Volley Help!

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by Dly, Jun 10, 2014.

  1. Dly

    Dly New User

    Jun 9, 2014
    Hey Talk Tennis, I've finally decided to make an account after lurking here for the past few months. A lot of you seem very knowledgable about tennis, so I would like to ask you guys for some advice on my volleys.

    I've never been fond of coming to the net, but in order to elevate my game, I've realized that I need to become better at the net.

    I can hit volleys decently in practice, but on the rare occasions I find myself at the net in matches, I just screw up. I shank and mishit a lot. Even when I get an easy putaway floater, I rarely make clean contact and put it away.

    I'm so uncomfortable at the net. Can any of you offer any advice on how to make clean contact more often and get better at the net?
  2. Topspin Shot

    Topspin Shot Legend

    Jul 24, 2009
    Without seeing you, I can't give much technical advice, but I can say that unless you can put the ball away crosscourt, you should aim your volley straight ahead in front of you to take away your opponent's possible passes.
  3. SpinToWin

    SpinToWin Talk Tennis Guru

    Mar 23, 2014
    The net game is all about following the basics. The arguably best net player of recent history, Edberg, volleyed so well because his fundamentals were spot on every time. Get your fundamentals to be really solid and you will be fine up at net.

    This includes:
    -Doing a split step while your opponent strikes the ball, so that you aren't caught flat footed.
    -Stepping into the volley with the opposite foot (volley on right side of the body -> step in with your left foot) so that your body is fairly closed at contact
    -When the ball is low, you go into your knees and get your body to the height of the ball.
    -The volley is a short punching motion. You do not take the racquet back too far or swing at the volley.

    Everything beyond that is practice and repetition.
  4. Dly

    Dly New User

    Jun 9, 2014
    Thanks guys. I think my technique is fine, although I do sometimes take the racquet too far back.

    It's just that I seem to struggle outside of practice because the balls that come at me aren't always close and easy. They're out of reach a lot or I react too slowly to get my racquet on them.

    That may be because I don't hit a good approach shot sometimes, but I have a friend who can pretty much come up to the net any time and put balls away with ease.
  5. Rui

    Rui Semi-Pro

    Jul 25, 2007
    If you're shanking you're probably swinging. Don't.

    From your ready position, point your strings to the ball as soon as you know which side the ball is going. Then take your strings to the ball. This usually involves a step or two. "Punching" is overkill. It's more of a firm caress.
  6. Tight Lines

    Tight Lines Professional

    Jan 14, 2013
    Cincinnati, OH
  7. user92626

    user92626 Legend

    Jan 27, 2008

    I'm exactly like you when it comes to volley. However, i think I'm further down the road in realization than you are.

    Like you I initially thought learning the volley would bring up my game. Not so. It just made my game and my time at the court more miserable! lol. Volley, like any other skills, is not for everyone or enjoyable for everyone. I realize that if you don't have it, don't like it from the get go, you will probably not like it or get better at it. And because this is recreational tennis we should simply do what we enjoy even if it's lopsided.

    I suggest that you move on and stick with what you enjoy :)
  8. Dly

    Dly New User

    Jun 9, 2014
    Volleying may not be my thing, but I believe that with some work, I can get it done. And I'm not aiming to get crazy good volleys. I just want to be able to finish some points at the net and not be useless in doubles.
  9. Nellie

    Nellie Hall of Fame

    Oct 4, 2004
    Don't chop down at the ball (volley problems solved for 95% of people).
  10. bullet1020

    bullet1020 New User

    Apr 18, 2014
    Same as me .. I changed my racket to a head light racket si there's no delayed swing and it worked ..

    just keep your eye on the ball, keep moving, anticipate and keep the swing simple and basic ..

    I'm not a seasoned player yet but these things worked for me
  11. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    The hand should only move about 6-12 inches on a volley from the point where you prep it. Prepping the hand consist of turning the shoulders slightly and getting the wrist laid back and ready to hit. You don't have to take the racket back at all to prep for the volley, instead take the hand to the ball. From prep, the hand moves forward 6-12 inches. So, no backswing and no swing forward beyond 12 inches.

    On wide stretch volleys, you may really are just putting the racket face in front of the ball and blocking it. No take back and minimal forward motion.
  12. cjs

    cjs Professional

    Jul 24, 2013
    Sounds like your snatching at it. During matches your panicking because you don't feel comfortable at the net, and hence you hurriedly snatch at the volley and don't make clean contact or mistime it. Then by missing the volley your confidence is further dented and the vicious cycle continues.

    My tip: play lots of doubles in a relaxed environment to build up confidence in your volleys.
  13. hieu1811

    hieu1811 Rookie

    Jun 19, 2013
    I used to fear the volley and Net game, and did not make clean contacts for a few years.

    Recently, a new coach changed me with a simple drill and advice. Just keep the hand STRAIGHT IN FRONT, on both backhand and forehand volley all the way, and DO NOT MOVE/ ACCELERATE the hand. Just use the leg to move up to the ball, while keeping the hand fix. After few sessions, it totally changed my volley.

    It fixes 2 mistakes of mine: 1) Bend elbow (not firm resistance to incoming balls) 2) Too much racquet head movement (bad timing).

    After you get comfortable with this drill, you can start accelerate racquet a little bit for more speed. Otherwise, just learn to use the leg

    Try it and see if it works for you.
  14. Dly

    Dly New User

    Jun 9, 2014
    Thanks for all the advice!
    I better go start practicing. :neutral:

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