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Role Of The Wrist In Tennis – Part 3 – The Volley

February 4, 2020

Hi guys Nick here from intuitive tennis.
This is video number three from the role of the wrist series and in today’s video
we’re going to talk about the role of the wrist on the volley. Let’s start off with the forehand volley.
The most important thing on the forehand volley is to maintain an L shape when
striking the ball and we want to basically have the racquet parallel to
the net because we’re going to try to deflect the ball back over to the other
side and what needs to happen with the wrist is a wrist extension. Even if we
take the racquet back a little bit in a lag and you see a lot of great volleyers
have a little bit of a back swing when they’re trying to put a little bit
more power on the volley and now from this position we’re going to simply
maintain this wrist extension. What I don’t want to see is a straightening of
the wrist into a neutral position because we would experience a loss of
control immediately if we did this on the volley.
So the wrist is going to remain passive on the forehand volley and wrist
extension is very necessary. On the backhand volley there’s gonna be a
slight take back as well if we want to achieve a little bit more power and in
this case we’re dealing with a little bit of radial deviation as we take the
racquet to about the shoulder level and now as we go into the contact and we’re
going into a slight wrist extension, because we need to create
stability at contact and many recreational players, even juniors, will
have an unstable backhand volley and with the wrist kind of straightening out
and collapsing. So there’s a little bit of a tightening and a wrist extension
necessary and to create control at the contact point. What happens next depends
on what kind of volley we’re trying to accomplish. If we’re just simply blocking
the ball back and we’re going to just maintain the slight wrist extension and
the tightening of the grip. If we’re trying to put side spin or maybe a
little bit of an inside-out backhand volley there might be some ulnar
deviation involved as we drop the tip of the racquet down and there’s a little bit
of ulner deviation happening here. If we’re trying to create a little bit more
of a put away volley, we’re going to lead with the elbow and go more across the
body and keep the tip of the racquet pointing to the side like this and in
this case we’re also dealing with slight wrist extension. So it’s very
important that we do not straighten the wrist as we hit a backhand volley,
because we can experience a loss of control and you must slightly tighten
the grip and have a slight extension of the wrist. Let’s start off with the
forehand volley. So wrist extension is very crucial when it comes to the
forehand volley. Now let me demonstrate a few forehand volleys and basically I’m
trying to keep my wrist extended at contact and have as little wrist
movement as possible. In this case I’m just basically blocking the ball back
and if I want to create a little bit more power
I might even lag the racquet behind and then freeze it right at contact, and in
this case we’re still only dealing with wrist extension. Many recreational
players will have an active wrist like this and they will lose control of the
ball almost immediately so that’s you don’t want to do. You want to tighten the
wrist a little bit at contact and have very solid wrist extension. One exception
where we could get a little wristy if we get a volley that’s close to the net and we
might give a little bit wrist movement like this, but this is an exception. I would say on the majority of the volleys we’re gonna have that wrist as solid as
possible. On the backhand volley we again we’re dealing with slight wrist
extension not as much as the forehand volley and maybe if we’re trying to do
specialty volleys a slight ulner deviation. So let me demonstrate a few
backhand volleys and again we’re trying to keep the wrist as firm as possible at
contact so that we achieve as much control as possible. The across the
body movement will help promote the controlling of the contact port by
keeping the racquet face parallel to the net as long as possible. I’m gonna
try a few volleys with side spin where we drop the racket head down and there’s
a little bit of ulner deviation involved there. On a volley drop shot like this
again we’re gonna use a little bit more ulner deviation and now with the
take-back going for more aggressive volleys. We maybe are using a little bit
of radial deviation and then wrist extension at contact. Tune in two weeks
from now when I cover the final video of this series and in this video I’m
gonna talk about the role of the wrist on the serve. As for now I want to thank
you for watching this video, please hit that like button, subscribe if you
haven’t already and I’ll see you next time.


  • Reply Alfando Savant March 29, 2019 at 3:18 pm

    I like the way you explain it using live balls. It's simple but helps a lot..

  • Reply bangmonsta March 30, 2019 at 5:06 am

    You're awesome, thanks coach! 🙂

  • Reply Alen X March 30, 2019 at 6:02 am

    Great video, but one question.

    Why did you cover only the backhand sidespin volley, do you not like the forehand sidespin volley???? 😛

  • Reply Natachi Nnate April 3, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    Well explained Nick! I just need to execute the volley in this manner.

  • Reply Omar Sultanov April 7, 2019 at 7:28 pm

    Great, as always, Nik!
    Question – what about elbow. For a pure blocking volley the elbow must be solid/shouldn't move, I presume.
    But could one straighten the elbow a bit (if yes to what extent) to add some power to the volley (provided the wrist is firm)?

  • Reply Intuitive Tennis May 17, 2019 at 7:26 pm

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  • Reply JD G July 5, 2019 at 5:29 am

    This might be the best volley video I have ever seen. Thank you for being such a great communicator. You have a truly special talent for understanding how to convey what a player needs to know to find success in their own game.

  • Reply A Larson September 1, 2019 at 8:00 pm

    Thanks…..very informative 4 part series.

  • Reply douglas hagan December 30, 2019 at 2:06 am

    Pros break the wrist before impact

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