How to Hit a Tennis Volley

Learn how to volley in tennis with a simple drill


Volley shots can be very difficult to achieve as a beginner, even those with a bit of experience may still struggle to get the perfect volley shots at the net. 

With consistent volleys many players will also struggle as they are trying to create spin on the volley, however this is often done in the incorrect way and the player misses the volley.

In this article you’re going to learn how to volley the easiest way, using a simple drill… You’ll be able to master your volleys and be more consistent in no time.

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1.  The error

The first thing you need to know is that with your body to the shot, less equals more. Most of the time the error that people make with their volleys is that they are chopping down. They are trying to hit spin, so they’re chopping hard down at the ball.

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2.  The key

The key to a good volley is getting the ball to go to your target, and the best way to do that is to help get the racquet to move in that direction as well. 

So if you are swinging down, the ball will tend to want to go down. Now a lot of beginners will think that if you swing down it’s going to hit underspin and that’s going to help the ball go up and it will. However, what they need to understand is that when you’re chopping down at a volley, as the ball is coming at you at about 40 to 70 miles per hour you have to be really precise with your timing. 

A lot of times that is when you’re hitting shanks, what you want to do instead is to get your racquet out in the line of the ball path, angle it towards your target, then extend towards the target and go forward more. This way you’ll have a better chance of hitting the ball in the center of the racquet.

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3.  The drill

To become better at your volleys, here’s a drill you should follow and practice: Remember the aim is to learn how to get the racquet moving more towards your target instead of down to help you hit better volleys.

A great way to practice this drill is instead of chopping down into the volley, you want to go through the volley.

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To begin, go up to the net  and go to the side of the net that’s going upwards. As you are aware the net is six inches lower in the middle than it is at the end.

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The next step is to place your racquet on the net with an open face and ensure that the throat of the racquet is resting on the net.  

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From that position you can either stand at an angle or you can close in, however that depends on what kind of volley you’re hitting. For this drill try standing at an open angle.

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When you are holding the racquet try to ensure that you have a continental grip, you can achieve this hold by pretending as if you are holding a hammer or an axe.

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The key is to have your racquet face already opened. A lot of players think you have to chop to hit the underspin, but again to hit spin you just have to hit the ball off its center of gravity.

Think of it as a golf club or a golfer,  when they hit a golf ball they’re not brushing the ball, they are striking the ball, but because of the angle of the face it’s creating spin on that ball and that’s the same thing that will happen to your racquet.

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So what you want to do is place the racquet on the net open face, then extend the racquet straight and then you’re going to hit the ball straight down the net. 

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Again you can’t swing down because the net is in the way, so that's why you place it on the net. Then by simply moving it forward along the net, the racquet puts underspin on the ball due to the open angle of the face and the ball goes straight down to your target.

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This method makes it a lot easier for you to be consistent and start to aim your shots because there’s less moving parts to your stroke. All you have to do is keep the volley very simple, set the racquet in line with the target and you extend out towards your target, while keeping the face at roughly the same angle the whole way.

So if you want to get better, start making more balls into the court, win more points and matches, this drill is the best way to hit your volleys and become consistent.

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