Volleys: How to Work on Power and Feel

November 2013 Newsletter

Once you have the basic fundamentals to volleying, which are, establishing the correct grip, keeping the racquet head up and moving it from high to low towards the contact, you are ready to work on superior feel and effortless power.

Feel and power can be developed over time but you will reach a plateau if not done correctly. Often times, coaches focus on hitting volleys too much in front of the body. It’s not a bad thing to hit volleys out in front. The issue is that students are taught just to stick the racquet out in front of them and block. When you first learn to volley, this is a good place to start but as you learn to make solid contact with the ball, you need to bring the racquet back and move forward towards the ball. Just sticking the racquet out in front of your body will get you decent results but it will feel stiff.

In order for you to experience better feel and natural power, there needs to be a forward motion with your racquet. Most of the time, the forward motion moves high to low, creating under-spin, helping the ball stay on the strings a tiny bit longer. This will help you achieve better feel. Using your opponent’s power along with the forward motion of the racquet going diagonally from high to low attains natural power.

Make sure the racquet starts next to your body and not in front. Once you make contact, FREEZE your racquet. Of course, the racquet will move a bit forward naturally after the point of contact, but often times players intentionally move their racquets a little too much. Too much movement results in loss of control. This is where your footwork comes into play. Instead of moving your racquet after the follow through, move forward with your body with a forward step. When these movements are aligned, your volleys will be crisp, powerful and controlled.

 

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