to Draw the Line - Overhead vs. Volley
Scott Baker | Tennis4you
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I love hitting overheads! If there is one shot I love to
just get out some anger or to show off some power this is
the one! I know I am not alone, who doesn't get excited when
they see a short lob or a floater? However, you must know
the difference between a high floater that needs to be treated
as an overhead and one that needs to be treated as a volley.
I have seen many players try to hit an overhead off of a low
floater that they should have hit as a high volley. When you
swing an overhead at a ball that is too low, the result is
usually a ball that sails embarrassingly long.
First figure out what height you are comfortable hitting overheads.
If you cannot hit your overhead at a full extension then you should
not be hitting an overhead. If you feel like you are getting jammed
when trying to hit an overhead because the ball is too low, than
you should be treating that shot as a high volley. You will not
be very successful if you are swinging as an overhead and have to
adjust your arm or wrist in mid swing just to try to aim the ball
Many times these low floaters are moving faster than lobs. So you
have to make sure that if you want to hit an overhead you have time
to properly get our racquet in position. Not having enough time
will cause you to hit the ball late and the ball will end up deep.
If you are rushed for time, the volley is the better option.
I played in the finals of a doubles tournament back in 1998. Our
opponents were hitting these floaters that I kept trying to slam
over the back fence. I missed almost everyone, needless to say I
was very frustrated and I thought I was playing horribly. They were
too low and moving too fast. We lost the first set. As soon as the
second set started I quit hitting overheads and treated those floaters
as high volleys. I hit all of them in and most of them for winners.
We ended up winning that match, but we probably would not have if
I would have kept trying to hit too big.
The volley is a much easier shot and a much higher percentage shot
in these types of situations. It may not look as pretty as that
1 out of 10 overhead you might hit in, but at least it was in.
on the Court!