It is a shot you don’t want to have to hit, but we all get stuck having to do it … the half volley hit when the ball is at your feet. One pro has advice on how to master this stroke.
Don’t Do It!
But before we get to the “how to,” advice from my pro partner Hank Irvine says, “Don’t allow yourself to get stuck hitting a half volley.” What he suggests is that, when you are coming forward (the usual time you get faced with this), that you either force yourself to take that EXTRA STEP and take the ball in the air; or you stop, allow the ball to bounce, and hit a ground stroke instead.
Gigi Says ..
In the April issue of “Tennis Magazine,” 17-time Grand Slam doubles champion Gigi Fernandez says, “This shot is an abbreviated version of the traditional volley, with the distinction that it’s hit right as the ball touches the ground.
“The keys to hitting this shot effectively are:
- Take a short backswing
with a continental group
- Move through the
ball with your body more than with your arms – the upper body must stay still.
- Stay low: bend your knees while executing the swing.”
From the Other Side of the Net
Hank Irvine also preaches: when you see your opponent faced with a low ball at their feet, be aggressive and move in and toward the net ONLY IF they are taking it in the air. Because if they are hitting a half volley, they will probably have time to see you move and hit the ball behind you.
What are your factors in hitting the half volley or defending against it?
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