A great quality that all good doubles players have
is the ability to know when to be aggressive and when to
play it safe while playing the net. A good doubles player
will look to put a high floater into the open court or at
his/her opponents feet. The same player will also know
there are times (when the ball gets low) that it is best to
just play a smart deep shot back to the baseline player, if
there is one.
Many intermediate level players are one dimensional
with their net game. Everything is an aggressive, power
volley (even when faced with a low shoestring shot) or they
are defensive with most volleys. Remember that a good
doubles player does not go to the net to hit volleys-he/she
goes to the net to put the ball away. Smart players realize
this might take a shot or two to set up.
I would have to say that most players practice
hitting an aggressive put away volley or a tough, low,
just-get-it back volley, but these two shots need to be
practiced together. A great drill is to have your coach
alternate shots to you with a high floater followed by a
very low shot. Make yourself drive the volley into a
designated area and try to make the ball's second bounce be
outside the court. On a low volley, bend your knees and open
your racquet face so that you get your volley to a designated
area deep in the court. Once you practice this enough, you'll
start to instinctively hit the shots in matches.
Try this drill in practice and remember to move to
the ball, don't let the ball come to you. You might just
turn that average volley into your favorite shot.