A volley is a very important shot that pickleball players use during a rally. When you hit the pickleball in the air before it bounces, that is called a volley.
Volleys are usually hit near the non-volley line or in the transition area. The transition area is when you move from the baseline up towards the non-volley line.
There are different types of volleys that players use in different situations. Knowing which volley to use is important to win in pickleball.
Why are Volleys Important in Pickleball?
Volleys let you take control of the rally.
When you volley, you can aim better and put the ball where you want. Volleys happen faster than groundstrokes. Groundstrokes are shots you hit after the ball bounces.
Volleys also let you get to the non-volley line faster. The non-volley line is very important in pickleball because you cannot volley once you cross it.
Being at the non-volley line gives you better angles and more court to aim for. It lets you control the game more.
So volleys help you:
- Take control of the rally
- Aim better
- Play faster shots
- Get to the non-volley line faster
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What are the Rules for Volleys in Pickleball?
The official pickleball rules say you should volley so the ball:
- Lands softly over the net
- Lands safely inside the court
You should volley like this when:
- Your opponents hit the ball hard at you
- You just want to hit a safe volley
What are the Different Types of Volleys in Pickleball?
There are a few main volleys that pickleball players use:
A block volley is a defensive volley. Use it when:
- Your opponents catch you by surprise
- You need to reset the point
To hit a block volley:
- Get in an athletic ready position
- Keep a loose grip on your paddle
- Block or redirect the ball softly back over the net
Punch or Swing Volley
The punch or swing volley is an offensive volley. Use it when:
- You are playing aggressively
- You want to attack your opponents
To hit a punch volley:
- Use a short backswing
- Hit through the ball with pace
- Aim to put it away from your opponents
A drop volley is when you volley the ball so it:
- Lands softly over the net
- Dies quickly when it hits the court
Use a drop volley after your opponent hits a hard shot from the baseline. The drop volley resets the point.
To hit a drop volley:
- Use an open paddle face
- Don’t take a backswing
- Let the ball drop off your paddle
The drive volley has:
Use it to put away a weak return from your opponent.
To drive volley:
- Use your body momentum moving forward
- Take a short backswing
- Hit through and down on the ball
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How to Improve Your Volleys
Here are tips to improve volleys:
Use Proper Footwork
- Move quickly into volley position
- Keep your feet about shoulder width apart
- Stay on your toes and be ready to move
Hold Your Paddle Correctly
- Grip the paddle lightly but firmly
- Keep a loose wrist
- Point paddle face forward
Focus on Ball Contact
- Watch the ball onto your paddle
- Hit the ball out in front of you
- Focus on clean contact every volley
Practice Volley Drills
- Do volley-only drills with a partner
- Try the 1-Up-3-Back drill
- Set up targets on the court to aim for
Play Doubles Often
- Doubles has more volleys than singles
- Work on communication and positioning
- Practice poaching volleys
Volleys are very important in pickleball because they let you control the rally. There are different volleys for offense and defense. To improve, use proper form, do volley drills, and play more doubles. Mastering volleys will help take your pickleball game to the next level!
The key points are:
- Volleys are shots hit in the air before the ball bounces
- They help control the rally and get to the non-volley line
- Main volleys are the block, punch, drop, and drive volley
- Use proper form and do drills to improve your volleys
- Volleys are essential to winning pickleball!