Bradford Athletics

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Bradford Tennis Tips - Strokes

How to Hit a Backhand Volley in Tennis

The backhand volley is a very important shot. It covers the center of the body and everything hit to the backhand side.

  • STEP 1: Hit a good approach shot, which will enable you to execute the backhand volley effectively.
  • STEP 2: Extend the arms out in the ready position. The non-gripping hand should support the throat of the racket.
  • STEP 3: Hold the racket with the top of the head slightly below eye level - at about chin height.
  • STEP 4: Keep the racket out in front. Take a split-step (a quick hop in ready position) when your opponent is about to hit the ball.
  • STEP 5: Turn your racket, opening up the face and using the non-hitting hand for assistance.
  • STEP 6: Use your wrists to turn the racket out, keeping it in your peripheral field of vision.
  • STEP 7: Step forward and across with your right foot (for right-handed players), making contact with the ball at the same time.
  • STEP 8: Block or punch the shot, instead of swinging at the ball.
  • STEP 9: While making the shot, shoot back your non-hitting hand for power, reach and balance.
  • STEP 10: Recover as quickly as possible and move back into the ready position.


  • Expect to hit this shot a lot, as opponents often hit down the backhand side with the expectation that it's your weaker side.
  • Practice this shot slightly more often than you would a forehand volley.
  • Practice the shot standing close to a wall (6 to 10 feet away) and keep the ball in the air. This exercise will teach you to block and punch, rather than swing at the ball.