No one in tennis history has ever had better volley technique than Navratilova, but don’t think she came out of the womb armed with the sharp, stiletto-like strokes that earned her an Open Era-record 59 Grand Slam titles.

Here are three tips from a notorious net-rusher:

1. Posture

"You’ve got to get grounded. You want to stay rooted so that nobody can push you over. It starts with the bottom. Keep your butt under you. Once you’re solid, you’re in the right place to lean against the ball.”

2. Elbow

"Try to keep your elbow tucked in, so that you try to touch your rib cage. It might move away from there, but if you work to have it in that position, you won’t be flailing.”

3. Backboard

Navratilova believes the backboard is far more helpful for volleys than the ball machine. “Start off slow, not trying to hit the ball hard at all,” she says. “All you’re trying for here is control and consistency.”