.
    I volley terribly from 6' inside the baseline, so I split the diff and hope it works.
    I don't get back for topspin lobs that land 3' from the baseline. I play guys who mostly can hit about 60% like that, mixed in with some sliced lobs just for variety's sake. Crowding the net is a formula for retreating practice, and I'd like to avoid that, as would MOST good players.
    And as for minority or majority........ I KNOW I have to hit that first volley!
    Sometimes, I don't have to hit the second volley.
    I'd rather practice the shots I need to hit mostly, rather than practice a backhand between the leg sidespin down the line hope for a miracle shot.
    And the pros are NOT practicing from the service line, they're inside by a good 2-3'.
    And McEnroes volley will RUIN your volley game quicker than a sledgehammer to your knees.
    But he has a better volley than you and me!
     
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  13. Julieta

    Julieta Guest

    I used to practice with some net rushers and they practiced hitting volleys from everywhere on the court. Usually they would spend most of their practice time hitting volleys from behind and on the service line because those are the hardest shots. As my coach said, an easy volley close to the net you should be able to hit with a stick and make the shot. The other thing is that you have to spend A LOT of time practicing volleys (way more than most people think) if you want to be a net rusher. It also take a lot of legs (like all shots in tennis) and most people are too high on the ball. The legs should be burning at the end of the practice session.
     
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  14. flogpro2252

    flogpro2252 New User

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  15. oneguy21

    oneguy21 Banned

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    They volley from the service line to get a rally going. If the volleyer is too close to the net the guy on the other side would have no time to prepare for his groundstrokes.
     
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  16. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Pretty impressive, the southpaw's 3 half volleys, low to the net with some pace......
    Yeah, you practice what you're NOT good at, not what anyone can do (putaways while you belly button up to the net).
    When you're closer, it's just a reflex shot away from the other guy, so while you still gotta practice it, it's not the priority.
     
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  17. mental midget

    mental midget Professional

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    practicing volleys standing back a bit is a great way to develop ball feel and good technique. up close to the net, you get away with shanks, off-center hits, etc. Step back a few feet, and you begin to get a feel for good, solid contact, because anything else, and you flub it badly.
     
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  18. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    How does the typical instructor recommend that volleys be practiced?
     
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  19. NoBadMojo

    NoBadMojo G.O.A.T.

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    That's the Romanian Davis Cup Volley Drill. I believe it goes back to the Tiriac/Nastase days

    When done properly, it's quite exhausting..you really feel the burn in your quads. We do a modified version of this. One guy stays at the T, and the other goes side to side and you keep it going that way. then you switch.
     
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  20. fuzz nation

    fuzz nation Legend

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    Nice video - talk about practicing with a purpose!

    Actually, some teachers specifically encourage working on volleys from back around the service line to reinforce the good habits. When you stand on top of the net for volleys, it can get too easy to paddy-cake the ball back over the net without driving it effectively. Those turn into sitters in a playing situation compared with the more desirable penetrating volleys that move through the court.
     
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  21. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I apologize. I don't really follow your train of thought. So I'll just toss in some random ideas:

    1- I'm 47 and have excellent wheels. I've lost a step or two on stamina, but less than a half a step in quickness and speed.

    2- I almost exclusively practice from the service line. I agree with you that practicing from second volley position, (say, your 6' from the net) needs little practice because volleys from there are so much easier than from first volley position (from about the service line).

    3- I have definitely seen Pros practice from the service line (Nadal for one...)

    4- Very few of us, even those with speed, are going to be retrieving good topspin lobs that land within 3' of the baseline. That is not a reason to not move up to second volley position on the second volley (or start in second volley position in doubles) IMO. Too few folks can hit good enough topspin lobs (with disguise) in the modern era. Why should they? Few players S&V anymore.

    5- As to the: "backhand between the leg sidespin down the line hope for a miracle shot", I have no idea what you are talking about.
     
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  22. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I'm sure you are a good player in your peer group, but what you are describing is not normally what is considered top notch tennis.

    But I still don't confuse it with excellent tennis. Excellent players make very few volleys from 1st volley position, especially in today's game. I'm sure you see how rare the S&V players are. Most players will use an approach shot that gets them thu and closer to net. Players who hit a lot of mid ct volleys are usually losing these days, unless they are playing other older guys who can't move. I will say you are wrong if you think everyone can handle 2ond volley position well just because they can volley from the svc line. Both require practice and skill, due to each having unique challenges. Being unaware of the challenges of closer to net does not make them not exist.

    Pro players practice things for many different reasons. There are many approaches by players and coaches, even at the Pro level.
     
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2009
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  23. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'm not advocating staying away from 2nd volley positioning practice, but I AM saying you gotta practice the shot you hit most.
    Consider doubles. If you crowd the net, almost every other opponent's forehand goes topspin over your head. Tough retrieve for either of you.
    I don't play at a high level .... if I did, I wouldn't be on these forums, I'd be touring the world.
    Almost everyone I play against can hit at least a decent topspin lob.
    NO way I can serve and get inside the service line against a normal return.
    And first serve, no way within 4' of the service line before the ball comes back at my feet. I'm not talking about playing beginners, I'm talking about other guys my level or above.
    And sorry, even though I use a full Western forehand and back, I don't play the modern game.
     
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  24. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    You are making some good points I'm sure, but for me, you seem to contradict what I think you are trying to say. I didn't say you said stay away from ideal volley position practice, but I do think it should be far and away your most common volley, thus should get a lot of practice.

    You say you don't play the modern game, so I guess you mean that you hit often from 1st volley position and it works ok with the guys you play with. I figure that in dubs a guy only needs to do this in one of 4 games, which is when serving. When your partner is serving and returning, you are free to move right into ideal (2ond) volley position. When you are returning, there are many options that vary depending on the opponents. Most don't require a svc line volley.

    I understand your mobility has u concerned about lobs. I would probably have a much different perspective on all this if the overhead was not my best shot. I prefer to get close to net to finish volleys and provoke lobs.

    Have you tried using a stagger where the offside net man plays as you suggest and the onside net man get much tighter to net? This might be a compromise that we could agree on.
     
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  25. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    1: There are different drills for different purpose but the simplest one is two players standing on the Ts and volleying/half-volleying. You can add advanced combos to this, altnerating side, varrying heights and pace, adding half-voleys, moving side to side in unison.

    2: Second drill is for doubles and for aggression, two people start on the T and try to close and win by hitting thru the other person.

    3: One up and one back, volleyer start at the T and either work his/her way up closer to put the ball away, or stay in one place and both are working on particular shot combination. This depends on your skill levels (dippers, flatter drives, heavy slice, etc..

    My volleys are my most natural shot and personally I save my up close volleys for playing points. I will hit back to my partners on all shots but when I'm making my second volleys, I will go for the kill every time because I think that you play like you practice and when you are that close, your instincts should always be to end it. So I want my instinct to remain sharp whenever I'm in my second volley position.

    Final comment. If you are getting successfully lobbed when you are at the net, it means your approach shot or first volley isn't good enough.
     
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  26. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I agree, stagger formation is something that I've always used. Even if we both are in dominant position, one of us, the "offside" player is always slightly back.
     
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  27. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Practice like you play!! ;)

    Unless you are 6'2" Swede named Edberg (and truly even he rarely got much tighter to net on the first volley) if you s/v a lot you will find the majority of your first volleys occur just around the service line. ;) Thus, the need to practice that shot! ;)

    CC
     
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  28. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    I'm still with CC.
    If you guys play duffers who are dumb enough to hit to a net man standing belly button touching the net, YOU are duffers.
    I'm not very good, maybe bad 4.5 tournament level. I don't worry about playing the lousy guys, I'm talking here about other 4.5's and 5.0's, occasionally a 5.5. All those GUYS, not girly girls like you show on vids, can hit passing shots well over 70 mph AT my left hip (I'm southpaw), or hit sliced backhand lobs that land 7' in, or topspin forehand lobs that land about that, but usually much closer to the baseline.
    Ain't no way anyone wins a point without that first service line level deep volley.
    And we ain't worried about the short lob, the weak passing shot, or a softie up the middle, I'm talking you gotta defend against a strong pass attempt, a deep high lob, or a hard hit ball directly into your forehand hip.
    I suspect you guys who need practice from 6' behind the net are newbies in tennis.
    If you give me that volley, I can put it away 95% of the time if it's not jamming into my forehand hip.....even against fast 5.5 or slightly higher levels.
    But if you give me a lob that lands 6' behind the service line, chances are I'll hit it 80mph, but VERY good chance my opponent will get to it and get it back with low to my feet or toss another one HIGHER up.
    If I'm back somewhere near the service line, I can move up 2' for a putaway volley, and I'm already in position to crush my overhead because I'm not retreating!!!
    And if you hit that creampuff topspin to my feet, it's an easy angled putaway dropper.
     
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  29. raiden031

    raiden031 Legend

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    So where does the OP come across saying most experts advise not practicing volleys from the service line?
     
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  30. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    OK, 80% of your practice volleys should start with you at the service line.
    The rest from up closer, if you don't know now how to put the ball away.
    But ball away....singles, as far from your opponent as possible, deep and low.
    Doubles, practice going up the middle low and deep, and when they're covering, go angled.
    My reasoning is based on decently deep approach shots. Anytime I approach shorter than service line, I'm dead anyways....I need a recovery shot.
    And if I approach 2' from opponent's baseline, guaranteed the next shot is a high deep lob, or a blast into my weaker/asleep partners forehand hip. They're not going to be dumb enough to hit back to me, after my deep approach, as they know I'm learning forwards ready to move in 3' to put the ball away.
    In defense of my partner..... he has to react to the shots, and I know much sooner than him if my shot is deep or short.
     
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  31. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I don't think the OP ever said that ... He asked if pros practice volleys from the service line and then post examples where they stand closer. I don't think anyone has made the claim that "most experts advise not practicing volleys from the service line"
     
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  32. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, and in singles it is more important IF you actually S&V, which I don't hardly see anyone doing. But, of course, if u actually play S&V singles, then it is a Very important shot. Even most SV players only come in about half the time.

    No one ever said don't practice the 1st volley, that I know of.
    The point is that in today's tennis, the 1st volley requirement should be way less than a 1/4 of your volleys. The exception to this would be the rare S&V singles player.
    So yes, Practice like you play!
     
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  33. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    I win at Open level doubles in a tough region and work with college players. My son, who I trained, is scholarship D-1. I don't intend to blow my horn, and won't go into all the events we have won together and apart, but just give this as a basis to establish an experience level.

    Maybe you do what you say? I don't know, but I see a lot of players who view the game as you describe as best I can follow you, but when they play, it comes off very different. Often they don't finish near as well as advertised near the net,
    and tend to hang near the svc line way too much, even when there is a good approach shot hit in front of them. IMO it is at least partly due to so much practice at the svc line where they stand and volley, opposed to volley from there and transition in behind the volley. They try to finish from there. I guess you must struggle with the svc line volley if you feel you need 80% of your volley practice there.
    I'm pretty sure they would finish better at net if they practiced more from the IVP (ideal volley Position). It's called the IVP for a reason, but not cause it's so easy that no practice is required.

    So my adjustment to what CC said would be to "practice how you intend to play". So if you intend to hang around the svc line, good, practice alot there. you will surely need it against good players.
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
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  34. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sorry, but I MAY be doubting your skills.
    Anyone at 4.0 or higher levels can put away volleys when they're standing in IVP.
    Didn't I say after an approach, you get ready to move forward if the opposition doesn't lob? Did you read that?
    And if the opposition tosses a lob, you don't lean back and backpeddle, you turn sideways and move to the ball.
    Now maybe YOU and your hitting partners cannot put away volleys from IVP.
    I played (emphasis "ed") at top junior level, high B's, and against some 7.0's.
    Even in doubles, your most used volley is started at the service line. Now you can choose to move forwards 1.5 steps, then you'll be inside the service line 4'. That's basically as far forward as you need to be with a good volley.
    In doubles, serve partner stands just inside the medien between net and volley.....ONLY if the serve is strong and well placed.
    You serve me a 90mph cookie to either side that I can reach, and I guarantee your partner will choke you after 3 points.
    Don't understand?
    Then you don't play Open tennis.
     
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  35. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    May I ask that we all agree we are each good players with lots of experience? :) From what I've read (and I too find it a bit confusing) it would seem to me this is the case.

    Now, the problem is the discussion has been oddly framed (I think). Let me try again:

    I DO S&V and have plenty of success at a high level, both historically and currently. I use the tactic probably 40-60% of the time, depending on the surface, conditions, and my opponents strengths and weaknesses. The vast majority of the time when I use the 'traditional' S/V tactic, my FIRST volley is taken at/around the service line. Maybe a foot or so behind, maybe a foot or two in front, but AROUND. :) DEPENDING ON THE QUALITY OF THE RETURN and therefore my ability to hit an aggressive FIRST volley, I will either a) close the net after the first volley, attempting to bisect the angle of my opponent's possible return and subsequently looking to hit a putaway (ie achieve 'IVP') OR b) close a bit (but not too much) to stay ready for the lob. REMEMBER, it is easier to spring FORWARD, towards the ball (even well struck balls) then it is to sprint BACKWARDS. ;)

    Now, if one attacks the net off aggressively struck groundstrokes (ie NOT 'classic' (typically sliced) approaches) you may be afforded the opportunity to end the point with a single volley, which you will often hit WELL inside the service line, often on the run. If you are under 30 years old, you may even take a 'swing' at it. ;)

    Make sense fellas?

    CC
     
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  36. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Or that you are 'over-closing' after your first volley. :) Good players can hit aggressive passing shots and lobs even on the full run, and off well struck balls. This is why many lower level players walk away from their first few times playing at a higher level shaking their (collective) heads, saying "He/She was SO lucky! I hit all those great shots but he/she got them back!". ;)

    CC
     
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  37. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I'm short, in my twenties I S&V on both serves in So. Cal. I've played guys who were on D1 teams at the time. I don't think I've ever been accused of crowding the net. As a matter of fact, I have to stay a bit further back to compensate for my lack of height but the overhead was one of my strong points. I played vball so jumping overhead was something that I had to do and enjoyed doing. I always expect to be tested with the lob in the beginning. It is a given.

    Because I have to stay a little further back, and my reach width-wise isn't as good as taller players, I had to make up for it with being able to read the player. For me, with my limited reach, if I can't force my opponent to reduce their options, I don't have a chance, but isn't that what a S&V'er is always doing, limit the option of the opponent so that you can improve your odds? If your opponent is able to maintain their center of gravity then yes, I would expect that they can hit anything at the last moment and I'm cooked.

    Those days are gone now. I'm in no condition to S&V but I had a good decade of it. I wasn't made to be a S&V but while I was young and healthy it was the only time that I can do it. Last time I S&V on a point, I went up for a jumping overhead, pure instinct and blew out my glutes and hamstring. 6 months rehab.

    Hopefully, when you visit NY, we can hit.
     
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  38. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Sorry to hear about your injury. What a bummer! :(

    I think we are saying the same thing. How tightly you close (or how far you stay back!) depends on your reach, the quality of the approach/first volley, and your opponents skills (better skills=more options, generally speaking).

    I would love to hit when I am in NYC next month.

    Best,

    CC
     
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  39. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    Sux getting old ;) My buddy called me the other week from So Cal. In his youth he was a supper stud and now he called me and said that he played beach vball at Santa Monica after a break (just got his first baby) and he couldn't spike the ball cleanly anymore. His vertical was gone, he used to be able to walk underneath the baskeball rim and slam dunk the ball.

    Looking forward to meeting you. Off hand, I think Justin is thinking of hitting at Billie Jean NTC.
     
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  40. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    CC, we know your of high level of play and I was mainly agreeing with your excellent point about practicing how the game is played.
    I do think you would agree that the true SV player is pretty rare these days. It is self evident that SV often requires a volley around the svc line, but even when SVing, the will be many misses and half volleys. So out of 30 serving points in a set, maybe you come in on 21 of them, maybe 5 returns miss and another 7 are half vollied or hit on the rise, with 4 more going past clean. I just played a set and got these numbers today. This left about 5 actual mid court volleys. I don't think these numbers are too far off for a normal singles set. In dubs it would be even less do to serving only once every 4 games.

    I was just attempting to point out how few svc line volleys are required for the way most players play the game these days. Despite this, most players find a way to hit a lot of them anyway, as LeeD seems to prefer. Maybe I just don't understand what he is saying.

    CC, You probably remember when we hashed out this whole thing about volleying from no man's land awhile back. Don't you also observe players making volleys harder by not moving forward and cutting down the angles?
    When do you see it necessary to volley from the svc line area other than behind your serve?
    thanks,
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2009
    #40
  41. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    one more volley drill

    Does anyone know if juniors are taught this anymore?

    You hit a big shot to the corners, you cheat by stepping one or two steps inside the baseline. If you see that your opponent will float the ball back defensively, to break towards the net and take the ball on the fly and sneak in. A more "swinging" volleys preferred, provided you can hit it (topsin or slice).
     
    #41
  42. baseline08thrasher

    baseline08thrasher Semi-Pro

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    Depends on what kind of coach you have.
     
    #42
  43. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Funny how life works out.

    You get the brain for it, and I get the body for it.

    Instead of 2 mediocre people, if you re-arranged our attributes one could construct two exceptional people, a first class tennis player, and a first class couch potato.

    J
     
    #43
  44. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    Yes, they are taught this. But do they learn? That is the question.
     
    #44
  45. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Well, it is on them to learn, they are presented with the opportunity and advice, and that is all one can ask.

    Funny, I was talking about someone who was going through an un-tennis related tough time, and I was asked how I felt about it personally. And I replied, "Hey, I held out my hand, I can't beat myself up if their dumb ass doesn't take it."

    And it is the same with tennis. You can try to help as much as you want, try to teach, try to give advice, but at some point the player has to step up and want to get better. And to that end, once you have made your willingness to help known, then any more is a waste of your time and emotional energy.

    J
     
    #45
  46. 5263

    5263 G.O.A.T.

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    well said Jolly
     
    #46
  47. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks.

    I was going to offer a much more detailed reply, but didn't want to run the risk of becoming overly philisophical and derailing the topic, or at the least causing someone to read a post they have no interest in.

    I will just say that it is a subject I have given much thought to, and that is the conclusion that I came to.

    J
     
    #47
  48. dennis10is

    dennis10is Banned

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    I have you know that I've achieve 7.0 rating as a couch potato.

    Who else have three LCD monitors in front of him?
     
    #48
  49. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Sure, at any level, if you can consistently hit a swinging topspin volley from behind the service line, GO FOR IT.
    Even the William's sisters have that shot.
    If you're only 50%, maybe better not rely on it during important points.
    Looks fancy, and most old school coaches would cringe when you MISS that shot.
     
    #49
  50. BounceHitBounceHit

    BounceHitBounceHit Legend

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    Yes, I think the real question becomes "Why make the shot more difficult than it really HAS to be?"

    I've watched dozens of these swinging volleys get slapped into the net on big points, and the opponents weren't Chang, Nadal, nor Fed (ie not THAT fast). :)

    CC
     
    #50

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