1 Minute Lesson #2 – How to Put Away More Volleys


I find volleying to be both simple and difficult at the same time. While it is important to have good technique, players who possess great instincts at the net often find themselves to be more successful when coming in. So let’s simplify it. First, watch the video below:

Let’s Break It Down

All I am focusing today is showing you how effective firm and short volleys can be. I want you to keep that inside your head every time you go to the net. Let me give you quick breakdown on my thought process as I move forward:

1 – My approach shot needs to push my opponent back. Power isn’t a priority; depth is.

2 – I will be paying close attention to my opponents racket as I move forward. Why? Because there is a moment in everyone’s swing where they completely made the decision on where they want hit the ball; there is no turning back. It is in that moment where I will pounce forward in order to cover more of the net and go towards the ball (watch the video again, from the close up angle. Pay attention to my split step and how I move forward afterwards).

3 – My goal in most volleys is to hit them firm, short and away from the opponent. I aim around the service line and keep my wrist and hands firm through contact. It will help me have better control through the shot.

In summary:

  1. Deep approach shot
  2. Move as close as you can to the net
  3. Good split step followed by the pounce forward
  4. Don’t wait for the ball, GO GET IT!!
  5. Firm hands and wrists through contact
  6. Aim close to the service line and away from your opponent

This isn’t a technical lesson, this is a mindset lesson. Putting away more volleys requires good instincts more than anything else. Have a set of rules when moving to the net, don’t just improvise. Play the point the way you want it to be played; not how your opponent wants. And remember to keep it simple, aim short, hit it firmly and I guarantee you will put away more volleys the next time you play.

Karue Sell

I’ve had some pretty cool experiences during my tennis career. I’ve reached the semifinals of the Orange Bowl U16 and as a junior, I ranked as high as #33 in the world. I have had wins over Dominic Thiem, Kyle Edmund, and Hugo Dellien (not sure how well I would do against them today, though). One of the coolest things I’ve done while playing was reaching the finals of the NCAA’s with UCLA, so I’m a great supporter of college tennis. I’ve won 3 futures since graduating, and I broke the top 400 on the ATP rankings. And most importantly, I have been to Pete Sampras’ house.

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