The Volley

The volley

Both the forehand and backhand volley are played with the same grip, the chopper grip.  Unlike the serve you should hold the racket firmer and it helps if you hold the racket slightly higher on the grip dependant on your wrist strength i.e. the less wrist strength the higher.  If you start in a good ready position up at the net, you will become better at volleying and gain more confidence.  The ready position is with the racket head up high with the racket edge close to your eye level.  Stand half way between the net and service line when waiting for a volley but remember to close off the net when executing the shot.

Forehand volley

The first reaction is to set your wrist back and not to make a shoulder turn (as you do with the forehand ground stroke) and block the ball with no follow through.  You generally get the power from the pace of the ball coming at you and rarely need to take a backswing and follow through on the volley unless it’s a drive volley.  When the ball is above net height you should be trying to hit the ball down and therefore need come from high to low but keeping the racket moving forward.  By using the chopper grip and the creating this high to low action, this will impart a little slice on the ball which will give you the control and feel.

Contact point

Out in front with a straight arm and slightly out to the side, similar to putting your hand out in front of you as though you were stopping traffic.

Backhand volley

Take the racket back with your non playing hand but only as far as your shoulder.  As the racket goes forward, release your non playing hand and create a short shallow high to low action.  Try and keep the racket head above your wrist on all backhand volleys.

Contact point

Do not hit the ball too far in front and play the ball more out to the side – different to the forehand volley where we are trying to contact the ball earlier.

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