If you’re having a hard time finding a hitting partner to practice your tennis strokes, try hitting against a backboard or wall. Hitting against a wall is a great way to improve the volley, not to mention the other strokes. It should be noted that the volley is not the easiest stroke to practice against a wall. However, if you use the proper technique and practice three times each week, your volley can improve. With regular wall practice you’ll notice improvement in your movement, timing, ball control and arm strength.
Stand 3 feet away from the wall and hold your racket with a continental grip -- this is the grip most commonly used when you serve. To practice your forehand volleys, stand at a slight angle to the wall -- left foot ahead of your right, if you are right-handed. Hold your racket with the head above your wrist, off to the right and slightly ahead of your body, toward the wall. Toss a dead tennis ball a few inches into the air and hit it softly against the wall -- a dead ball is easier to control. Most tennis walls have a white line running across the wall to indicate the top of a tennis net. Aim to hit the ball 2 feet above the line. As the ball rebounds, hit it again, before it bounces, with a short swing. Continue to hit as many as you can in a row -- forehands only. If you make a mistake or you hit the ball to your backhand side, stop and start again.
Take a short break, give your arm a rest and then practice your backhand volley. Even if you have a two-handed backhand ground stroke, learn to volley with only one hand on the racket -- you'll be more effective at the net with fewer restrictions in your movement. To practice your backhand volley, use the same grip, the continental grip. Stand at a slight angle to the wall -- right foot ahead of your left, if you are right-handed. Just as you did with forehand volleys, hit as many backhand volleys as you can in a row.
Stand 6 feet away from the wall if you're an intermediate or advanced player. Use the same grip, stance and technique to hit several consecutive forehand volleys. Try to hit 25 to 30 in a row if you are an intermediate and 50 if you are an advanced player. Once you have reached your goal, take a short break and then practice your backhand volleys.
Challenge yourself with two-touch volleys if you're an advanced player. Start as if you were going to practice your forehand volley. As usual, start by tossing the ball and hitting it against the wall. When the ball rebounds, instead of immediately hitting it back to the wall, catch it on the strings of your racket, immediately tap it straight up into the air above your racket and then hit a forehand volley back to the wall. Set a goal and once you've reached your goal, take a short break and repeat with backhand volleys.
- Reverse the positional directions if you are a lefty.
- Keep your wrist firm and your feet moving. Avoid dropping your racket head and keep your swings tight -- no big backswings or follow-throughs.
- Aim to hit five balls in a row if you're a beginner. As your technique improves, work your way up to 20 in a row.
- Control your power -- the harder you hit the ball, the faster it rebounds off the wall and the harder it may be to control.