Volley to avoid golfer's elbow

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by yellowoctopus, Jul 8, 2009.

  1. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    I am recovering from golfer's elbow that I believe was caused by in correct volleying technique, specifically the forehand volley. The teaching pros (two so far) cannot tell me what I have been doing wrong.

    If you can offer advice and answers to the following, I would appreciate it very much.

    What are the most common mistakes in forehand volley technique that cause golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)?

    Other than correcting these mistakes, are there other things (technique) that I should focus on to avoid repeat of this injury?

    Thanks
     
    #1
  2. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    I find it hard to believe that this could be caused from volleying, unless you happened to be swinging at them. Who diagnosed this and traced it back to volleying technique? Is this just speculation on your part?

    Quite frankly, I would think you need to be swinging at the ball in order to develop golfers elbow. I've noticed mine flaring up on occassion from serving and ripping high, open stance FH's. Volleys never bother my elbows, even when I have a flare up.
     
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  3. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

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    Since a majority of us are tennis players, but not doctors, maybe you should post a vid and fire your two coaches.
    Go back a few months and look for Aussie Lefty Big Headed because he once beat JurgenMelzer guy, and watch him volley.
    Notice also he's not anywhere near the big show..... :confused::confused:
    Great volleyer, full of himself.
     
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  4. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    It's mostly from my own observation because my orthopaedist and physical therapist don't know the difference between a volley and a serve :)

    I've never had any problem with my elbow until I began to increase the amount of time I spend on doing volley drills this past winter. Additionally, my service motion has not changed much for a while 4+ years. I've rested and gone through physical therapy for over two months now and the pain is almost gone for normal daily activities.

    So I went out and hit, gently and cautiously...just to try it out. The groundstrokes caused no pain; powder-puff serves felt fine; volley started irritating the area, so I stopped. Came back home and iced, anti-inflammatory, and the pain went away in a couple of days--which is good, I think?

    Went out a couple more times (with about a week rest in between), similar results. The pain comes only when trying to increase the racquet speed on my serve but is consistent with every forehand volley.

    The last time I hit, I avoided serving all together because people tell me that it is usually the serve that cause this type of injury. The pain was still there when I volley.

    Perhaps one conclusion is that my serve caused this problem, and now the volley is also causing irriation because the tendon is weak??

    Will try to get a camera out this weekend.

    Thanks
     
    #4
  5. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    I'm stumped. Melzer hasn't played any Australian players since the January.
     
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  6. Majik

    Majik Rookie

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    Yes, I also got a little bit of tennis elbow (TE), where it hurts on the outside elbow. And I was talking on the net with various people. The cause of all TE, inside or outside elbow, is too hard a grip on the racket as the racket recoils from making contact with the ball. And it seems the only way to insure a loser grip during contact is to coil up your muscles and unload them with a quick jerk of the racket handle. For then your wrist will naturally losen up so the racket can rotate to meet the ball. This loose grip will insure that the recoil of the racket will not travel down tightened muscles and tendons straight to the elbow and micro tear the tendons there.

    This is more difficult with backspin slices and volleys at the net. With underspin slices at the baseline you can still coil-up the muscles a little and unload with a racket pull. But at the net with a quick reaction shot it is almost impossible to coil-up. Still you should try losening the grip at actual contact with the ball.

    Hope this helps.
     
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2009
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  7. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    ok, FH volley causes the pain but a regular groundstroke on the FH wing does not? Still having some trouble understanding this because I can hit volleys all day with TE and never have any pain. Volleys typically involve little arm movement compared with groundies, and if you hit them properly the contact point is typically well in front of your torso, usually with a bent arm and forward momentum of your entire body as you strike the ball. The lower the volley, the more arm bend there is with a closer contact point. So high volleys do require more arm extension, but again, the contact point should be well in front of your head (i.e. ~1 foot).

    I'm wondering about your grip, your grip size, and where you are striking the ball on the volleys in relation to your body, the weight of the frame, and the rate and speed of the fed balls. Perhaps the video will reveal something...
     
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  8. mike53

    mike53 Professional

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    I had this exact problem once after increasing my string tension. From then on, I keep it in the bottom of the range. A lot of impact on the FH volley, especially if you step in and really punch it.
     
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  9. LuckyR

    LuckyR Legend

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    I feel your pain. I got GE from a last second desperation high FH volley close to my body. Unfortunately it happened in the second set (we were leading) after losing the first in the last game of the season, and we ended up missing the playoffs by a single match (I had to withdraw).
     
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  10. Majik

    Majik Rookie

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    Too large a grip size can make you grab the grip too tightly and this can cause TE. Things you can do to help prevent TE are: a little smaller grip, looser strings, let the butt of the racket rest in your palm - not grabing the whole handle, a little heavier racket. All these things help insure that you do not grab the racket too tight or the racket does not recoil so much.
     
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  11. jrod

    jrod Hall of Fame

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    Agree, but I don't understand why this is restricted to volleys in his case. Perhaps the drill is just very intense and he is hitting a lot more balls than he would if he were just hitting groundies...I've just never heard of anyone blaming the FH volley as the primary reason for developing TE.
     
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  12. Majik

    Majik Rookie

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    I'm just now recovering from TE outside elbow. I'm sure I got it from holding my racket too tight while trying to do backhand kill shots on lower groundies. About a week ago I played for the first time in about 3 weeks. I was paying special attention to my elbow pain. And I discovered, in my case, that nothing hurt except backhand net volleys. Thank God I was using my TE strap. I imagine that the same applies to forhand volleies for those with TE inside elbow.
     
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  13. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    I have a long swing on my groundies, especially on the forehand side, so my only explanation for the elbow being able to withstand the forehand groundstroke is that there is enough momentum from the swing (generated by various parts of the body) that my elbow muscle (medial epicondyle) is not working hard to move the racquet through the hitting zone. In contrast, I don't have the same momentum on the volley (only generated by my legs), so my elbow is working to hold the racquet in place and to punch through--I believe this is what causes the pain.

    I'm using a 11.7 oz mid-sized racquet with L2 grip size + overgrip, multifilament strings at 51 lbs. Half of these drills I'm volleying from another player's groundstroke and volley (two people at the net) and half from the pro feeding from mid court.
     
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  14. yellowoctopus

    yellowoctopus Professional

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    Hmm...you might be on to something here.
     
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  15. NLBwell

    NLBwell Legend

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    Probably from hitting the ball late (behind) and too close to your body. This will put strain on that tendon. (I know what hurts it since mine is torn.) Work on contacting the ball in front of your body (which also keeps the body out of the way so you don't have to twist the wrist/elbow back.
    Generally small grips cause tennis elbow much more than larger grips - the torque on the arm from mishits is greater than with a large grip. For this reason, you will also have to grip the racket tighter with a small grip to resist any torque. However, if any grip is not comfortable for you it could cause you to hit incorrectly and get TE.
     
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