Saturday, January 10, 2015

Volley On The Move

Many of my students come to me as beginners - 'never-evers'. As such, they all love volleys because the volley is one shot in tennis that has the potential for immediate success. If I do my job and toss the ball to just the right spot, I can get a five-year-old hitting winning volleys during their first lesson. And therein lies the problem: it's too easy!

Volley on the Move is a drill by teaching pro Joey Rive, featured in a recent issue of Tennis magazine. Joey addresses the 'too easy' problem with many standard volley drills. I love that his drill is a live ball drill and thus gets players out of their comfort zones. You will need at least two players who can hit cross court and rally.

Both players start at deuce side baseline. They begin a cross court rally. One player remains at the baseline. The other player, who is working on their volleys, takes a few steps toward the net after every ball. Note we are not demanding this player hit every shot as a volley; only that they move in after every shot. As this player moves closer to the net, decisions become more challenging: to volley or not to volley? Half volleys and swinging volleys are okay. The point is to handle themselves well while on the move toward the net.