Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley - MensTennisForums.com
 
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 01:23 PM Thread Starter
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Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

G'day! My name is Aidan and Im a podiatry student with interests in sports biomechanics.
I've stumbled across MTF in the hope of finding some experts who can help talk me through the Biomechanics of the forehand volley.
Im doing an assignment that requires me to break down this shot (will post once I figure out how to upload) into steps however as I've never played tennis before I wouldnt have the slightest idea where to start!

Is there a coaching guide, set of steps or key features desired for the "perfect" forehand volley? What features increase risk of injury?

The phases I have broken down are:
1. Pre-swing
2. Back-swing
3. Forward-swing
4. Follow-through phases

Ps: Im not looking for anyone to do my assignment (although it would be nice) rather starting a discussion that will guide me in the right direction

Cheers!
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-07-2008, 06:04 PM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

Just a couple of thoughts...
First of all, there is no actual swing in volleys. While there are players who use the occasional drive volley, it is far too risky, inaccurate and time consuming to be something that is generally taught.
So you don´t make a backswing. I´m not sure what the right term is, but you more or less take the racquet slightly back without much body rotation. The actual shot is more like a crisp push than a swing. One of the most important things is to keep the racquet head higher than the handle. In case of a low volley, you go down from your legs, but you don´t let the racquet head drop.
Since the shot is not a swing, there is not much follow-through either. Naturally the racquet movement doesn´t end exactly at the impact with the ball, but at the net you don´t have the need or the time for large backswings of follow-throughs.
I don´t know what else to tell you...Risk of injury? The biggest risk is hitting the ball with the frame and into your own eye. Yes, that can happen, take my word for it!
I don´t know if this was helpful in any way, hope so...
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2008, 12:13 AM Thread Starter
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

Thanks Dougie that is extremely helpful!
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-08-2008, 01:55 AM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

Yeah, actually the only preparation is holding the racket high. Also you don't take it back, your body is the limit, it's like you've got your back to a wall. Then you just block it way in front of you, there's basically no follow-through
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 01:10 AM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

yeah... all good... in tennis, volleys are the direct contrast to groundstrokes... where words you could apply to groundstrokes are 'swing' 'loose' 'closed' and 'long'... with volleys, you might use words like 'block' 'short' 'open' and 'punch'... like the other guys said, volleys usually have the head of the racquet above the wrist, and, the 'butt' of the racquet leads the shot...

at an intermediate level, you might say simply punching/blocking the shot with an 'open' face is enough...

at an advanced level, you might ask a player to slighty open the face a little more, just on or after contact, imparting a little more underspin to ensure a lower bounce... here, tactically, at an advanced level, a well struck volley will stay low, thereby forcing the player receiveing the volley to 'play up' and over the net... this doesnt allow the receiveing player enough room to attempt a clean pass, or roll the ball low with topspin at the volleyers feet...

a compentent volleyer always plays the shot well in front of the body...

as an australian it is your duty to know the volley... for the australian male, the volley is a thing of beauty... australian coaches are denied departure at all aussie international airports if they cannot accurately display the volley off both wings... get to know the volley... talk to it, enjoy it, get to know it, let it seduce you... it is your duty as an australian...

educate yourself here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCkHGBKIaUQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoK9s66Cqi4# (there are other parts to this.)
there was a patrick rafter deuce and ad court versions... but... they disappeared...

notice footwork... the step across the body for balance when the ball is outisde or away from them...

good luck mate...

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 01:45 AM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

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Originally Posted by fast_clay View Post
yeah... all good... in tennis, volleys are the direct contrast to groundstrokes... where words you could apply to groundstrokes are 'swing' 'loose' 'closed' and 'long'... with volleys, you might use words like 'block' 'short' 'open' and 'punch'... like the other guys said, volleys usually have the head of the racquet above the wrist, and, the 'butt' of the racquet leads the shot...

at an intermediate level, you might say simply punching/blocking the shot with an 'open' face is enough...

at an advanced level, you might ask a player to slighty open the face a little more, just on or after contact, imparting a little more underspin to ensure a lower bounce... here, tactically, at an advanced level, a well struck volley will stay low, thereby forcing the player receiveing the volley to 'play up' and over the net... this doesnt allow the receiveing player enough room to attempt a clean pass, or roll the ball low with topspin at the volleyers feet...

a compentent volleyer always plays the shot well in front of the body...

as an australian it is your duty to know the volley... for the australian male, the volley is a thing of beauty... australian coaches are denied departure at all aussie international airports if they cannot accurately display the volley off both wings... get to know the volley... talk to it, enjoy it, get to know it, let it seduce you... it is your duty as an australian...

educate yourself here...
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OCkHGBKIaUQ
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WoK9s66Cqi4# (there are other parts to this.)
there was a patrick rafter deuce and ad court versions... but... they disappeared...

notice footwork... the step across the body for balance when the ball is outisde or away from them...

good luck mate...
My coach said exactly the same thing today. Exactly, amazing. "While when you serve and hit from the back you must be loose, when you're volleying you should keep the racket action at a minimum".
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-09-2008, 09:00 AM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

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Originally Posted by GlennMirnyi View Post
My coach said exactly the same thing today. Exactly, amazing. "While when you serve and hit from the back you must be loose, when you're volleying you should keep the racket action at a minimum".
All good points.

Another interesting contrast between groundstrokes and volleys is the fact that the forehand groundstroke has much more of a comfortable feel to it than the backhand, yet up at net, you want those volleys on your backhand because the forehand is so much more awkward as you don't have the time to get your body out of the way.

I suppose you could also add that you rely a lot more on weight transfer from the back to get power, whereas at net it's all about staying solid and keeping the wrist firm, if you try to muscle it it will hit the back fence every time.

Ahh, tennis, such a complicated game!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 08:19 AM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

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Originally Posted by TidusZidane View Post
All good points.

Another interesting contrast between groundstrokes and volleys is the fact that the forehand groundstroke has much more of a comfortable feel to it than the backhand, yet up at net, you want those volleys on your backhand because the forehand is so much more awkward as you don't have the time to get your body out of the way.

I suppose you could also add that you rely a lot more on weight transfer from the back to get power, whereas at net it's all about staying solid and keeping the wrist firm, if you try to muscle it it will hit the back fence every time.

Ahh, tennis, such a complicated game!
but a lot of people aren't comfortable trying to poach a shot on their backhand side, where as they would on their forehand side (in regards to doubles)

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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-11-2008, 06:09 PM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

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Originally Posted by TidusZidane View Post
All good points.

Another interesting contrast between groundstrokes and volleys is the fact that the forehand groundstroke has much more of a comfortable feel to it than the backhand, yet up at net, you want those volleys on your backhand because the forehand is so much more awkward as you don't have the time to get your body out of the way.

I suppose you could also add that you rely a lot more on weight transfer from the back to get power, whereas at net it's all about staying solid and keeping the wrist firm, if you try to muscle it it will hit the back fence every time.

Ahh, tennis, such a complicated game!
True. Also a problem for the players that rely heavily on their forehands: when you go to the net, you usually go with a FH DTL, and the ball usually comes for a forehand volley, where I, for instance, have a much more solid backhand volley, even if aimed at the body. Then I have the option of going with a BH DTL, but my backhand is a rally shot - if I try that strategy, it'll be hugely dependent on luck because as my backhand is my weaker side, either the shot will bounce short (and I'll expose the whole court for a passing shot) or it will miss (or it will be a winner, but that's not what I want when I hit an approach shot).
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 06:48 PM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

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Originally Posted by FootWork View Post
but a lot of people aren't comfortable trying to poach a shot on their backhand side, where as they would on their forehand side (in regards to doubles)
Most players are more comfortable punching the backhand volley which will go for a winner or create a tough pass whereas the forehand volley tends to get pushed which can leave you a sitting duck. Generalising here, obviously it isn't the same for everyone. I think for players of a high standard though, the backhand volley ought to be a bread and butter shot, especially for serve-volleyers.
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-12-2008, 09:49 PM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

I actually prefer forehand volleys

I still believe in the one-handed backhand.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-29-2008, 10:51 AM
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Re: Biomechanics of the Forehand Volley

I prefer the backhand volley as well and usually go around the forehand volley if possible (excluding high volley or smashes). It's more natural to me and my wrist tends to be a bit loose on the FH volley, thus opening the racketface and thereby floating the volley... Also I find it much easier to use the BH volley to block shots aimed directly at me, not probably the only one here

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