Skip to content

Pickleball Volleys – How To Ace Them

pickleball volleys and how to hit them

TL;DR: This article provides tips and drills to help you master your pickleball volley, which is an important skill in the game that allows players to quickly and effectively score points, move the ball around the court more quickly, and give them more control over the game. The article covers the essential tips for proper grip, footwork, and technique that all go into perfecting a pickleball volley. Different types of volleys as well as volley drills are also explained. These include pickleball wall drills, 1-step drills, and 2-step volley drills. Lastly, the article talks about how to improve your mental and physical fitness for pickleball and how to speed up your reaction time.

Highlights:

  • Mastering pickleball volleys can help players score points quickly, move the ball around the court, and gain an advantage over their opponents.
  • To achieve a consistent volley, players should focus on basic skills, mental and tactical aspects of the game, practice regularly, and use drills.

The Intro

Volleys in pickleball are a great way to win points quickly and easily. Mastering your volley in pickleball is a skill that can be very rewarding for both new and experienced players. However, developing the skill to consistently hit an effective volley can be challenging. This article will help you become a better pickleball player by giving you tips and drills on how to master your volley.

Introduction to the Pickleball Volley

Pickleball is a sport that combines elements of tennis, badminton, and table tennis. It is played on a court with a net similar to a tennis court. The main goal of the game is to hit the ball over the net and score points. One of the most important skills in pickleball is the ability to volley. A volley is a shot that is hit before the ball bounces on the court.

Volleys are an important part of the game because they allow players to quickly and effectively score points. They also allow players to move the ball around the court more quickly and give them more control over the game. Mastering your pickleball volley can help you become a better player and give you an edge over your opponents.

Types of Pickleball Volleys

There are two main types of volleys in pickleball: the forehand volley and the backhand volley. The forehand volley is hit with the dominant hand and is typically used to hit the ball close to the net. The backhand volley is hit with the non-dominant hand and is typically used to hit the ball further away from the net.

In addition to these two basic volley types, there are also more advanced volleys that can be used to gain an advantage in the game. These include some names we recently covered in a guide to pickleball shots – if you haven’t read that, you should check it out next:

The Drop Volley

A low, soft shot that requires precise placement and touch, often used to counter a hard-hit ball; can be difficult to execute and requires anticipation of opponent’s shot.

The Half Volley

A challenging shot where the ball is hit just after it bounces; requires good footwork, technique and timing, and is best played in defensive situations.

Overhead Volley

A high, powerful shot that is hit with a full swing overhead; requires good positioning and footwork, and is best used when the ball is high and the player is close to the net.

Roll Volley

A soft, low shot with backspin that can be difficult to return; requires good touch and technique, and is best used when the ball is low and the player is near the net.

Punch Volley

A fast, aggressive shot that is hit with a punching motion; requires good reflexes, timing and strength, and is best used when the player has a short ball to attack.

Dink Volley

A soft, short shot that is used to surprise opponents and change the pace of the game; requires good touch and placement, and is best used when the opponent is out of position or off-balance.

Block Volley

A shot that involves blocking the ball back with a short punch-like motion; requires good reflexes and timing, and is best used when the opponent hits a weak shot or when the player is in a defensive position.

Catch Volley

A shot where the ball is caught and released quickly, rather than being hit with a full swing; requires good hand-eye coordination and touch, and is best used in defensive situations or to return a low, soft shot.

Resources: More on these types of volleys can be found at USAPA: https://usapickleball.org/what-is-pickleball/how-to-play-old/basics/volleys/

Essential Pickleball Volley Tips

Before you start practising your pickleball volley, there are some essential tips that you should keep in mind. The first tip is to make sure that you use the proper grip for your volley. The best grip for a forehand volley is a continental grip, while the best grip for a backhand volley is an eastern or semi-western grip.

Grip Pressure

Grip pressure also comes into play, if you play with a soft grip, you can end up hitting the pickleball with the paddle face slightly open. While this can be used as a shot tactic, it can also lead you to lose control. The opposite is true, if your grip pressure is too great, you may find you hit a volley ball too hard, causing the wrist to pull the paddle face into a closed position. Similar to golf, a poor grip can lead to a swing of the club that creates a slice or a shank. Getting that grip pressure just right, is a must.

Footwork

The third tip is to make sure that you use proper footwork when hitting a volley. You should start in an athletic position with your feet shoulder-width apart and your knees slightly bent. You should then step forward as you hit the ball and move your feet to help you generate power and control.

Want to learn more about this? Try this guide devoted to this: Pickleball Footwork

Swing Technique

Fourth, you want to make sure that you use the proper arm technique when hitting a volley. You should use a compact stroke with your arms and wrists and make sure that your paddle position is angled correctly to hit the ball. You should also make sure to keep your eyes on the ball and follow through with your arm forward after you hit the ball.

Practise Makes Perfect

The fifth tip is to make sure that you practise your volleys regularly. You should focus on both your forehand and backhand volleys and practise different types of volleys such as drop volleys, half volleys, and overheads. Practising regularly will help you become a better player and develop a consistent volley.

How to Develop a Consistent Volley

Developing a consistent volley takes time and patience. It is important to focus on the basics such as grip, footwork, and technique. It is also important to focus on the details such as the angle of your racket and the speed of your swing. Practising regularly is essential for developing a consistent volley.

In addition to practising regularly, it is also important to focus on the mental aspects of the game. You should visualise yourself hitting the ball correctly and focus on the positive aspects of your game. You should also focus on staying relaxed and playing within yourself.

Finally, it is important to focus on the tactical aspects of the game. You should focus on anticipating your opponent’s shots and reacting accordingly. You should also focus on playing to your strengths and using your volleys to your advantage.

Practising Volley Drills

Once you have mastered the basics of the pickleball volley, it is time to start practising volley drills. Volley drills are an important part of developing your game and can help you become a better player. The most important drills to practise are the pickleball wall drills and the 1-step and 2-step volley drills.

Pickleball wall drills are a great way to practise the basics of the pickleball volley. You should start by hitting the ball against a wall and focus on developing a consistent stroke. You should also focus on developing a good grip and proper footwork.

The 1-step and 2-step volley drills are also important for mastering the pickleball volley. In the 1-step drill, you should start by hitting the ball from one side of the court to the other. In the 2-step drill, you should start by hitting the ball from one side of the court to the other and then back again.

How to Improve Your Reaction Time

Reaction time is an important part of the pickleball volley. You should focus on developing your reflexes by practising drills that involve quick reactions. You should also focus on being aware of your opponent’s shots and reacting quickly.

In addition to practising drills, you should also focus on improving your fitness. You should focus on strengthening your core and improving your agility and balance. You should also focus on improving your stamina by doing cardio exercises such as running and swimming.

Finally, you should focus on improving your mental game. You should focus on staying relaxed and focused during the game. You should also focus on visualising yourself hitting the ball correctly and reacting quickly.

Advanced Tips for Improving Your Pickleball Volley

Once you have mastered the basics and practised the drills, you can start to work on more advanced tips for improving your pickleball volley. The first tip is to practice volleying with your non-dominant hand. This will help you become more comfortable with different types of volleys and give you an advantage when playing against an opponent.

The second tip is to practice volleying with different types of spins. You should focus on developing a good topspin and backspin on your volleys. This will help you control the ball better and give you an advantage in the game.

The third tip is to practice volleying against different types of surfaces. You should focus on developing a good volley on hard surfaces such as concrete and asphalt. You should also focus on developing a good volley on soft surfaces such as grass and sand.

The fourth tip is to practice volleying against different types of opponents. You should focus on developing a good volley against opponents who have a different style of play. This will help you become more comfortable with different types of volleys and give you an advantage when playing against an opponent.

How to React to Different Volley Situations in Pickleball

The last tip for mastering your pickleball volley is to learn how to react to different volley situations in pickleball. You should focus on reacting quickly and decisively to different situations. You should also focus on being aware of your opponent’s shots and positioning yourself correctly to hit the ball.

For example, if your opponent hits a low volley, you should quickly move your feet to get into position and hit the ball back. If your opponent hits a high volley, you should move your feet to get under the ball and hit an overhead.

You should also focus on reacting to different types of volleys. For example, if your opponent hits a drop volley, you should move your feet quickly to get into position and hit the ball back. If your opponent hits a half volley, you should move your feet to get into position and hit the ball back with a slice.

At the net – Summary

Volleys in pickleball are an important skill to master. Mastering your pickleball volley can give you an advantage in the game and help you become a better player. To become an expert pickleball player, you should focus on developing a consistent volley, practising drills, improving your reaction time, and reacting to different volley situations. With the right tips and drills, you can add a dangerous offensive shot to your pickleball game.

David Mason
Get in touch
Latest posts by David Mason (see all)