The first step is admitting I have a problem...

What Kevin mentions appears to me to be what Federer is doing and they are both slicing. What are you seeing and what "very different than what KG suggests"?
Kevin doesn't SAY anything about slicing. He makes a slight slice when he actually has to hit the volley. And this seems to happen a lot with these coaching videos. When they demonstrate the shot with a ball, they hit it the right way but they say something else. Even the takeback is a little different between when he is breaking down the shot with instruction and when he actually hits a volley.
 
OK, so you ARE hard on yourself. The volley you hit was still pretty good. Never easy making volleys on the run, harder still when you are hitting it from well below the net. The only advice I would give there is to open the face more and let it form a slice. As it happened, you were kinda pushing at the ball. I am guessing the face was still open enough to get it over the net, but the real danger was indeed that you could have netted the volley and less that you couldn't get a fine enough angle on it. An open face should solve both problems. Not too open, you don't want your racquet to turn into a sort of pan where the ball lands nicely like an egg. Just open enough to give it elevation to get over the net. With that open face, when you drive through, it will naturally imitate the shape of a slice. You would then find you are able to cut harder on your volleys and make them skid with underspin. That feeling of slicing should also give you enough control to decide whether you want to drive through and hit a deep, fast volley or use soft hands to get it to land just over the net. Henman-like, if you will.
On that 4:50 volley in the vid, I didn’t feel like my hands were solid/firm enough to have good depth control. Too much passive block and not enough deliberate stick.
 
Kevin is suggesting aligning the elbow joint so that the plane of motion of the joint is more perpendicular to the racquetface. His idea is that this allows you to add power by extending the elbow into the ball.

Fed’s elbow, and Bob Bryan’s elbow as well, is always aligned so that the plane of motion of the joint is parallel to the racquetface. Big difference - in fact it’s the opposite of what Kevin is saying to do. This technique (shown very clearly in the BB vid posted by Jolly) effectively removes the elbow joint degree of freedom from the shot, which seems like it should favor enhanced control.

It’s analogous to how using a continental grip removes the wrist joint degree of freedom on the forehand volley (vs an eastern fh grip). You lose the wrist as a power source, but you gain in enhanced depth control.
Could you point out the time of the video where he suggests that? Quote of what he said? I did not pick that up.
 
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On that 4:50 volley in the vid, I didn’t feel like my hands were solid/firm enough to have good depth control. Too much passive block and not enough deliberate stick.
Maintain an open face, allowing the ball to land into the stringbed like a basketball hoop and lean forward and 'hit' with the body. It's the body momentum that's going to produce whatever power you want on the volley. You don't produce it by any exaggerated movement of the racquet itself. If it feels like a block, it's not necessarily a bad thing at all. You do need a tight grip on the volley to make sure that the racquet doesn't move on contact, which possibly may have given you that feeling of loss of control you describe.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
You did not agree with what Kevin had to say.

How does Federer's volley technique compare to Kevin's comments? I'd say Federer straightens his elbow and his upper hitting arm is elevated at an angle that could be functioning for control.

Paes volleys interesting also.
You mean how Federer finishes 90% of the volleys with the tip of his racquet pointing at the ground? The exact opposite of what Kevin says to do.

He is volleying off a ball machine and it looks like trash. That should be a clue.

J
 
You mean how Federer finishes 90% of the volleys with the tip of his racquet pointing at the ground? The exact opposite of what Kevin says to do.

He is volleying off a ball machine and it looks like trash. That should be a clue.

J
Am I mistaken or was Fed actually late on that very first volley that he takes in what looks like a very awkward way at around or above shoulder?
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
At 4:50 in this vid is an example of my flawed technique and the commonly encountered situation that causes me issues.

I hit a serve from the ad side, not intending to serve-and-volley, but when I see that my serve has forced a weak crosscourt slice floater reply, I charge forward to intercept it out of the air. I meet the ball thigh high, but maybe too close to my body (maybe I should be less bent forward at waist and with my butt lower so that I can reach further out front?).

My resulting volley is good enough to win the point, but it was not the volley I intended. I was intending to hit near the side T, which would have likely been clean winner. Instead I overcooked it longer than intended near the deep corner, which gave @MaxTennis a decent play on the ball. I recall thinking at the time that my volley was shaky and flimsy, and that I got lucky the ball still went in.

Same shot as the first point in my video?


J
 
Same shot as the first point in my video?


J
Similar location on the court. Difference is that it looks like your serve-and-volley was premeditated, so you were already close to the service line when you split-stepped. I’m actually more comfortable in that situation. It’s the other common situation where I’m racing forward to reach a weak reply that causes me grief. Earlier in the same game, I bricked one badly into the net after the bounce in the same situation where I’m late reacting and charging forward on the point where Max executes the tweener several shots before. I was thinking too much about the potential for getting posterized by losing a tweener point that I couldn’t concentrate on the shot.
 
This video is showing more shoulder motion and less elbow motion that the Federer volleys. On shots that are more to the side the elbow can still be seen to extend but there is more shoulder motion.

Fuzzy Yellow Balls video.

On the video above Leander Paes had more shoulder motion also.

Some of these volleys might be more jamming incoming balls than Federer's practice.

I'd say that there are at least 3 volley techniques and maybe 4.

Federer
Murray
Paes, can't see arm.
? Bryan (more abbreviated minimal motion, close up practice?)

I would guess that the elbow extending volley might add more pace to a non-pressuring incoming ball. ?
 
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user92626

Legend
You do it on every shot, hit and relax.

The volley you grip tighter for more brace. Groundies you need looser to get the wrist action. Heavy defense though, i tighten it up like a volley. Helps on big serve returns as well.

If your racket gets pushed back, the ball doesnt go to the right place. Against most big shots, deflection is enough since they provided the power.
Are you trying to liken it to ground stroke shots, ie we're supposed to do that with ground stroke shots, too?

I really don't do this "squeeze, relax, squeeze, relax" thing with my ground strokes. I do not see any problems with my ground strokes. This would be a new concept / technique for me to try.

I think it was coach Bill Bungalo, who was very knowledgeable and someone I respected, who said you were supposed to hold the racket as loosely as you hold a small sparrow or an egg (through out the swing). I don't exactly know how hard to hold the handle, but I don't feel any pressure, and never have any problem.
 
This video is showing more shoulder motion and less elbow motion that the Federer volleys. On shots that are more to the side the elbow can still be seen to extend but there is more shoulder motion.

Fuzzy Yellow Balls video.

On the Leander Paes had more shoulder motion also.

Some of these volleys might be more jamming incoming balls than Federer's practice.

I'd say that there are at least 3 volley techniques.

Federer
Murray
Paes &? Bryan

I would say that the elbow extending volley might add more pace to a non pressuring incoming ball. ?
On the nonpressuring incoming balls, Fed gets his elbow fully extended and well out in front at contact. I think this adds control and maybe pace by locking the elbow. But it’s not the elbow extension per se that adds pace, unlike in the KG vid.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
This video is showing more shoulder motion and less elbow motion that the Federer volleys. On shots that are more to the side the elbow can still be seen to extend but there is more shoulder motion.

Fuzzy Yellow Balls video.

On the video above Leander Paes had more shoulder motion also.

Some of these volleys might be more jamming incoming balls than Federer's practice.

I'd say that there are at least 3 volley techniques and maybe 4.

Federer
Murray
Paes, can't see arm.
? Bryan (more abbreviated minimal motion, close up practice?)

I would guess that the elbow extending volley might add more pace to a non-pressuring incoming ball. ?
Why don't you look at what is the same between them instead of what is different?

J
 

user92626

Legend
You mean how Federer finishes 90% of the volleys with the tip of his racquet pointing at the ground? The exact opposite of what Kevin says to do.

He is volleying off a ball machine and it looks like trash. That should be a clue.

J
Jolly,

Even if @Chas Tennis is wrong, he does put forth a coherent argument while you seem a bit arrogant.

I understand that Chas is referring to the technique that uses a lot of Elbow movement and he backs that up with Federer evidence. Chas also acknowledges that there maybe different techniques -- the other one being the "shoulder action" one. But I haven't seen you refute Federer technique with credible response other than ..."the tip of his racquet pointing at the ground" (!!?)
 

Dou

Semi-Pro
Looks like Fed’s technique is usually straight-elbow except when he is sometimes lazier. Like the Bryans (and unlike the KG vid) his elbow joint plane of motion appears oriented so that it doesn’t contribute to the power level of the shot.

Anyway, I’m really eager to try to incorporate the straight-arm-at-contact technique, which seems to be common to JM, BB, & RF.
maybe over-thinking it... the volley is such a brief motion... the hand alone should be able to handle it.. elbow doesn't matter bent or straight. actually if you force straight that means tension and is no good.

volley is all feel... catch the ball and squeeze the handle... very very simple stuff.
 

maleyoyo

Professional
Jolly,

Even if @Chas Tennis is wrong, he does put forth a coherent argument while you seem a bit arrogant.

I understand that Chas is referring to the technique that uses a lot of Elbow movement and he backs that up with Federer evidence. Chas also acknowledges that there maybe different techniques -- the other one being the "shoulder action" one. But I haven't seen you refute Federer technique with credible response other than ..."the tip of his racquet pointing at the ground" (!!?)
Chas Tennis is not wrong
 
Tonight I’m playing against a pro who beats me about 60% of our matches.

I will focus on testing out straighter-arm technique a la Bryan Bros and see if it helps.

The more disciplined JM technique where he is fully locked straight arm at contact might be harder to implement for my rec player muscle memory.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Jolly,

Even if @Chas Tennis is wrong, he does put forth a coherent argument while you seem a bit arrogant.

I understand that Chas is referring to the technique that uses a lot of Elbow movement and he backs that up with Federer evidence. Chas also acknowledges that there maybe different techniques -- the other one being the "shoulder action" one. But I haven't seen you refute Federer technique with credible response other than ..."the tip of his racquet pointing at the ground" (!!?)
There aren't many techniques, there is a foundation which you can add to based on your level and the difficulty of the ball.

Why would I refute Federer technique? It's excellent albeit difficult for rec players to time.

Why don't you look at how he volleys for real compared to when he is jackassing around in practice?


See any difference?

J
 
If anything, Federer’s arm is straighter at contact than Bob Bryan’s with almost identical technique. The elbow joint is effectively locked with respect to power generation. The elbow joint extends prior to contact but is already fully extended prior to contact, as demonstrated by JM. This is going in the opposite direction of what KG says to do:

 

MisterP

Hall of Fame

Doesn't Fed add some swing based on the height and pace? Compare the forehand volley he hits at 1:12 to the one at 1:49. At 1:12 the ball is high and floaty, and he actually uses quite a bit of backswing and follow through but still hits a traditional volley. The one at 1:49, Dimitrov laces it at him and Roger just puts his racquet in place and lets it do the talking.
 
If anything, Federer’s arm is straighter at contact than Bob Bryan’s with almost identical technique. The elbow joint is effectively locked with respect to power generation. The elbow joint extends prior to contact but is already fully extended prior to contact, as demonstrated by JM. This is going in the opposite direction of what KG says to do:

Federer develops considerable racket head speed from extending the elbow in that video. Then the forearm and racket are moving fast. Once the arm & racket have been sped up by elbow extension muscles the racket keeps heading toward impact. When the arm becomes straight, the elbow must be stopped from extending beyond straight. All muscles power could have stopped before impact. The shoulder joint - with or without muscle power - can then take over swinging the arm and racket. Straight or bent elbow at impact does not matter much as far as I know, at least not for racket head speed.

I found the points of Kevin's comments were that
1) the elbow extension could be used for racket head speed and
2) the upper arm elevation could be used to make the backhand volley more reproducible and especially to prevent the ball from going low into the net.

Nobody has been able to show any evidence to show otherwise.

There are other volley techniques, maybe for other circumstances. The elbow extension volley may not be the best for all or any circumstances, to be determined.

Fully extended arm or not at impact does not, in itself, necessarily make a difference. Both straight arm and bent arm impacts will appear in videos and I have not done stats to find %.

If I get a ball to work on, no pressure, not very low, I'm staying in place, I have added pace to my backhand volley a few times with elbow extension but it is not a good motion yet.

Interesting thread, we've learned a lot.
 
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Federer develops considerable racket head speed from extending the elbow in that video. Then the forearm and racket are moving fast. When the arm becomes straight the elbow must be stopped from extending. All muscles power could have stopped before impact. The shoulder joint with or without muscle power can then allow the shoulder joint to swing the arm and racket. Once the arm & racket have been sped up by elbow extension muscles the racket keeps heading toward impact. Straight or bent elbow at impact does not matter much as far as I know. I found the point of Kevin's comments was that 1) the elbow extension could be used for racket head speed and 2) the upper arm elevation could be used to make the backhand volley more reproducible and especially to prevent the ball from going low into the net.

Fully extended arm or not at impact does not in itself necessarily make a difference. I think that both will appear in videos and I have not dome stats to find %.
While some of what you point out is true, I believe the biggest difference between the BB/RF techniques and my technique is that my volley stroke has too many degrees of freedom. These vids help show that the primary degree of freedom for high level bh volleys is at the shoulder, while other degrees of freedom are minimal relative to rec level bh volley strokes.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Federer develops considerable racket head speed from extending the elbow in that video. Then the forearm and racket are moving fast. When the arm becomes straight the elbow must be stopped from extending beyond straight. All muscles power could have stopped before impact. The shoulder joint - with or without muscle power - can then swing the arm and racket. Once the arm & racket have been sped up by elbow extension muscles the racket keeps heading toward impact. Straight or bent elbow at impact does not matter much as far as I know, at least not for racket head speed.

I found the point of Kevin's comments was that
1) the elbow extension could be used for racket head speed and
2) the upper arm elevation could be used to make the backhand volley more reproducible and especially to prevent the ball from going low into the net.

Nobody has been able to show any evidence to show otherwise.

Fully extended arm or not at impact does not, in itself, necessarily make a difference. Both straight arm and bent arm impacts will appear in videos and I have not done stats to find %.

If I get a ball to work on, no pressure, not very low, I'm staying still, I have added pace to my backhand volley but it is not a good motion yet.
I understand that you are just into the science of things and not really interested so much in getting better or helping others get better, but just as a thought exercise, let's say you took 100TT posters who needed help with their backhand volley, how many of them would have lack of pace as their primary problem?

J
 
........................... These vids help show that the primary degree of freedom for high level bh volleys is at the shoulder, while other degrees of freedom are minimal relative to rec level bh volley strokes.
Federer - elbow extension, not shoulder according to videos posted. We disagree on this.
Murray ?? - To what degree does he run through the ball and what joints move?
? Bryan - yes for those volleys which may have been quick reflex volleys.
Paes ?- in video, arm blocked by the body, could not see, but there was a lot of shoulder or maybe shoulder girdle action. Was that mostly for shots into body?
 
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xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
At 4:50 in this vid is an example of my flawed technique and the commonly encountered situation that causes me issues.

I hit a serve from the ad side, not intending to serve-and-volley, but when I see that my serve has forced a weak crosscourt slice floater reply, I charge forward to intercept it out of the air. I meet the ball thigh high, but maybe too close to my body (maybe I should be less bent forward at waist and with my butt lower so that I can reach further out front?).

My resulting volley is good enough to win the point, but it was not the volley I intended. I was intending to hit near the side T, which would have likely been clean winner. Instead I overcooked it longer than intended near the deep corner, which gave @MaxTennis a decent play on the ball. I recall thinking at the time that my volley was shaky and flimsy, and that I got lucky the ball still went in.

Looks like the ball landed at the side T. Aim closer and you risk putting a lot of balls wide, which throws away the advantage you gained.

You hit the volley from below the tape and behind the service line. In what world is that supposed to be anything but an approach (volley) shot? First volley in a normal serve and volley is to approach the net, and the second volley is the put away. You didn't even intend to serve and volley, and got an even worse first volley than you could've if you blindly committed to charging right after the serve (which is not what I'm saying you should do, just contrasting the situations). Ironically, compared to high level serve and volley, you actually got the average first volley most S&V players have to deal with (contact around service line and around the net tape height or slightly lower, though you're maybe a step or two back). And by high level S&V, I mean server went big and returner got a clean hit back, so the ball comes fast and server barely make it to the service line despite their speed and prompt movement to the net.

If they pop it up high and slow, by all means put it away on the first ball. But that's not what happened here. MAYBE if you committed right away, you get a step or two inside the service line and catch it just above the net height. That should still be played as an approach shot (if you care about percentages).

Players with really good feel might go for a tighter spot and use the spin to keep it away from the enemy, but that's equivalent to a player with a big groundstroke going for a flat one down the line from 3+ feet behind the baseline when most players should either play it crosscourt or loop it down the line. Players that are really good at this can pull it off often enough to say it's a reasonable gamble, but most players are throwing away points for free if they try to play like this.

The stroke itself looks perfectly fine. The only criticism is that maybe a better volleyer would've added more underspin to keep it low and make it a tougher volley while giving themselves a little more margin over the net. I'd also perhaps maybe preferred to land the ball at the baseline (depends on how far back the player normally plays). I think the real problem here is shot selection and decision-making. If you're trying to hit winners off of shots that should be played more conservatively, that would explain why you're missing balls.


Similar location on the court. Difference is that it looks like your serve-and-volley was premeditated, so you were already close to the service line when you split-stepped. I’m actually more comfortable in that situation. It’s the other common situation where I’m racing forward to reach a weak reply that causes me grief. Earlier in the same game, I bricked one badly into the net after the bounce in the same situation where I’m late reacting and charging forward on the point where Max executes the tweener several shots before. I was thinking too much about the potential for getting posterized by losing a tweener point that I couldn’t concentrate on the shot.
The difference is not as big as you think. You already took 2 steps inside the court between landing and split stepping (you REALLY cheated forward expecting a weak ball). You were halfway inside no man's land. J0lly is only a few feet further into the court, but had to deal with a faster ball than you did, which is why you both ended up hitting it at the same spot (his was lower though).

J0lly hit a winner there, but if Max hit the same return (as opposed to the floater he gave you), he would've gotten to J0lly's volley too. The returner didn't recover after hitting his return, and didn't move until J0lly basically made contact with the ball. Someone as young and fast as Max would at least put a racket on it. But J0lly has the advantage - Max has to hit up over the net and J0lly will be right on top of the net to put it away. I still feel like he should maybe have aimed deeper, but on a low volley around the service line, you can't always be picky. If anything, depending on the level of play, it's better to keep it somewhat low anywhere on the court than get it deep and have it sit up. At J0lly's level, low and short is better than a deep sitter.

On the topic of elbow extension on the backhand volley, it's not nearly as complicated as everyone is making it out to be. One handed backhand players basically use the same or modified (shortened and maybe even flattened) version of their slice backhand groundstroke. Every (good) one hander has a bent elbow on the takeback and a straight arm on contact (how bent or straight varies). Having hit millions of slice backhands, it's only natural to use a similar motion on the volley. A straight arm is easier to hold firm through contact. DO NOT USE IT FOR POWER unless you enjoy having tennis elbow.


Here is Roy Emerson's take on the nonsense argument going on. First ten years, get the racket to contact and stop. Only after you've mastered control of the racket face should you start punching through. As you get better, you get used to playing faster balls. As you get used to faster balls, you take slightly bigger swings without missing. As you take bigger swings without missing, you hit a faster ball. Worrying about what gives you more RHS ON A VOLLEY is absurd. The issue here is consistency, so why are we making that harder to achieve??? Add more stability on contact, line up the racket head better, and so on. Stuff like that is fine, it promotes consistency. But why elbow extension????????? You want to talk about elevated upper arm for consistency, fine. That's at least reasonable. Elbow extension though?

Tonight I’m playing against a pro who beats me about 60% of our matches.

I will focus on testing out straighter-arm technique a la Bryan Bros and see if it helps.

The more disciplined JM technique where he is fully locked straight arm at contact might be harder to implement for my rec player muscle memory.
Murray's is likely the easier to copy since it actually has the least arm action to it by far and relies almost entirely on the footwork (though that in itself might be what makes it harder for rec players). Murray literally uses his off hand to place the racket right behind the contact point, and strides through the shot with minimal movement in his dominant hand. It's actually the closest to a two handed volley, which is what you used to use.
 

user92626

Legend
I understand that you are just into the science of things and not really interested so much in getting better or helping others get better, but just as a thought exercise, let's say you took 100TT posters who needed help with their backhand volley, how many of them would have lack of pace as their primary problem?

J
That's a good point -- considering what's effective to teach, even if it's rigid or overly exaggerated.

After all, we don't know if Fed has gone thru throwing rackets to learn the serve, but a lot of TT people have to go thru this unrelated activity just to understand the serve.
 

user92626

Legend
There aren't many techniques, there is a foundation which you can add to based on your level and the difficulty of the ball.

Why would I refute Federer technique? It's excellent albeit difficult for rec players to time.

Why don't you look at how he volleys for real compared to when he is jackassing around in practice?


See any difference?

J
Well, in this video I dont' think Fed was jackassing around since it looks like he was getting ready for a match.

Fed employs a lot of elbow action in his bh volley. But, I do agree with you there's a need to teach something more applicable with particular groups. This point is unrelated to the debate over existence of different techniques

 
Tonight I’m playing against a pro who beats me about 60% of our matches.

I will focus on testing out straighter-arm technique a la Bryan Bros and see if it helps.

The more disciplined JM technique where he is fully locked straight arm at contact might be harder to implement for my rec player muscle memory.
Rained out tonight. My revolutionary new bh volley technique will have to wait.
 

Dragy

Hall of Fame
Yes, he is. KG's words don't match what is happening in the video, he sees just what he wants to see.

J
I think he has one important point which he didn't manage to string well with other stuff: deflecting a non-dead ball requires RF to be well-set at contact. And what's the most reliable way to get racquet face to that place holding it at the edge of the grip? It's pulling the handle with minimal forward momentum. From high down and accross. If you pull it forward too violently it has tendency to lay back - no control this way.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
I think he has one important point which he didn't manage to string well with other stuff: deflecting a non-dead ball requires RF to be well-set at contact. And what's the most reliable way to get racquet face to that place holding it at the edge of the grip? It's pulling the handle with minimal forward momentum. From high down and accross. If you pull it forward too violently it has tendency to lay back - no control this way.
No. Racquet handle in, racquet head forward, not down, not across.

J
 
Progress!

Today my 1hb volley was crisp and clean, even when gliding forward or lunging to my left. I think I was perfect on these in my singles match this morning against WTA pro who usually gives me trouble. My stronger net play made a big difference as I relied on net rushes a lot.

I focused on getting elbow extended before contact, and this seemed to clean up the feel and make it feel much more solid and controlled.
 

J011yroger

Talk Tennis Guru
Progress!

Today my 1hb volley was crisp and clean, even when gliding forward or lunging to my left. I think I was perfect on these in my singles match this morning against WTA pro who usually gives me trouble. My stronger net play made a big difference as I relied on net rushes a lot.

I focused on getting elbow extended before contact, and this seemed to clean up the feel and make it feel much more solid and controlled.
Told you that you would figure it out.

J
 
Progress!

Today my 1hb volley was crisp and clean, even when gliding forward or lunging to my left. I think I was perfect on these in my singles match this morning against WTA pro who usually gives me trouble. My stronger net play made a big difference as I relied on net rushes a lot.

I focused on getting elbow extended before contact, and this seemed to clean up the feel and make it feel much more solid and controlled.
How much racket head speed was developed before impact? Was it developed mostly by the shoulder joint or the elbow joint motions or other?

How was your looking at the ball?

Take a high speed video.
 
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How much racket head speed was developed before impact? Was it developed mostly by the shoulder joint or the elbow joint motions or other?

How was your looking at the ball?

Take a high speed video.
Actually, I was in fact focusing on getting the elbow fully extended straight prior to contact and using the shoulder joint rather than the elbow and hand to generate the punch. The result was the best-feeling 1hb volleys I’ve ever hit in my life. It’s clear now that I’ve been doing it wrong for 25 years.
 
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I am watching Fed Cup Ladies Doubles. So far I saw two backhand volleys that included elbow extension for racket head speed. One appeared to have shoulder motion also. I'm using slow motion on a DVR, playback about 1/2 actual speed. (Stop video and hit forward on my remote and it does slow motion.

If you are interested in whether the elbow extends during the volley watch and count 10 volleys and see what you get. Quick stats are a good way to start.........

I am interested mainly in what causes racket head speed before impact for backhand volleys, not under pressure. Exclude fast reflex volleys and very low or wide volleys. I have thought that both bent elbow or straight elbow at impact are being done but would need to confirm that.

Chas, don't cherry pick.............
 
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xFullCourtTenniSx

Hall of Fame
Actually, I was in fact focusing on getting the elbow fully extended straight prior to contact and using the shoulder joint rather than the elbow and hand to generate the punch. The result was the best-feeling 1hb volleys I’ve ever hit in my life. It’s clear now that I’ve been doing it wrong for 25 years.
Good to know you aren't falling for the tennis elbow bait.
 
The most powerful backhand volleys that I have felt were by turning the uppermost body to make the chest press on the upper arm. This was somewhat similar in the chest pressing upper arm on the one hand backhand technique that I've described in a thread. Does your chest press on your upper arm?

When last played doubles in Baltimore, there was one player with strokes overall equal to the rest of our doubles league. But for certain volleys, if he got a volley to work above the net he consistently put a lot of pace into the volley. There were no videos, but I believe that his result came from a superior volley technique. ? If we only had a video of his volleys now we would know how well a rec player can volley with technique X.......

Who might be your model volleyer for technique? .
 
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I am watching Fed Cup Ladies Doubles. So far I saw two backhand volleys that included elbow extension for racket head speed. One appeared to have shoulder motion also. I'm using slow motion on a DVR, playback about 1/2 actual speed. (Stop video and hit forward on my remote and it does slow motion.

If you are interested in whether the elbow extends during the volley watch and count 10 volleys and see what you get. Quick stats are a good way to start.........

I am interested mainly in what causes racket head speed before impact for backhand volleys, not under pressure. Exclude fast reflex volleys and very low or wide volleys. I have thought that both bent elbow or straight elbow at impact are being done but would need to confirm that.

Chas, don't cherry pick.............
My simple observations did not go so well. When I found a volley I could play it back at half speed but could not do stop action single frame. I spent quite some time getting a few volleys that I think I could understand but there was usually uncertainty. I quit after 5 volleys.

I was particularly looking for the upperbody motion(s) that most developed racket head speed. I did not consider volleys that were very high, very low, very wide or could not be well seen.

Fed cup doubles match. Ashleigh Barty and Samantha Stosur vs Caroline Garcia and Kristina Mladenovic
(France won)

Stosur
Volley #1
1) Strong volley, close to net
2) Most motion from uppermost body turn
3) Elbow straight
4) shoulder not well seen

Volley #2
1) close to net, volley to feet of M
2) Most motion shoulder joint motion down
3) Elbow bent, fixed?

Volley #3
1) Most motion from shoulder joint
2) Elbow bent at impact.


Barty
none
(one winner volley not counted as too high
1) Most motion from uppermost body turn & shoulder joint.
2) Elbow straight

Mladenovic
Volley #1
1) Higher ball put away.
2) Most motion from both straightening the elbow and shoulder joint.

Garcia
Volley #1
1) Shoulder motion.
2) Elbow bent.


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There was a very nice volley shown in slow motion by Tsitsipas
Tsitsipas
Volley #1
1) Low volley
2) Most motion from shoulder
3) Elbow bent fixed.

The elbow extension motion was only observed on one of 6 observed volleys.

Problems
1) could not single frame
2) could not usually see shoulder and elbow motions from the back view of players.
3) variety in volleys for quick exchanges.

I believe that the elbow extension motion volley is most useful for adding pace to an incoming ball that is not causing pressure. ? It would be good to determine what percent elbow extension motion volleys are being used.

The shoulder joint motion has less forward motion and might be used more often when there is more incoming pace and less time. ?

My other remote, Motorola, would allow single frame advance of the DVR. If you have that it is much better than 1/2 speed slow motion or even slow motion of the slow motion being broadcast, probably 1/4 speed playback as seen.
 
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My ‘old’ way (prior to last week) to generate power on my 1hb volley when trying to put away a high floater was by supination. I now find that I have much better control if I minimize the supination, get the arm straightened prior to contact, and use the shoulder joint as the primary power generator.

Just remembering to think about getting the arm straightened is magic. Night and day difference for me.
 
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