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My volleys are not as crisp as I'd like. I use a neutral grip and I'm getting a lot of backspin on the ball and the pace is really slow. I'm wondering if I should use a strong western grip in order to flatten the ball out and get more pop. Any thoughts?

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FOREHAND VOLLEYS SHOULD BE "EASTERN FOREHAND", JUST ONE BEVEL TOWARDS WESTERN GRIP FROM NUETRAL OR "CONTINENTAL". BACK HAND VOLLEYS- EXACTLY OPPOSITE, UNLESS YOU'RE TRYING TO SLICE THE BACKHAND.
THE PACE REALLY COMES FROM PUNCHING THE BALL WITH WITH STIFF ARM BENT AT 45 DEGREES AND STEPPING FORWARD INTO THE VOLLEY. (left foot for right-handed forehand, right foot for right-handed backhands).
**DAVE and I answered at exactly the same time. Maybe I meant "continental" rather than western below.

Most people use a different grip for FH than BH. I think the best FH grip is the standard western grip. The BH should be more of an eastern grip. The motion should not be a hatchet job, more of a punch thru the ball. Don't swing. Punch the ball flatly and slightly downward. It will take some practice to get the change of grip as fast as you'd like it.
Any other thoughts from the pros out there?
do you know what an "up" is? the beginning drill of bouncing the ball with yourself in the air. thats how its done. or how you want to hit the volley. if this helps let me know.
Sounds like your "neutral grip" is the Continental grip-- a 'tweener' grip with the 'V' of your racket hand on the top bevel of grip. This Continental grip is fine for both FH & BH vollies and does not require a grip change at net. But it is also OK to change grips at net...depending on what your opponent hits to you. Experiment with switching grip to the forehand Eastern (index knuckle behind racket grip so your racket palm is facing the net). For backhand volley switch to Eastern backhand grip with index finger knuckle on top of grip. Studies have proven players have plenty of time to switch volley grips on the way to the net or even if you are AT the net. These grip switches will orient the racket face better to the ball (than your neutral Continental) so that you can punch through the ball and drive the ball aggressively deep or for angled winners. Be sure you are using good volley form. Keep your volley out in front with no backswing. Don't chop down TOO MUCH at ball with racket head at ball contact. You do want some underspin on both FH & BH volleys for added control, just don't overdo it.
squeeze the racquet right before impact and transfer all your weight to your hand. if it helps, take a step--when you step pretend you are killing a bug. with authority
The volly grip that i have been using for years is, not neutral but its close. I grip the racket like you grip and hammer. It will feel strange at first but, the hammer grip will give you great controll because its natural. Hope this helps.
It may not be a case of your grip I use a continental/chopper grip. Some people wait for the ball and have a habit of slicing the volley which can give you undesired spin and slow down the pace of the volley. Having a firm grip and taking the volley on as early as possible before the ball drops to low is key.
Wow Ben, I just noticed that you are a 6.0. Very cool. So do you switch your grip for your backhand volley?
I've been switching it but something is still wrong with my bh volley...
M

Ben Young said:
It may not be a case of your grip I use a continental/chopper grip. Some people wait for the ball and have a habit of slicing the volley which can give you undesired spin and slow down the pace of the volley. Having a firm grip and taking the volley on as early as possible before the ball drops to low is key.

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