Improve Your Volleys with Sony Smart Tennis Sensor or Babolat Play

Pete Sampras had the volleys of a championThere are some who would argue that volleys are becoming lost to the game of tennis. While one has to agree that the modern game has less volleying than 20 years ago or more, it’s still an integral part of learning the game.

When I was a junior, volleying was the easiest part of the game to learn. It was a two step process. Abbreviated backswing, abbreviated follow-through in a side-on position with the foot landing at the same time as the racquet comes through.

Most Common Mistake When Volleying

Any guesses? There are all sorts of little “rules” that club players and juniors break when volleying. Trying to keep the racket head above your wrist by bending the knees is a big one, for example. Using a continental grip is another. Keeping the wrist firm is huge.

But by far the most common that I see is over-swinging. The minimal backswing and abbreviated follow-through required for effective volleys is totally different to generating your own power off the ground from the back of the court.

How Can A Sensor Help My Volleys?

No, a sensor can’t help you bend your knees or meet the ball when the racket head is above your wrist.

Think of it this way. A volley is a lot like a slice backhand or slice forehand. The big difference is the abbreviated swing both back and through. Both the Sony Tennis Sensor and Babolat Play racket register volleys as a shot. They’ll only do this if your swing is abbreviated.

This is because the components inside the gadget are measuring how far the racket swings before and after impact. If you swing too far back or too far through, the shot will register as a slice forehand or slice backhand in real time or when downloaded to the sensor’s app.

What To Do

You will need someone to feed balls to you or, better still, hire a ball machine at your local club and fire a few hundred! Try keeping the racket head in front of your body through the whole swing. Don’t let it get beside or behind you. Meet the ball out in front with minimal follow-through. If the shot registers as a volley, well done.

If, however, your sensor registers far too many slice forehands and backhands in your volley session, it’s likely you’re over-swinging. This is a case where the data is only as good as the player, rather than misreads being a device issue.

Even better, video yourself using the in-built video of the Sony sensor (not available with Babolat Play). Play it back and check which shots registered as volleys and which shots registered as groundstrokes.

Lastly, try and do this as a “chunk” of volleys in a separate session or within a session. That way, you’ll be able to isolate your volleys either on the video or curtain function of the Sony sensor. Babolat Play users will have to make do with downloading a session, checking the shots registered, then trying to improve after that.

Happy playing!

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