The Art of Volleying

The Art of Volleying 2019-08-11T15:46:51+00:00

The volleying stroke is more of a push than a hit. In the pushing stroke you meet the ball and come forward at the same time. The wrists and joints are kept fairly stiff. There is none of the loose swing of the ordinary stroke. Meet all your volleys about waist-high or above. Any ball of shoulder height should be volleyed. Above that a ball should be smashed. The harder a ball comes the less push you have on your stroke; the stiffer you meet it to let it bound back off the platform tennis paddle. On easy returns you push the ball more.

Players should not be afraid of stooping for low volleys. Don’t remain upright. Bend your knees and meet the ball body high at least. By bending you get under the ball.

For stop or block volleys you suddenly check the paddle as soon as the ball comes in contact with it.

This type of volley is most often used in the first volley return, as shown in the video below.

 

Good depth is needed on the return in volley­ing. Short volleys, except wide, cross court volleys, are poor, as the adversary can pass you in a singles game. Do not cut or chop the ball in volleying. One should cut the ball only to shorten depth on a cross court volley. In volleying always keep the head of your paddle above your wrist, and even more on your backhand volley.

If caught off balance, that is with no chance to make even a push, hold the paddle tight and the force of the ball will return it on a rebound. In volleying be careful not to bring the paddle too far around to cross the line of the shot, or it will be out of court. Try meeting the ball the same distance from you at all times. The higher you meet the ball the less you have to worry about putting it over the net. Many players prefer meeting a volley low, but it is a harder stroke to execute. The higher you meet the ball the more angle into the other court you have. You are only coming down with the shot, while on a low volley you come up on your stroke and still you have to keep the ball in court.

Grip and Position

Be very careful not to alter your grip too much while at the platform tennis net. Many are at fault in taking volleys with the body too stiff. Do not be afraid of bending your knees and keeping on your toes. In taking volley strokes your body should be slightly sideways rather than facing directly forward. After the volley is completed you will have turned so that you are facing forward.

Half way between the service line and the net is the proper place to stand for volleys. Crouch down and be on your toes when waiting at the net. Grip the paddle firmly and keep your eye on the ball as it leaves your opponent’s paddle. Watch the ball more strictly than at any other time, because it comes to you quicker when at the net. On a volley stroke you finish out about three-quarters. If you have made a short return don’t go up to volley. The angle is greater for your opponent to pass you.

A chop stroke or volley is actually quite useful in platform tennis to create back spin and take the ball away from your opponents. The video below shows you the technique you need to perfect and how to easily achieve this shot.

 

Never volley a ball short unless it is a cross court shot with speed. Such a return does not bound high. A short volley is likely to bound high. A deep volley does not. Deep volleys keep your opponent back. By keeping the ball low your opponent has to pop it up, which gives you some chance.

On stop or block volleys players should learn to keep the ball from bouncing high. A little “cut” will do it.

Do not volley too often to the center of the court. Take chances for sideline shots, as that is the only way to learn your angles. A ball volleyed in the center of the court is not half as effective as one to the side lines.

If you want to come up on your own return make your return deep but higher, so that it will be slow and give you time. If you hit the ball hard it will be returned before you get up to the net. Getting good height as well as depth on the ball gives you plenty of time to be in proper position to volley.

Always go up when you have your adversary under difficulties, that is, chasing after hard returns.

To volley a ball that is returned from the center of the court your position is the center of the court. On cross court returns the volley position changes to the side of the court. To return a cross court from your opponent’s fore­hand one should be at the left of the court. The reverse holds for a return from your op­ponent’s backhand. This enables you to protect the full angle of your court.

Singles Play Positioning

Briefly, if the opponent is to your right your volley position is also to the right (of the center). If he is to the left you also work to the left.