Hitting basic volleys into the net in doubles

#1
A pattern I've noticed in doubles is that I tend to miss a lot more basic volleys into the net than I do in singles. These aren't lunging, full stretch or low volleys, but just basic ones where I have plenty of time. Usually this happens when the 2 baseline players have been hitting cross court for a while and then the net man volleys towards me or even a shot from the baseline player. The volley from the opposing net player isn't a slam or anything, just a regular volley at a normal height. I don't know how to explain it, but I see the ball coming, step in, do the normal volley motion and it almost seems like slow motion as the ball goes into the net.

If it was just a couple times I'd understand it, but it happens way too often. In singles or when I'm approaching the net in doubles and volley I can volley great. Also in clinics I'm pretty good at the net. What can I do differently in these matches?
 
#2
This is very common. I see it frequently when I'm coaching, and (sadly) I occasionally do it myself when playing. In my experience, leaving balls in the net off of volleys results from decelerating the racket head at contact. Perhaps you could try to keep the racket face moving through the ball, past the point of contact.
 
#4
A pattern I've noticed in doubles is that I tend to miss a lot more basic volleys into the net than I do in singles. These aren't lunging, full stretch or low volleys, but just basic ones where I have plenty of time. Usually this happens when the 2 baseline players have been hitting cross court for a while and then the net man volleys towards me or even a shot from the baseline player. The volley from the opposing net player isn't a slam or anything, just a regular volley at a normal height. I don't know how to explain it, but I see the ball coming, step in, do the normal volley motion and it almost seems like slow motion as the ball goes into the net.

If it was just a couple times I'd understand it, but it happens way too often. In singles or when I'm approaching the net in doubles and volley I can volley great. Also in clinics I'm pretty good at the net. What can I do differently in these matches?
When that happens to me, it likely means I'm not fully engaged in the point: my partner and his CC opponent are smacking GSs back and forth and I'm standing there, not impacting the point much.

The solution is to insert yourself into the point, even if it means occasionally getting passed DTL. You want to get into the opponent's head; you want him to be unsure what you're going to do.

In order to do this successfully, you have to be prepared. The fringe benefit in your case should be that you are more than ready for these "basic volleys". The main benefit is that you will be pinching the middle and shrinking the court for your opponent.
 
#5
Sometimes when I could draw my baseliner friends into net, I'd give them a nice, juicy floater with a lot of backspin on it and watch them fail by hitting it into the net. It wouldn't matter how close they were to the net, they'd duff it 75% of the time. I think the backspin and falling trajectory messed with them.

If that's not your problem, then perhaps you just aren't being aggressive enough going after the ball. What's the difference between when you are hitting a volley as you approach the net and the one when you are already there? You are moving through the ball. Sometimes people get a little stuck in the mud when they're already at the net.
 
#6
I've experienced the same thing. For me the issue is I either rush the shot or don't keep my eye on the ball. It happens when I haven't hit any balls in the point yet. Somehow I'm not as mentally engaged in the point as i should be. Keeping my feet active helps.
 
#7
Sounds to me like when you are approaching the net you have forward momentum and don't miss but when you are at net and your partner is hitting you don't have momentum and you miss.

Stand at the net and toss a ball into the air and volley it. You will have no momentum and neither will the ball so if you figure it out you're set.

J
 
#8
“Step in” and “normal volley motion”
Most Pros start teaching by feeding the balls between elbow and shoulder high. They always include a step. This is like learning “chop sticks” on the piano.

Volleys vary wildly. Example: reflex volleys do not include stepping. Volley technique can be distilled down to: get your strings in front of the ball at the correct angle.

It sounds as if you are literally going through the volley motion. String angle could be off. Contact point too early or late. Play around with some changes. See what works. Or, take some lessons.
 
#10
It will be backspin shots that will be giving you trouble, they behave differently to topspin or flat balls. Allot of people who aren't comfortable at the net "cheat" at the volley, I am one of them. I just basically stick the racket in the way and block it. This works fine against topspin and flat balls and often fail against slice.

I have accepted I am not and never will be a great volleyer. My cheat for slice is to take as close to the net as possible and failing that, prod it over. Not proper technique, but like I said, i aint a volleyer.
 
#11
A pattern I've noticed in doubles is that I tend to miss a lot more basic volleys into the net than I do in singles. These aren't lunging, full stretch or low volleys, but just basic ones where I have plenty of time. Usually this happens when the 2 baseline players have been hitting cross court for a while and then the net man volleys towards me or even a shot from the baseline player. The volley from the opposing net player isn't a slam or anything, just a regular volley at a normal height. I don't know how to explain it, but I see the ball coming, step in, do the normal volley motion and it almost seems like slow motion as the ball goes into the net.

If it was just a couple times I'd understand it, but it happens way too often. In singles or when I'm approaching the net in doubles and volley I can volley great. Also in clinics I'm pretty good at the net. What can I do differently in these matches?
Post a video of you hitting some volleys. Maybe stand at the net and have someone at the baseline hitting groundstrokes back to you.
 
#12
This is very common. I see it frequently when I'm coaching, and (sadly) I occasionally do it myself when playing. In my experience, leaving balls in the net off of volleys results from decelerating the racket head at contact. Perhaps you could try to keep the racket face moving through the ball, past the point of contact.
Yep. This and people tend to be closer to the net in doubles than singles on average when they're volleying so balls just above the net you partially lose track of the ball (less time, net is closer to your peripheral vision and focal point) and then stand there wondering how such a seemingly straight-forward volley could have ended up in the net.
 
#13
Post a video of you hitting some volleys. Maybe stand at the net and have someone at the baseline hitting groundstrokes back to you.
If I go and work on my volleys with a coach and have him feed me volleys I'll make almost all of them. I just kind of get into a groove or something. Whereas in doubles I'm just waiting and then when the ball comes maybe I'm thinking too much about not missing and trying to guide it in place, especially if there's been a long baseline rally and I don't want to mess things up.
 
#14
When that happens to me, it likely means I'm not fully engaged in the point: my partner and his CC opponent are smacking GSs back and forth and I'm standing there, not impacting the point much.

The solution is to insert yourself into the point, even if it means occasionally getting passed DTL. You want to get into the opponent's head; you want him to be unsure what you're going to do.

In order to do this successfully, you have to be prepared. The fringe benefit in your case should be that you are more than ready for these "basic volleys". The main benefit is that you will be pinching the middle and shrinking the court for your opponent.
That could definitely be the case. A couple weeks ago I committed to poaching whenever I could (this was just practice) and I was amazed how good my volleys were. In a real match I'm much more tentative. I think maybe I'm guiding it too much and it's all arm.
 
#16
That could definitely be the case. A couple weeks ago I committed to poaching whenever I could (this was just practice) and I was amazed how good my volleys were. In a real match I'm much more tentative. I think maybe I'm guiding it too much and it's all arm.
That's a great solution: by committing to poaching, you are already in an aggressive mindset rather than a passive one. The next step is to be able to do it in matches and keep that aggression even when you're staying home.
 
#18
Are you dumping volleys into the bottom of the net or shanking them upon impact? Or are you just hitting the tape/few inches beneath the tape?

It makes sense that for most people, volleys off approach shots or poaches are easier to handle than those made standing at net.
1. An approach shot usually puts your opponent in a difficult position so the ball coming back isn't as high quality as a normal rally groundstroke.
2. You already have some forward momentum when hitting an approach shot, so you're much more prone to hitting the volley in front of your body. You're also more likely to go after the ball when you poach, which tends to keeps contact point in front.

Are you moving back and forth within your service box when your partner and the opponent at the baseline are rallying? You could try mentally tricking yourself into thinking that your partner's deep rally shots are actually your own approach shot and follow it in with an intent finish off the point if it comes anywhere close to you.
 
#21
A pattern I've noticed in doubles is that I tend to miss a lot more basic volleys into the net than I do in singles. These aren't lunging, full stretch or low volleys, but just basic ones where I have plenty of time. Usually this happens when the 2 baseline players have been hitting cross court for a while and then the net man volleys towards me or even a shot from the baseline player. The volley from the opposing net player isn't a slam or anything, just a regular volley at a normal height. I don't know how to explain it, but I see the ball coming, step in, do the normal volley motion and it almost seems like slow motion as the ball goes into the net.

If it was just a couple times I'd understand it, but it happens way too often. In singles or when I'm approaching the net in doubles and volley I can volley great. Also in clinics I'm pretty good at the net. What can I do differently in these matches?
Check your swing path. Many times in practice players do fine because they focus on making a shot/volley correctly, but when in match play their focus moves to putting a ball away/ down so their swing path follows that. So swing oath is down, elbow drops, racquet head drops, or some combination of it.

I see myself doing that in pressure play. Very different from practice.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 
#22
Are you dumping volleys into the bottom of the net or shanking them upon impact? Or are you just hitting the tape/few inches beneath the tape?

It makes sense that for most people, volleys off approach shots or poaches are easier to handle than those made standing at net.
1. An approach shot usually puts your opponent in a difficult position so the ball coming back isn't as high quality as a normal rally groundstroke.
2. You already have some forward momentum when hitting an approach shot, so you're much more prone to hitting the volley in front of your body. You're also more likely to go after the ball when you poach, which tends to keeps contact point in front.

Are you moving back and forth within your service box when your partner and the opponent at the baseline are rallying? You could try mentally tricking yourself into thinking that your partner's deep rally shots are actually your own approach shot and follow it in with an intent finish off the point if it comes anywhere close to you.
Definitely not shanking them. I'm hitting the tape/few inches beneath the tape or sometimes the middle of the net.

Usually I try to move back and forth while my partner and opponent are rallying, but don't always do the best job. I think you're right about intent. In practice I'm going after my volleys. In a match I'm trying to guide it and not miss.
 
#24
Well, let's start with the premise that, if you did everything correctly, you would not have this problem.

Next, you do not have this problem so much in practice. Most likely, then, you possess the correct knowledge and technique.

So, what is happening during an actual game?

I suspect the first guy to reply (forgot name- too lazy to look back) was correct-- and all the others for that matter. In a match you become a bit tentative, try to guide or "reflect" the ball back- rather than punch through it and asserting control over the balll.

What can you do? Go back to basics. Watch the ball, move with the ball, try to stay in possition, adjust to the height of the ball, try to reach it early, before it drops below the net, punch through the ball toward your selected spot. Think of it as practice.
 
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