Backhand volley 'aha' moment

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
I took the teaching cart and put my shoe on top of it and stuck my phone in my shoe.

What's the best angle for volleys? Directly from the side? Back? Or like mine but with a better view?

J
You get an "A" for MacGyverism.

Removing the score column would have helped. And moving the camera just a bit so the net post and net weren't in frame.

And there's not just one good angle: each one highlights different things. The 100% side view can show the unit turn. The wider field can show footwork.

Props to you for posting!
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
Most people have an easier time with the backhand volley than the forehand volley. Why? Because it's basically the same as hitting a slice. Can't hit a volley? Think of hitting a backhand slice and adjust the spin and drive ratio to what you need. This doesn't exist for most with the forehand side because few people practice a legitimate forehand slice and even fewer are good at it.
 

Morch Us

Professional
I see that 3.0 guy in the video is "all-arm" on volleys. Haha.
Coming to the point, this is relax/feel warmup routine for Federer, so he not moving his body much, and uses hand/racket to feel the ball. And for a good volley you need more body behind the volley, and less arm action.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
I see that 3.0 guy in the video is "all-arm" on volleys. Haha.
Coming to the point, this is relax/feel warmup drill for Federer, so he not moving his body much, and uses hand/racket to feel the ball. And for a good volley you need more body behind the volley, and less arm action.
Why does tt hate the arm so much? :D
 

Curious

Legend
Most people have an easier time with the backhand volley than the forehand volley. Why? Because it's basically the same as hitting a slice. Can't hit a volley? Think of hitting a backhand slice and adjust the spin and drive ratio to what you need. This doesn't exist for most with the forehand side because few people practice a legitimate forehand slice and even fewer are good at it.
Agree. I once again realized that practice and repetition is much more valuable than wasting time obsessing about technique. I persevered and hit thousands of bh volleys last two days against the table and started feeling 'the feel' of it and can go 10-15 in a row compared to 3-4 max only a few days ago.
 

StringSnapper

Hall of Fame
Agree. I once again realized that practice and repetition is much more valuable than wasting time obsessing about technique. I persevered and hit thousands of bh volleys last two days against the table and started feeling 'the feel' of it and can go 10-15 in a row compared to 3-4 max only a few days ago.
Nice. Thats a similar experience i had to hitting with the wall. I found the wall kind of reached diminishing returns now though.. but its still great for things like experimenting with grip changes etc
 

Curious

Legend
Getting the hang of it. Ok, looks ugly, not quite proper but I think I can make it also look better when I have more time to react on the court, the bloody table is too quick.

Wow watching it again I see my racket move terribly a lot! Can't believe it.

 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Getting the hang of it. Ok, looks ugly, not quite proper but I think I can make it also look better when I have more time to react on the court, the bloody table is too quick.

Wow watching it again I see my racket move terribly a lot! Can't believe it.

There you go. Nice, out in front and simple.
 

ByeByePoly

G.O.A.T.
Getting the hang of it. Ok, looks ugly, not quite proper but I think I can make it also look better when I have more time to react on the court, the bloody table is too quick.

Wow watching it again I see my racket move terribly a lot! Can't believe it.

Nice, has to be harder than tennis. So ... no ankle gps monitor? Very surprised.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
Getting the hang of it. Ok, looks ugly, not quite proper but I think I can make it also look better when I have more time to react on the court, the bloody table is too quick.

Wow watching it again I see my racket move terribly a lot! Can't believe it.
One suggestion: since the time between volleys is so short the way you're doing it, try feeding a ball with your FH and just hit one BH volley. Then repeat the cycle. The point of the drill you're doing I presume isn't to hit as many BH volleys in as short a time as possible. You want to groove the form.
 

Curious

Legend
One suggestion: since the time between volleys is so short the way you're doing it, try feeding a ball with your FH and just hit one BH volley. Then repeat the cycle. The point of the drill you're doing I presume isn't to hit as many BH volleys in as short a time as possible. You want to groove the form.
For the time being I'm trying to hit as many as possible to ingrain the feel but I'm aware that this is not ideal and wouldn't translate into real tennis. I'm yet not good enough to alternate between fh, bh volleys. I mean it doesn't last much. Once I'm more confident I will try all sorts of variations.
 

S&V-not_dead_yet

Talk Tennis Guru
For the time being I'm trying to hit as many as possible to ingrain the feel but I'm aware that this is not ideal and wouldn't translate into real tennis. I'm yet not good enough to alternate between fh, bh volleys. I mean it doesn't last much. Once I'm more confident I will try all sorts of variations.
No, that's not what I meant:

- Hit a FH
- Hit a BH volley
- Stop [catch the ball with your hand, stop it with your racquet, etc. Just don't keep hitting.]

Put the "stop" in there so the pace is relaxed, not frenetic.
 

Curious

Legend
Something I noticed: I can feel and use the weight of the racket more easily and naturally on fh volleys having my hand and body behind the racket. Somehow I find it difficult on the bh side. My hand being in front of the racket is a weird feeling.
 

Curious

Legend
No, that's not what I meant:

- Hit a FH
- Hit a BH volley
- Stop [catch the ball with your hand, stop it with your racquet, etc. Just don't keep hitting.]

Put the "stop" in there so the pace is relaxed, not frenetic.
I get that. I'm just enjoying the high of keeping going at the moment.:) It has a meditating effect, believe me.
 

Curious

Legend
One suggestion: since the time between volleys is so short the way you're doing it, try feeding a ball with your FH and just hit one BH volley
Yeah I did that, hit some more meaningful volleys. Feels better, more real and I can use the momentum of my body into shot more instead of focusing mainly on the swing. Doing this made me realize better that there was too much focus on arm before.

 

rrortiz5

Rookie
Yeah I did that, hit some more meaningful volleys. Feels better, more real and I can use the momentum of my body into shot more instead of focusing mainly on the swing. Doing this made me realize better that there was too much focus on arm before.

Was gonna ask about that practice wall you have but realized in an apartment complex my neighbors would hate me!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Curious

Legend
Was gonna ask about that practice wall you have but realized in an apartment complex my neighbors would hate me!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Yeah, gets a bit noisy when you hit the walls at times. Luckily there is nothing next to the garage.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I’m going to guess that your backhand volley is much better than your forehand volley?

The finish on your bh volley is textbook and toward the target.
Eh, I go back and forth, one side gets better then I work on the other side and then that side gets better and so on. I'm kind of like a dog chasing it's tail.

J
 

travlerajm

G.O.A.T.
Eh, I go back and forth, one side gets better then I work on the other side and then that side gets better and so on. I'm kind of like a dog chasing it's tail.

J
My constructive feedback: The point drill in your clip that begins at 1:15 (with one bh volley and one fh volley) is a good example of the contrast in follow-through between your bh volley and your fh volley. Compare where the racquet ends up after contact. One side (bh volley) is nice and linear - can almost pass for a pro. The volley on other wing has shoulders facing the net too much with less room to add power from arm extension and breaks down into a downward chop as a result.

I used to play with a guy who was a solid 5.0, but his one exceptional shot was a pro-caliber forehand volley. I would marvel whenever I played doubles as his partner, because his forehand volley form was so perfectly linear (the racquet face stayed with the same angle all the way through the shot with the racquethead staying at exactly the same height all the way through the shot). He won the high school state championship in doubles, despite not having topspin backhand (only slice).
 
Last edited:

Bender

G.O.A.T.
For me, I found that I tend to slice too much on my BH volley unless I sort of stomp with my right foot to force the swingpath.
 

Curious

Legend
the racquet face stayed with the same angle all the way through the shot with the racquethead staying at exactly the same height all the way through the shot).
I asked this question before but there was no clear answer from anyone. When you hit a volley like you describe which I also think is the ideal way( maintaining the same racket face angle throughout the swing) there should be no pronation supination happening.
 

Off The Wall

Semi-Pro
Curious, you are thinking of the volley as a swing. Think of it as a redirection or your garage backboard (it doesn't swing and yet the ball comes back). Pros use a short arm motion because they can, not because they must.

In your case, you look like you are trying to keep the ball away from you. So, you reach for it. Your wrist breaks down and your left arm flies back like a topspin backhand. Let the ball come to you. Then catch it with your strings with your racquet/wrist angle constant. Your left hand should be close by to resume a ready position quickly.

Check out Martina Hingis' volley. She sets her strings angle immediately and puts the strings in front of the ball. If the ball is coming slowly or from the backcourt she'll give it some umpf by turning her shoulders stepping forward and moving her arm forward without reaching. On reflex volleys, just set your racquet head in front of the ball and hold on loosely.

I asked this question before but there was no clear answer from anyone. When you hit a volley like you describe which I also think is the ideal way( maintaining the same racket face angle throughout the swing) there should be no pronation supination happening.
 

Curious

Legend
Curious, you are thinking of the volley as a swing. Think of it as a redirection or your garage backboard (it doesn't swing and yet the ball comes back
I'm trying not to but I also think this is a little myth as everyone including Federer swings on volleys. So I'm really sick of hearing people say ' dont swing, use your body and footwork, just block it, redirect the ball' etc. Ok I get it but what the hell with this exageration. No one tells the truth: you need to swing the bloody racket but not excessively! Just the right amount of swing depending on the ball.
 

meltphace 6

Hall of Fame
No one tells the truth: you need to swing the bloody racket but not excessively! Just the right amount of swing depending on the ball.
No, you don't swing the racquet for a slice volley. If you're at the net and you get a veeeeeery slow ball, ok, swing at it. But that's not the situation the net player is usually confronted with.

If the ball is fast (it's the relative speed between ball and racquet that's relevant) you don't need to take care of velocity and therefore you don't have to swing the racquet - you "only" need to take care of mass in order to control ball pace/spin/trajectory.

Play at 0.25 speed:

 

Curious

Legend
No, you don't swing the racquet for a slice volley. If you're at the net and you get a veeeeeery slow ball, ok, swing at it. But that's not the situation the net player is usually confronted with.

If the ball is fast (it's the relative speed between ball and racquet that's relevant) you don't need to take care of velocity and therefore you don't have to swing the racquet - you "only" need to take care of mass in order to control ball pace/spin/trajectory.

Play at 0.25 speed:

Wow! You are either a liar or kidding me considering you can't be blind! He is swinging his racket on every volley in that video and so much so that he hits the crap out of the ball. Of course he is not swinging with a long take back or follow through. He makes a very powerful, short, compact punch by moving his bloody racket with his bloody arm. If you say this movement should not be called a swing, I can understand that. But please don't pretend that that racket is not pushed forward deliberately and using the arm by that kid.
I will give you a tiny cue. Watch what he is doing with his racket at 0.4 when the other guy hits the net and the kid already started his volley. Oh, is that a swing we are seeing there??!
 
Last edited:

meltphace 6

Hall of Fame
Wow! You are either a liar or kidding me considering you can't be blind! He is swinging his racket on every volley in that video and so much so that he hits the crap out of the ball. Of course he is not swinging with a long take back or follow through. He makes a very powerful, short, compact punch by moving his bloody racket with his bloody arm. If you say this movement should not be called a swing, I can understand that. But please don't pretend that that racket is not pushed forward deliberately and using the arm by that kid.
I will give you a tiny cue. Watch what he is doing with his racket at 0.4 when the other guy hits the net and the kid already started his volley. Oh, is that a swing we are seeing there??!
Yes, this should not be called a swing. Like a backhand slice is not called a swing.

Maybe this clip helps you to better understand to distinguish between swinging and blocking:

 

Curious

Legend
Yes, this should not be called a swing. Like a backhand slice is not called a swing.

Maybe this clip helps you to better understand to distinguish between swinging and blocking:

Now we have some sort of agreement. By the way I have come across these videos where he clearly explains how the racket should be moving in different situations: Punch, block and touch. Best videos in this regard in my opinion. For those who keep saying 'volley is not a swing' as if that's the only rule that should apply to every volley.

 

Off The Wall

Semi-Pro
I'm trying not to but I also think this is a little myth as everyone including Federer swings on volleys. So I'm really sick of hearing people say ' dont swing, use your body and footwork, just block it, redirect the ball' etc. Ok I get it but what the hell with this exageration. No one tells the truth: you need to swing the bloody racket but not excessively! Just the right amount of swing depending on the ball.

Your videos were a good find. Recognize the take back is short.
In your case, your contact point was too far forward. You had to swing to reach it. There is no "feel" out there. Keep that L angle in your forearm and racquet, even on balls knee high.
 
Top