What Is A Volley In Tennis? Types, Working & Technique In 2022

Tennis Players must learn specific shots and use these shots at the right time to be efficient and effective. Every player must decide within a split-second which shot will win the point in a match, which often depends on positioning and timing.

The volleyball shot is a tricky shot in tennis. Volleys appear to be automatic and effortless when professional players are playing. However, volleys don’t look easy when a Tennis Ball suddenly slams into your face while you are playing.

Tennis volleys do not only require speed and touch, but also a steady hand, quick reflexes, and precision, making them a very admired shot.

Even though coaches and players spend less time practicing volleys, a good game gives you an advantage.

You can play volleyball not only as a single but also as a double. When you play well on the net, you can play faster, run less, shorten points, and win more games.

What Is A Volley?

In tennis, a volley is when the ball is returned before it bounces. It is common for players to volley closer to or on the service line.

Volleys tend to be aggressive because their goal is to run your opponent ragged or disrupt the timing of a rally, giving you the chance to win instantly or catch them off guard.

instantly or catch them off guard

Forehand volleys typically require the use of the player’s dominant hand and arm, whereas backhand volleys require the use of the player’s non-dominant hand (making them more challenging).

The Eastern forehand grip may be used by some advanced players for volleys while the Continental grip may be used by others.

1. Forehand Volley

In the forehand volley, your dominant side is used to hit the ball with its dominant hand without the ball touching the ground.

service box and near the net

When a player is close to the service box and near the net, he usually hits volleys. The technique requires fast reflexes and firm hands.

2. Backhand Volley

Backhand volleys are similar to backhand slices but without touching the ground.

Playing volley close to the net is typically the best situation for playing volley. It is always the other side of your body that delivers the backhand volley.

ation for playing volley

In spite of the fact that backhand volleys are generally viewed as a one-handed shot, there are times when players use both hands to hit a backhand volley.

The backhand volley is an integral part of your net game, because it allows you to close the gap and slow down your opponent.

6 Types Of Volleys:

Volleys can be hit in many different ways depending on the ball’s height, pace, and position when it comes to you. Try out one of the following volleys on the tennis court:

1. Punch Volley

Punch volley is the most popular volley for net play. An underspin is added to the ball with a punch volley by punching the racket forward and slightly down.

The punch volley is best for medium-pace balls with enough height over the net and does not require a backswing.

2. Drop Volley

Drop volleys are low volleys that require a light touch. A volleyer needs to place the ball softly on the other side of the net, as close to it as possible, so that your opponent will have to cover more distance to reach it.

Drop Volley

A successful bounce causes the ball to bounce twice before your opponent can return it.

Drop volleys are similar to drop shots, except they are executed at the net.

3. Block Volley

Less movement is needed for a blocked volley than for a punch volley. An opponent only needs to hold up their racket to block the ball during a blocked volley, and punches or swings are unnecessary.

4. Lob Volley

Lob Volley

It is sometimes difficult to execute a passing shot when two players approach the net simultaneously.

In place of an intense rally of volleys, you can perform a lob serve, in which you open your racket face and send the ball in a high arc over your opponent’s head (so that it passes them but doesn’t fly past the baseline).

5. Swinging Volley

It is against the standard volley technique to swing your volley. An example of a swinging volley would be hitting an incoming ball out of the air using a full groundstroke swing.

5. Swinging Volley

The swinging volley is typically performed when a player is caught between the service line and baseline.

Players with more advanced skills should practice the swinging volley since it requires a perfect balance of power, pace, and swing to not sail over the opponent’s baseline.

6. Half Volley

When a player volleys the ball off the ground, the ball bounces right off the ground as it hits it. Half-volleys are known as “on the rise shots” because the ball rises as the player releases it.

Half-volleys require more timing than regular volleys since the ball is hit after the bounce instead of before it bounces. Half volleys aren’t technically volleys, but they still require compact movements and quick footwork.

Read More details: What Is A Half Volley In Tennis?

Tennis Volley Steps

Even though tennis volleys seem very simple, many things are happening simultaneously. Once you get the hang of this shot, you won’t have to think about these things.

You should, however, be aware of how well a well-executed volley works when you’re learning how to play.

Below you can see a breakdown of the volley into nine steps so you can understand how to proceed. Both forehands and backhands can be executed by following these steps.

However, it is essential to remember that you shouldn’t make small movements but rather one smooth stroke once your stroke becomes comfortable.

Balance the base: Standing solidly on your feet with slightly bent knees and your weight ahead of your feet is the first step towards volleying well. The length of the legs should equal your shoulder width.

Using the split step: Next, you’ll have to take a jump to prepare for a split step, which is also known as a direction change. The key to a split step is timing it properly.

Once your opponent has hit his shot, it would be best if you started jumping. It would be best if you jumped forward and upward.

A wide landing is best: Following a split step, you should land so that your legs are more comprehensive than the width of your shoulders. This will give you a wider field of vision.

Identification on the side: A quick reflex will be of great value at this point. Depending on which ball is coming your way on either side of the court, you can turn your body in that direction.

When you begin rotating your shoulders, you’ll hold the racket with both hands, and you’ll release one to point the racket at the ball.

Shift Your Weight: You can begin to shift your body weight in the direction in which you will be hitting the volley as soon as you know where you are going to hit it.

The outside leg should be the one that carries the majority of your weight. Racket heads should be higher than hands and elbows should be bending slightly.

Extension of the elbows: Your elbow will gradually extend as you keep looking at the ball. It is essential to keep your eyes on the ball.

Maintain good contact: It would be best if you didn’t strike the ball hard since the ball will make contact with your body as you move forward. In essence, you’re just taking advantage of how fast your opponent hits the ball.

Standing Step-Through: It would be best if you landed with your back leg ahead of your outside leg at this point. As a result, you will be able to volley aggressively, and this is “the big step.”

Follow these steps: Lastly, you need to follow up with a follow-up shot after hitting your volley. It takes you only a few seconds to pick up the racket with your other hand and begin playing the next volley.

Volley Footwork In Tennis

The quality of a player’s volley depends on his footwork. Due to the speed of volleys and the lack of room for full swings, accurate footwork is critical.

Simpler volleys are always better in tennis, just as many other things are. The following tips will help you improve your volley footwork.

1. Bend Your Knees: 

At the net, keep your knees bent as much as possible so you can jump more explosively and change directions more quickly.

2. Keep Your Weight Forward: 

Even your heels can be kept away from the ground if you can do so. You will maintain an aggressive stance if you do this. Your knees will easily stay bent, and your entire body will automatically lean forward.

3. Quick Feet: 

On the net, it’s all about how fast you are. It would be best if you keep your feet light but still be able to leap when you need to. Imagine that you are attempting to “float.”

4. Take Small Steps: 

As a rule, you should try to take small steps, except for those you take when you hit the ball. This will allow you to adjust your direction more quickly.

5. Watch Your Big Step:

The volley is best hit by stomping your foot on your big step, even loud enough that you can hear it. You will have aggressive footwork if you focus on that.

Tennis Volley Grip

When you hit tennis volleys, it’s all about speed and accuracy, so you should use a Continental grip if you want to win.

The grip will not change when you serve, volley forehand, volley backhand, or overhead serve.

Continental grips prevent players from adding a lot of spin to their shot, but that is not a problem because volleys don’t need much spin.

 The Continental grip is used by holding your racket like you would a handshake. If your index finger is pointing at bevel #2, your knuckle should be on it. Serves, volleys, slices, and overheads do not require much topspin to hit the Continental grip.

Position Of The Tennis Volley

When hitting volleys, you should essentially go through two positions when hitting volleys. One is a neutral position, while the other is the step-through position.

1. Neutral Position

Before doing a split step, you usually take this stance. Spread your feet about shoulders’ width apart, bend your knees slightly, place your weight on your front feet, hold the racket with both hands, and stand up straight.

You will only use this position in defensive volleys. Taking your back leg into account, it’s coming too fast for you to step over it. A neutral position must provide a solid platform for you to hit defensive volleys successfully.

2. The Step-through Position

If you hit an aggressive volley, you will use this final position. As soon as you step through the ball and make contact with it, you will be in this position. Once both legs have been leveled, your next volley will require you to recover fast.

In situations where the shots are coming fast, and you don’t have time to step through, it would be best if you stayed in neutral.

Technique For Tennis Volley Backswings

A tricky part of the volley is the backswing. We often use a large backswing to “strike the ball harder” if we’re testing a slower ball than our opponent. When we attempt those shots, we miss them either long or wide.

The backswing of a volley should remain compact at all times. There is a good chance your backswing is excessive if you wonder if it is.

  • Make sure your racket is ready when you prepare for a volley. A racket should have both hands on it, and it should have a higher head than the hands.
  • Your elbows should be extended slightly before you volley. Try to flex your elbows as little as possible.
  • Your non-dominant hand is supposed to stay on the racket for a more extended period than you might realize. Groundstrokes require this hand more than this non-dominant hand. Your arms, shoulders, hips, and racket will all move together if you keep it on the racket as long as possible.
  • Keep it no further back than your shoulders. Once you reach that point, you are overextending.
  • When hitting a volley, make sure you never lose sight of your racket. In that case, you are most likely contacting the ball too late.

Tips For Tennis Volley

To hit an effective tennis volley, you’ve mastered everything you’re supposed to know so far. It’s now just a matter of practicing on the court.

These tips might help you along the way:

  • It’s unlikely that you’ll have time to execute a perfect volley with flawless technique and great footwork most of the time. It is best to volley the ball in a neutral position and concentrate on getting it across in these instances.
  • An MMA fighter would win the best Grand Slam in tennis were only about hitting the hardest. Tennis shots follow the same pattern, but volleys are incredibly accurate. You don’t have to hit hard. Just place your shot well since you’re already giving the opponent a lot of time.
  • You should also practice your approach shots to get an easy volley.
  • Volleys across the court are better than drop shots, but they should not necessarily be dropped.
  • Contact the ball at all times. By hitting it early, you will gain more time on the opponent.

Tennis Volley Drills To Improve Your Game

New drills are added regularly for every aspect of your tennis game, including volleys. Listed below are some drills you can use to enhance your volley skills, including your footwork, direction, and consistency.

The Bryan Brothers Drill

Improve volley direction with this drill by working with a partner. At first, it may feel a bit challenging, but it should be easy once you get the hang of it. As a result of this drill, you will improve your direction, reaction time, and consistency.

Things to remember:

  • When moving laterally, stay low. It’s easy to get caught up in action.
  • While moving, keep your hips straight. You are moving laterally, not forward.
  • Avoid crowding the ball. Leave yourself some room. Create it if it doesn’t exist already.
  • Don’t expect the ball will land in your preferred location. You are practicing your reaction skills. Keeping it doesn’t mean expecting it in the right place.
  • Maintain the momentum along the way. Trying to improve is the key.

The Wall Ball Drill

One of our favorite drills because it eliminates all distractions. It is possible to achieve a level of focus when you hit the wall alone instead of with someone else.

The drill becomes more accessible as you improve your volley technique and you become more consistent.

Here are some points to keep in mind:

  • Hold your wrist firmly. With a broken wrist, you’re training strength, which is counterproductive.
  • It would be best if you remained on the front foot.
  • Keep your feet moving. Adjust your feet as needed.
  • Keep your head down. As the drill continues, you should feel a burning sensation throughout your legs.
  • Stay compact throughout the drill. Your swing is likely too big if you cannot maintain momentum and feel rushed.
  • Keep your eyes on the ball while keeping your head still.

The On Top Of The Net Drill

Especially for doubles, this drill can be handy. Getting hit a few times will give you better reflexes.

Keep these points in mind:

  • Don’t let the hands drop. Getting your hands up again won’t be possible once you drop them.
  • Maintain a compact swing.
  • Keep the ball in front of you whenever you can.
  • Avoid moving with the ball. Create a wall by resisting the baseliner’s shots.
  • Don’t worry about depth. The most important thing is you make sure the ball has power behind it and stick the volley back.

The Get Low, Stay Low Drill

Our favorite drill for developing volley footwork is this one. The best part about it is that you have to maintain the proper technique while working the legs.

If you do this drill, your legs will get tired. You will be less fatigued during games when you are more tired now.


  • Stay low after touching the ground. Don’t appear to be performing a burpee.
  • Maintain a straight posture.
  • Squat instead of bending your back.

Quick Summary

I hope you’ve enjoyed this read and that you’re ready to practice your volleys as soon as possible. We describe some volley tips and the drills that you can follow to improve your volley footwork.

Affiliate Disclosure: I may earn a commission for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services from the links above. Your purchase helps support my work in bringing you real information about my experience, and does not cost anything additional to you.

We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.