Originally Posted by Nellie
I agree with the timing of the split. I don't like to focus too much on the opponent, so I developed a footwork pattern that works for me (serve, two steps, and hop). This is just a general habit, and I may vary it according to the serve/opponent. With a slow kick serve, I may be a little too early after two steps (serve still moving toward opponent) and take another step before the spilt, and with a flat serve, the return may be at my feet before I jump, so I may need to split right from the serve in no-man's land.
With a little practice, you can significant accelerate your motion out of the serve (try practicing exploding out of the serve and forward a couple of steps a couple of time when you are practicing your serve).
Regarding the footwork of the volley, I think a better mental reminder is to think about moving forward slightly during the volley because the specific footwork may vary according to the height/depth/angle of the return.
Actually, in regards to the contact zone footwork, Ash is correct. I neglected to mention that the higher the volley, the more apt you should be to have the front foot come down at or even just before contact.