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Thursday, June 28, 2018

Volleys Defined

Know your options...

DJ Howard's tip this week is all about volleys.

DJ's weekly pickleball tip:

There are three main types of volleys: blocks, punches, and swings.

Before I go further, you must first understand the difference betweeen a "volley" and "rally". A volley is a shot hit out of the air, whereas a rally is a series of shots hit back and forth. Got it? I am talking about volleys, not rallies.

Use BLOCK volleys when:
  • The ball is coming toward you very fast
  • You are trying to control the ball
  • You are trying to hit a drop
  • You want to avoid popping the ball up to your opponent
  • You don't know what else to do - note, this should be rare!
A block volley is used more as a "reset" type of shot most of the time.

Use PUNCH volleys when:
  • You have a ball that is coming to you at medium pace
  • You have a ball coming to you at medium height
  • Your opponents are back and you want to keep them from getting up to the NVZ line
  • You have the ability to hit toward a gap or toward your opponent's feet
A punch volley is used as a "hurting" or "set-up" type of shot most of the time.

Use SWING volleys when:
  • You have the skill sets to control the ball and use slice or topspin when volleying
  • You have a slow, high ball coming to you
  • You have a large gap or can hit at your opponent's feet
A swing volley is an "attacking" type of shot most of the time.

Practice each of these types of volleys! Next time you practice, have a partner hit you shots from their baseline while you stand at your side of the net at the NVZ. You can try some punches and work your way up to some swings once you gain good control. Also try some blocks, but have your partner stand closer to you so they can return the ball. Have that player stand close to the NVZ line on his/her side and he/she can hit to you in the air as you try to drop the ball in the NVZ.

Pretty soon you'll begin to understand when and why you may want to use each type of volley and how each can be effective in its own way.

Til next time, keep reppin'!


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