How to control half volleys

alt

HOW TO CONTROL HALF VOLLEYS
To be efictive at the net you need to know how to deal with dinks onto your toes and dipping topspin groundstrokes down to your feet...


GOLDEN RULE
Good half volleys are all about control of the racket face on contact and to be able to do that you must get down to the ball. Bend your knees!

1. Christina's arms achieve perfect symmetry, creating a mirror image each side of her body for great balance. She already has her racket above her wrist ready for a half volley.

2. As the ball approaches her weight is slightly more on her back leg than her front, ready to transfer it through the shot. She closely tracks the ball and she brings her racket forward.

3. Christina begins to transfer her weight forward, through the shot and onto her front leg. Her knees are bent at almost 90 degrees as she gets down to the low ball.


'try to have a wide base to help with stability through the shot'

OBJECTIVES - JUST GET IT BACK
A successful half volley off an aggressive groundstroke is one of the toughest shots to play so don't go for too much. Generally speaking, you'll be tackling a powerful shot so you don't need to generate your own pace.

It's a bit like returning serve – cut down your take-back and follow through, meet the ball out in front, control the racket face and use the pace of the ball to send it back deep. Pretend your racket face is a wall.

GRIPS - TAKE YOUR PICK

Most players use the same grip they volley with to tackle half volleys, the Continental or Chopper. There's precious little time to change grip when a ball is dipping towards your shoelaces, but if you do have the chance to react you could try playing forehand half volleys with your forehand grip to add a little topspin.

alt

'after playing the shot, move for ward to cut off the next volley and avoid playing an other ball off your toes'


4. She makes contact in the perfect position just in front of her body. Her hips are still sideways on with her weight fully on the front leg. She holds her low position throughout the shot.

5. Christina holds the strings behind the ball for as long as possible and moves her racket head through the ball for control. Again, great symmetry of the arms to promote perfect balance.

6. The ball has gone, but her head has remained still throughout. She holds her legs and wide base in position for as long as possible as her hips begin to open slightly during the follow through.


POSITIONING - MOVE FORWARD
Where you play a half volley will tend to be dictated by your opponent's shot, but once you've bunted it back into play be aggressive with your movement. Most of the time you'll have been forced to play a low ball because you're on your way into the net, so continue to move forward after your half volley. This will allow you to close down your opponent's angles and means you won't have to play your next shot at the net quite so low.

 

Images by: AMN Images

 

alt
Jul 20, 2015

Managing Progress and Expectation

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
One of the most difficult jobs for a coach is managing expectation. Expecting too little of a player or too much can be equally damaging to a… Read more...
Default Image
Jul 20, 2015

Mental approach to five-set match

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
Read and remember, or even take on court to read: These tips were originally developed as a help for players about to play a Grand Slam or Davis… Read more...
Default Image
Jul 20, 2015

Ego vs Self-esteem

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
David Sammel's theory of ego: "I have the belief that in order to succeed, one should first build up the ego to muster the drive and ambition to… Read more...
alt
Jul 20, 2015

Psychological warfare

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
The art of being able to rock your opponent and sow a seed of doubt is crucial to success in tennis. I call this “finding a way to make a… Read more...
Default Image
Jul 20, 2015

Preparation checklist

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
Preparation checklist. This is a quick list you can go through to see if you are ready to play. 1) Am I in the right mood for playing? Answer… Read more...
alt
Jul 20, 2015

Locker-room power

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
Would it surprise you to learn that many matches, at all levels of the game from the youngest juniors to highest touring pros, are won or lost… Read more...
alt
Jul 20, 2015

Locker-room power: the next step

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
Consolidating locker-room power: I will begin with a brief outline of LRP, which was the subject of a previous article. Locker-room power is the… Read more...
Default Image
Jul 20, 2015

Mental Training

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
Basic Principles If you do not think you need to improve your mental approach, you are already a top 50 player. Success at a high level is… Read more...
Default Image
Jul 20, 2015

The Importance of a Pre Match Routine

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
One of the most striking things when watching juniors play is just how under-prepared a lot are when match time approaches. So often we see… Read more...
Default Image
Jul 20, 2015

Winning Focus

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
Change Your Attitude So you want to win matches, but you do not know how? You must change your attitude to matches right now. The objective is… Read more...
alt
Jul 20, 2015

Becoming Mentally Tougher in Matches

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
This article is designed to help serious players develop a routine in their preparation for matches, so they can improve their consistency of… Read more...
Default Image
Jul 20, 2015

Dealing with Cheating

in Mental Strength by David Sammel
If you feel you are being cheated and you can keep focused and still play good tennis then that is the best solution. Sometimes this is very… Read more...