Please help a confused mind on the correct volley fundamental

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by phoenicks, Jan 4, 2010.

  1. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

    Mar 5, 2008
    Hi all, my pro teach me to volley locking my elbow and wrist, in other words, hitting volley straightarm. But somehow, I saw some intruction video that also teaches a non straightarm volley, bending their elbow volleying, and I also see some ATP pro bend their elbow. SO I'm kinda confused.:confused:

    But I feel very comfortable hitting straight arm, a lot more consistent and hit a more powerful volley with it.
  2. ajjlaaks

    ajjlaaks New User

    Sep 16, 2009
    You don't always have time to move to the perfect position at the net so i'd say learn both. But generally bent arm is better because it allows for a more firm volley (your arm is much stornger with a bent elbow).

    When your pro told you to "lock" your arm, are you sure he didn't mean to just hold it firm (locking = not moving) instead of straightening it?
  3. paulfreda

    paulfreda Hall of Fame

    Oct 3, 2004
    Bangkok, Thailand
    Never take what a pro tells you as The Gospel.
    He is a coach, not God.
    Think about and try to use his advice, but try other things too and find out what works for you.
    As another poster said, why can you not have both shots in your bag of tricks ?

    If a straight arm feels better and works better too, wouldn't it be foolish
    to abandon it ?

    Tennis is a game of technique, not a science.
    It is a performing art.
    Just look at all the styles you see on both women's and men's tour.

    Trust yourself and what you discover.
    The coach is just suggesting one way.
  4. Jonny S&V

    Jonny S&V Hall of Fame

    Apr 28, 2006
    Northern MO
    Then you never learned the correct bent-arm technique. All pros that are excellent at the volley (amongst others, Taylor Dent and Radek Stepanek) hit a volley with a bent arm. Straight arm doesn't give you the stability that a straight are gives. The only time your arm shouldn't be bent is a lunge volley.
  5. LeeD

    LeeD Bionic Poster

    Dec 28, 2008
    East side of San Francisco Bay
    "locked arm is a solid unit, not always extention, no contraction".
    "straight arm", as in elbow, is for lunging volleys and easy putaways where you have time.
    When you are defensive on the volley, it comes faster than you expect and you can't get there, you bend your arm to get the racket into position. Since there is hardly ever an "ideal" volley happening in the real world of match tennis, you need BOTH arm styles to volley.
    The worst arm in volleying is the loose, noodle arm where you pivot from the shoulders, elbows, wrists, and hands. That is the LOCKED OUT arm advice coming into play.
    You can extend the elbow when you are putting away a volley, as in trying to push the racket towards your target, but it's not something you do every volley.
  6. jazzyfunkybluesy

    jazzyfunkybluesy Banned

    Oct 20, 2009
    I always have much more feel and punch on the volley with a bent arm.
  7. Steady Eddy

    Steady Eddy Hall of Fame

    Jul 19, 2007
    Good form can be exaggerated, especially by tennis instructors. What really makes a difference in volleys? Often, when people begin to learn to play the net, they take as big a backswing while at the net as they do when behind the baseline. They're up closer, have less time, and because of the backswing they can't get the racquet in position in time. Breaking this habit of taking a backswing is hard to break. Some people do better by just keeping the racquet out in front the whole time and simply blocking the ball back when volleying. Players get faster and faster and at the highest levels, some want a backswing, (hence the "swinging volley"). But that's for very advanced players, a recreational player needs to work on breaking the habit of making the big backswing. If they can do that, straight-armed or bent-armed, it won't make much of a difference.
  8. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

    Mar 5, 2008
    bent arm for a more firm volley? But my volley is more firm with straight arm, especially backhand volley, I'll hit a weak sitter, or hit into the net bending my arm.
  9. phoenicks

    phoenicks Professional

    Mar 5, 2008
    he means firm wrist and elbow, hit it straight arm.
  10. SystemicAnomaly

    SystemicAnomaly G.O.A.T.

    Feb 25, 2006
    Stuck in the Matrix somewhere in Santa Clara CA
    I generally tried to avoid hitting volleys with a straight arm. On some FH volleys, the arm will be less bent than others, bit it is rarely what I would call a straight-arm volley. At times on the BH volley, the arm straightens out somewhat at the contact or right after the contact. However, I feel that my arm is strongest on volleys when it is bent, not when it is fully extended.

    On balls out wide, I attempt to maintain a bent arm, if possible. When the arm extends to reach a wide ball, the shoulder tends to come into play and unintentionally rotates the whole arm. Quite often the shoulder will rotate the arm enough to close the racquet face on FH volleys -- the ball sometimes ends up in the net as a result. On wide balls on the BH side, and extended arm tends to rotate the amr so that the racquet face opens up too much. These shoulder rotations can be suppressed, but it does take a bit of effort/practice.
  11. Cindysphinx

    Cindysphinx G.O.A.T.

    Aug 31, 2006
    ^Ditto this.

    It was explained to me that you want a bent elbow and firm wrist with racket head up. One key to a solid, powerful volley is to be close to the ball. If you are far from the ball, you have to reach for it and cannot extend your arm through and transfer your weight into the ball.

    So bent elbow, footwork to bring yourself close to the ball, extend arm as you punch. No reaching except in extreme and unavoidable emergencies.

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