Originally Posted by luvforty
not with the arm for volleys.
so on this one I think Oscar is off.
leading with the hand is exactly most amateurs hit poor volleys.... i don't see what benefit can come with 'leading with the hand'.
Good on pointing this out, so it can be clarified. The perfect technique is, for all strokes, moving to the ball and then stroking it. Moving implies several actions. Let's say you want to shake hands with a person and the person is ten feet away. You first move your body close to the other person, within reach and hopefully where you are going to be comfortable, then you find the person's hand with your hand and you shake it.
Since new people to tennis already know how to move the feet but not how to strike a ball perfectly with the volley, I teach them this aspect first: how to find the ball perfectly with the hand and racquet and the technique within the volley. It would be like teaching the person, since they already know how to move, how to shake a hand, how not to squeeze a ladies hand too hard, how to do it firmly but not overdue it, etc. The problem with teaching the feet first is that the person learns to adjust the stroke with their feet and lose the adjustment with the hands, which is the final touch.
With advanced players, and I had this case with a top junior player two weeks ago,because of the tendency of adjusting the feet for the volley rather than doing the final adjustment with the hand, at high speeds he lost precision. So I told him to keep the racquet close to his body (using the non playing hand as a restraint by holding onto the racquet longer than usual), first lean and slide the leading foot out, and then jumping with a cross over while finding the ball and firmly tightening up the grip at impact.
The results were extraordinary. He found that he had at least 50% more court coverage, more precision, more control overall, and more power as well.
So that is probably what Martina Navratilova was referring to. You move your body first, than you execute your stroke.
But she had great hands on the volley. So did John McEnroe, who, in my opinion, is the best volleyer ever.
By the way, this is in my first book in 1989, which ended up in Eastern Europe, and Patrick McEnroe told me it helped him fix his own forehand when he was ion the tour. And on my latest works as well.
I am glad you queried me on this, because many of my works have been misunderstood by posters in these threads.