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Tennis Anyone
August 1999 Article

Contact John Mills

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What to Think About When Hitting Volleys

John Mills Photo
John Mills, USPTA

Often when observing matches, I see players moving sideways to hit the volley and backwards to hit the groundstrokes.

When you are volleying, try to imagine the point where your opponents shot intersects or crosses the net. Force yourself to move directly to this point. This will force you to:

  • Move forward.

  • Cut off some angles, this will allow you to hit more balls at a higher point of contact.

  • Keep you weight moving forward toward your target zone.

When you are on the baseline in a rally, try to imagine the spot where your opponent's next shot is going to land on the court. Force yourself to move directly to this spot. This will enable you to:

  • Play more forward than backward, (not only by position on the court, but by weight transfer).

  • Play more shots on the rise.

  • Use the pace of your opponents shot to strengthen your shot.

  • Be in a better position to move forward and attack the net if you like your shot.

  • Stop moving far off the baseline, thus giving your opponent too many chances for hitting angles.

  • Hit more shots at or below your waist, rather than above your shoulders. This will make you hit more with your legs rather than your arm.

Remember, when volleying to move to the point where the ball intersects the top of the net. When you are hitting groundstrokes move to the point where your opponent's shot will bounce on the court. These two tips will put you on your way to becoming more aggressive and efficient.

Have fun on the court!

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This column is copyrighted by John Mills, all rights reserved.

John Mills currently teaches tennis at the University of Houston, Clear Lake campus. John Mills' experience includes four years as head pro at the Windemere Racquet & Swim Club, where he was responsible for organization of all tennis activities at the club. John also played college tennis at the University of Houston and has spent 20 years teaching tennis at the Memorial Park Tennis Center, the Pasadena Racquet Club, and as the head pro at the Bay Area Racquet Club.


 

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