The forehand volley is one of the primary shots hit when a tennis player is up at the net. Every top tennis player needs to include the forehand volley among other tennis volley shots to develop an aggressive all court game.
What is the proper technique of the forehand volley in tennis? And what are the key fundamentals of this tennis forehand volley technique?
The forehand volley is one of the shots used when a player is attacking the net. This is often a follow-up shot after an initial approach shot has been hit. Typically, players use the forehand volley when the ball comes to their dominant side.
The forehand volley, just like other tennis volley shots can be used in a variety of ways and in different situations.
Depending on the point situation and court position, the forehand volley can either be a finesse shot or a finishing shot. Some examples of top professional players that have exquisite tennis volley technique is Pete Sampras and Roger Federer. For these professional players, the forehand volley is a creative shot.
Forehand Volley Grip
The forehand volley can be an easy and simple shot, but it needs a lot of practice and drills to master. The hardest part of this tennis volley shot is to choose the appropriate grip that you are most comfortable with. The forehand volley shot does not vary on the type of grip you use. Thus, it is very important to use the grip that are you are comfortable with.
The most common forehand volley grip used by tennis players is the continental grip. The good thing about this grip is that you don’t have to change your grip if you execute a backhand volley after a forehand volley shot.
Tennis volley shots can be hit using the Eastern forehand grip as well. However, this grip is not that popular because of the fact that you have to change your grip to a modified Eastern backhand or full Eastern backhand for backhand volleys. To change one grip from one shot to another can be very difficult especially for beginners.
Forehand Volley Ready Position
The ready position for a forehand volley begins with the initial recognition of the ball. An ideal ready positions is to stand with your body and feet facing the net and with your eyes glued to your opponent’s movements anticipating his/her shot.
You have to stand with your feet spread at a shoulder width. The racket position depends on the players themselves. Some would prefer to have their racket directly in front of them with their left hand or non dominant hand (for right-handed players) slightly supporting the racket’s throat.
At the same time, the elbow is off of your body. Avoid resting your elbow in your stomach because this posture may delay your volley shot. Always keep your elbows more or less parallel to the ground. This posture allows you to quickly react and hit the forehand volley once the ball arrives.
Other players are not comfortable with the above ready position especially when they don’t have a clear idea of their opponent’s return. They prefer to hold their racket with the racket face just in front of their left shoulder (for right-handed players in edge-first position-the racket edge is facing the body) but with the handle (held by the right hand) directly in front of the body. The racket’s throat is still slightly supported by the non racket hand
Forehand Volley Preparation: Split Step
A split step is one of the most important footwork moves that begins the forehand volley. It is normally done by tennis players in preparation to hit a return, in this case the forehand volley. The split step is completed by a little jump while you are air borne.
Upon landing from the split step, you should separate your feet widely to give you more balance when the feet touch the ground. This step prepares the player to move to any direction to where the ball is. For the split step to be effective, it has to be executed in a timely manner. The ideal time to execute the split step is when your opponent starts to make contact with the ball. This means that when you are up in the air, the ball has just come off from your opponent’s racket.
Forehand Volley Backswing
The backswing for a forehand volley shot is a lot different from tennis groundstrokes backswing. The forehand volley backswing is a lot shorter and less powerful. If you do a full backswing with so much force, your volley shot become unreliable. It should also be noted that not all forehand volley shots is executed with a backswing especially if the ball is hit at a very fast pace and you are near the net. However, if you are positioned farther from the net and the ball speed is not that fast; a longer backswing can be applied.
For your forehand volley to be very effective, meet the ball in front of your head or your body and transfer your weight gently forward. Remember that if you are a right-handed player and you hit a forehand volley shot, you have to step forwards with your left foot. If you are a left-handed player, you have to step forward with your right foot. These actions allow you to put extra pace to your shot. Once you made the contact, keep your eye locked to the point of contact. Also remember that you when make contact with the ball, your racket head should be above your wrist.
Forehand Volley Follow-through
The follow-through of a forehand volley is just a short continuation of your forward motion.
Forehand Volley Techniques and Tactics
Forehand Volley Tip #1
The most common reason why many tennis players hit a long forehand (outside balls) volley shots is because they tend to pivot their elbow or wrist when they hit the ball. If you do this, you have to execute the shot accurately to avoid error. Remember to keep your elbow and wrist firm when you execute your forehand volleys. You also have to punch out from your shoulder when you hit the ball.
Forehand Volley Tip #2
It is ideal to hit the forehand volleys when the ball is at net level or higher. To do this, you have to move forward to meet the ball.
Forehand Volley Tip #3
For better results, you have to keep your racket head above your wrist when you hit the ball.
Forehand Volley Tip #4
Always remember that in a backspin forehand volley, the ball floats farther than in a flat volley. Thus, you have to hit your ball lower and apply lesser power.
Forehand Volley Tip #5
To hit a proper forehand volley, the magnitude of the downward angle in your racket swing must be of equal proportion to the magnitude of the upward angle of your racket swing.
Forehand Volley Tip #6
Always move forward and meet the ball in front of you when you make contact. Avoid hitting the ball back or else it can cause a lot of errors.
Forehand Volley Tip #7
When you are moving forward to hit the ball (as mentioned above at contact), you have to make sure to that you keep moving when you are about to make contact with the ball.
Forehand Volley Tip #8
If you are about to hit a return from your opponent’s heavy topspin shot, you have to remember that the ball has the tendency to jump off from your racket face. Thus, you need to compensate this by hitting the ball a bit lower.
Forehand Volley Tip #9
If you are going to hit a forehand volley below the net, remember that it is ideal to hit hard and deep than on a high ball. Add backspin in your shot and for best results, hit a drop shot or angle forehand volley shot.
Forehand Volley Tip #10
To hit a backspin forehand volley, you have to tilt your racket face upward or do the downward chop.
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