All of us who play tennis have been caught in no man’s land and had to hit a half volley. It is one of the hardest shots to hit consistently in tennis, because we shouldn’t be hitting it consistently. As my boss once said, If you can hit one half volley from the service line, you are pretty good; If you can hit two half volleys in a row from the service line, you are dumb!
We don’t want to be hitting half volleys one after the other. Once you hit a half volley, MOVE either in to the net (my preferred style) or back up to the baseline. Don’t get caught having to hit multiple half volleys from the same position.
That being said, here is an easy way to hit half volleys.
You want to approach hitting a half volley like you are a first baseman making a quick scoop of a low throw, or like a soccer player kicking a half volley ball:
1) Get down low to the ball.
2) Keep your racquet out in front of your body, you don’t need a backswing.
3) As you hit the ball, trace a line straight forward towards your target. This is done by just raising your racquet arm shoulder. The longer you make this stroke, the further the ball will go into the court.
This same technique works on the forehand or backhand. A Continental grip makes the shot easier to hit, as well.
A good way to practice this shot is to go out to the court with a friend and have one person feed the other. The person feeding should feed their partner a half volley, with a half volley. That means you should drop hit the feed as a half volley. This will give you practice actually hitting the half volley and getting the timing of the stroke correct.
Have fun and hit the courts!
Join the Van Der Meer professional staff for complimentary top-flight tennis exhibitions at the Van Der Meer Shipyard Racquet Club on August 2 & 9 at 5:30 p.m. or at the Van Der Meer Tennis Center on DeAllyon Avenue every Sunday at 4 p.m. Clinics and camps for all ages and skill levels are also available.
August 27-29, the Van Der Meer Tennis Center hosts the Summer End Shootout, a non-sanctioned, joint junior and adult tennis tournament. Pre-registration is required. Call (843) 785-8388 or visit vdmtennis.com for details.
By Andy Sklarin
Head Professional, Van Der Meer Tennis.