How to “Stick” Your Volleys

  1. Be active with your feet. Time the split step to properly “unweight” your body and get a maximum jump on the ball.
  2. Make early contact (in relation to your body) and drive your hand and racquet face through the ball out toward the target (leading with the butt end and bottom edge of the racquet).
  3. Maintain the racquet head above your wrist and maintain a consistent angle between your forearm and racquet. Keep the racquet head up at the finish as well to ensure you are hitting through the ball and to assist your “quick” recovery for the next shot. Keeping the racquet head up at the finish will give you more “pop” on your volley.
  4. Coil and uncoil. Set your hand and racquet in line with the ball out in front of your body (with no backswing) and then coil with your hips and shoulders to set the racquet back in a strong hitting position. For the one-handed backhand volley, this coiling action will position the butt end of the racquet in line with the ball and the racquet frame back to almost a parallel alignment with the court. Uncoil by stepping forward (opposite foot) and then opening in succession first the hips and then the shoulders to drive the racquet forward through the ball.  For the one-handed backhand volley, the resulting stroke gives the appearance of a knifing action with the racquet path and angle.
  5. Maintain core stability and balance. Establish a centered, balanced position with a low center of gravity. Avoid overextending (and drawing your body out of alignment) by reaching with your racquet for the ball.
  6. Use your non-hitting hand and arm to generate momentum. For the backhand, swing the non-hitting hand (or non-hitting elbow) back as you bring your hitting hand and racquet forward to contact the ball. For the forehand, drive the elbow of your non-hitting arm into your rib cage (into a tuck position) to lock the hips and allow the shoulders and racquet head to transfer force to the ball.
  7. Get into the net. Close your distance to get as tight as possible to the net.
  8. Close into the net and move through the shot for balls up in your strike zone (shoulder height).
  9. Hit hard for angles when taking the ball close to the net. Hit for depth when taking the ball from a deeper court position.
  10. For doubles, hit at the feet of the opposing player who is positioned closest to the net and has the least amount of time to respond (when in a court position to attack the volley).

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