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5 Minutes with Nick: Two-Handed Backhand Volley

Tuesday, March 20, 2012 /by

Five reasons to use two hands on your backhand volley.

1) It’s economical and faster
The two-handed backhand volley suffers from an unfair stigma. It’s not necessarily the sign of a weaker player, or even a bad volleyer. It’s a style choice—and often a smart one. This is especially true for players who haven’t learned to hit their forehand and backhand volleys with changing grips. If you have to switch grips at the net, you’re in deep trouble. There’s no time. A two-handed backhand volley allows you to hit your volleys without changing the grip of your dominant hand, even if you hit your forehand volley with a weak Eastern grip.

2) You’ll have less to worry about
It takes incredible hands to control a one-handed backhand volley. Plus you must have great timing and balance, and coordinate the movements of your hitting arm and non-hitting arm. A two-handed backhand volley give you more margin for error and a firmer grip on the racquet. It’s simpler. Yes, you lose a little bit of reach, but that’s worth the increase in control and consistency.

3) It’s better in a pinch
If you play a lot of doubles, your backhand volley will be extremely important. It’s easier to defend yourself from a hard-hit ball with a backhand volley—and even easier to do this with two hands. If you use two hands, you’ll have a higher percentage on reflex volleys because your racquet head is less likely to drop or twist upon impact.

4) It’s more accurate
Club players who struggle with the one-handed volley just try to get the ball in the court. They don’t worry about where the ball goes, because they can’t control it. The two-handed backhand volley will make it easier to place the ball in the open court, between your opponents or at their feet.

5) It breeds confidence
Confidence is key in tennis, especially at the net. With a two-handed volley, you’ll react more quickly and know that shoulders and arms will naturally work together, since both hands are on the racquet.

Nick Bollettieri has trained many collegiate and professional players, including 10 who reached the world No. 1 ranking.

Originally published in the November/December 2011 issue of TENNIS.


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