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Published on Mar 2, 2011
http://www.10sworld.com/ - Once we feel comfortable with how the backhand volley feels without moving, it is time to add the feet. Footwork is very important because it allows a player to move to the ball and get in position to use the volley we have worked to develop. Without good position, the player is improvising on every volley with the hands and racket, and will never have a solid consistent volley. There are three simple footwork progressions that we use to hit a backhand volley.
The first is to take a small step or shift the weight to the outside foot. This might be used when a ball comes too fast to step forward, or when it comes right at the player. The step should be adjusted to keep the racket in proper position, rather than reaching with the arm. This load onto the outside foot is also the start for the second progression. This also keeps a player over their feet and gives a good feel for proper spacing both in front and to the side.
The second progression will start like the first, but now the player will step forward to the ball with the inside foot. For a right hander, load on the left (outside), and step forward with the right. With the same posture and racket position, the step will add power and allow the player to take the ball earlier, closer to the net, and before the ball drops. Do not step across, but if possible step toward the target. This will get the weight behind the ball and help control the direction.
The third progression is on a slower ball, which after the split a player may have time to take several steps to the ball and move through the hit. To stop your feet on contact after charging forward will throw a player off balance, and force a mis-directed volley. By moving through the hit with good balance, a player can move up to a slow ball, has an easier shot by being closer to the net, and takes time away from the opponent. A great drill to get the feel of moving through the volley, is to have your partner feed or toss you some volleys while you walk through the volley. It is important to keep good balance and posture while moving. One warning, to keep the contact in the preferred contact zone, do not over close. A backhand volley is difficult to control if it is too high.
• Three patterns of footwork • Weight transfer to the outside foot • One step forward • Moving through the volley • Good footwork gives a player the proper position to get to the ball • Stay balanced, using good technique with the hands and racket