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Sherri Shea

Proper Grip: Continental. For right-handed players, top knuckle of index finger on right bevel, index finger slightly separated and the “v” created by the thumb and index finger should rest on the left bevel. For lefties, top knuckle of index finger on left bevel, index finger slightly separated and the “v’ created by the index finger and the thumb should rest on the right bevel.

NOTE: picture of a close up on the grip – I don’t think the next sentence is needed because this article is supposed to be on the backhand volley –

The continental grip allows you to play forehand or backhand volleys using only one grip. Your reaction time and quickness will be greatly improved once you become accustomed to this grip.

Spreading your index finger on the grip handle gives a player more feel and control on volleys, especially when hitting drop volleys.

Ready Position: When you are at the net your feet should be spread slightly wider than the width of your shoulders. Your knees should be relaxed and flexed with your weight on the balls of your feet. Your arms should be positioned out in front and away from your body with your paddle head up and tilted slightly to the backhand side. Your non-paddle hand should cradle the paddle.

NOTE: Picture of Ready position

How to Hit the Backhand Volley: As the ball approaches, turn the paddle face towards the ball and slightly opened. Keep the paddle head up but at an angle and squeeze on your grip as the ball hits the paddle face. You will push forward slightly releasing the fingertips of your non-paddle hand. If the ball is hit right to you it will not require any footwork. However, if the ball is hit away from you, step at an angle towards the ball with your right foot if you are right handed and your left foot if you are left handed. Both legs should be flexed with your knees bent. The lower the ball is the lower you need to get down. Do not drop your paddle head to hit low backhand volley - bend your knees and keep your back straight! Dropping the paddle head will cause you to either pop your volley up or dump it into the net.

Let the ball play into your paddle rather than going out to get it like you would for a tennis volley. If you lunge towards the ball, you will tend to hit short volleys that will set up your opponents drives. By allowing the ball to play into your paddle, your paddle will absorb some of the speed allowing you to control the ball better and enabling you to hit deeper volleys. If you can keep your opponents behind the baseline with your backhand volley they will be unable to set up an offensive drive.

NOTE: Picture of volley

SUGGESTION: Target: placing your volley deep (back third of the court, by the baseline) will keep your opponents in a defensive position…..

The Importance of a Sound Backhand Volley: When you play the game of platform tennis be prepared to hit many more backhand volleys than forehand volleys. Drives that are hit right at you and even those that are hit slightly towards your forehand should be taken with your backhand volley. It is quicker and easier to get the paddle face in the correct contact position with the backhand volley. If you try to take these shots with your forehand, you must get your entire body out of the way to contact the ball and you will end up hitting the ball behind you. Therefore, of the possible places to hit volleys, two thirds are backhands and one third are forehands. Learning to hit the proper backhand volley is essential to raising the level of your game.


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