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The Tennis4You Workshop- "Teaching The Forehand Volley"
By:  Randy Cummings - Match Point Racquet Sports

Most instructors have had students that no matter how many lessons they have taken, they just can't seem to get the feel for the forehand volley. Here is a tip that might give your students the breakthrough they need.

Take a folding chair or small stool to the court with you. Set it up inside the service box. Place your cart or ball hopper across the net from the chair.

Have your student sit sideways on the chair with her upper body turned about 45 degrees from the net. Have her hold the racquet in a position that mirrors the end of the volley preparation position; i.e., wrist cocked and locked, racquet face parallel to the net, laid back, and slightly raised. Either an Eastern forehand or a continental grip is acceptable. Feed softly hit balls to the student and have her try to clear the net and land the ball in your cart or hopper using a volley stroke.

There are a couple of things you can do to help your student obtain the feel for the volley from this sitting position. Have the student place her non-hitting arm across her waist with her hand under her hitting elbow; this will emphasize the use of the forearm only and minimize any over-swinging on the volley. Choking up on the racquet handle will make the stroke seem easier. Also, encourage the student to clear the net by several feet, using plenty of backspin.

Once the student gets the feel for hitting the volley in this way, have her stand up and hit regular volleys, again trying to put the ball in the basket. After a while, have her sit down on the chair again and hit volleys from there. Keep repeating this sitting and standing until the volley is grooved. In subsequent lessons, any time the feel for the volley weakens, have the student briefly resume the sitting position to reestablish the mechanics of the stroke.