Hitting volleys on the tennis court these days is definitely challenging. The balls are going faster with more spin, and it is difficult to get into a good position at the net.
I have always been a big advocate of hitting volleys with an angle. The easiest way to do this is to hit the forehand volley towards the deuce side if you are right-handed and to the ad court side if you are left-handed. Just reverse this for your backhand. This thought should be in your mind before the ball is hit to you so that your focus can be on making contact early with little or no racquet movement.
Even if your opponent is expecting this shot, they will have to move very quickly and will end up chasing the ball off the court. Another advantage of this idea is that there is no need to add pace to this type of ball. It is actually better to hit the ball medium-to-slow speed so it lands shorter and forces the opponent to move sideways and forward to get their racquet on it. Hitting the volley early, and with little or no racquet movement are two of the most important technique ideas used by great volleyers.
Remember to keep your eye on the ball through the point of contact and hit your volleys at an angle to frustrate your opponent.
Steve Annacone, USPTA Elite Pro, is the Director of Annacone Tennis (http://www.annaconetennis.com) and MyHamptonsPro based in Sag Harbor, NY (http://www. myhamptonspro.com) and Tennis Professional at Ventana Canyon Golf and Racquet Club in Tucson, AZ. For details on lessons, clinics, or coaching, contact Steve at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 865-300-7323