How to Hit a Perfect Volley

As groundstrokes have evolved and moved to the forefront of the modern game, volleys have retreated to the background. It's not that the skill is no longer important or worth developing; approaching the net is still an effective tactic and a core ingredient for successful tennis.

But given the prevalence of aggressive baseline play, it has become increasingly difficult for players to find opportunities to transition forward. Plus, once a player does take a position in the forecourt, the pace and heavy spins applied to passing shots make it that much more challenging to volley effectively.

More: 4 Drills to Improve Your Volleys

By using an assortment of primary and secondary approaches, along with gaining a better understanding of when to attack a player can make volleying a trusted asset.

Ready Position

Depending on the types of groundstrokes and grips used, a player's ready positions on the baseline and for the volley can vary greatly. That's why many professionals take advantage of having two very different starting positions. A player with a one-handed backhand will only need to address the grip change.

More: 8 Steps to Master the Two-Handed Backhand

Ideally, players should set their net-ready position as though they are going to hit a backhand volley, with the feet slightly more than shoulder-width apart, the knees flexed, the weight on the balls of the feet, and the racquet out in front.

Grip

The classic methodology is to use one universal grip to hit all volleys. Because time is at a premium at the net, it makes sense for players to hold the racquet in a way that allows them to seamlessly hit either a forehand or backhand from down around the feet up to eye level.

The grip of choice for this has generally been the Continental grip. This grip is still the best option on the backhand volley and is not a bad choice for the forehand volley.

More: Two Basic Grips Every Tennis Player Should Know

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About the Author

Frank Giampaolo

Frank Giampaolo is a 25-year tennis industry veteran, founder of The Mental/Emotional Tennis Workshops, recipient of the USPTA Southern California Tennis Director of the Year and author of The Tennis Parent's Bible and Championship Tennis. To learn more from Frank or to order his books, visit tennisparentsolutions.com.

Frank Giampaolo is a 25-year tennis industry veteran, founder of The Mental/Emotional Tennis Workshops, recipient of the USPTA Southern California Tennis Director of the Year and author of The Tennis Parent's Bible and Championship Tennis. To learn more from Frank or to order his books, visit tennisparentsolutions.com.

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