Volley lessons for Intermediate Players

If you’ve ever been taught how to hit a volley, you’ve probably heard the expression that you should “punch” your volleys. While punching is a legitimate way of volleying, it’s designed to be a finishing shot on sitters, and not one that allows you to play with control and accuracy. What ends up happening is players try and use the punch volley on aggressive groundstroke’s which results in inconsistency, errors and an eventual fear of coming to the net. As your game begins to progress, one of the most important volley lessons for intermediate players is to learn how to hit a volley with feel.

Check out Roger Federer hitting volleys in slow motion. Is he hitting a punch volley? Or is he hitting a volley using feel?

Check out Roger Federer hitting volleys in slow motion.


Roger Federer practicing his volleys at the 2009 BNP Paribas Open. This video is shot with a slow-motion camera. He hits both …

How to Develop Feel

Volley lessons for intermediate players starts with feel. In order to develop feel, we want to try and focus on catching the ball with the racquet. The point of catching the ball is to absorb the energy from the incoming ball and slow the ball down. Think about if somebody tosses you an egg, what happens if you catch the egg without trying to absorb the energy from the throw? The egg will hit your hand and break. Try and apply that same feel when hitting a volley. To develop feel when hitting a volley start with this simple drill. Have somebody toss you a ball, let the ball hit your racquet and push it backwards. Do this enough times until you have the “ah-ha” moment and can recognize the feeling. From there, focus on moving your arm forward, while the ball pushes the racquet head back. You should feel like you have much more control over the volley.

Drill to practice feel

There are a lot of drills which can help you practice feel on volleys. A favorite drill of Tennisracket.me cofounder, Thomas Jensen, is the volley to yourself drill. Have someone feed you a ball. Focus on absorbing the pace of the ball and volleying the ball straight up in the air so that you can catch it with your non racquet hand. This not only teaches you feel, but it’s a great way to practice the drop volley. You can take this drill up a notch by instead of catching the ball; volley the ball again to truly practice control.
Volley lessons for Intermediate
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