In the volleys fundamentals section of the website, we said that when you either hit a forehand or a backhand volley you need to step in as you hit. We didn’t say what direction you needed to step, and we were being purposefully vague in our description of the footwork because it can vary from shot to shot.

In the video above at 0:15, I volley a ball that is coming right to me. As I go to hit, I step directly forward into the tennis court as I swing. At 0:25 though, I go to hit a volley that is further out away from me. What I need to do in this situation is get to the ball, and I’m going to do that by stepping across my body with my inside foot. I make contact in a closed stance as I continue closing on the ball. You want to use this step to move yourself to the tennis ball at net when it isn’t hit directly at you.

At 0:55 in the video above, you can see these footwork variations from the front angle. In the first shot, the ball comes almost directly to me, and I step straight into the tennis ball and into the court. On the following shot, I hit my split step, pivot out with my outside foot, but then step across with my inside foot to close on the ball. I make contact with the ball in a closed stance as I continue closing.

The rest of the fundamentals (your preparation, racket takeback, etc) of the volleys remain intact here. The only thing that changes is how you step as you close on the ball: forward into a neutral stance or across into a closed stance.

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