In this short video, filmed live on one of our Level 3 courses, Richard demonstrates how to build confidence volleying at the net with a simple confidence building drill. Drills like this help players to quickly gain confidence being aggressive and decisive with their volleys in singles matches.
Developing confidence at the net by putting away lots of volleys is rarely wasted time for club players or your competitive players. We’ve also included a progression to extend the drill.
Who is the drill best for?
It’s a great practise drill for experienced players, but this drill is ideal to use if you’ve got players who lack the ‘killer instinct’ and the confidence to put easy volleys away.
Stand at the service T and feed the ball wide (alternating left / right) from the centre of the court. The player hits 5 volleys per side straight down the court, out wide. Remember that we’re trying to build confidence so don’t feed difficult balls!
As in the base drill, continue to feed slightly easy balls to build confidence. However, this time vary the feed so that the player needs to be alert to spot which direction they will need to move for the volley.
Adaptation for junior players at home
This drill is a great practice for junior players too – but if by getting creative parents can adapt this game for younger children to play at home too. It’s great to build confidence volleying at the net right from the start.
The aspect of being at the net that players usually need to be comfortable with is that when you are standing at the net ball comes back quickly. Other elements, such as the power of the ball and that there is a lot of court behind you – that you can’t see, can be gradually introduced more easily on a court. For now, we can get comfortable with the position and quickness of the ball. So the important feeling to replicate at home right now is being close to the net with a ball coming back quickly. That will help children develop a level of comfort in that situation.
So, set up an obstacle for the child to stand behind. It doesn’t matter what it is as long as it is about waist height. It can be a chair, a large box, an overturned outdoor table – anything that makes a barrier. Then play games with a sponge ball. A sponge ball doesn’t hurt if it hits you and it doesn’t break things if it hits them – but boy can it go fast! If the ball bounces – you lose a point. First to 10 wins! You can insert as many different rules as you like but this is a good start.