The Tennis Backhand Volley Explained

One of the keys to hitting a crisp tennis backhand volley is to make contact with the ball well in front of the body. Please look at Nicole Vaidisova’s backhand volley illustration as you go through the two steps.


Pivot and Shoulder Turn (Sequence 1 to 4)

Coming out of the split step, transfer your weight to the outside foot (left foot for right handed players) and turn your shoulders so that you are sideways to the net. The hitting hand should end in a position that is between the front and the back shoulders. The racket should point upwards and the racket head should be further away from the net than the hitting hand. The racket and the hitting hand should form a ‘U’ that is almost parallel to the net.

Step 2 – Swing to Contact (Sequence 5 and 6)

Transfer your weight to your inside foot (right foot for right handed players) while stepping into the court. Swing the racket forwards and downwards to the ball. Your hitting hand and racket should move as a unit from the shoulders. The forward swing in the backhand volley involves putting more backspin using a steeper downswing than the forward swing of a forehand volley. The non hitting arm goes back. Make contact with the ball well in front of your body and follow through downwards.

Nicole Vaidisova’s Backhand Volley in Slow Motion