Sound familier? Very frustrating, isn’t it? Well, it needn’t be. You’re probably missing your volleys because you’re not KEEPING YOUR RACQUET HEAD UP and moving forward into the volley.
Good volleyers from the men’s tennis circuit like John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg and Boris Becker, and more recently Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic all had one thing in common when they played a volley. They never allowed the racquet head to drop, maintaining a strong wrist, ensuring a high success rate. If they were forced to play a low volley, they always bent their knees so that their racquet head stayed up.
And you should do the same. The next time you’re practising your volley, either before a match or just during a training session, make sure that you are on your toes, move forward, and most importantly, KEEP YOUR RACQUET HEAD UP!
You’ll never miss another important volley again.
So how do we develop a great smash?
Lets look at a common scenario…..
You´re playing a tournament, or just a friendly competitive game with your opponent. You spend a few minutes hitting groundstrokes from the baseline, move up to the net and hit volleys, a few smashes and then return to the baseline to practice your service.
But, during the match, you find you miss 5 or 6 smashes and wonder why? Well, it´s because you’re neglecting to practice your smash!
You should dedicate the same amount of time to practicing your smash and service as you would for your groundstrokes. Your smash is a point winning shot and should be practiced accordingly.
Although you still use the same grip and stance as you would when you serve, the smash requires a lot more foot movement, both sideways and forewards / backwards to get into the correct position. And if it´s windy or the sun is shining in your face, it´s even harder to make a good smash.
So, the next time you´re practicing, ask your practice partner to spend at least 10 minutes each practicing your smash. You may need to take turns more often as it can be tiring, but the rewards will be there to see the next time you have a point winning smash to make!
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