Land The Airplane

airplaneThe high forehand volley: the sitter shot that should be an easy put-away; but can frequently be blown. What is the secret to making it more than missing it?

Roy Emerson

For several years at Newk’s Fantasy Camp, I was working with Emmo to try to correct this flaw in my net game. His advice? Volley like your racquet is on a table top … and clear it off. In other words, come across on a flat plane.

Fred Drilling

I was listening to Fred counsel a new doubles partner on this stroke; and his advice? Severely chop down on the volley to create bite on the ball as it hits the court.

Hank Irvine

When talking with one of my favorite “tournament mentors,” Hank Irvine essentially advised an exact middle ground. His advice? Hit the high volley like you are “landing an airplane.” In other words, not parallel to the court, nor too severely that you would “crash land”; but on a smooth, angled descent.

He also had another great piece of advice – which I am all too frequently guilty of NOT following … “always know where your racquet head is.” (NOTE: Hank called and corrected me… it is know where your racquet FACE is at all times. When you think about it, that is much more accurate: your racquet head could be in the right place, but angled the wrong way. As always… thanks!)

Put those two pieces of advice together and you might make more of those high volleys than you miss.

What are your high volley keys?

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6 thoughts on “Land The Airplane

  1. Those are 3 totally different tips. All 3 can’t be right. You are questioning Newk’s expertise? Maybe Newk is confused because he is so old now?

    Bobby, speaking about being “so old,” the tip was from Emmo! I believe Hank’s is the one to follow. thanks, george

  2. Give me pace..no problem, but the High floaters on the forehand volley are a tough shot for me! I have to discipline myself to not take to big a swing and mis- hit the thing altogether!lol

    Jim, i took a lesson from Larry Turville and hit said “take a whack at it!” george

  3. It’s always amazing to me how many errors are made inside the service line with floaters over the net which seem like they should be juicy winners, but often don’t end up that way!

  4. Ask B Manning to give his advice – he hits it perfectly and has very good instructions.
    I have watched him: his form is perfect and so is the volley he makes – it is crisp and angled.

    Nick, he has been instructing me on that shot for YEARS! thanks, george

  5. George: great photo of Maho Beach!!! and yes, airplanes land after a smooth, controlled descent but they “flare” just before touchdown and arrest the descent-not that there is any application to a tennis stroke–just wanted to remind everyone that I am a pilot!!

    Doc, that may be true to the analogy… i have watched the pros kinda curve up their raquet at the end of the volley stroke. thanks, george

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