Tennis net volley
Tennis player, who is not using the volley shots, is only a «half»- player.
It is not difficult to learn to play tennis volleys. Perhaps tennis net play is easier than strokes from the baseline, as you get rid of the difficulties that arise when the ball bounces. Preparations for the stoke takes less time than preparation for the stroke from the baseline.
The aim of volley shot is to win the point immediately. This is supposed by the short stroke motion in the back-forward and top-down direction. This kind of shot is a base on for one of the most popular game styles – serve and volley.
Forehand volley technique
For performing forehand volley from the starting position the shoulders are rotated at an angle of approximately 45 ° to the grid.
If hands, being close to the body, naturally, and as if by themselves follow the rotation of the shoulders, then the racket covers more than half of the segment of the trajectory, which she describes in the phase of preparation for the stroke.
By the backward movement produced by the forearm, the racquet takes the position that corresponds to the end of the swing, the hitting surface of the racket is almost perpendicular to the ground. Right elbow remains close to the body, keeping the same position as in the original position.
Racket head moves up and back, a little looking around at the right shoulder (or slightly crossing an imaginary line that is parallel to the grid and pass through the right shoulder), and stops above the point of a potential ball stroke.
All this part of the movement should be carried out smoothly, without jerks, even if circumstances force to act quickly (Fig. 1. a, b, c).
The net volley shot is made at the moment when body weight is transferred forward on the right foot to the left. The racket is moving from a position in which she appears at the end of the swing, at the point of meeting with a ball located in front of the torso.
Elbow remains close to the body. An elongated forearm gives speed to the racquet (Fig. 1, d). In the beginning of the stroke the racquet head has a slight backward deflection. Racket meets the ball at a point that is distant from the body 10-20 cm further then if to compare with the same point during forehand ground stroke.
The end of the movement is made with outstretched arm, the racquet strings are almost parallel to the grid for direct strokes and at an angle to it in the diagonal strokes.
The left hand holds the balance of the body, it stays in front to prevent backward rejection of left shoulder (Fig. 1. e, f). Hand must firmly hold the racket in the late swing phase and up to the stroke. Hand can be only relaxed while returning to the starting position.
Volley shot must be confident and fast.
Backhand volley technique
Here will be described the backhand volley which is performed with one hand, though the two handed backhand volley shot also exists. Position of the shoulders and pelvis is symmetrical to their position while hitting forehand volley at the beginning of preparation to the stroke (Fig. 2. a, b, c).
By the end of preparation and the beginning of the stroke the shoulders turn perpendicular to the grid (Fig. 2, c).
Racket, which runs half the way back during the turn of the body, is driven to the end of the swing with both hands. The right arm is slightly distanced from the breast to facilitate the movement of the forearm (forearm rotation due to which the palm appears to face towards the ground).
Racket head encircles the left shoulder from the top, goes back and stops above the meeting point with the ball, except the high volley shots, when during the swing the racquet head starts to move from a level below the point of contact with the ball (Fig. 3 a, b).
All movements at this stage of the stroke are carried out smoothly and without jerks.
The body, «thrown» forward with left foot, loses balance after the end of preparation to the stroke.
The stroke is made while the right leg is seeking point of support to restore the lost balance. Racket goes directly from the position of the swing end to the stroke, i.e. the point of contact with the ball located in front of the player.
The forearm is moved forward and gives the speed to the racquet, which head is slightly bent back. Contact of racket with the ball usually happens after the right foot touches the ground. The hand at this point should not be relaxed. The point of hitting is at a bigger distance from the body than while hitting backhand from the baseline. Termination of motion is made with outstretched arm, the racket is almost perpendicular to the net. Volley shot is made with vigor and determination, and only in the very end of the stroke the player can relax. And now look at Fig. 2, d, e, f, g.
A few volley tips
The vast majority of tennis volleys are carried out with slicing. Only high volleys can be flat. For a beginner, it is important to hit tennis volley shots standing near to the net (1 to 2m) to:
- have the height of the grid as a reference;
- attack the ball from the top-down;
- think about whether the ball will not get the net, when the ending of the motion is clearly below the edge of the net.
As the development of tennis volley technique a player is moving away from the net to the middle position (between the net and the half-court).
While hitting any stroke you should move at the ball. But there are two different positions depending on where the ball is directed by the volley:
- the player moves from middle position. He pushes forward, hits the ball, goes forward until the end of the racket motion and returns back a little to protect himself from a lob.
- the player begins to move from the baseline. He pushes forward, hits the ball, continuing to move forward during the stroke, and even after it, to reach the middle position (in some cases going over it, and some — a little before it).
To learn confidently the tennis volley technique, it’s best to:
- on the first stage of learning to work under volley shots directly near the net;
- to move away gradually from the net and send volleys to the half-court;
- from a bit distant position from the net to try to send a long net volley - at first straight, then diagonal, varying with the force of stroke;
- to approach the middle position and attempt to send the strokes from the moderate or low point, controlling the speed and direction of ball flight.
Having mastered the basic techniques in tennis, you should pay more attention to the volley shots, learning them together with a partner. Best position for this – the half-court line, it gives time to see a flying ball, and take a better position to control the ball (it’s useless to hit the ball powerfully).
This exercise develops a reaction, dexterity, feeling of the ball, it always revives training.