Tips on Volley and Net Playing?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by user92626, Jul 21, 2009.

  1. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Hello Everyone,

    My doubles game suffers alot due to my ineffective "skill" at the net. So, i think it's time for me to work on it.

    I could volley in practice where the other guy also stands near service line. I could bh slice/block or fh punch with slow balls, but everything just breaks down in game. I totally cannot volley off of oppon's FH (baseline) shot at all. I dont know where my focus should be or the practice sequence of this is.

    Helps? Thanks.
     
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  2. naylor

    naylor Semi-Pro

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    For very easy practice starters:-

    1 - split-step as opponent is hitting the ball at the baseline;

    2 - step forward diagonally with opposite leg (left, for forehand volley; right for backhand volley);

    3 - punch incoming ball in front of you, with very simple outside-in punch (on backhand side, your racket has already moved in front of you as you stepped forward; on forehand side the racket is behind, your left arm is forward and a bit extended in front of you, the basic punch is moving your right arm forward as if you were trying to clap your right hand to your left one in front of you). The outside-in bit means you're volleying slightly cross-court, so forehand volley back to forehand, backhand volley back to backhand.

    The simple recovery step is to bring the trailing leg back level to your forward leg, balance, split-step, move back to a more central position, start again.
     
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  3. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Thanks. More questions :)

    How should I process my vision? Also track the ball like doing with groundstrokes?
     
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  4. Wes_Loves_Dunlop

    Wes_Loves_Dunlop Professional

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    keep the contact point in front of you.
    your elbow should be almost straight.
    if the contact is below the net, keep the racket below the net.
    if contact is above the net, keep the racket above the net.
    the last two tips helped me out a lot
     
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  5. javierjavier

    javierjavier Rookie

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    it's so easy to get distracted especially in doubles with all the movement that you don't completely track the ball to your racket. i've missed plenty of easy put away volleys worrying about where i should hit instead of just making solid contact.

    not sure if you're making good contact and missing or missing because you're not making good contact. if it's the later then i'd definitely focus on tracking the ball all the way through contact.
     
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  6. film1

    film1 Semi-Pro

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    Punch the ball and make sure you watch the ball make contact with the strings. Most people who do not volley very well are usually not looking at the ball during contact.
    Stephan Edberg, John Mac and the Bryan brothers are all excellent at net.
     
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  7. SethIMcClaine

    SethIMcClaine Rookie

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    1) keep your racquet up
    2) its harder to volley the ball into the net when you are practically standing over top of it, so when its appropriate get close to the net
    3) there is less time to respond the closer you are to the net, so if the other team is close to the net give yourself some space to be able to react
    4) keep your racquet up!!
     
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  8. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Some would dispute the opposite leg bit. I learned it that way as well. But its not the modern approach.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YiGjyMMtlMQ

    This is a real problem with tennis teaching. There just isn't a consensus on quite a few things. And don't bother attacking that coach. He has stellar credentials.

    Pete
     
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  9. naylor

    naylor Semi-Pro

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    With regard to contact points, I would add - keep the rackethead above (or at worst no lower than) your rackethand. This is obvious on balls above the net, but on balls below the net you shouldn't just lower the rackethead, you should get down instead and keep the rackethead above or level with the hand. And to get down, you don't just bend down at the waist, you bend at the knees so you keep your trunk above your waist.
     
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  10. naylor

    naylor Semi-Pro

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    I don't disagree with the video. If I start at the service line, I will step with the leg on the same side. But then I'll make a second step (with the opposite leg) and it's in this second step when contact takes place, which is followed by a short third step when the same leg comes over, balances the body for the split-step and starts the recovery.

    However, when I'm already at the net (like when my partner is serving), very often I will cut out the fist approach step - I don't need to approach, I'm already there! and if I take two steps I'll hit the net! It's in those cases when I will take the one step (with the opposite leg) and hit the ball.

    The danger I see (if you take two steps when already at the net) is that instead of attacking net and incoming ball diagonally, you follow the ball and move parallel to the net (to give yourself time / room to do the second step). Or, if you just do one-step (but with the same leg), it's not too difficult to play a forehand volley off the right leg (provided you punch cross-court, if you want to go down the line you have to steer the ball with your wrist a lot more so the punch is not as clean); but if you take just the one step on the backhand side but with the left leg, it's a very awkward volley even if you go cross-court (you only sort of give it a slap with the back of the hand, so not a lot of power behind it) and it's nearly impossible to play a decent volley if you want to put it down the line (you have to bend the wrist back to bring the rackethead back and then push/block the ball and only use the pace of the incoming ball to place the shot).
     
    Last edited: Jul 22, 2009
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  11. GuyClinch

    GuyClinch Hall of Fame

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    Cool. Your analysis of the video makes alot of sense. Thanks.
     
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  12. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    This to me is most important. I play mostly singles, but for the last 8 months I have tried to play more dub’s and if am not hitting good volleys my first correction is to make sure I keep my eye on the ball through contact. This helps me more then anything on volleys…
     
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  13. precision2b

    precision2b Semi-Pro

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    Exactly, to me it is a lot easier for me to take my eye off the ball at net (volley) then when am hitting ground strokes… Don't know why...
     
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  14. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Practice !!
    You hitting partner at the baseline, you standing 3' inside your service line.
    Aim to volley between his service line and his baseline for depth. Volley deeper when you get better.
     
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  15. fattsoo

    fattsoo Semi-Pro

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    I too need a lot of work at the net and this post epps a lot!!! Thx
     
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  16. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    In addition to what has been said:

    1. The harder the incoming ball, the less you do with it. Use their power.

    2. Think of it as a drill class or clinic. In a clinic with you at net and someone hitting at you, you expect every ball to come to you, and you are delighted to have an opportunity to hit the ball because that is what you are paying for. In a clinic, you never just stand there flat-footed being a spectator, because if you don't get that ball no one will. Well, in a match, each time your opponent strikes the ball you should be thinking "That's my ball!"

    3. Racket head up, wrist cocked into an L. Don't try to "help" your shot with a lot of wrist or goofy arm movements. Just keep the wrist firm and step in toward the net.

    4. When a ball is below net level, hit it defensively. Strike it low over the net and as deep as you can and live to fight another day. Don't try to hit a power shot on low balls.

    Good luck!!!!!!!!!!!
     
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  17. user92626

    user92626 Legend

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    Good stuffs, Cindy
    I'll try to remember your tips.
    I think my problem mainly is that I obsessively worked on my FH and neglected volley. I sort of understand the mechanics of various types of volleys. Just need a partner and practice. Problem is everyone's volley practice is short lived, ie suck, and we change to something else fast!
     
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  18. Mongolmike

    Mongolmike Professional

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    #18
  19. ubermeyer

    ubermeyer Hall of Fame

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    I have a question... Why do many pros appear to violently slice their backhand volleys? Even, to some extent they slice the forehand volleys that are not easy putaways.
     
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  20. naylor

    naylor Semi-Pro

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    Agreed, the key for me - particularly, when practising - is to always remember to step into the volley. This little bit of footwork turns the shoulders and places the racket in the backswing position square to the incoming ball, so you don't have to make a conscious backswing for the volley. From that position, you just accelerate to play a short punch with firm wrist.

    If you just stand your ground square on to the net and wait for the ball to come to you, you have to loop your racket back to get the racketface square to the incoming ball, and the tendency is to continue the movement from there into a forward swing. And if you then try to play a little punch, you start the forward motion and then decelerate - often, before contact. That's where the wristy or goofy arm movements to "help the volley" come from.

    The other problem with waiting for the ball is that a ball played with topspin can drop down a lot in 4 feet (the distance between contact point if you wait and play the volley at your side, and contact point if you step into the volley and then punch it in front of your body), making the volley a lot more difficult.

    Even if it doesn't have top, if it carries underspin that ball will slow down, so your timing for the volley will be off - you'll hit it fractionally early and with the bottom part of the racketface (the racket will be horizontal and parallel to the net), so contact will not be as crisp and you may even frame it. And if you don't hit it properly and contact is 4 feet behind where it should have been, you increase the chance of it going into the net.
     
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  21. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

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    I hope it helps.

    I wish I could do it. The goofy arm movements are my undoing. Oh, I just gotta massage the shot instead of trusting the racket face.

    Doh!!
     
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  22. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

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    some truism -

    the less you swing, the better your volleys

    keep the racquet head higher and behind than the handle (i.e., angle back the racquet head) and move the racquet with your feet and knees, and not with your arm - I like to think about volley with my head so that I move so that the contact point is near the side of my head, if possible.
     
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  23. crystal_clear

    crystal_clear Professional

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    Great tips~ Thanks Nellie.
     
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  24. cadfael_tex

    cadfael_tex Professional

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    Volley is a developed feel IMHO - sort of an aquired taste. Once I start to really 'think about it' I begin to loose it. Best advice I can give is to volley against the wall. Stand at various but somewhat close distances and just keep volleying against the wall till you win ;)
     
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