What is Vic Braden saying?

Curious

Legend
Could someone explain what exactly he means in this video about the grip, angles and the 3 joint thing ( wrist, elbow, shoulder)?

 

TennisCJC

Legend
Curious figured it out.

When you volley: no wrist movement, no elbow movement. Lendl and Agassi both used a lot of wrist in the FH volleys. They both got better after being on tour for several years but Lendl would miss FH volleys even late in his career where he would cup under the ball with wrist movement.

Vic taught a EF grip on the volley which I don't agree with. Conti grip is better grip for volley. But firm wrist and firm elbow are correct.
 

Curious

Legend
Curious figured it out.

When you volley: no wrist movement, no elbow movement. Lendl and Agassi both used a lot of wrist in the FH volleys. They both got better after being on tour for several years but Lendl would miss FH volleys even late in his career where he would cup under the ball with wrist movement.

Vic taught a EF grip on the volley which I don't agree with. Conti grip is better grip for volley. But firm wrist and firm elbow are correct.
He says conti grip is good for low volleys but I agree with you, it’s best to have the same grip for all volleys.
 

TennisCJC

Legend
He says conti grip is good for low volleys but I agree with you, it’s best to have the same grip for all volleys.
He probably did say that in video. To be honest, i didn't watch it all. In his book, he taught EF for the forehand volley and to switch to EBH for the backhand volley. He felt like those grips got the most stability with more hand behind the contact. He and one of his assistant pros would stand about 6 to 8 feet apart and volley alternating forehand and backhand to prove that you have plenty of time to change grips. I think Vic was great but didn't agree with this fully either. I use a conti for both volleys but I do shift the pad of my palm a bit toward bevel 1 for the backhand volley.
 

Curious

Legend
Mattek-Sands actually mentioned something that I figured out as well: when the incoming ball is close to my body to the FH, it's easier to shift towards an Eastern grip. Try it.

Starting at 1:01:

I find it difficult to change grip even when I’m returning a serve let alone trying it while volleying a ball coming close to my body.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
Just use continental on volleys is my opinion, most great players do. Shifting grips is the same as tilting racquet at the same angle while at continental., both require practice.
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
He probably did say that in video. To be honest, i didn't watch it all. In his book, he taught EF for the forehand volley and to switch to EBH for the backhand volley. He felt like those grips got the most stability with more hand behind the contact. He and one of his assistant pros would stand about 6 to 8 feet apart and volley alternating forehand and backhand to prove that you have plenty of time to change grips. I think Vic was great but didn't agree with this fully either. I use a conti for both volleys but I do shift the pad of my palm a bit toward bevel 1 for the backhand volley.
I was watching some Raonic highlights from the AO and it looks like he sometimes changes his grip on volleys...

I personally always use continental for volleys, but switching seems to work for Raonic.

Might also help that he's often just cleaning up at the net after a 140mph serve :)
 
Shifting grips is the same as tilting racquet at the same angle while at continental., both require practice.
"Same angle" as what?

If I interpret you correctly, you're saying you can accomplish the same thing either by shifting grip or by staying in Continental and tilting the racquet?

If so, I don't agree: go back and watch Mattek-Sands talk about the difficult of the close-in FH volley: the point is that the body can't contort itself comfortably into position to easily hit that volley. It's actually a lot easier to shift grip towards Eastern.
 

FiReFTW

Legend
"Same angle" as what?

If I interpret you correctly, you're saying you can accomplish the same thing either by shifting grip or by staying in Continental and tilting the racquet?

If so, I don't agree: go back and watch Mattek-Sands talk about the difficult of the close-in FH volley: the point is that the body can't contort itself comfortably into position to easily hit that volley. It's actually a lot easier to shift grip towards Eastern.
I agree that forehand volleys in ur body are extremely difficult mechanically, thats why you don't do it, but hit backhand volleys to balls that are going into ur body :p
 

comeback

Hall of Fame
He probably did say that in video. To be honest, i didn't watch it all. In his book, he taught EF for the forehand volley and to switch to EBH for the backhand volley. He felt like those grips got the most stability with more hand behind the contact. He and one of his assistant pros would stand about 6 to 8 feet apart and volley alternating forehand and backhand to prove that you have plenty of time to change grips. I think Vic was great but didn't agree with this fully either. I use a conti for both volleys but I do shift the pad of my palm a bit toward bevel 1 for the backhand volley.

I do this too, some players think they are using strict continental but are unconsciously doing this
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
He says conti grip is good for low volleys but I agree with you, it’s best to have the same grip for all volleys.
Not necessarily. I agree with Vic on this. Conti grip is best for low volleys. And maybe even mid-height volleys. Quite often elite volleyers will make subtle or minor grip changes for high volleys (or in-close Fh volleys). Players might also make a minor grip change between Fh & Bh volleys. While the off-hand is needed to make major grip changes, a minor grip change can often be accomplished w/o.

Some tops volleyers, like Patrick Rafter (one of the best ever), would often use a grip change that was somewhat more than just a subtle grip change. He usually employed a conti (2) grip for low & medium volleys and would often switch to a semi-conti (2.5) for medium to high volleys. He employed this grip shift for on both the Fh and Bh sides.

If you don't feel comfortable making any grip changes at all, find a good compromise grip -- like a 2 grip, 2.5 grip or something close to these. As you get much better at volleys, you may discover that you are making subtle changes w/o ever realizing it. Or you may forever have issues with high volleys on jammed Fh volleys
.
 
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Curious

Legend
Not necessarily. I agree with Vic on this. Conti grip is best for low volleys. And maybe even mid-height volleys. Quite often elite volleyers will make subtle or minor grip changes for high volleys (or in-close Fh volleys). While the off-hand is needed to make major grip changes, a minor grip change can often be accomplished w/o.

Some tops volleyers, like Patrick Rafter (one of the best ever), would often use a grip change that was somewhat more than just a subtle grip change. He usually employed a conti (2) grip for low & medium volleys and would often switch to a semi-conti (2.5) for medium to high volleys. He employed this grip shift for on both the Fh and Bh sides.

If you don't feel comfortable making any grip changes at all, find a good compromise grip -- like a 2 grip, 2.5 grip or something close to these. As you get much better at volleys, you may discover that you are making subtle changes w/o ever realizing it. Or you may forever have issues with high volleys on jammed Fh volleys
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It's common sense to minimise variables for consistency. Now you say some top players change grip on volleys. What about others? Are there others who don't change it but are still great volleyers?
If I can adapt in some other way for close to body or high volleys other than changing grip, I would prefer that. If changing grip is the best/most effective way to do it though, I'm happy to change it.
 

SystemicAnomaly

Talk Tennis Guru
It's common sense to minimise variables for consistency. Now you say some top players change grip on volleys. What about others? Are there others who don't change it but are still great volleyers?
If I can adapt in some other way for close to body or high volleys other than changing grip, I would prefer that. If changing grip is the best/most effective way to do it though, I'm happy to change it.
When you are first learning, yes it is best to minimize variables to achieve consistency. Some players never get past that stage. Others are able to make various adjustments, quite easily, as needed. I don't really know if there are any modern elite volleyers that make absolutely no grip changes. As I mentioned, many will make subtle or minor changes. It might be difficult to see this unless you study a lot of high-speed HD film/images of these players. I suspect that a fairly high % make, at least, a minor adjustment.

Back in the early 70s, when I first learned the game, we were taught to use 2 volley grips -- one for FHs an another for BHs. Vic Braden learned and taught this as well (learned a lot of my tennis from him and his brother, Dan Braden). As the game got faster in the late 80s and in the 90s, players started to limit how much of a grip change or adjustments they would make. Grip changes were not quite as extreme or pronounced.

Learn/master one volley grip first. After a while, see if making a grip adjustment improves your high volleys, low volleys or body volleys. Also, try to make adjustments to your left and right (or right at you), with your feet rather than reaching with your arm. Whenever you reach for a volley by extending your arm, it tends to change the orientation of your racquet face = another variable. Shoulder rotation tends to come into play when you reach/stretch for a volley by extending your arm. When your reach on the Fh side, the racquet face tends to close and volleys often end up in the net. Reaching on the Bh side might open up the racquet face and you may pop up your volleys too much.
 
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Curious

Legend
When you are first learning, yes it is best to minimize variables to achieve consistency. Some players never get past that stage. Others are able to make various adjustments, quite easily, as needed. I don't really know if there are any modern elite volleyers that make absolutely no grip changes. As I mentioned, many will make subtle or minor changes. It might be difficult to see this unless you study a lot of high-speed HD film/images of these players. I suspect that a fairly high % make, at least, a minor adjustment.

Back in the early 70s, when I first learned the game, we were taught to use 2 volley grips -- one for FHs an another for BHs. Vic Braden learned and taught this as well (learned a lot of my tennis from him and his brother, Dan Braden). As the game got faster in the late 80s and in the 90s, players started to limit how much of a grip change or adjustments they would make. Grip changes were not quite as extreme or pronounced.

Learn/master one volley grip first. After a while, see if making a grip adjustment improves your high volleys, low volleys or body volleys. Also, try to make adjustments to your left and right (or right at you), with your feet rather than reaching with your arm. Whenever, you reach for a volley by extending your arm, it tends to change the orientation of your racquet face = another variable. Shoulder rotation tends to come into play when you reach/stretch for a volley by extending your arm. When your reach on the Fh side, the racquet face tends to close and volleys often end up in the net. Reaching on the Bh side might open up the racquet face and you may pop up your volleys too much.
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Now you make me wonder if I might be changing grips depending on the ball without knowing.
 
It's common sense to minimise variables for consistency.
Wholeheartedly agree! I think volleys are bio-mechanically the simplest shot in tennis because all one has to do is stick one's racquet out and the volley will go back over whereas you can't say the same with any other shot; those require a lot more action.

Having said that, the volley is also the most screwed-up shot because people over-complicate it: hinging the racquet back way too far, trying to kill every volley, trying to "punch" everything, no matter what the placement, using way too much backspin, etc.

So teaching a beginner, I'd definitely suggest one grip. As they gain proficiency, not only in the stroke but the body movement, balance, unit turn, etc., then I'd introduce more complicated concepts, including a grip shift.
 
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IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
Are there others who don't change it but are still great volleyers?
To my knowledge, Edberg and McEnroe didn't change grips on their volleys and are widely considered 2 of the greatest net players of all time...

Many times they just simply don't have the reaction time to make a grip change!

Edberg volleys starting at 7:00

 

comeback

Hall of Fame
To my knowledge, Edberg and McEnroe didn't change grips on their volleys and are widely considered 2 of the greatest net players of all time...

Many times they just simply don't have the reaction time to make a grip change!

Edberg volleys starting at 7:00

you cannot really see his hands close enough on the volleys to see
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
you cannot really see his hands close enough on the volleys to see
Wish there was better quality video of Edberg in his prime!

Here are some videos of him warming up before matches.

3:15 in the first video shows a closer view of his hands on a couple of FH and couple of BH volleys. 2:00 in second video shows a few more... 2:30 in the third video some more... 2:58 in the fourth video shows a few more...




 

Raul_SJ

Legend
I think I've figured it out!:) Swing from the shoulder to eliminate variables as much as possible, ie wrist and the elbow.
Vic:
"I don't like the continental grip on the volley. Close your eyes put your palm up straight. Can you can tell me when your palms straight? Now close your eyes and tell me when your 10 degrees 15 degrees 30 degrees and you'll have trouble figuring it out.

But when you lift with three joints, you have nine ways to screw it up."

He seems to be saying the FH grip is more conducive to swinging from the one shoulder joint. And Continental grip introduces more variables with three joints and more variation.

But then he says he likes Edberg's continental grip volleys.

Not clear what Vic is advocating here.
 
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fuzz nation

G.O.A.T.
I appreciate that some folks can do a grip change for their volleys and make it work, but I think that volleying with a forehand or backhand grip promotes too much of a pushing action that's very not good for decent volleys. I know that many of us can hit a "decent volley" with those grips if we have to, but doing that in a hurry in a competitive setting is an invitation for mechanical compromises. As a teacher and coach for several years, I've had to fix those compromises on a regular basis and the absence of a continental grip seems to fuel the problems.

I'm a pretty big Vic Braden fan and I like what he's suggesting with the wrist and elbow staying firm and quiet for hitting volleys. If those joints are too active, there are too many variables that can kill a volleyer's consistency and control. But a big problem I have to address with beginners learning to volley is that racquet push that usually includes a forehand or backhand grip. Holding the racquet like that seems to make a volleyer naturally want to stand behind the racquet and straighten the arm forward through contact.

Once the arm (elbow) goes out straight in that pushing action, the racquet goes dead and the volleyer in training might compensate by waving through the ball with some wrist action to give the shot some pop. Hello variables, goodbye control. A solid move on the ball up at the net just seems to be more enabled with the inclusion of a continental grip.
 

Raul_SJ

Legend
I'm a pretty big Vic Braden fan and I like what he's suggesting with the wrist and elbow staying firm and quiet for hitting volleys. If those joints are too active, there are too many variables that can kill a volleyer's consistency and control. .
I agree that grip change is not practical beyond 3.5 level and one should strive for Continental grip on all volleys (perhaps very slight grip change from forehand to backhand volley). We also do know that the advanced students at Vic Braden College were encouraged to volley with Continental, so Braden was flexible on this point.

I'm trying to understand what Braden means by "I don't like the Continental grip on volleys... Lifting with 3 joints, wrist,elbow,shoulder… 9 ways to screw it up..."

Braden appears to be saying that the wrist and elbow are more likely to stay quiet with the Eastern backhand grip and Eastern forehand grip on backhand and forehand volleys respectively.

What is Braden's instruction for those using the Continental grip and wishing to maintain quiet wrist and elbow?
 
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D

Deleted member 23235

Guest
old but relevant: https://tt.tennis-warehouse.com/index.php?threads/high-forehand-volley-eastern-grip.517693/

personally i’d do the palm heel shift thing for high fh volleys or body bh volleys.

interesting was reviewing laver’s book today, and he specifically advocated the australian grip for all volleys. another atp coach (from the 80s), dubs specialist and singles s&v’er also was a big fan of australian for volleys (helped fh volleys and promoted bh volleys a bit closer to my body). I experimented with it, but I didn’t like having to switch from australian for volleys, then conti for serving/slice.

volleying “with the shoulders” has been a universal tip I’ve heard in many places.... elim wrist and elbow... too many variables. that’s my mental model anyway.

my 0.02
 

IowaGuy

Hall of Fame
was reviewing laver’s book today, and he specifically advocated the australian grip for all volleys. another atp coach (from the 80s), dubs specialist and singles s&v’er also was a big fan of australian for volleys (helped fh volleys and promoted bh volleys a bit closer to my body). I experimented with it, but I didn’t like having to switch from australian for volleys, then conti for serving/slice.
Hard to tell for sure, but Rafter's grip also appears to be shifted towards Australian grip for many of his volleys...

 
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