How do I perform a tennis volley?

tennis volley
File Photo Credit: Darren Ho/SportSG

By Laura Chan


A tennis volley is to hit the ball before it bounces on the ground. The volley is an aggressive shot aimed to finish the point in one or two strokes. Movements should be fast, short and sharp to limit the opponent’s reaction time thus scoring the point.

Step 1: Preparation

The ready position is crucial in the process of volleying. As volleying is a fast game, anticipating and responding quickly to your opponent’s next shot will make or break your play. 

Keep on your toes and shift your foot in the direction the ball is coming towards you. This allows for quick movement to get to the ball which is crucial for a properly timed backswing. Knees should be slightly bent and prepared for movement, racket and hands in front of your body to prevent big backswing.

Step 2: Backswing

Take your racket back with your elbow close to your body. There should be little to no swing during movement in executing a volley. Your left shoulder should be inclined towards the net with arm out for balance, leaning slightly on the leg further from the ball. Your racket face should be open in preparation for contact, the other leg beginning to step forward.

Step 3: Swing and contact

Gripping your racket tightly, keep your eye on the ball, locking your elbow and wrist. Use your arm to push the ball into the opponent’s court, angling your shot to your visualized position. Continue shifting your weight to the other leg, stepping forward and accelerating the ball. Your torso should remain firm with strength coming from your lower body.

tennis volley technique

Step 4: Follow through

After contact, continue moving your racket in the direction you want the ball to travel towards until your arm is extended. The step forward should be completed entirely, after which, quickly move back to the centre of the court in ready position to prepare for the next shot. 

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