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Steal this Drill: Closing Volleys

In hitting volleys, simplicity is often the best strategy. Players who spend a lot of time at the baseline believe that volleys are just as complex as hitting ground strokes and, as a result, over-think the shot to their detriment.
Let's simplify things a little bit. The purpose of the volley is to take time away from the opponent. However, instead of doing so through-pace generation, the player should attempt to move forward as as quickly as possible and close out the angle.
I will let your private coach focus on the particular technique (be it grip, footwork, balance, etc.). My tips are simply to keep three components in front of you at all time: 1) the ball; 2) the racket and 3) the opponent. Often times, player move forward and "forget" to take their racket with them (thereby inadvertently creating a back-swing which then results in an over-hit). On the other hand, some player don't mover forward at all and feel that they have to swing at the ball in order to generate any kind of pop. It's important to keep in mind that, on the volleys, the moving forward (aggressive lunge forward) IS the swing. By stepping forward, the player uses his body-weight to make solid contact with a fast-moving object (ball) Also, a contact out in front means that the opposing player has a less time to cover the shot. Again, take time away from your opponent through forward movement.
To practice this, start out by hitting volley-volley against the coach. However, in this drill the coach is at the service line and the player is about 3 feet inside the baseline. The player should advance forward taking aggressive but MEASURED steps. Once the player reaches his service line, the coach should "pop up" one of her volleys and the player should practice moving forward quickly and pouncing on the ball (but with a controlled "stick") before it drops below the level of the net. This is a reaction drill in that the player's eyes have to pick up the "pop up" very quickly in order for the brain to trigger a signal to the legs to move forward.
To add some fun into the practice, the coach can sometimes feed a lob right after the closing volley and the player has to run back and either hit a "regular" shot back in play or practice a between the legs or some other fun shot. Sometimes, the player can start the drill with a swinging volley (or half-volley) and the proceed to moving forward with regular volleys. The key is for the player to become comfortable everywhere INSIDE the court and also to "stick" the volleys by using his legs and not so much the racket. 

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