Tennis is an enjoyable sport, but it can also be tricky if you’re not used to playing it or know how certain shots are appropriately executed. The tennis volley is an essential skill to have, and it can be difficult for new players to grasp. But with the proper instructions, you’ll soon find yourself executing this move like a pro! This article will cover all there is to know about the tennis volley: what it is, how it’s performed, and which types of volleys exist in tennis.
What Is The Tennis Volley?
The tennis volley is a defensive shot where the player hits the ball before it bounces on their side of the court. It’s an alternative for players who are not yet ready to approach and hit directly off their racquet or don’t have time to do so. Volleys are also used as part of some offensive strategies to deceive the opponent.
The player must move their racquet behind them at shoulder height before quickly bringing it forward to hit the ball in an upward motion with a semi-circular stroke, similar to that of passing by overhead arms in swimming. The racket should be crashing through the back of the ball, not meeting it head-on or brushing it to the side.
The court positioning of a player using this shot is similar to that used when serving, with their feet shoulder-width apart and slightly turned inwards (closed stance). The arms should be raised at chest height before striking the ball during your swing; one arm will always go above the other (two-handed backhand).
The critical points for this type of shot are to hit through the ball at its lowest point. It’s also important that players remember not to follow through after striking, as it will leave their side open, giving opponents a chance to capitalize on this mistake and put them off guard before they can recover with another shot.
The volleys can be executed using either a forehand or backhand swing. When completing the shot with their back to the incoming ball, players should move towards it and take it out of the air. This is before shifting into an open stance for their next stroke (if required). If they are facing opposite where the ball is coming from, they should slide into the shot and take it on their racquet’s strings, allowing them to direct the ball in the direction of their choosing.
How To Execute A Tennis Volley
A tennis volley shot may be challenging for beginners, especially if they don’t know how to do it. For this reason, here are steps and instructions on how to do it properly. The first thing you need to do is ensure that your body stays in the correct position while playing it. This means keeping both feet grounded, with knees bent and weight on them before hitting or making contact with the ball.
Balance is also crucial while doing this, so make sure you’re stable before trying to hit it. When you are on the other side of the net about ready to volley a shot over it, make sure that your feet are shoulder-width apart and then bend down slightly at your knees as if awaiting an incoming ball.
From here, everything is similar to how you would swing for any type of groundstroke in tennis. The only thing is that instead of swinging the racket through your legs, it should be more of a quick chop up and down as if you were chopping wood. Once you’ve found your balance and stance for the shot, all that’s left is to swing at the ball with good speed while making contact.
Make sure that when hitting or striking the ball like this, everything from your arms up remains relaxed during the shot. This is very important because a tense arm or body will cause the ball to go off course and won’t hit with as much force as it should have, which means your opponent gets an easy point from you.
After doing this, keep an eye out for where the other player sends the ball next. If they’re going to send it high, you’ll need to volley it back with a higher trajectory. This means that instead of hitting the ball straight on like before, you should go up and over your opponent’s head for them not to be able to make contact with the ball as quickly.
If they decide to hit low, though, then you’ll need to do the opposite. This means that instead of going up, you should go down and under your opponent’s arms. If you’re able to successfully pull this off properly, it will surely confuse them because they won’t think that their shot would come back at an angle as this one does.
Lastly, make sure to always keep your eye on the ball. This is very important because you need to know where it’s going and how best to return it over the net. Also, remember that if there are any obstacles in front of you when returning the shot, make sure they’re out of your way before going for it.
This means that if a player or their racket is in front of you, then don’t try to hit the ball around them. This could lead to a double fault, and you are losing out on an easy point. When you see where it’s going, move quickly to that spot and get your racket ready.
Get the ball over the net as soon as possible by following through with a swing after you hit it. This should be done in a fluid motion that’s fast enough to get the ball back over.
Tips On Executing A Tennis Volley
Here are some tips on how to execute a volley in tennis.
Gripping the racket
When holding a tennis racket, there will be three fingers that go over (the index finger and middle finger) while the ring and little fingers grip tight to the racquet’s handle. The grip you have on your racquet will determine how fast or slow the ball travels when it is hit, so always make sure that you are holding onto it tightly with a firm grip at all times.
Position yourself to volley correctly
When positioning yourself for a tennis volley, there are some key things you need to keep in mind. For one, you need to be standing close enough so that the ball will not go over your head but far away enough where it does not look like an easy shot for your opponent.
Most importantly, when positioning yourself on the court, always remember to stand with both feet firmly planted on the ground and then bend your knees slightly. This is the best position for you to be in when volleying a tennis ball.
Types Of Volleys In Tennis
The seven volley types are the punch volley, block volley, drop volley, drive volley, half volley, swinging volley, and overhead.
- A punch volley is a short and low-arc shot that does not bounce before it reaches the other side of the net.
- A block or flat volleying is when the ball bounces next to the player on his/her side of the net, with little forward movement. There must be some forward momentum as the player approaches the net for this type of volley to be effective.
- A drop volley is a short and low-arc shot, but it drops before reaching the other side of the net, unlike a punch. With this type of volleying, one must be aware that since there isn’t any forward momentum to help lift the ball over, they should make sure to get underneath the ball to make sure it gets over.
- A drive volley is a hard-hit volley that travels low and fast across the net. To execute this shot successfully, one must keep his or her body still while focusing on timing for the ball not to go long or into the net.
- A half volley is a slightly higher-arc shot that bounces before hitting the other side of the net, but it’s not as high as a drive. The ball must be hit at its peak for this type of volley to work because if one hits too early or too late, it will go long or into the net, respectively.
- A swinging volley is a shot similar to the drive volley, but it hits the ball at its peak and swings underneath for depth. This type of volleying takes practice because if one doesn’t do it right, they could easily hit into the net or go long.
- An overhead is when a player hits the ball from above his/her head. This type of volley is suitable for making the other player move to hit it, but since one doesn’t see where they are hitting it until after they have struck the ball, the overhead can be difficult to master even at an amateur level.
The tennis volley is a great tool to have, whether you’re playing or coaching. Learning how and when to execute it will help improve your game, take some pressure off of yourself, and put the ball away from where your opponent wants it.
Have fun with this drill next time you step on the court. It’s also helpful for coaches who wish their players to execute volleys at every point to get used to them before going out there against an actual opponent.