You’re playing competitive doubles and the opposing net man drives the ball right at you … and you “reflex” volley it back for a surprise winner. But it wasn’t a “surprise” to you; because you actually practice that shot.
Practice Makes Better
My regular practice partner Bob Wilkie and I end every practice session with a series of “nose to nose” reflex volleys. We both load up with practice balls, start at the service line T, and volley back and forth.
Two keys to the session are that we do NOT baby the shot… if there is a high ball, we drive it at the other guy. And, that is great practice for actual game shots. And rather than standing static on the tee, the guy who can take the “offense” closes tighter to the net.
At the end of this session, we won’t leave the court until we have a rally of at least 15 consecutive shots. Sometimes we get there in the first few balls; but sometimes we have to work to get the full 15.
Game Day Difference
The big difference in actual match play, is that you have to break yourself of the habit of always driving the volley AT the opposing net player… because it is much better to angle away a winner, rather than allowing your opponent to “surprise” you with their own reflex volley winner.
Bryan Brothers Drill
There is a viral video of the Bryan brothers practicing their volleys by continually crossing parallel to the net. It is a good drill, but a much tougher one to master (at my level, at least). To see it, click HERE
How about you… do you practice this skill?
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