More and more tennis players are taking the court with a partner for social and competitive "dubs". Especially as we get older, doubles is an easier game on the body. While singles may be more individually rewarding, you can get even more out of being part of a team.
There are many sources of information about the game of doubles, including strategies and teamwork. If you read them all, you'll find that one of the most important things you can do is be a good partner.
One of the most important things you need know about doubles is the team that controls the net generally controls the point. To be a successful doubles player you need to have a good first serve, reliable overheads and solid volleys.
Here are a couple tips to help you hit better volleys.
- Stay balanced for good volleys
When you're at net, you should never stand in one place waiting for the ball. Because you're always moving around, it's easy to get off balance. You'll find that it is much easier to hit a volley if you are balanced and anticipating the next shot.
- Move your feet to meet the ball
The ball is not going to come to you at net every time. You need to move your feet and go to the ball. You should lunge and stretch ONLY on difficult balls. Your goal should be to have the same contact point for every volley, and the way to achieve that is to move your feet and position yourself for each shot.
- Don't swing!
We just love to hit winners, especially at net. The harder the ball comes, the bigger the swing we take and the farther the ball goes out. Keep in mind that the closer you are to net, the shorter your backswing should be. The volley is not really a "swing" at all, but rather a controlled "punch". When you're at net, you don't have enough reaction time to take a big swing, so keep it to a short forward motion.
- Keep it simple
If you can remember only one tip it should be this one. You don't have to jump around the court and make a fancy stroke to hit a good volley. In fact, if you watch any advanced player, you will see that they make the volley look simple. This is because they have a short stroke and are positioned correctly. The more things you do on the volley, the more things can go wrong, so keep it simple.
These are a few quick tips to help you hit a better volley, and become an awesome doubles player. Once you've mastered the volley, you can control more points at net and be a dominant force in your social Sunday doubles match, or take the next club doubles tournament title.