How to Solidify Your Volley

Here are 10 drills and exercises to solidify your volley.

  1. Volley holding your racquet at the racquet throat (or top of the racquet handle) to help shore up your wrist and head position on the volley.
  2. Hit an up tempo volley-to-volley exchange. Start up close midway between the service line and net.  Hit up on the ball to keep the ball in play and to maintain the rally without a bounce. For variation, establish a cross court, down-the-line and alternating cross court/down-the-line exchange, progressively work back, dynamically work up and back together, play a no bounce (hit only up) game using two service boxes for court boundaries, maintain a forehand (backhand) only rally and a low ball/high ball rally.
  3. Hit against a wall (backboard). Check out this Cara Black YouTube video (https://youtu.be/_cThQIhFSZk).
  4. Hit two touch volleys. Catch the ball with the first racquet contact (using backspin and soft hands) and then hit the ball over to your hitting partner with the second racquet contact. Use QuickStart red, orange or green dot balls if you experience difficulty initially with the two-touch technique.
  5. Hit for repetition and rhythm. Maintain a groundstroke to volley rally. Define a specific target area for the volley and establish progressive goals for the number of volleys hit in succession to this defined target area.
  6. Rehearse specific volley shot combination patterns with a hitting partner.  For example, practice hitting a pattern or sequence to include an approach shot followed by two volleys. Introduce more difficult variables with success such as a requirement in this example to hit both volleys past the service line.
  7. Play no bounce (or one bounce only) points. Start each point from the baseline or a designated deep court position to work on your ability to aggressively close the net.
  8. Set a three to four foot high obstacle on the service line. Practice hitting low and high volleys over the obstacle (and into the court).
  9. Work on move, hit and recover volley patterns with a partner willing to feed a series of balls in succession. Move up, left or right to hit each volley (preferably with the goal of hitting a specified target or target area) then fully recover back, right, or left after each shot. It is a great way to work on stretch volleys, digging out low volleys and footwork to the ball and in recovery after the shot. The pace, frequency and location of the feed and distance required for movement both to the ball and recovery after the shot can be manipulated to make the drill more or less difficult and/or complex.
  10. Respond with your volley to a series of alternating and rapid low/high feeds (like a hockey goalie four corner bean bag drill).

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