by Cason Mays
Volleys are a difficult shot to master in tennis. Many recreational and club players often make them more difficult than they already are! Guidelines to abide by at the net are:
- Understand your mentality once you’re there! By approaching the net you are sending a message to your opponent that you are applying pressure to end and win the point. This means that you’re not trying to rally conservatively and give your opponent many chances to pass you. This concept is especially important for singles matches. For doubles there could be longer volleys, or baseline rallies as four players are covering the court.
- Understand the differences in stroke mentality once you’ve made it to this attacking position. Meaning from the base-line groundstrokes are fluid and long to create elasticity and snap for greater generation of power; while from the net a shorter more compact stroke is needed for greater emphasis on trapping your opponent’s power with the volley. Thus you control the shot for better placement.
- Rely on the two most important aspects for volley technique: balance (created by a split-step) and contact point (reaching out in front of your body to make solid contact with the ball.)
Follow these steps and watch your net game improve!
Cason Mays is the Tennis Pro for Maui Country Club.