When is it the "right" time to volley?

Discussion in 'Tennis Tips/Instruction' started by derickyan, Feb 20, 2013.

  1. derickyan

    derickyan New User

    Oct 27, 2012
    So, I've played a couple matches recently. Sometimes i just want to finish the point or whatever, I run up to the net. Then the opponent just hits the ball over so high that I can't even hit it overhead. Most of the time, I lose the point.
    Anyways, when do i run up to the net and hit a volley? thanks.
  2. Hi I'm Ray

    Hi I'm Ray Hall of Fame

    Feb 26, 2010
    You need to hit a shot that is difficult to return well when approaching the net. It should either pressure them to come up with a good shot in a difficult situation or give you an easy volley. You need to be at an advantage when moving in. If your approach shot is easy or gives your opponent too much time to set up, or you just randomly run in, you will be at a disadvantage.

    What kind of shot are you coming in behind when approaching the net?
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2013
  3. Fusker

    Fusker Rookie

    Mar 2, 2012
    As with most questions, "it depends."

    If you're a great volleyer, any time you can get a good approach and get to the net, you should.

    If you're an average volleyer, I would say that when you have hit a shot that has your opponent moving backwards is usually a great time to move in. Basically, if your opponent is on the defense.

    A poor volleyer should spend more time practicing it. It's too important to accept being lousy at it.

    I'm a converted serve and volleyer who plays more all court now. So basically if I get a short ball, I'm coming in behind it. That may mean I still get passed or lobbed successfully on ocassion.

    I think what happens a lot at the rec level is that players remember the 30% of net points they lost more than the 70% they won, and abandon a winning strategy.
  4. slowfox

    slowfox Professional

    Oct 3, 2011
    Perhaps you can stay in the "safe" area, just a little inside the service line. That way you can close in on passes or make it back for overheads.

    During rallies if I hit a particularly forcing shot deep with good placement, I'll usually approach the net as I assume that more than likely my opponent's shot will be weaker.
  5. derickyan

    derickyan New User

    Oct 27, 2012
    Alright, thanks everyone! I think I understand it more now. I'll see how it goes tomorrow when I play my match :)
  6. TennisCJC

    TennisCJC Legend

    Apr 20, 2010
    You want to attack the net when:

    1. When you opponent hits short and you can step into the court to hit the ball. The goal is to strike a forcing shot and follow its direction in and reach inside the service line if possible. For intermediates, you'll probably need to be 6 or more feet inside your baseline at contact before you should consider following it in. A short groundstroke or a short 2nd serve from your opponent can and should be attacked.
    2. If you are on or behind your baseline and you hit a particularly good drive that pulls your opponent wide, you can move in quickly to take what should be a weak reply out of the air.

    If you opponent is lobbing over you frequently than you need to improve your approach shots and/or make sure you don't get too close to the net.

    1. Normally, approach down the line and follow the line of flight of your shot. Try to hit the approach deep say 6' or less from the baseline.
    2. Approaching down the middle is OK too and cuts your opponents angles down.
    3. Normally, don't approach cross court because you leave too much court open. The exception to this rule is if your opponent has a significant weakness, you can hit CC to get to their weaker side. If you approach CC, hustle to get to the other side to cover the DTL reply.
    4. Never go beyond 1/2 between the service line and the net - you should split step here and react to your opponents shot. Move in if they hit a low pass or move back if they attempt a lob.

    These are just the very very basics of attacking the net. You could write a book on the shots and tactics for an attacking game.

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