Gigi Fernandez Tip of the Month: The Perfect Volley

Perfect Volley

How do you execute the perfect volley?

Is volley perfection even possible?

Here is the deal with volleys…all the great volleyers in the history of the game have hit their volleys with the same basic technique.

Let’s take for example three of the best: Pete Sampras, Roger Federer and Martina Navratilova. Combined they have won 52 Grand Slam Singles Titles. 24 of those were at Wimbledon. Almost half of their Grand Slams where won on the surface that most benefits good volleyers.

Let’s study the three pictures below and notice the similarities between them. The grip, the shoulder turn, the position of the non-dominant arm, the racket head above the wrist at contact, the slight bend in the elbow, the wrist cock, eyes on the ball….it’s REMARKABLE to me how similar they are…

Now check out the same three player’s forehands. They could not be more different. Notice the grips are different, arm extension is different, point of contact, (Martina is late the guys are early) how open they are at contact, where the racket comes from as they approach the ball.

Hope you agree that not all groundstrokes are created equal. If you still doubt me, think of Nadal and Djokovic’s forehand….I rest my case….

The point is that there is a very clear way to hit the technically perfect volley and over the next few months I am going to show you how.

It starts with the perfect grip, which of course is the Continental Grip. In the video, I show you how to find Continental Grip and I give you a tip to help with finesse and control. I also mention the Start-Right Grip trainer, which is a training aid that will be available as part of my 10 Steps to a Perfect Volley program which should be available late April/Early May.

Place the palm of your hand and the knuckle pointer finger on position 1 of your racket. (7 for lefties)

If you don’t have a continental grip on your volley you will be forced to change grips as the ball comes to either side – forehand or backhand. This might work at the lower levels, but when the ball starts to move faster, there is not enough time to change grips.

The pressure applied on the grip should be like if you were holding a bird. Don’t kill the bird by over squeezing, but don’t let it fly away either. If you must squeeze the grip do so from the pinky and ring fingers for the forehand volley and the thumb and forefinger for the backhand volley. This will give you a good feel for the racquet and control over it.

Here’s a video to demonstrate:


Good luck!




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