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Bradford Tennis Tips - Strokes

How to Hit a Tennis Forehand Volley

Playing at the net in tennis can result in a rapid crossfire, especially in doubles competition. Use the forehand volley to quickly return the ball before your opponent(s) can react.

  • STEP 1: Position yourself about three feet from the net.
  • STEP 2: Keep your feet shoulder-width apart.
  • STEP 3: Hold the racket using a continental grip. (See Related eHow "How to Grip a Tennis Racket.)
  • STEP 4: Keep the racket in front of you, with the head pointing up. The bottom of the handle should be even with your belly button.
  • STEP 5: Lightly hold the top portion of the racket handle with the fingers of your non-dominant hand.
  • STEP 6: Bend your knees slightly. You should be able to feel some strain on your quadriceps muscles (in your thighs).
  • STEP 7: Step toward the ball with your left foot (or your right foot if you're left-handed) as the ball is hit toward you above waist level. Turn your shoulders slightly to the right (or left) until you bring the racket back to a point even with your right (or left) shoulder. This motion should be smooth.
  • STEP 8: Drive the racket forward to meet the ball - use a quick "punching" motion. The head should be vertical and the ball should strike the face evenly. Make contact as the ball is about even with your right (or left) shoulder.
  • STEP 9: Turn your racket hand slightly so that the palm faces the ball upon contact. This turns the racket face so that the ball hits squarely off the strings.
  • STEP 10: Follow through slightly with your swing. The follow-through for the volley is shorter than that for the regular forehand ground stroke; the racket should not cross the front of your body.


  • Players often stamp or plant their lead foot hard onto the ground as they turn toward an approaching ball. This ensures solid volleys.
  • The backswing on a forehand volley is short and sweet. Too much of a backswing will make you hit the ball too hard or off to the side. Along with the abbreviated follow-through, the entire stroke is a short, fluid motion.