HOFER TENNIS
TIP OF THE WEEK ARCHIVE
BACKHAND VOLLEY

The backhand volley for most intermediate players their weakest
shot. The reason is because of strength and poor technique.
Strength comes into play because we lack the muscular strength
need to grasp the racquet. Once grip strength is address we
can move on to technique.
   A continental grip is needed to put leverage into the one-
handed backhand volley. Take a healthy backswing so the
racquet head is near the “ear� and over the shoulder
with the left hand holding the throat. At this point the racquet
string face will be open, facing skyward. This will allow for slight
underspin if needed.
   Start your volley swing by pulling the racquet out of the non-
dominate hand and swinging forward and down. The non-
dominate hand controls the backswing and the timing of the
release of that hand is critical. The racquet face begins to close
as we swing forward and down allowing the racquet head to
build speed. The strings are almost vertical at impact and we
should try to pull the handle forward after impact to allow the
strings to slant open again towards the sky. We do this to make
sure we don’t flip the racquet strings over the ball and dump
it into the net.
   The follow through almost looks like we are sliding the racquet
strings under the ball. The finish comes to an abrupt stop as if
we were trying to “stick� the volley.
   To practice try hitting short balls with someone in the service
boxes. Make sure you are using underspin to control the ball
and let it drop into the court. This practice will allow you to
understand how much tilt is needed on the racquet string face to
produce a slice shot.
   Lastly, the backhand volley should look a lot like a backhand
slice. The major difference is the size of the backswing and
finish. Volleys should be shorter with an abbreviated finish while
the slice is longer and flows more.

Doug Hofer, USPTA      February 21, 2006
TIP OF THE WEEK
ARCHIVE INDEX
TIP OF THE
WEEK
HOME