What Is A Volley In Tennis?

In tennis, a volley is a type of shot that the player hits before the ball bounces on the court. These are usually hit when the player is right up next to the net, or a few feet behind it.


Types of Volleys

There are two simple kids of volleys, with a few variations. A forehand volley and a backhand volley are the two traditional volleys. These are hit much like a regular forehand and backhand shot on either side of the body.

One of the variations is a slice, where the player slices at the ball rather than meeting it square, softening the hit and having the ball land softly on the opponent's side.

A second variation is the slam, where the ball is hit harder almost directly at the ground. This shot is often a winner and used when the opponent hits a high looping shot.

How to Hit a Volley

Hitting a volley is slightly different than hitting a regular shot in tennis. Because the player is usually up at the net when hitting a volley it will be higher on the body than a regular shot, usually about chest high. The grip on a volley is also slightly different. The player opens their hand a bit more, facing the racket towards the other court, almost upright but not quite. Stepping in the direction in which the player is volleying is key to a good strong volley. Often the ball is flying very quickly so not only does the player have to react quickly but they must have a strong wrist and arm holding their racket so that the ball can bounce off of the racket back onto their opponents court.