Getting the Right Grip to Volley

When you approach the net to hit a tennis volley, you need to switch your grip to an appropriate volleying grip. A continental grip, or something close to it, is acceptable. For a more in-depth description of how to find a continental grip, you can check out the grips section of the website. To briefly review, the heel pad and index knuckle need to rest on the second bevel of the tennis racket handle.

The reason you want to hit with a continental grip, or something close to it, is because it allows you to get the strings facing the correct direction (at the tennis ball) on either the forehand or backhand side. At about 45 seconds into the video, I demonstrate how this works. Because you are at net, you don’t have enough time to switch your grip. Most of the time, you are quickly reacting to where your opponent has hit the ball.

  • Just some compliments

    I think this website is the most reliable and useful in the Internet in teaching people playing tennis for free. The videos are very informative. It is very obvious that these videos are made in such a way so that people can really learn from watching them.

  • Will Hamilton


  • Kevin

    hi where do I fond the free email course on forehands on the site I wanted to bookmark day 1 and I’m new to gmail so I cant find it

  • Anonymous

    what are the most effective stances if u have a semi-western forehand?

  • Anonymous

    Hy everyone,
    The videos and lessons are very good but I think they should be completed by showing the common mistakes. In other words showing what you should do and also what you shouldn’t do. For exemple in a forehand hitting before rotation (very common) or hitting the ball too late hence too close. This would make it easyer for players too understand what is wrong in their stroke.

  • Anonymous


    If you can’t take your body weight forwards it’s probably because you hit the ball too late: the ball is then too close for you to go forwards when you hit it. Timing (hitting at the exact moment) is difficult and needs lots of practice. The best way to get it right is to try playing with slow balls or to practice a little hitting a bucket of balls from your hand.

  • George

    Will, I have to admit out of all the tennis lessons videos I’ve watched, your videos are far superior to any others….now to my question… i’m having a lot of trouble hitting cross court forehands (i’m quite heavy on the topspin) and the percentage of the net shots is far bigger than the forehand shots going too long……it almost seems that my racket is too “closed” eventhough I’m using a semi-western grip……do you think this is due to stance, timing or anything else? Thanks

  • Brandon

    Will my forehand has been pretty good since I started playing but has suddenly droped i have changed my grip from western to a semi western would that make a difference. My forehand has lost it’s power,control,spin,wieght of shot and mojo has lost it’s self if you no what I mean.P.S I have changed my racket. I am 12 and using the pure storm gt. Would that make a difference aswell

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  • Gregor B

    Hey Guys,
    Recently started to swing a bit harder on my forehand to play against some of the open guys in Oz,and it seems that I have strained a gut/side muscle.Is this common or even likely?How do you guard against this when you need to hit harder?

  • Thaotran62

    why i can’t find the video?

  • Frank

    I’ve heard lots of advice to stay down on ball until I’ve finished the shot, and not to look early at where my ball is going. I wasn’t able to follow that advice today, and no, I wasn’t trying to see where my shot was going to go. Every shot I missed, it was as if someone standing behind me suddenly turned my head against my will just before I made contact. After 37 years of bad tennis, I finally figured out what was happening.

    In the pressure of the shot, my neck muscles froze. The result that, as my trunk rotation rotated my lower spine, my spine rotated my head — just like twirling the stick of a lollipop.

    I looked at slow-motion videos of Roger Federer, and it seems that his neck muscles are rotating his head over his cervical joints at the precise rotational velocity as his legs rotate his trunk — but in the opposite direction — with the result that his face stays pointing at the ball. How am I supposed to manage that kind of precise coordination — especially as, with age, my neck’s range of motion is shrinking?

    Should someone with my limited coordination rely mainly on linear momentum and forget about trunk rotation — rotating my shoulders only to the degree I can do so using only my shoulder blades and trapezius muscles?

  • tennis1

    Hello Mr. Will, dominant and non-dominant side does not mean forehand is dominant and backhand is non dominant. The lateralities of a player are based on a different criteria. There are players who are homogeneous and crossed-dominant. Homogeneous will have their dominant side on the backhand and crossed-dominant players will have their dominant side on the forehand side. I could be a right-handed player, right eye, right hip, right leg, etc. which means that my stronger side will be the backhand, remember if my dominant side of the body is the right, then my balance and sense of movement will always be the left… If my better shot is the backhand I can probably (and should) hit it harder with the forehand, the reason for this is the group of muscles that are used to hit both strokes (but I will not get into this… If you could feed some balls to your students in the middle of a 35-40mph wind you will see that their sense of balance and orientation towards the ball is much better on one side that the other… and for right handed players (who are homogeneous) is not always the forehand.

  • KD Guest

    —i think hes referring to the dominant hand, as in left or right-handed, why are you looking so deep into it?—

  • CruzNW Tennis

    First off, I’d like to say that I absolutely love this site. I’m a tennis instructor, and I’ve picked up so many invaluable tips that have helped me become a better coach and helped my students to become better players. I, in particular, have implemented teaching the Windshield Wiper forehand to my intermediate-and-above students, and even occasionally to some of my less advanced students if that technique seems to be their naturally tendency anyway.

    One issue I’ve come across is that I’ve had a couple of students bring up that the term “Windshield Wiper Forehand” sounds a bit casual or unprofessional. One student commented that it sounds “street.” Haha .. Anyway, is there any other term that I could accurately describe this technique as? I’ve been calling it the “Modern Forehand,” but I don’t want it to seem like I’m degrading the Classic Forehand or making it sound antiquated.

    Thanks again for the videos, and keep up the great work!

  • coolbeans

    more racket head speed to get more power and spin, aim higher to get the depth

  • Amendoim_jeronymo

    hey, I used to play with a wilson k factor six one team and I have recently changed to a Head Youtek radical midplus and I feel that my backhand and serve is getting better but my forehand isn’t how it used to be, I would like to know wich racquets you recomend for me, or what i have to do to improove my forehand, I’m 15, I hit a one handed backhand and i use a eastern forehand grip thx

  • Mullerintransit

    Shout out from Sydney Australia. Love this site. It is really helping my game. Even more then the local lessons I have had recently. THANK YOU. Keep up the good work!!!

  • James

    agree totally with David , i use a slight variation of the Eastern Forehand grip for volleying ( very close to chopper but not quite )

  • Matthew-96

    hey will great videos. i have a problem where the ball goes out and high(kind of like a lob) what should i do?

  • KD Guest

    —Well, if it’s a really high lob, you may be able to let it bounce before smashing it. A slightly lower lob can still be smashed by taking it out of the air. If it’s too low for those two options, there is the swinging volley, where you yet again take the ball out of the air, but hit it like a normal forehand. The basic topspin forehand and the smash are both on this website.—

  • KD Guest

    All forehands are topspin forehands, it’s just easier to create that spin with more extreme grips. If you have your fundamentals from this website mastered, you just need a grip change, possibly the semi-western. If not start simple. An eastern gripdoesnt create as much topspin as the other two, but if you master the fundamentals with that grip, going to a more extreme grip change will be much easier, speaking from experience. Please reply with your choice and your progress. Cheers.

  • KD Guest

    Harder, but definitely not impossible.

  • Chrisjamestan

    focus on hitting the back of the ball, upwards and over. Use a more extreme western grip (like Nadal)

  • James

    Where is a veio

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  • Πέτρος Τρουλάκης

    Hi, I cannot see the video.. any advise?

  • John Trimp

    ok, I love this discussion and wanted to get it right, so I met with a sports science phd a couple of years back from High Point University. He attended our USPTA state convention.
    1. A forehand volley should be hit with an eastern forehand grip (bevel 3 for first knuckle and bevel 2/3 on heal pad) as long as the ball is above the height of the net. This grip will set your strings straight forward and allow your shoulder to glide properly without stress on the rotator tendon. It is the strongest position mechanically to ensure you can handle any pace ball coming at you. This is a biomechanical fact.
    2. It is a myth that if you hit the volley with the string perfectly straight forward, your ball will have no spin. Once the ball impacts the strings, inertia takes over pushes the racquet back and under causing natural under spin. It is easiest to realize this when you hit a low volley near the ground. When you impact the ball, your racquet hits the ground through “natural” energy.
    3. I love the “don’t have time to change my grip” MYTH.
    I HAVE $100.00 CHALLENGE… anyone that can start in the ready position, turn their racquet 90 degrees to the side to hit a forehand or backhand volley faster than I can change my grip OR Any who can take a step to hit the volley faster than I can change my grip…you win.
    So in short, use a forehand grip for a forehand volley and use a backhand grip to hit a backhand volley. If you use your left hand to change your grip AS you are rotating to hit your volley, it actually takes you no time at all to change your grip.
    Trimp Tennis

  • Patrick Brahana

    Where are the videos?