Tennis – How to Contact the Ball Properly on the Volley

    Published: 06-16-2009
    Views: 35,098
    Tennis professional Doug Kegerreis demonstrates how to contact the ball properly on the volley.

    Doug Kegerreis

    Doug is the President of CIT. With 25 years of professional tennis teaching and management skills to his credit, Doug is the consummate tennis expert. In addition to his duties with CIT, he is a physical education specialist at Oakton Elementary School, and fitness director of the 4-Star Jr. Tennis Academy in Merrifield. "CIT has at its core a commitment to develop players who will continue to play tennis." Doug said. "With first-timers we emphasize fun. We've learned that when they have fun, they keep coming back and stay in the game." Doug has earned a Master of Science in Sports Management from the University of West Virginia. He is a current member of the USPTA and certified through its professional standards. He has had several articles printed in USPTA publications. The Mid-Atlantic Professional Tennis Association awarded Doug the honor of Greater Washington Professional of the Year in 1994, and just recently awarded him High School Coach of the Year in 2005. International Country Club, Fairfax Racquet Club, Mid-Town Tennis Club in Chicago, and Sea Pines Racquet Club in Hilton Head, South Carolina, all have had the pleasure of Doug's tennis expertise.

    Doug Kegerreis: Hi! I am Doug Kegerreis, President of Chantilly International Tennis, and today you are learning how to play tennis.

    In this clip, we are going to learn how to make contact properly on the volley, that is, hitting the ball directly out of the air. In all my years of teaching tennis, the most common problem area in the volley is excessive racquet movement at the point of impact. There's too much force and the timing is too difficult to be able to do that successfully.

    So I recommend that you do two things at the point of impact, you squeeze and freeze. That is, you squeeze your fingers on the grip at the point of impact and that should allow your racquet to absolutely come to a freeze at the time of impact, that is your racquet will be absolutely still for a split second at the point of impact.

    Now what about grips? Again, I am not a big grip person; I believe that you can hit successful volleys using the different types of grips. However, if you really want to use the most common grip and preferred grip for the volley, you will use what is known as the Continental Grip and that is halfway between the forehand and the backhand grip.

    What's good about that grip? Well when you hit volleys directly out of the air the exchange is rather quick. So not having to change grips during quick exchanges is very helpful.

    Second of all, it places your racquet face in what we call a slightly open position, that means slightly pointing to the sky, and that is your desired racquet face angle for the volley, a slightly open racquet face.

    Now, what's not good about these grips? It does tend to angle your racquet face to the left or to the right whenever you really want to point it straight ahead. So you have to learn racquet face awareness on the volley as well. We talked about that as an essential skill for your forehand and backhand.

    So with this grip, you have to have a target, you observe where the ball goes in relationship to your target. The next ball you hit, you adjust your racquet face angle a little bit. That process will allow you to learn where your racquet face is pointing, even when using the continental grip.

    So remember, squeeze and freeze to keep your racquet movement to a minimum. Try to keep your grip changed to a minimum on the volley with the continental grip being the preferred grip for this shot.

    That's it for the volley. Next, we're going to move on the basics of hitting the serve.