If more than 75% of rec tennis is doubles...

Dan Huben

Semi-Pro
I've searched YouTube for jolly volley loblollies but only found #domination# tennis strokes

Sent from my SM-T830 using Tapatalk
 

texacali

Rookie
Not sure if you all see this a lot, but folks consistently taking volleys between the baseline and service line. I have seen this in my area quite a bit and always though it was weird. But I did notice it was mostly older players (where I will be soon) who may have mobility issues. Don't want to run back for lobs and don't want to rush the net. Kinda a non-committal defensive position.
 

chic

Rookie
Not sure if you all see this a lot, but folks consistently taking volleys between the baseline and service line. I have seen this in my area quite a bit and always though it was weird. But I did notice it was mostly older players (where I will be soon) who may have mobility issues. Don't want to run back for lobs and don't want to rush the net. Kinda a non-committal defensive position.
I understand the guys taking volleys in weird spots because of mobility, but this guy's tend to end up being some of the better volleyers because they're forced to learn how to hit a ton of weird out of position shots of they aren't gonna play 2 back.

But my eternal frustration is they guys in the park I play with (almost all ~4.0 if they were to get rated) who never split step. They're mostly 40-60 and in decent shape but the netplay is comical because they're all committed to it, but no one wants to listen to little old millenial me about footwork -_-
 

texacali

Rookie
What I have seen is dangerous about the mid-court volleying is it appears some of those look like they would probably be out if not intercepted in that mid area. I also was a fill in practice player with some women players working with their teacher and he actually espoused this tactic for play.
 

chic

Rookie
What I have seen is dangerous about the mid-court volleying is it appears some of those look like they would probably be out if not intercepted in that mid area. I also was a fill in practice player with some women players working with their teacher and he actually espoused this tactic for play.
Yeah the guys I know who do this definitely save a lot of out balls because it's hard to tell. But they're either 65+ and have those S&V era hands or have old leg injuries and have had to learn to play that part of the court. But on the flip side they win plenty of points off crazy atypical pick ups.

Espousing it in general is definitely bad, but given how the women's game is played at some age divisions/ levels I can understand why it works. I've seen plenty of women who mainly moonball and never try for a passing shot, in that case being mid court sets you up to volley/overhead.
 

xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
If you're consistent enough to practice your volleys against a wall effectively, then you probably don't need that much work on your volleys. It's kind of a catch 22.
Not true. I'm weak at practicing volleys with the wall (hoping that'll change with more practice), and I'm fairly proficient at net. I know someone that's solid at practicing volleys with the wall, but isn't nearly as good at net as I am.

I'm really good at reflexively putting a racket on the ball and blocking/absorbing pace. I also have very aggressive positioning and footwork when I'm actually in a position to finish the point. None of those skills really translate well with the wall. Positioning aggressively and moving forward only makes the practice harder. Reflexively blocking the ball doesn't really keep a rally going, since you need to keep putting at least a little punch to keep the volleys coming. If there was a good way to be able to hit volleys with your body and footwork rather than your hands, I'd probably be a lot better at it. Maybe it's possible, but I don't know how.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Why do the majority of USTA players have such weak volleys compared to the rest of their game?

I probably know 5 people who's volley is the best part of their game, from 3.0-5.5+.

J
Because most are impressed with big serves and forehands, Watch them the next time you see some out practicing. They are either hitting serves or they are hitting massive ground strokes with their partner. Wife and I went out to practice yesterday for a tourney this week....we never left the service box except to work on returning short balls. I have a very low tolerance for hitting ground strokes in doubles now. On a rare occasion some guy is kicking the ball up so high you just have to lob the return or whatever, but most of the time...I'm hitting the return and coming straight in. Anything more than two ground strokes is a waste of time.
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Yeah, and also, even if you do find a way to volley against the wall, or find a practice partner willing to do volleys, you usually still only end up practicing 'control' volleys rather than 'put away' volleys. To practice put aways you need a basket of balls and someone willing to just feed.
yea, but hell...most can't even volley...and the wall is a perfect place to practice volleys. You don't have to put them away in most cases because most can't even volley more than two balls back. If you hit one to the right shoulder and one to the left shoulder, you will get the point with many people. I don't understand why you think you can't volley against the wall. I've done it when wife can't practice...it works very well. actually better because the wall is undefeated.lol Everything is coming back...if you can keep say 6 going off the wall...you will win most of the time with people.lol
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
Agreed.
It's not natural to spend 45min working on volleys. Yet they are what separates ok doubles players from really good doubles players. Realistically, I suppose in USTA, you can have one awesome net player and one really good baseliner and do very well.

The only way I improved my volleys was to actually work on them. And to do it correctly with footwork. I'd be dripping with sweat more from practicing volleys than groundstrokes.
I worked on my net and volleying specifically because I didn't want to beef up my serve.lol I've been very successful at mixed and men's as high as 4.5 because at the end of the day, he/she who comes to the net is going to control the match. If a good net player and base liner run up against two net players, the net players are going to win most of the time.
 
Everything is coming back...if you can keep say 6 going off the wall...you will win most of the time with people.lol
I've found that when I get into a defensive reflex volley rally, when, say, the opposing net man poaches and volleys it at me, if I can get 3 back, I can reset the point or perhaps even take the offensive. The problem is that I often can only get one back.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I've found that when I get into a defensive reflex volley rally, when, say, the opposing net man poaches and volleys it at me, if I can get 3 back, I can reset the point or perhaps even take the offensive. The problem is that I often can only get one back.
Who TF hits 3 consecutive reflex volleys?

I probably do that once a month.

J
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
That's because your footwork and preparation is good enough that you're not relying on reflexes to hit the ball at the net :-D
You are too kind.

In real life I probably clonk the second one off my frame into the bottom of the net.

J
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
I've found that when I get into a defensive reflex volley rally, when, say, the opposing net man poaches and volleys it at me, if I can get 3 back, I can reset the point or perhaps even take the offensive. The problem is that I often can only get one back.
We all lose our share of reflex volleys. The main point is just try to win the normal volleys. Also if someone is serving to your partner, you really should be facing the person at the net. The biggest mistake most people make is they are facing the server and they are no threat to you at that moment as they are serving to your partner...so some so called reflex volleys are really normal volleys that feel like reflex volleys because you are turned the wrong way. :)
 

Chalkdust

New User
yea, but hell...most can't even volley...and the wall is a perfect place to practice volleys. You don't have to put them away in most cases because most can't even volley more than two balls back. If you hit one to the right shoulder and one to the left shoulder, you will get the point with many people. I don't understand why you think you can't volley against the wall. I've done it when wife can't practice...it works very well. actually better because the wall is undefeated.lol Everything is coming back...if you can keep say 6 going off the wall...you will win most of the time with people.lol
What I mean is, when you have a volley that should be a put away, but instead is hit as a 'control' volley back to the other team, it gives them an opportunity to win the point that should already be yours.

Here's a common example: Server hits a good serve, returner hits a weak return to the server's partner at net, server's partner makes the volley but right back to the returner. Now the other team are still in the point and it's frustrating if you end up losing it because it should have been a quick easy point.

You can practice those control volleys against the wall and obviously that's better than nothing, but most of us don't ever practice aggressive put away volleys.
 

tonylg

Professional
If you can make a control volley coming at pace below knee height, you'll be fine with a shoulder high put away.
 

Chalkdust

New User
If you can make a control volley coming at pace below knee height, you'll be fine with a shoulder high put away.
What do you mean by 'fine'. Sure, if you can handle low volleys you are unlikely to miss high ones when just attempting to control them. But we have all seen people overhit high volleys when trying to put them away, or not get enough behind them and giving the other team another bite at the point, or not placing it where it needs to be to put it away.
 

chic

Rookie
What I mean is, when you have a volley that should be a put away, but instead is hit as a 'control' volley back to the other team, it gives them an opportunity to win the point that should already be yours.

Here's a common example: Server hits a good serve, returner hits a weak return to the server's partner at net, server's partner makes the volley but right back to the returner. Now the other team are still in the point and it's frustrating if you end up losing it because it should have been a quick easy point.

You can practice those control volleys against the wall and obviously that's better than nothing, but most of us don't ever practice aggressive put away volleys.
Idk I was always told that best praxis was to put the first one deep at their feet then put the second away if I wasn't comfortable that I could 100% put the first away. Putting the ball over the net is always more important than putting it away at least up through 4.0.

My experience with rec players is that they tend to go for too much too soon, lose the percentage game, then only remember the sexy out aways that worked out and refused to acknowledge the play they had on the ≥⅔ of the ballots that went out wide or in the net.
 

Chalkdust

New User
Idk I was always told that best praxis was to put the first one deep at their feet then put the second away if I wasn't comfortable that I could 100% put the first away. Putting the ball over the net is always more important than putting it away at least up through 4.0.

My experience with rec players is that they tend to go for too much too soon, lose the percentage game, then only remember the sexy out aways that worked out and refused to acknowledge the play they had on the ≥⅔ of the ballots that went out wide or in the net.
That's absolutely true, given the scenario that you are working your way up to the net, or that the first volley is challenging. Put it deep at their feet, close the net, and put the next one away.

What I'm talking about is the next one! Or a scenario where the server's partner gets an easy first volley off a good serve. Who actually practices those put-away volleys other than when actually playing out points?
 

chic

Rookie
That's absolutely true, given the scenario that you are working your way up to the net, or that the first volley is challenging. Put it deep at their feet, close the net, and put the next one away.

What I'm talking about is the next one! Or a scenario where the server's partner gets an easy first volley off a good serve. Who actually practices those put-away volleys other than when actually playing out points?
Ok, that makes more sense. I've played with more than one rec player who gets frustrated that I put potential winners deep, even if I win the next shot. But they don't split step and often don't turn sideways for volleys and don't understand the subtly of having good footwork :laughing:
 

chatt_town

Hall of Fame
What I mean is, when you have a volley that should be a put away, but instead is hit as a 'control' volley back to the other team, it gives them an opportunity to win the point that should already be yours.

Here's a common example: Server hits a good serve, returner hits a weak return to the server's partner at net, server's partner makes the volley but right back to the returner. Now the other team are still in the point and it's frustrating if you end up losing it because it should have been a quick easy point.

You can practice those control volleys against the wall and obviously that's better than nothing, but most of us don't ever practice aggressive put away volleys.
That's true what you are saying, but wouldn't you agree that you must learn to volley before you can even learn to put a way a volley? Again, I'm not suggesting not work on that but you can't put one away if you can't first learn how to volley instead.
 

Chalkdust

New User
That's true what you are saying, but wouldn't you agree that you must learn to volley before you can even learn to put a way a volley? Again, I'm not suggesting not work on that but you can't put one away if you can't first learn how to volley instead.
Sure, agree with you there!

Unrelated, but funny things I see playing social tennis with people who can't volley:

The guy who has zero volley technique but who parks himself at the net and jabs away at balls. Mostly leading to errors, but once in a while he makes a winner drop volley off a shank, and then gets this look of "yeah, I totally meant to do that!"

The guy who is so scared of the net that he stays back when his partner is serving. This happened to me the other day... now I have a pretty good serve (above average for my level 4.5), and here I am serving and the guy is at the baseline. Just weird.

Then on the other hand I see people who have no groundstrokes and no technique but good hands and good reflexes, who basically crash the net at all times and end up being more of a challenge than would initially appear.
 

chic

Rookie
Sure, agree with you there!

Unrelated, but funny things I see playing social tennis with people who can't volley:

The guy who has zero volley technique but who parks himself at the net and jabs away at balls. Mostly leading to errors, but once in a while he makes a winner drop volley off a shank, and then gets this look of "yeah, I totally meant to do that!"

The guy who is so scared of the net that he stays back when his partner is serving. This happened to me the other day... now I have a pretty good serve (above average for my level 4.5), and here I am serving and the guy is at the baseline. Just weird.

Then on the other hand I see people who have no groundstrokes and no technique but good hands and good reflexes, who basically crash the net at all times and end up being more of a challenge than would initially appear.
The last type is definitely what I'm talking about haha. One guy in particular is in his 50s but played shortstop and has that reaction time. Puts away some really good balls, but had yet to realize how exploitable he is once you figure him out. Also tends to leave his partner open with unplanned poaches on balls he can get to and not put away
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Why do the majority of USTA players have such weak volleys compared to the rest of their game?

I probably know 5 people who's volley is the best part of their game, from 3.0-5.5+.

J
I think because it takes much longer to progress when building an all-court game with all-court skills so most people just focus on baseline play.
 

heninfan99

Talk Tennis Guru
Yeah, and also, even if you do find a way to volley against the wall, or find a practice partner willing to do volleys, you usually still only end up practicing 'control' volleys rather than 'put away' volleys. To practice put aways you need a basket of balls and someone willing to just feed.
you can practice put away volleys on a wall if the area is fenced in, it's tedious though, you can do four or five reaction volleys and then finish with a put away.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
From my observations the quality of the volley itself is one thing, the knowledge of how to place it and where is another and more important thing.

Plenty of people can have a great volley technique-wise (proper grip, crisp, slight slice/underspin, keep it low, etc.)

BUT

They volley to the wrong place ... e.g. directly back to the baseliner, hit behind themselves on a poach (opening up entire court), hit to the T when opponent still has a player on baseline.

OR

They do not react correctly after their volley ... they don't follow the ball, they aren't prepared for if the ball comes back (lowered racquet, didn't split) so they aren't in position to finish the point on the 2nd volley/overhead

In my mind those with poor volley technique but good placement / shot-selection and post-volley positioning/preparation are far more successful than those with simply good technique.

Being a "good volleyer" is much more than the skill of the volley technique itself.
 

OnTheLine

Hall of Fame
It's 75% not being afraid and 25% everything else.

J
Fear comes from being in a situation where we don't know what to do.
Therefore, I would phrase it differently .....
Knowing how to position is what makes us unafraid, Knowing what to do with the ball makes us confident. Knowing how to volley (technique) makes us dangerous.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Fear comes from being in a situation where we don't know what to do.
Therefore, I would phrase it differently .....
Knowing how to position is what makes us unafraid, Knowing what to do with the ball makes us confident. Knowing how to volley (technique) makes us dangerous.
That's the great thing about the internet, you get to phrase things how you want, I get to phrase things how I want and everyone else gets to pick who they listen to.

J
 
Knowing how to position is what makes us unafraid,
I know people who, even if they are in the optimal position, are still afraid of getting passed. They worry about that 15-20% that they can't cover rather than the 80-85% that they can.

I give up the 15-20%; if my opponent can hit it, I say "great shot"; I also think "let's see you do that all match long". If I'm going to win, I need to do well with the 80-85%.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I know people who, even if they are in the optimal position, are still afraid of getting passed. They worry about that 15-20% that they can't cover rather than the 80-85% that they can.

I give up the 15-20%; if my opponent can hit it, I say "great shot"; I also think "let's see you do that all match long". If I'm going to win, I need to do well with the 80-85%.
If you find something that works 55% of the time, do it every time.

J
 

CHtennis

Rookie
If you find something that works 55% of the time, do it every time.

J
This feels like an Anchorman quote but also very good advice.

A lot of times people get frustrated when they lose points but dont realize they are playing an advantageous pattern that they are winning 6 out of 10 of those points but then lose 2 points of that pattern in a row and change because of frustration.
 
This feels like an Anchorman quote but also very good advice.

A lot of times people get frustrated when they lose points but dont realize they are playing an advantageous pattern that they are winning 6 out of 10 of those points but then lose 2 points of that pattern in a row and change because of frustration.
No better demonstration of this than when a net player tries to pinch/poach and gets burned DTL once after winning the previous 7 points: what does the partner say? Not "no worries! Keep being aggressive! We're killing them with this strategy!". More like "stay on your side, will ya?"
 

chic

Rookie
No better demonstration of this than when a net player tries to pinch/poach and gets burned DTL once after winning the previous 7 points: what does the partner say? Not "no worries! Keep being aggressive! We're killing them with this strategy!". More like "stay on your side, will ya?"
This is the bane of my existence in park tennis
 

dblsplayer

Rookie
I
one tip: the number 1 weakness in volley technique is too big of a swing. Don't take the racket back at all and stop your follow through so you get the feeling of staying behind the ball. I see very good baseline players that take the racket head behind their shoulders and almost always late or making off center contact. The other error is players take a long follow thru trying to hit the ball hard or trying to put underspin on the shot. Your basic meat and potatoes volley should be very very compact - no take back and shorten the follow threw so strings are staying behind contact.
I like to tell newbies to use the high five technique, hand out in front and compact forward movement.
 

texacali

Rookie
I sort of wonder if net game is not good because rec players who use the "Frying Pan" grip for serve use it for volleying also? I was theorizing that it's hard to do a put away volley (or even a regular volley) with that grip vs. a continental because you can't really get the wrist involved in the shot. Is that just me? For sure this applied to overheads also.
 
Top