When you are in a "poaching position" (typically trying to reach a volley, which would routinely be moving toward your partners' side of the court) try to think of yourself as a skater. When a skater wishes to skate to the right, he leads with this right skate. When a skater wishes to skate to left, he leads with his left skate.
As you move to the right with your right foot, keep your tennis racket over the right skate. As you move to the left with your left foot, keep your tennis racket over the left skate. This keeps the racket face out in front (curing the most common problem players have on their volleys - too much back swing). In addition, this footwork stops a poacher from stepping backward or sideways, (another common volley problem).
A typical poaching scenario for a right-handed forehand volley would be:
Moving like a skater can cure your biggest volley problems:
- Step with the right foot first, keeping the racket over the right foot
- Step with the left foot to hit the ball and turn your left shoulder toward the net
- Pick up your right foot and bring it forward to catch up with the left foot forming a new "ready position"
After a little practice, you will notice these improvements:
- Too much back swing
- Moving backwards
- Moving sideways
Good luck on the court!
- You will enjoy poaching
- You will poach more often
- You will shorten the back swing on your volley
- You will move forward to get the ball
- After you poach, you will be ready immediately to move forward again