Doubles Instruction: Eye Level
It's the key to hitting a successful volley.
In a fast-paced game of doubles, there’s little time to think about technique on volleys. Your grip has to be simple and versatile, and your reflexes must be quick. There is one thing, however, that you should remember in an effort to improve timing and consistency, which will allow you hit volleys with more authority: Keep your eyes at the level of the incoming ball.
At the club level, players tend to overuse their racquet on volleys and underuse their legs. When the ball is low, you must bend your knees and get low with it. The easiest way to know how low is to keep the ball at eye level and keep your racquet up, rather than letting it dangle. Your racquet should remain in view. If you can’t see your racquet, then your swing is too big.
Follow this advice and you’ll be able to punch the ball deep into a corner, or angle it, depending on the situation. You’ll also hit fewer pop-up volleys that float over the net and result in an immediate advantage for your opponent.
Mark Dalzell is a senior tennis coach at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
Originally publised in the March 2012 issue of TENNIS.