How To Volley

Danie Visser

Monday morning started off at a cool 59 degrees and the temperature warmed up to the low 70s for our morning of training, team positioning, and drills.  A stated goal for the morning is “don’t work too hard” (save yourself for the afternoon doubles match and two-a-day matches that start on Tuesday). 


After breakfast, we had a clinic on the volley from Roy Emerson and Danie Visser:

  • Too many players stand too close to he net, leaving themselves vulnerable to the lob. The best place to position yourself is in the middle of the service box (and if you still have trouble going back for the lob, start a little further back).
  • The grip should always be the Continental on both the forehand and backhand; but if you have time, you can flatten out your grip (on both sides) to hit a harder volley.
  • Turn your upper body and keep a SHORT stroke.
  • Keep the wrist firm; but still have “soft hands.” Seems contradictory, but both are important.
  • Make sure you keep a constant face on your racquet and constant contact point.
  • Make sure you volley level or hitting up (on low balls) … not hitting down.
  • A great drill to end every practice session with is to volley against your practice partner from service line to service line. And try to drive the volley so that you are both hitting waist high volleys.

Morning Tennis

Then all the teams went off to play some doubles for about two hours, with different pairings to see how we match up together.  I was on our third court … which means there are at least eight doubles players above me – a pretty solid Wanker team.

Following lunch, we had our pictures taken and then gathered for more doubles practice and pairings.  I think I will be playing either #5 or 6 in the afternoon team matches tomorrow – and higher in the morning (with others playing singles).  We hit for another two hours … and I am taking Aleve “just in case.”

After Tennis Tennis

At the end of the day, Roy Emerson and Rod Laver gave a clinic right below our balcony; but after a full day of morning and afternoon tennis, Willy and I shared some beer, nuts, and relaxing time watching the two legends from on high. Doesn’t get much better than that.

Senior Moments

Then we went to Happy Hour and dinner of barbeque chicken and ribs.  After dinner, I presented the first planned “Senior Moment” award of giving away a copy of my “Senior Tennis” book (which is available in Newk’s pro shop).

It was awarded to Andy Hallock who … listened to advice from his doctor, my blog, and a friend and went from a chubby 215 pounds to an incredible 148 pounds!  And then read about good friend Willy’s fight with bladder cancer and decided that “life is too short” to miss another Fantasy Camp and was a last-minute signup.

The evening’s entertainment was an “AUSSIE panel” of Davo, Emmo, Laver, Charlie Pasarell and Fred Stolle, who talked about current and classic tennis.

Afterwards, while others went to the bar for more drink and talk, I went off to my room to try to get a decent night’s sleep before the Tuesday team competition, with doubles for me in the morning and in the afternoon.

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My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!

8 thoughts on “How To Volley

  1. George, after have been at the camp for 11 years (in the past), I enjoy your reports. Of course the food menu is the same (since 30 years), so I really don’t miss anything regarding food. At my last attendance Cliff Drysdale said” that the only thing had changed was that the cock roaches have learned how to swim”.

    I am sorry to learn that Willy has physical problems and I wish him all the very best! In March, at the Indian Wells Tournament, I had to leave early and finally I was diagnosed with extreme anemia. After 6 month with various doctors, I finally got the correct doc and hopefully I can fight this annoying problem.

    My very best greetings to Al Eden, he was the first camper I met in (1993) in the pick up van to the Ranch.

    I am so glad that you not only participate, but write these informative reports. I wish that the Wankers have more luck this year. All the very best to all campers and hopefully all will stay healthy! Rolf

    Rolf, hope you are well enough one year to come back. george

  2. Am vicariously enjoying the fantasy camp – smart of you to get extra rest rather than evening social time. Keep up the details, fascinating.
    I am at World Championships being held at Lake Nona – magic vacation for me. My opponents invited me to leave the tournament but am still here enjoying the great tennis. Really impressive players from around the world are demonstrating skills that challenge you to elevate your game, fitness. What a great sport we are so lucky to have as part of our lives!

    Winder, how are the lungs holding up? Be well. George

  3. Thanks George,
    I am living my fantasy camp thru you. 🙂
    Randy Beerman

    Randy, next year come yourself! You would be a hit here just for your name. 🙂 george

  4. George, that’s a lot of writing power on one team. And I remain deeply envious of how quickly and cleanly you post your daily entries this week. Good luck to the Wankers, except when they fce off against the Dunnies.

    Terry Kahn

    Terry, thanks! george

  5. Lungs worked well enough to complete all three matches including 12:30 full heat and humidity singles vs Dennis Posteraro yesterday – he moved and played very well winning 3,2.
    I was thrilled to be able to not only complete the match without oxygen (ITF prohibits) but play my game – he was just better

    Winder, GREAT!! george

  6. Hi George, love hearing about your trip and living vicariously through you while languishing on my couch and anticipating another session of chair yoga this morning. Have fun!

    Bill, how soon till you are back on the court? george

  7. Back to Naples on the 30th and hope to start hitting in a few weeks. Planning to be in no rush.

    Bill, when you are ready/looking for some light hitting, let me know. george

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