I'm scared to volley

Jessica

Rookie
I can't find the sweetspot on volleys for some reason, and I constantly frame my shots. Maybe I'm swinging too much or not enough or maybe I'm not relaxed enough. Are there good drills to improve my volleying?

also, my backhand volley isn't very stable. should I switch to a 2 hander backhand volley?
 

150mph_

Semi-Pro
im scared to volley too.
mainly because people have ripped too many forehands at me while playing doubles and ive gotten nailed way too many times...
 

Mick

Legend
play more doubles. when you have had enough practice, people will not drill the ball at you anymore because they know you'll put those balls away.
 
just stick the racket out and use the step forward, the punch, and the pace of ur opponents ball.
--I agree, This is very useful.. dont try to swing so much as just stick it
Are there good drills to improve my volleying?
QUOTE]
--Find someone to lob balls for you (someone who can work on their lobs) Start with volleys close to the net and as you feel more comfortable work your way back... Remeber to keep your eye on the ball at contact.
 

BU-Tennis

Semi-Pro
There are plenty of strokes in tennis where you can you less then perfect technique, serve, forehand, backhand, and be able to rally for a bit. But when it comes to the volley, you have to be pretty solid in your form to be able to hit any ball that has pace on it.

The best thing to do is first practice correctly pivoting. Your shoulders and hips should become perpendicular to the net. This makes it much easier to get the racquet setup behind the ball. Then you just need a little movement of the racquet forward to make contact. This should help you with framing shots. Just work on hitting the center of the racquet with the pivot, but don't worry about if the ball pops up or goes long, you have to understand where your racquet needs to be and then worry about manipulating the angle and spin applied at contact (although at least try to get the ball to go over the net).

Once you are able to consistently make contact in the center of the racket and have the pivot-shoulder turn down, then you can start trying to apply some power. Remember, the total movement of the arm should be between 1.5 and 2 feet at first making sure to stop about 6 or so inches after contact to ensure you can still hit in the center.

Master the last step and then you should be a pretty good volleyer able to apply some power when needed and consistently block back harder hit balls. Now, to add power on those floating balls that don't have much pace you need to take a larger swing, but mainly follow through further not take the racket back further, making sure to keep the racquet behind the path of the incoming ball through contact. Also, you should be trying to step forward with your front foot during the shot, it should actually be off the ground when you make contact. Tons of people have trouble stepping into the volley, so try a drill where a ball is fed to you and you have to pivot and as you hit the ball pick your front foot up early and lean forward and then finish the step, this will give you the feeling of hitting with your foot in the air and to understand the correct angle of the body.

Kind of a long post but i believe, especially at the highschool, college, and club level that if you are able to volley with any type of authority then you have an edge over the opponent and can apply pressure to almost anyone. Other than the basics of all strokes, the volley, excluding the serve, should be worked on more than the others because people are not comfortable passing these days because they don't have too. Usually you don't even have to hit a volley because they try to do too much with the shot.
 
J

Jdavid

Guest
I can't find the sweetspot on volleys for some reason, and I constantly frame my shots. Maybe I'm swinging too much or not enough or maybe I'm not relaxed enough. Are there good drills to improve my volleying?

also, my backhand volley isn't very stable. should I switch to a 2 hander backhand volley?
I recently had this very same problem. I tried several technique fixes but what really worked was some very simple advice. I was hitting with a friend of mine who happens to be a very good volleyer, and while I was at net he noticed that I was consistently taking my eye off the ball and looking at the spot where I was going to hit it rather than watching the ball all the way to the strings which is why I was shanking so many.

He told me to just decide where I was going to hit the volley and focus on the ball all the way through contact. I started to do so and it's literally made a huge difference. Restored confidence in my volleys and drastically reduced my mis-hit rate.

It's not fancy advice but should be a simple thing to try out.
 

hondas2k

Rookie
and to get better, you would have to practice every single day. you can't just practice one of two days out the week and expect to become a better volleyer :)
step forward when you at the net...practice does help you but always remember its all about footwork. if you dont move forward, thats when you always get scared.

WORK on your FOOTWORK!
 

Jessica

Rookie
I feel more comfortable using peculiar grips for my volleys
forehand I use a grip between continental and eastern
on backhands, I use the same grip, except I also use my left hand to add stability. Is this a bad idea? Should I switch to pure continental on both sides?
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
Jessica, post a video of you hitting serves, volleys, and groundstrokes.
You were just trying to see if she is a hottie be honest.:)


as for volleying. It starts with the feet. learning proper footwork is critical to volleys. Learn to step and attack the ball. You need to be active with your feet to be a good volleyer.
On top of that always have your racket up and in front of you. No matter what the racket stays in front of your body when vollying. Even when you go to volley just simply turn a little to the side its coming and let your body go forward. You do not need to swing at the ball.
 

phucng_10

Professional
I was in your shoes for a little while until I overcame my fears. What happened when I volleyed for the first time was a ball right to my... yes, that's where it went. Got scared for a little while until just about a month or 2 ago when I started running up and volleying for my point.

I don't really have a good volley, but I can get the point if I start making my opponent run for the ball once I'm up at net. Just remember to pivot and punch the ball. Sometimes tapping will be necessary but I wouldn't recommend tapping the ball too much.
 

GuyClinch

Legend
Problem i have with volleying is getting that extra stick on them to put them away in doubles. I tend to volley right back to people...
 

scraps234

Hall of Fame
im scared to volley too.
mainly because people have ripped too many forehands at me while playing doubles and ive gotten nailed way too many times...
i know this happened to me and then later i saw some guy got pegged in the eye and had to quit the match
 

plasma

Banned
Hi Jessica,
Yes your stroke is too long. Practice split steps, crossover steps and volleys in the air every night and keep the racquet in fornt of the body...try it...no in front of the body Jessica,
that's better,
you can also volley against a wall. The Jessica I coach already knows this...
 

Cenc

Hall of Fame
well u should look at the ball all the time and hit it in front of you and put all your weight forward onto the ball
also are you sure u dont make big swing when volleying?
btw watch bollettieris video about net play, its a very good material
 

Power Player

Talk Tennis Guru
I can't find the sweetspot on volleys for some reason, and I constantly frame my shots. Maybe I'm swinging too much or not enough or maybe I'm not relaxed enough. Are there good drills to improve my volleying?
I'll bet that you are taking your eye off the ball. That is the first thing you have to focus on. It is very very easy to get in this bad habit.
 

150mph_

Semi-Pro
I'll bet that you are taking your eye off the ball. That is the first thing you have to focus on. It is very very easy to get in this bad habit.
the ball comes at you so fast when you are at net especially for doubles because people are just ripping at you or past you full swing from the baseline
 

eagle

Hall of Fame
Oh god... I guess someone had to say it!

What do people like you tell wheelchair players?
They tell folks to work on footwork because you have to be in a good position and on balance to hit a proper stroke.

So, no pun intended, but if not footwork then "wheelwork" for wheelchair players. You still have to get to the ball to properly hit the ball.

As far as working on volleys for the OP .... practice, practice, practice. Devote a good amount of practice time (maybe 30 minutes) with your partner working on volleys. Stand in the middle of the service box and on the service line and not on top of the net.

r,
eagle
 
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tennisdad65

Hall of Fame
if you are scared to volley in a match or in doubles,
1) practice against the wall a lot.. nothing can scare you here :)
2) also practice a LOT of volleys in your rallying practice (atleast 15 minutes up there). Most guys rally for 1-2 hours and then go up to the net for 3-5 minutes, for volleys and overheads.
 

maverick66

Hall of Fame
Oh god... I guess someone had to say it!

What do people like you tell wheelchair players?
If they had working legs they would use them. Footwork is extremely important in tennis. What would you tell a newbie just to stand there and wait for the ball so they have undue a bad habit down the road. If they can understand the footwork involved that can improve along with everything else.
 

Cindysphinx

G.O.A.T.
I dunno, I love to volley. Love it, love it, love it. Ah, the feeling of power when you can zing the ball past an opponent or rush them by taking away their time . . . .

Anyway, if you want to volley, you have to be taught properly and then you have to practice. A lot.

And um . . .

:glances nervously around room:

You'll do a lot better in the long run (especially on high volleys, body shots and approach volleys) if you learn to do a 1HBH volley now rather than learning 2HBH volley and then having to change.
 

Rui

Semi-Pro
I can't find the sweetspot on volleys for some reason, and I constantly frame my shots. Maybe I'm swinging too much or not enough or maybe I'm not relaxed enough. Are there good drills to improve my volleying?
Learning grips, pivoting, steping, punching, etc. will work after months/years of practice.
To hurry things up, determine whether you will be hitting a forehand or backhand. First, put your racket head parallel to the net. Now, move it in front of the ball. (This usually entails footwork.) Bend forward to put your head more level with your frame, if you can. If the ball is ripping at you, you're ready to volley, just aim. If the ball is slower, then step and small punch. And don't grip too hard.
 
If they had working legs they would use them. Footwork is extremely important in tennis. What would you tell a newbie just to stand there and wait for the ball so they have undue a bad habit down the road. If they can understand the footwork involved that can improve along with everything else.
I'm not saying foot work isnt important, I'm just saying it does solve every problem. It's like someone goes around once a day and types work on your footwork on every post. You can have bad foot work and work the racquet and make a good shot. You cant have good foot work and not work the racquet and make a good shot. So why not start at the point of contact with the ball and work down to the feet instead of starting at the feet and start working up. ?
 

150mph_

Semi-Pro
I'm not saying foot work isnt important, I'm just saying it does solve every problem. It's like someone goes around once a day and types work on your footwork on every post. You can have bad foot work and work the racquet and make a good shot. You cant have good foot work and not work the racquet and make a good shot. So why not start at the point of contact with the ball and work down to the feet instead of starting at the feet and start working up. ?
well footwork and 'just get to the ball' was how i learned tennis... not necessarily technique (initially at least)
 

atennisrand

Banned
im scared to volley too.
mainly because people have ripped too many forehands at me while playing doubles and ive gotten nailed way too many times...
Tennis balls don't hurt much and for very long when you are hit with them, be confident and make your presence felt at the net by the opponents by making them feel scared, make crosses and hit the ball at them for a change.

Practice, practice, practice.
 

eagle

Hall of Fame
Hi Seth,

There are no absolutes of course. Each person has their own way and rate of learning. Folks including myself however place a lot of importance to footwork as already mentioned because having the perfect stroke doesn't mean much if you're not in a position to hit the ball properly.

Arthur Ashe once said that if given a choice of two proteges, one with excellent strokes and one with superb footwork, he'd take the one with fleet feet. In not so many words, he said strokes are easier to develop than footwork.

I love watching players like Fed and Davydenko who get to the ball so fast that they appear to have all day to set up and hit the ball.

I'm well over 40 with good strokes on both wings. Still working on my footwork though. :(

2 cents.

r,
eagle
 
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GuyClinch

Legend
Arthur Ashe once said that if given a choice of two proteges, one with excellent strokes and one with superb footwork, he'd take the one with fleet feet. In not so many words, he said strokes are easier to develop than footwork.
Meh. I too think footwork is thrown around too much as some cure all - without even talking about what's wrong with said footwork.

Some pro players have noticeably inferior footwork - namely Linsday Davenport and Sharapova. I am not saying they don't have any footwork but clearly they didn't have fast feet (and Sharapova in fact will make footwork mistakes especially on clay).

So while ashe might have preferred a guy with fast feet - plenty of bigger stronger players use that instead of quickness.
 

150mph_

Semi-Pro
Meh. I too think footwork is thrown around too much as some cure all - without even talking about what's wrong with said footwork.

Some pro players have noticeably inferior footwork - namely Linsday Davenport and Sharapova. I am not saying they don't have any footwork but clearly they didn't have fast feet (and Sharapova in fact will make footwork mistakes especially on clay).

So while ashe might have preferred a guy with fast feet - plenty of bigger stronger players use that instead of quickness.
you need to get to the ball first and then have the shot you want set up correctly to be truly effective.
can pull something out of your ass once in a while? sure. can you pull something out of your ass consistently? no
like nadal's footwork is absolutely ridiculous, the amount of quick adjustments he makes with his feet make your eyes dazzle.
 

In D Zone

Hall of Fame
Practice the volley shots with drills. There is nothing better than logging more hours practicing volleys. It like riding a bike the more you do it you'll build more confidence.

Incorporate the drills to your regular practice. You can work a variety of drills on volley.
- classic volley: net to net practice. have you and your partner stand in the middle of the court close to the net. Don't hit hard, focus of split step and your forward movement to volley.

- moving volley. both players stand close to the net but at the end close to the post. players would volley the ball while moving sideways towards opposite end of the post.

-criscross volley. players stand close to the net but on opposite side (cross court). practice volley to drive the ball cross court.

- setting up for volley. player stand behind the service line to volley the first shot and then move into the net for the next volley.

- approach and volley. player stand at the baseline, ball is fed short. Players would hit a soft approach shot, then start working into the net to volley.

- standard volley drill with the partner hitting from the baseline.
 
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