What is a Tennis Volley and How is It Executed

Written By Khaled

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Tennis sport is one of the most popular sports in the world, with millions of people playing and watching it every year. One of the key aspects of this sport is the volley, a shot that requires quick reflexes and perfect timing.

In this article, we will discuss what a tennis volley is, as well as how to execute it properly.

What Is a Tennis Volley?

A tennis volley is a shot in which the player strikes the ball before it has a chance to bounce. This requires quick reflexes and excellent timing, as the ball must be hit at a precise moment in order to stay within the court boundaries.

To perform a successful volley, one must also have a strong forehand or backhand, depending on which side of their body they will be extending for the stroke. Because volleys require so much speed and dexterity, competitive players typically spend years refining this skill, working on everything from form and balance to footwork and positioning.

Ultimately, though, what makes the volley such an important part of tennis is that it can help to change the tempo of a game, allowing players to quickly move between defense and offense without losing momentum. This makes it a crucial skill to have in competitive matches, as well as just for fun when playing with friends.

How Is a Tennis Volley Executed?

There are several key factors that determine how successfully a tennis volley is executed. These include proper form and technique, balance, footwork, and positioning on the court.

Form and technique are perhaps the most important, as a player must have a strong grip on their racket and maintain good posture throughout the stroke. They should also keep their eye on the ball at all times, ensuring that they hit it in the sweet spot for maximum power.

Balance is another vital element, as a player must be able to stand firm and maintain good body orientation throughout the stroke, whether they are hitting a forehand or backhand volley.

Footwork is also important, as players must be able to move quickly in order to position themselves for their shot. This involves moving around the court both laterally and diagonally, depending on where the ball is located in relation to the player’s position.

Finally, good positioning on the court is essential for a successful volley. This means knowing where to stand in order to achieve maximum reach and power, as well as being aware of other players’ positions so that they do not inadvertently hit their racket against another player’s arm or body.

Different Types of Volleys in Tennis

There are two main types of volleys in tennis: the forehand volley and the backhand volley.

The forehand volley is executed with the player’s dominant hand, meaning that they will swing their racket across their body in order to hit the ball. This stroke is typically used when the player is positioned near the center of the court, as it allows them to hit a powerful shot that travels across the net.

The backhand volley is executed with the player’s non-dominant hand and is typically used when they are positioned near their own side of the court, as this provides maximum reach for hitting the ball effectively.

The other types of volleys include:

Drop Volley

This is a soft shot that is hit close to the net, typically used as a surprise attack against an opponent who is expecting a more powerful stroke. It can be also played as a defensive shot, designed to make the opponent run forward in order to reach it.

Lob Volley

This is a high-arcing shot that is used to force the opponent to retreat back towards their own court. It can be played as an offensive or defensive stroke, depending on the situation.

Overhead Volley

This is a powerful shot played when the player is positioned close to the net, designed to forcefully hit the ball over their opponent’s head. It is typically used as an offensive stroke and requires good timing and strength in order to be effective.

Drive Volley

This is a fast, low shot that travels quickly across the net, typically used as an offensive weapon against opponents who are positioned close to their own side of the court.

Half Volley

This is a difficult shot that is hit just after the ball has bounced, allowing the player to gain an advantage over their opponent by quickly hitting the ball before they have a chance to react. This stroke can be played as either an offensive or defensive weapon, depending on the situation.

Tips for Executing a Perfect Tennis Volley

While mastering the volley takes time and practice, there are a few tips that can help players improve their technique and execute this important shot successfully. Some of these include:

  1. Star from between the net and the service line: To practice your volley technique, start at the net and work your way back to the service line. This will help you focus on form and footwork without having to worry about other players moving around you.
  2. Focus on execution rather than power: While power is an important factor in volleys, it is more important to execute a perfect stroke each time. This means focusing on hitting the ball in the sweet spot of your racket, rather than simply swinging as hard as possible.
  3. Stay light on your feet: Volleys require quick reflexes and fast movement, so it is important to stay light on your feet at all times. This will allow you to move quickly around the court, positioning yourself for each shot.
  4. Practice with a friend: One of the best ways to improve your volley technique is to practice with a friend or teammate. This will allow you to receive feedback on your form and positioning, as well as help you better understand when and where to hit the ball in order to keep it within court boundaries.
  5. Use a tennis ball machine: If you don’t have a friend or teammate available to practice with, you can use a tennis ball machine. This will help you improve your accuracy and consistency, as well as allow you to focus on your form without distractions.

Tennis Volley Drills

There are a number of drills that can help players improve their volley technique and form. Some of the most effective include:

  • The wall drill: This drill involves hitting volleys against a wall, helping you improve your accuracy and aim as well as your footwork.
  • The cross-court drill: In this drill, you hit cross-court volleys while moving backward and forwards across the court. This helps you improve your footwork and movement as well as your ability to hit the ball accurately.
  • The partner drill: In this drill, you practice volleys with a partner, taking turns hitting the ball back and forth. This helps you improve your accuracy, timing, and form.
  • The shadow drill: This drill involves hitting volleys while shadowing your opponent’s movements. This helps you better understand their positioning and footwork, allowing you to anticipate their next move.

Tennis Volley Strategy

While the volley is a powerful stroke, it is important to use it strategically in order to gain an advantage over your opponent. Some tips for using the volley effectively include:

  • Using the volley to surprise your opponent: since the volley is typically used as an offensive stroke, your opponent may not be expecting it. This makes it a great way to surprise them and take them off guard.
  • Using the volley to put pressure on your opponent: by hitting volleys consistently, you can put pressure on your opponent and force them to make mistakes.
  • Using the volley to open up the court: by hitting volleys to different parts of the court, you can open up the space and create opportunities for yourself.
  • Using the volley to end the point: since the volley is a powerful stroke, it is an effective way to end the point quickly. By consistently hitting volleys, you can take control of the point and finish it with a decisive shot.


Now that you know all about volleys in tennis, you can start practicing your form and technique to become a skilled volleyer. Whether you’re playing competitively or just for fun, understanding the different types of volleys and how they are executed will help you improve your game and win more matches. So get out on the court and start practicing today!