Wednesday, June 25, 2014

The Shot That Sets Up The Volley

It's no secret that most people don't volley enough; they are too comfortable moving to the back of the court and often start moving backwards before their opponent even hits the ball. There are also those that hang so far back on the T that even if they do volley their opponent is probably already in front of them on the T making a volley to the front of the court risky. There are others that have technical flaws in their volley mechanics or lack confidence in their volley so they don't look to play the ball out of the air. As interesting as these areas are, I am not going to cover them today, instead I am going to talk about the shot that sets up the volley! If you want to be able to volley more and have easier receiving shots to volley the quality of your 'shot that sets up your volley' needs to improve. 

If you hit the ball tight to the either side wall most opponents cannot hit the ball crosscourt and if they do it comes lose through the middle. So please, if you hit a tight shot, move your T and look for either a stroke (if they are in the front) or to volley a weak drive (if they are in the back). So the easiest?? way to get more easy volleys is to hit the ball tight! Ya I know, doesn't take a genius to figure that out.   On a similar note, hitting good dying straight drives can be challenging to get down the wall with and pace, if you hit a dying length and your opponent is forced to play the ball before the back wall and hopefully under pressure, stretch out and on their back leg, you will likely get a weak receiving ball. Recognize these opportunities and don't let them pass you by without looking to volley the next shot. 

Another way to get more easier receiving balls to volley is by hitting wider and deeper cross courts. If you hit this shot well your opponent 'should' not be able hit the ball back crosscourt, at least not by you. So try and hit good wide and deep width and this will limit your opponent to a possibly weak drive or a boast. 

A third way to get easier receiving balls to volley is to improve your attacking boast. If you can hit a good two wall boast and/or your opponent is hanging back or not expecting it they will likely be late to the front of the court. Being late to the front corner on either side makes it very difficult to straight down the wall with any pace. So if you drag your opponent up to the front of the court with a good boast, anticipate a crosscourt length and look to cut it off. The later they are to the ball the weaker the receiving ball will likely be. 

And finally, this is a great way to get more easier receiving balls..tire out your opponent! Once they are fatigued they will often be late to the ball, run too close to the ball, have their racquet up late, etc. and all of this put together means they will be hitting the ball lose and will probably crosscourt more. When someone is tired and hanging back on the T, is slow clearing, your volleys don't even need to be as good to put them under pressure. 

As a bonus note..a good serve can set up an easy volley too! Don't just put the ball in play on your serve and even worse don't hit a good serve and let an easy volley go right by you. 

So in summary, hit the your straight drives and drops tighter, your crosscourts wider and deeper, work on your 2 wall attacking boast, improve your physical conditioning, and serve better and you will set yourself up for easier volleys. If you don't hit a high quality shot against a good player you probably won't have much of a chance to volley so there is no point in just telling someone to volley more if they aren't setting it up. Once you've figured out how to set yourself up for easier volleys, keep an eye out for a future post where I'll discuss some tips on improving your volley including some of my favourite volleying drills and condition games. 

1 comment:

  1. This is a great post! I think I'm going to print and memorize! You can quiz me next week...haha.


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