How to Hit a Tennis Volley | Complete Technique (Top Speed Tennis)

How to Hit a Tennis Volley | Complete Technique (Top Speed Tennis)

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Hi guys, I’m Clay Ballard with Top Speed
Tennis, and let me tell you there’s not much in tennis that’s more rewarding than
having a great volley game. You get to stand a few feet away from the
net, jerking your opponent from left to right, make them run around like a mad man, just
to hit you an easy shot that you can then slam away. In today’s video we’re going to go over
four keys to developing a fantastic volley game and really making your opponent work
very hard. Let’s go ahead and get started. OK, so when developing a good volley, a lot
of this is about placement at first. And what I would recommend is standing about
halfway between the service line and the net as you’re starting out. Now if someone hits you a nice, easy shot,
then you can go a little bit closer to the net, and really start to get on the attacking
side of it. But we don’t want to get so close to the
net that if someone hits a lob over our head, we’re not going to be able to get back and
hit a return. So right here in the middle of this box is
a great place to be for most of your volleys. Now, to get started, the first thing we need
to have is the correct grip, and it’s very, very important with the volley, a lot of these
shots are going to be coming at you fairly quickly because you are a lot closer to the
opponent. So we’re going to use the continental grip,
that way we can easily change from a backhand to a forehand volley without moving our grip
around very much. And what this means is, if we have the bevels
on the racket, this top bevel, bevel is number one, that’s the one that’s straight up
and down. The next bevel over to the right going clockwise
is bevel number two. I’m going to put my index finger knuckle
right on bevel number two, just as if I was going to hammer the racket into the ground. I’m also going to slide my hand down until
my pinky is on the tapered edge of the bottom of my racket. The bottom meaty part of my hand is going
to be a little bit off the racket. From this position, I can easily hit a backhand
or a forehand volley without changing my grip. That way I can be very, very versatile. Now
the second piece of this is going to be your footwork. And since this is happening very quickly,
I want to do a quick drill for you to develop this footwork. Now for a forehand volley, or a volley coming
to your right, we want to be turned with our left foot forward, and then we can then go
across our body to go cross-court. What we don’t want to do, and sometimes
I’ll see this, is people will step forward with their right foot and then try to hit
the forehand side volley. Very, very difficult, a little bit awkward
to get into the position there. So to get started here, what I want us to
practice is first pulling the right foot back, and then stepping forward with the left foot. So it’s got to be in this order. I want
to go back with the right, forward with the left. The reason I do it in this order is that as
I turn back with the right, I’m going to get myself into position where I can hit that
volley very quickly, and then as I step forward with the left, now I’m going to have momentum
moving to the other side of the court, the other side of the court. I do want to use momentum for my body to add
to that shot. So we’ll practice that a few more times. Right foot back, left foot forward. Now if we’re going to the backhand side,
we’re just going to switch that. Left foot back, right foot forward, and my
momentum is going toward the net. Now the third piece we’re going to work
on with this is imagining that we’re going to keep our arms in front of our body. With the, with the volley stroke here, we
don’t need a big wind up. It’s not about speed, I don’t need to
get this racket way back behind my head and slam this volley down, it’s about angles. I want to hit sharp angles to the sides of
the courts, again, I’m going to try to jerk my opponent all over the court, and force
him to make the error. You won’t have to hit too many volleys,
well-placed volleys before your opponent will make that error. So it’s very, very critical that we keep
our arms in front to limit all this extra movement. So what we can do is we can imagine most shirts
have a seam going up and down the side of your shirt. And I want to keep my elbows in front of that
seam. So imagine there’s a brick wall that’s
right at the seam of this shirt, and it’s to your sides, and as I’m loading up, that’s
as far back as I can go to hit that shot. So even as I turn back, if you look at my
elbow in relationship to my shirt seam, it’s well out in front. So elbows forward as we’re turning from
side to side, never getting those elbows back behind your body breaking that shirt seam,
then you’re going to be in trouble because you’re adding a lot of inconsistency with
the racket. Now finally, is the motion itself, the hitting
motion. And what I want you to visualize with this, is a very, very simple motion. We’re simply going to be karate chopping,
or slicing our hand down into the ball. So as we come back our hand is nice and high,
let’s do this without a racket a couple of times. Actually going to set the racket here on the
net. We’re going to have our hands in front,
let’s imagine it’s going to the forehand side. Right food back, left food forward, my hand
is up about head height, and I’m just going to chop down and through that ball. So I’m not going back and then through,
it’s one, simple, compact motion toward the opposing side of the court. The backhand side, we’re going to do the
same thing, arms are starting up, down and through. Now I do that with a racket, you’ll see
it’s a very compact, very, very simple motion. Up in front, down and through. Arms up in
front, down and through. So it’s that karate chopping motion with
the forehand and the backhand that are going to allow you to be very, very consistent. Let’s go ahead and do a few more drills
with this to really ingrain it, and you’re going to become a master of the volley game. OK, so we’ve got our good placement, we’ve
got our grip, now we’re going to work on the keys of footwork here. So what I want you to do first, is let’s
go ahead and get in the proper foot position. We’re going to do 100 forehands and then
100 backhands, and we’re going to do just like I instructed in the video earlier, we’re
going to first drop the right foot back, then forward with the left foot. That’s all we’re going to do, over and
over. Right foot back, left food forward, and then you can go ahead and simulate a hitting
motion if you want to. We’re going to do this 100 times on the
left, and then we’re going to switch over to the backhand, 100 times on the left. The next piece we’re going to do, is we’re
going to make sure that we keep those elbows in front. So as we’re doing this, we’ve already
worked on our footwork, now we’re going to switch over from focusing on footwork to
focusing on our elbows. We’re going to do the same thing, 100 to
the right, elbows in front, hitting down in through. 100 back to the left, hitting down and through,
and then finally we’re going to focus on the motion of the hand. So we’ve done the footwork, we’ve done
our elbows, now we’re going to work on just that compact motion, getting that karate chopping
action going into the court. You’re going to work on that 100 right,
100 to the left, forehands and backhands, and once you’ve done that you’re ready
to take this to play. Practice with a partner, get a ball machine,
really get a lot of reps in, and you’re going to be a person to deal with up near
the net. So good luck to you guys, good luck with those
volleys, I’ll see you all soon. OK, so the easiest way to get into great volleying
position up close to the net is to have a big serve. If we hit a powerful serve, our opponent is
going to have to chip back a shot, and we’re going to be attacking the net, getting close,
and putting away that point very, very quickly. Very similar to what you’d see with some
of the game’s greatest players like Pete Sampras. So I have a video that I’m going to play
in a second, a preview of a video from my Power Serve series. If you want to watch that entire video plus
the entire Power Serve series, just click the link that’s going to pop up on the bottom
right-hand side of your screen, or down below in the description. That’s going to take you to a place where
you can watch that entire series absolutely free of charge. Look forward to seeing you guys very soon. If you enjoyed this video, click the like
button, +1 this video on Google, that really helps us to grow the channel. I’ll see you guys soon, good luck with that
serve and volley. Hi, I’m Clay Ballard with Top Speed Tennis. Today we’re going to talk about how you
can use the throwing motion to increase your serve speed. OK, so in this video we’re going to talk
about using arm speed to increase your serve speed. So when we’re making a serve, really
what we’re doing with the racket is we’re doing a throwing motion up toward the ball. So in this video, there we go, hit one out
of there. OK, so practice that, go ahead and get…

27 thoughts on “How to Hit a Tennis Volley | Complete Technique (Top Speed Tennis)”

  1. Hi Clay,You are an excellent instructor.What a pity you don't live in Thailand so i could take some lessons.! Kind regards and keep up the great instructionals.You make tennis much more amenable to improvement which limits so many peoples enjoyment and participation in this great sport.Well done.

  2. Clay I really like the biomechanics basis for the coaching you do. I have watched the golf and the tennis video's and it makes learning supper easy.  The only thing i'd like to see more of the video's ending with you using the drills/techniques and hitting balls! To me it links the drills tot he successful completion of the shot?

  3. fab drills! I’m particularly striken by th ball – ball shooting (4 toss)
    and tis really hits home when talking bout “throwing motion” is substantiated w/rkt THROWING:) gr8 srv tutorial bravo maestro

  4. I've had several lessons on the volley. The one difference I noted in your technique is say on the right handed volley, 1st…pulling the right foot back and then step 2…stepping forward or diagonally with the left foot. This is the first time I've seen it described as a two step movement…unless it's kind of a split step before the forward step.  Not sure there is time to do it in two steps. Any thoughts on that?

  5. Thank u for your very useful tips first of all. But I'd like to add that it would be much better if you spend more time showing you hit real balls. Your explanation is just great that I can equip myself with necessary theory, especially your forehand videos, once again excep this part.

  6. Using what you are calling the karate chop motion (slice/underspin) is especially helpful with control of the ball when the opponents underspin shot tends to cause volleys to be dumped into the net

  7. I always have the problem that in doubles I volley the ball back at the opponent, and not really deep so they have an easy time returning my volley and putting the ball where they want. I will do these drills to improve my consistency. Thank yo so much for the instructions

  8. Great video man, but i have a few tips for you… I guess the step back- step forward was to illustrate that the body has to be moving forward when you make the volley, but with a split step it's easier in my humble opinion, and then after the split the step you have to make that step diagonally when the ball is at enough distance to commit to it, if the ball comes directly to your body, you can't really make that step forward. That was missing in the video. Of course, you are explaining the basics, just wanted to point that out. Great tip of the elbow, i use it as a wall right behind your back, so people can't really take that raquet back enough or they will ''swing'' too much and generate inconsistencies just as you pointed out.

  9. hi coach !! would like to know how to play that shot when you are at volley and the opponent plays the high lob .. so you have to go back and play .what is the grip and technique .. how the pros play it so good? please make a video on this
    i think its important in modern day tennis

  10. Great reminder to keep that elbow at the seam to in front. I get too far behind on my backhand volley. Thank you very much

  11. You must be kidding 😂😂 stepping back, stepping forward , arm motion . This is by far the wurst video on the volley

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