Learning from the Past: Billie Jean King's Volleys

by: Peter Burwash | September 17, 2013

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Most players don’t have a sound forehand volley. What I loved about Billie Jean King’s forehand volley was that she didn’t have a huge backswing. Pat Cash was the same way.

Most people think the volley is a power shot. I try to get people to see it as a control/directional shot. King had perfect control over her forehand volley and her stroke had no superfluous movement.

Almost all players open the racquet face on the backhand volley, but most don’t do it on the forehand side. They are told to punch the volley, which suggests that the elbow should go from bent to straight during the shot. On the forehand volley, the elbow should start bent and finish bent. Rather than “punch” your volleys, you should “catch” them, like a shortstop fields a groundball.


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