One of the key components of a good volley is the combination of arc
and underspin. The arc is important because of the importance
of, first, avoiding the net. The underspin allows a player
to control the depth of the ball at a variety of speeds.
Using a continental grip and an open racquet face will set the foundation
for these two elements of arc and spin. One of the best ways to get used
to these concepts is to get a garbage pail and practice feeding the balls
(with arc and underspin) into the bucket. If the bucket is taller that's
even better, as in order for the ball to go in the bucket you have to
create some arc and can't send it in on a line drive.
It is best first to begin at a short distance, doing self-feeding, then
increase the distance (and the challenge). A checkpoint for spin is to
see if the ball is rotating vertically as it leaves your strings, not
A step further would be to have a practice partner either toss or feed
balls, again beginning with a short distance and increasing the distance
between you and the bucket with your success.
Once you learn to volley up first, it is easy to bring the ball down
and decrease the arc for more penetrating volleys. But to try for "hard"
volleys first usually makes it difficult for the player to experience
the touch and feel learned by incorporating arc and underspin at first.
The ability to hit a drop volley, short angles and a lob volley, among
others, will dramatically improve with increased arc and spin control.
Good Luck on the Court!!!