The High Forehand Volley

I don’t know about you; but my shot nemesis for years has been the high forehand volley. That ‘sitter’ you should NEVER

Newk and me
miss; but I do more often than I would like to admit. So I have asked friends, partners, and pros what I am doing wrong and what to do to correct it. Here are some of the key pointers I have heard:

Roy Emerson: Picture there is a horizontal ruler that you want to hit the ball along.
Spike Gonzales: Picture there is a post two feet in front of you on your hitting side; and you have to step forward with your racquet in front of it to hit the ball.
B. Manning: Keep your upper body ‘quiet’ and picture hitting the ball like a ‘hammer hitting a nail’.
Mike Lewis: Yes, a hammer and nail; but not hitting down… hitting UP
Chuck Kinyon: Your body weight has to be going forward on all volleys
John Newcombe: Start the swing with the inside shoulder muscle “pulling” the racquet arm foreword (he says, “I own that shot”)
Larry Turville: CRUSH the ball by using a swinging volley

While it appears these comments seem to be all over the place, there are some consistent elements. When you see that ball floating slowly over the net to your high forehand …

• Turn your shoulders and crossover step with your opposite foot.
• Keep your eye on the ball
• Use a short (or no) backswing
• Hit the shot with confidence

Well, I am going to work on this and YOU tell me the next time we play if it is working or not!

3 thoughts on “The High Forehand Volley

  1. I believe that B Manning executes a picture-perfect high forehand volley – in practice at least. Foreward step, racket and shoulder frontwards; hammer on the nail, not a swing; aim -I think he says, short angled- don’t aim deep; he crosses over on the follow through (I wonder about this – if there is a return.

    Nick – I agree, Mr. manning has a volley to emulate! George

  2. George,There’s a good,short video w/Brent Abel & tennis coach at St. Mary’s,CA on the high volley.(webtennis.com).Glad you added your site to updates regarding Spike.Keep up the good work…we senior players need all the help we can get.Cheers,Walt

    Walt – thanks. geo

  3. More players miss high forehand volleys than any other volley. Because its high, it’s going to bounce high, giving you opponent more time to grt to the ball. No one has mentioned whether this high ball is close to the body. Obviously if you have to reach wide for it, you can’t be putting any weight toward the net. You can hammer it like a nail unless it’s high enough that you cant bend your elbow and have to hit it with a straight arm. My personal rule of thumb is to try to hit any put away volley, hard enough that if your opponent gets his racket on it it will go out. If I had better aim, I’d hit it easier but so that my opponent or opponents couldn’t ever get to it. That doesn’t usually work that well for me:). My advice, just don’t miss it and try to not give your opponent much of a shot and put the next one away.

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