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How to Handle the Volley Aimed Right at You – Tennis Quick Tips Podcast 179

By Kselz @TennisFixation

This week I have a super quick tip for you! This is in response to a great question that I got from a Tennis Quick Tips listener and I know it's a great question because I had this same question at one point in my tennis career. So let's talk about how to handle the volley aimed right at you! You can listen to this episode by clicking on the media player in this post or by listening in with your favorite podcast app. You can also subscribe in Apple Podcasts by clicking on this link:


The question I got came in from James and here's what he had to say:

Could you please devote one of your podcast tips to how to hit back a shot aimed directly at the your body, torso or particularly the head? I often freeze in this situation! I don't know if my mind is too busy trying to decide forehand or backhand, but I don't do anything. It's really annoying and dangerous!

James, really good question and really good comments. When a volley is coming right at you, when it's aimed at your chest or your head, it can truly freeze you, just like you're saying because you're very worried about getting hit and possibly hurt. Especially if it's coming right in at your head.

I have been hit in the face before! That was not fun. But there is a way to handle these types of balls when someone is volleying and it's hard and it's coming right at you.

So, the answer is, that when a shot comes at you and it's aimed at your body or your torso, you most likely will have to take it as a backhand. If you can imagine a backhand with the racquet covering your torso, the strings of the racquet covering your torso, and your elbow raised very high to get your arm out of the way and to pull the racquet in front of you, that's how you would position it. So, if you're a righty for example, this would be a one-handed backhand volley, volley by you, with your right elbow pulled almost up to your ear, so that you're holding the racquet as a backhand with the strings covering your torso or chest.

Look, this is not going to produce an amazing shot but it will be a legal shot if it hits the strings or any part of your racquet. And it will keep you in the point and hopefully it will protect you from getting nailed by that ball.

Now, if the shot is aimed at your head, just stick your racquet up and try to get out of the way. That's my thinking. It's more important in that situation to protect yourself from getting hit by the ball then to worry so much about making an amazing return shot. But I would stick my racquet up there because you never know what can happen. That kind of shot, you could take it as a forehand or a one-handed backhand, but your priority is to not get hit by the ball. If you do get the ball back over the net, that's ideal, but ultimately I think you want to make sure you don't get hurt.

So that's my answer on how to take that volley aimed right at you. I hope that's something you an take you and apply in that situation. I get it. When it happens, it happens quickly. You're just doing your best and trying not to get hurt! But hopefully, by applying this tip, you'll protect yourself AND get the ball back in play!


Check out these great resources mentioned in this episode:


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Thanks so much for listening and, as always, . . . Happy Tennis!

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