| By Carl Barnett

Pros use a simple method to volley the ball. You can do the same. This is not diving or figure skating, so additional points are not gained for degree of difficulty.

The mistake I most commonly see on the volley is players getting caught with the racquet head laid back. Most people have never made an unforced error on a high-five and a good volley is not much harder than that.
I like to say the most economical way to set up your forehand volley is to fan the racquet head open. The hand extends forward, out and up to the 2 o’clock position, while finding your weight now on the foot closest to the ball. Now step with the opposite foot from behind your volley and extend the racquet through the ball without letting your racquet head fall back. Lefties will raise the racquet to 10 o'clock.

Never let the racquet head be at 12 o'clock, as you will push the ball down. Never let the racquet be parallel to your hand while above the net, because the wrist will then be broken and you will dump the ball into the net.

When volleying from below the net tape, it is imperative to have the racquet lower than the ball before you volley, using a similar method of fanning open, then volley with a neutral loft which sends the ball back on the same flight path. Any downward motion at the time of contact will net the ball. Keep it simple … less is more.

Carl Barnett

<p>Carl Barnett started the Early Hit Training Programs at Glen Head Racquet Club six years ago. He may be reached by phone at (516) 455-1225 or e-mail <a href="mailto:earlyhit@optonline.net?subject=Tips%20From%20the%20Tennis%20Pro%2...@optonline.net</a>.</p>