The Secret of the Volley

This is going to sound silly when you read it, but I have found a very basic solution to most volleying problems.

One of my weakest shots (especially under pressure) is the forehand volley. All too often, I find myself looking to where I want to hit the shot and/or not turning my shoulders (but standing square to the net).

The solution for me? Watch the ball into the racquet.

Sure, that’s Tennis 101. But many good things happen for me when I do. First of course, I see the ball better and make better contact. But equally important, turning my head to watch the ball into the racquet forces me to turn my body, and not stand square to the net.

Once I have fully mastered this basic principle, I can then remember to work on other key pointers:

  • Don’t take your racquet back (Roy Emerson),
  • Just punch the volley with a short, 2” stroke (Jack Lease),
  • Never end with your racquet head below the net (Fred Stolle),
  • Bend your legs to get to the low volley (Geoff Masters).
  • Keep moving forward (Brian Gottfried),
  • High forehand: start the racquet head in front of you (Mark Woodforde),
  • Angle volley: keep racquet head way out in front (Newk)

4 thoughts on “The Secret of the Volley

  1. P.S. My Wimbledon predictions:
    – Venus in two easy sets
    – The Fed in four tough sets (maybe that is my heart speaking)

  2. Great volley tips George!
    Focusing on specific tips like those you mention is really helpful.

    By the way, I hear Serena’s contract is due up shortly at Nike, so my hunch is that
    she’ll pull this one out.

    Also,I’d love to see Fed win this one in five incredible sets!

    Best, Jimmy

  3. Watching the ball is the first thing we are taught and probably the first thing we forget. I went to a Newk camp a number of years ago and he suggested that when I make contact with the ball I should try to see the ball impact the strings from back of the racquet. It really works. Now if I can only remember to do it. Jack Lease

  4. I use volley practice to help me with my eye contact from baseline to baseline. The distance from my opponents baseline to the net is a lot shorter than from baseline to baseline.I seem to be able to focus well from baseline to volley, but when it comes to baseline to baseline, i lose the intensity of focus way before the ball reaches my racket! The above you listed will help with my volley practice for eye contact and I hope that will transfer to my baseline to baseline eye contact. thanks! gf

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