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VOLLEY IN TENNIS | Don’t Turn On Your Forehand Volley

Hey everyone, it’s Jeff Salzenstein, and in today’s video, we’re going to talk about the forehand volley, specifically what you need to be doing with your upper body when you see that it comes to your forehand side. Now, there are a lot of misconceptions out there,
I’ve heard it over and over again from various players and even coaches. They talk about turning the shoulders on the volley when they see that the ball comes like this, extreme turn like this, and I’ve even heard this term, like, feel like you have handcuffs with your your hands here. So, I’m here to tell you that that is the wrong way of doing things. So, if you’ve seen any videos, or you’ve worked with any coaches that tell you to turn like this, you’re doing it incorrectly. You can continue to do it that way, but you just
won’t be volleying like guys like Roger Federer, Patrick Rafter, and all, basically all the great volleyers on tour that
play now and that played in the past. So, what you want to do, I’ll give you a quick shadow stroke version. What you want to do is you want to focus on keeping your hips and your shoulders facing the net more. So, when you get ready to hit the volley or when you see the ball is coming, feel like this off-hand comes out in this direction more, and your shoulders are going to face the net more. So, you don’t want to get a turn like this, you do want to make this move right here. The arm will come across a little bit, but you just want to feel like your shoulders are facing the net more. If it goes any more than a 45-degree angle, you’re in big trouble. So, I’ve got a student with us today. Jordan, come on in. Jordan’s going to work with us today. How you doing today? (Jordan): Thanks Jeff. Yeah, it’s a pleasure to have you here. I know you’re a 4-5 player, you play a couple times a week, you’re an avid player. Would you agree that you’ve been taught to turn your shoulders, if you’ve heard it before?
(Jordan): Definitely. Definitely have. Okay, so, we’re going to try to change that up a little bit today. We’re going to feed you some balls, alright?
(Jordan): Excellent. Alright Jordan, we’re dispelling myths right here. I want you to go ahead and do it the wrong way. I want you to exaggerate the shoulder turn
when you make the first move. Good. So, I see that a lot. Just do it again, turn the shoulders. Yes, good. And keep your hands a little more in front, but still stay sideways. Good. Turn your shoulders again. Excellent. Okay, So, that’s the wrong way of doing it, now we’re going to do it the right way. I want you to focus on keeping your shoulders
facing the net as much as you can. Almost feel like you’re open, you’re not turning at all. Good, even less than that.
See if you can make your off-hand go towards me. Good, even more. Exaggerate. Better. Okay, now I want you to exaggerate the extra turn again. so do it incorrectly, so we can see the difference. Good, there we go. Now, I want you to face the net more when you make your first move. Good, excellent. Good. That’s awesome. So, as you just saw in the last demonstration, we had Jordan focusing on doing it the wrong way and the right way. So, Jordan, go ahead and get into this position where you’re turning, extra turn, this is what I see some coaches teaching, and this is what I see some players doing. You can take that off-hand off,
and then look forward, there. I see that on the volley, and what we want to work on, go back to the ready position, is when you make the first move,
and come around here, you really want to feel like you lead with the hand just like that, and this hand just can stay, stay somewhere over here, like that, and then you can just move to the ball. So, go ahead and step to the ball now. That’s it. And so, you don’t have to exaggerate this extra turn. You can just keep this hand out like this. I really hope you received a ton of value from this lesson today, so you can go take action on the court as soon as possible. If you want to see more in-depth breakdown of this lesson and many others, make sure to join us inside the Total Tennis Training inner circle, where you can get cutting-edge tennis tips and strategies that can fix your weaknesses and improve your strengths. If you want to be a part of our growing online tennis community and get the best tennis lessons on the planet, go ahead and click the link below, and we’ll help you go to the next level with your tennis. I’m really excited to help you out, and thanks for taking the time to watch this lesson today.

David Frank



  1. Bearded Gamer Nerd Posted on February 21, 2013 at 1:16 am

    I find these videos to be very helpful. I am a high school tennis player who is looking to make varsity this year and all his videos are helping fine tune my game. Thanks for the help and keep on making these videos

  2. Steve Smith Posted on February 23, 2013 at 3:41 am

    I have not been taught to turn my shoulders perpendicular to the net on the volley, but rather only to keep the raquet head out in front of me and to keep the raquet head up with beam of raquet head at 45 degree angle towards the net. I can see how keeping the shoulders open to the net can help on fast balls because you may not have time to rotate the shoulders. Good tip, thanks.

  3. KW Tennis Nation Posted on February 23, 2013 at 12:52 pm

    Jeff is a good coach, overly dramatic at times, but posts some good tips often. This isn't one of them. Most rec players are too open on their volleys and don't turn enough. That is why coaches are telling them to turn their shoulders bc they are too net facing. You can't stick volleys if your shoulders stay net facing. 90 degrees isn't necessary, but some shoulder turn is required.

  4. dennisdeloria Posted on February 24, 2013 at 3:08 am

    I generally like these videos but did not like this one on the volleys. Where's the split step? The "student" might be 4.5 but his volleys are seriously lacking (maybe due to nerves). I'm a 4.0 doubles player always looking to improve but after watching this, I highly doubt anyone will be volleying like Federer or Rafter anytime soon. Jeff you (a former ATP player) should be the one showing us how it's done (or someone that at least has game)! I'm a big believer in having a mental picture

  5. dennisdeloria Posted on February 24, 2013 at 3:16 am

    …of what the correct stroke looks like. You may be teaching an important lesson but before uploading, ask yourself if the audience is getting a good mental picture of the correct stroke.

  6. ckn711 Posted on February 26, 2013 at 5:30 am

    90* is too much of a turn but you still need a shoulder turn. I was taught a 45* turn and I think it's necessary to have a good punch on the ball. I hope the 4.5 guy doesn't volley like that in live matches

  7. Tennis Avi-ram Posted on February 27, 2013 at 8:07 pm

    This is only for a voley close to the net. on approach voleys you do have to have a bigger turn of shoulders and hips .

  8. gennkill Posted on February 28, 2013 at 3:18 am

    did anyone notice the tennis ball in the background?

  9. Naomi Posted on March 6, 2013 at 3:03 am

    Turning? You're doing it wrong.

  10. 3Camj Posted on March 21, 2013 at 1:21 pm

    Hey Jeff. I like what your saying but its a little confusing. The volley is really about keeping the feet straighter and leaning towards where the ball is going. The reason I have to correct the volley with beginners is that they cross over stepping with the opposite foot before contact. that turns their body all wrong. I believe that you DO want to turn the shoulders and head but keeping the feet straighter is how your going to hit a better volley.

  11. champy511 Posted on March 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

    I have enjoyed your videos, but this one is not one of them. There is a required of a 45 degree turn in order for the volleyer to make a contact point in front of them, not on their side. I think you have to clarify that. I understand the wrong teaching of a full body 90 degree turn, but to say "dont turn at all" is not right either. Thanks for all your videos.

  12. Sz Ki Posted on April 1, 2013 at 10:35 am

    Jeff, Intersting that you mention Federer as one of the top volley hitters yet a couple of weeks ago you wrote an article that federer is losing because he needs to work on the volley and that he is not a natural volleyer. I found that to be a complete brain fart. Sorry to say. I respect the time you put in to these tips but anyone watching the game with a decent tennis iq knows that in this past decade of the top singles players Roger is the best volleyer followed by Tsonga ( natural) Berdych

  13. jesoby Posted on April 9, 2013 at 5:14 pm

    4.0, 4.5 ? Why don't all countries have the same Rating system. In the UK he looks like a 9.2

  14. Archie Porter Posted on April 13, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    I will try that

  15. Andrey Renzhin Posted on April 26, 2013 at 9:23 pm

    нахуя он голову в бок наклоняет

  16. Tom Nguyen Posted on May 16, 2013 at 4:26 pm

    You are saying it is wrong then you must explain why it is so. I don't see how that is possible not to exaggerate your turn when you are trying to make a big advance with your left foot.

  17. Farhad Roshanaie Posted on May 16, 2013 at 11:40 pm

    When you turn, your body becomes sideways; subsequently, your arm goes back (you will have a backswing) which we try to avoid while hitting volleys. At the same time with your swing you step into the ball and hit through the ball.

  18. Tom Nguyen Posted on May 18, 2013 at 6:58 pm

    To my experience, approaching a volley with some degrees of turn enables one to volley toward the ad court (right hander speaking) much easier. Without turning, the natural angle of the volley is always toward the left 2/3 of the court for the right-hander unless you turn your wrist, and depending on the angle of the shot you want to make toward the remaining 1/3 of the court on the right, that wrist turn may become uncomfortable without the body turning.

  19. BODYBUILDING EXPERTISE Posted on May 22, 2013 at 9:19 am

    Yes Jeff I agree. Many people treated me badly when I volleyd with open stance and the body towards the net and NOT turning, Its above all more simple, and in plus what I see you have like me OPENED STANCE legs on the volley. Too many coaches advise to go with the left leg in front, its for me IMPOSSIBLE physically. Try to do another video about the legs. Thanks ([email protected])

  20. MrPaulwall13 Posted on May 27, 2013 at 6:36 pm

    Jeff is not known as a serve and volley player in his career. His advice is misleading. Check out USPTA Professional Hank Pfister's volley tips if you really want to improve and get better understanding of volleys.

  21. freelans Posted on June 23, 2013 at 2:27 am

    jordan is not gonna make it

  22. Eduardo Pereyra Posted on July 1, 2013 at 5:44 pm

    you say one thing but do the opposite. you're still turning your shoulders (which i think is natural for a volley)

  23. WeiChih Chern Posted on July 2, 2013 at 2:19 pm

    he said have your shoulder turned "more" to the net

  24. Alberto Marquez Posted on July 5, 2013 at 4:54 am

    This video is really bad advice. You have to turn your shoulders, otherwise teh shot has not the proper "bone structural support". You must keep the elbow low, hit infront of you, and first and formost, keep your racquet on the path of the INCOMING shot immediately and any follow through shoudl be on the same path, just change direction of your volley by changing the angle of the racquet with the wrist. push the ball with your body pushing back the ground and keep your head steady. Good luck

  25. Alberto Marquez Posted on July 5, 2013 at 4:58 am

    It is more natural to volley the backhand for this reason. You still have to turn your shoulders and move the racquet infront of you, which is not the most "natural and comfortable" movement at the begining. With practice it will be balanced and powerful. Go infront of a large mirror or window with your raquet where you can see yourself and shadow for 10 minutes the movement until it looks like rafters or sampras. You will nail it in 1 week to be legendary in your club by the end of the month

  26. Alberto Marquez Posted on July 5, 2013 at 5:00 am

    This video is WRONG. Turn your shoulders, keep the raquet in the plane of your left shoulder, open the face of the raquet, keep it in the path of the incoming shot all the time, push with your legs as you hit, redirect with the wrist. The problem with the student in the video is not the shoulder turning, but he keeps the racquet back. At the end he improved not because he stop turning the shoulders, but because he brought the raquet to the left shoulder plane

  27. Alberto Marquez Posted on July 5, 2013 at 5:05 am

    in a fast paced approach voley you have not time to turn hips. your resource is pushing the ground down and back with your thighs and calfs to propel forward the shot. A longer swing might be needed, but try to avoid swinging through in and out out of the path of the ball with a circular motion. The raquet goes immediately to the path of the incoming shot and the follow thrwou is in the same path to avoid errors. It is easy to rediret the ball with a change of the angle with your wrist.

  28. euroclyde Posted on July 24, 2013 at 5:31 pm

    you can start your student in the ready position, have them pivot both feet about 45' (backhand or forehand), and then step straight towards the baseline. they'll be in the ball park of a correct volley. a lot of people stress stepping across the body (i.e., stepping across with the left leg when hitting a forehand volley) and this is a terrible technique when lunging last second for a volley. this step encourages people to turn the shoulders (what jeff's trying to prevent).

  29. CoachV Tennis Academy & Services Posted on August 4, 2013 at 3:50 am

    Hi Jeff, CoachV here from tennisopolis. Thanks for the video. I needed a reputable coach online here to say the turning was bad. Keep up the great work! Let me know when you are in Atlanta GA.

  30. John McMahon Posted on August 25, 2013 at 2:39 pm

    hey jeff …excellent info..will work on this. go broncos

  31. James Koenig Posted on September 9, 2013 at 4:28 am

    The correct stroke instruction and how the stroke gets taught can be at odds in Tennis.

  32. John Wayne Posted on September 16, 2013 at 10:39 pm

    Bunch of balloney. And please wear tennis shoes next time you demonstrate. All your videos are about dispelling tennis "myths". And usually all you offer as a cure is do little bit less of this and it's so MUCH better. Really?

  33. Anna Posted on September 26, 2013 at 1:28 am

    finally! an instructor without an accent ^^''

  34. henrymakepeace Posted on October 28, 2013 at 5:19 pm

    Everyone on earth has an accent. If you're annoyed by a certain type of accent, you're free to not listen to those videos. Don't just offend people by leaving comments like this.

  35. Desslock10s Posted on November 20, 2013 at 5:07 am

    Bad advice. Turning your shoulders helps aim more accurately, and keeping your wrists together helps prevent swinging too much. One of the most common mistakes on the forhand volley is reaching out too much. His advice is practically forcing you to reach out for the ball instead of moving to the ball with the feet. A good volley is about moving to the ball and not reaching or swinging. His advice does not address any of this. Poor advice, run away. Run away.

  36. Johanes Albrechtsen Posted on November 24, 2013 at 5:25 pm

    Put your racquet face BETWEEN where the passing shot was hit was hit from and where the ball "would" land…your shoulders will turn but not too much…and then go towards the ball.  Direction will come at point and time of contact.   

  37. TennisTheNextLevel Posted on December 18, 2013 at 10:25 am

    good video! keep it up 🙂

  38. MeanLittlePoodles Posted on December 21, 2013 at 4:23 am

    You absolutely do have to turn on your forehand volley.  While pros may differ a bit on how much turn is preferable, there is no question that saying "don't turn on your forehand volley" is really bad advice.

  39. martin rogers Posted on February 12, 2014 at 11:35 pm

    WRONG!!! Bad advice. You should turn some for both the forehand and backhand volley. Very important to turn on backhand volley so you can keep the wrist firmly locked.

  40. iamnotfernando Posted on February 28, 2014 at 6:05 am

    No right or wrong here and any experienced tennis coach should not use those terms. The amount of turn depends on the ball coming toward your side of the court, low wide (possibly out) balls will need a greater turn than shots coming within a step or 2. Bad demo too, shouldn't need to exaggerate the "wrong way" and the difference between the two was minimal. Also it depends on the grip you are using. No turn needed if you are using a full or semi western grip but a continental or eastern backhand grip will require a turn just to hit the ball straight.

  41. VinoWoods Posted on May 3, 2014 at 3:16 pm

    Terrible. Notice how the student can't even do it "the right way". He still turns his shoulders and hips which is the right way to hit a good volley. A better approach would have been to say this is ANOTHER way to hit volleys.

  42. Paul Mapley Posted on July 30, 2014 at 1:45 pm

    Stick to the baseline Jeff, not a real situational approach to demo, as it is more about decision making and relativity to where the ball needs to go. Shoulder turns will be evident in all forms of the volley.

  43. Gwenyth Cook Posted on December 19, 2014 at 2:32 pm

    Wow, they aren't even holding their unit turn long enough.

  44. honkeyness Posted on February 5, 2015 at 11:14 pm

    Interesting –  need the backhand Jeff.

  45. Blackbeast ForeverYoung Posted on June 12, 2015 at 6:05 pm

    wow what a loser

  46. bruce hawkinson Posted on June 28, 2015 at 5:11 am

    Hmmmm,  he is turning his shoulders, my goodness. i think jeff uses the contrary statement in the heading for attention and shock interest.  its just a smaller degree turn than the full turn,he demonstrates as the wrong way…  jeff is even telling him , good job with the smaller 30 ish degree turn,  but its still a turn…. why does he post stuff like this?

  47. Дима Холодов Posted on September 14, 2015 at 5:10 pm

    I would have pegged a ball at his right shoulder to watch how he would hit it without turning his shoulders. 🙂

  48. TOM D Posted on March 25, 2017 at 1:31 am

    nothing about the backhand side:(

  49. Noah Capetta Posted on March 30, 2017 at 2:26 pm

    Jeff is mostly correct here. He is using absolute language to make a point but there are always exceptions and tennis is very situational. His demonstrator did not exemplify the point very well but maybe Federer will convince in the video below. The backhand volley is a different stroke and often does require good shoulder turn but not always, i.e. reflex volleys.


  50. Ha Tien Posted on October 6, 2017 at 1:29 am

    Good lesson.Thanks

  51. 24foreverkobe Posted on January 3, 2018 at 8:48 am

    Should you bring your offhand in during the actual forehead volley or can it just hang loose and not do anything during the forward swing?

  52. Tennis Evolution - Online Tennis Lessons Posted on March 8, 2018 at 3:10 pm

    Forehand myths debunked: Former Top 100 ATP Pro, Jeff Salzenstein, is exposing 3 common myths that could be crippling your forehands potential. Most players make at least 1 of these 3 mistakes… Do you? https://goo.gl/Pa9UG6

  53. Nathaniel Waite-lutz Posted on March 25, 2018 at 3:44 am

    The guy in the blue jacket looks like vin Diesel

  54. LordStanley Posted on May 13, 2018 at 3:25 pm

    Jeff, you are spot on. Remember our junior days when we played so many time against each other. Hope you are well.

  55. David Radford Posted on October 2, 2018 at 6:00 pm

    Maybe choose Jamie Murray rather than RF as your example. Far more volleys in doubles.

  56. Jay Noel Reyes Posted on March 17, 2019 at 4:35 am

    In the juniors, Jeff beat me 6-1, 6-1. So I'm going to take his advice. Lol. Oh, and his dad was my first tennis coach.

  57. KGB SST Posted on May 15, 2019 at 4:43 am

    thank you so much! improved a lot in many ways after watching your video. A tennis lover from Taiwan, thank you so much!

  58. SuperFernando2007 Posted on June 30, 2019 at 3:09 am

    Where's the follow through?!

  59. Daniel Villasmil Posted on July 28, 2019 at 1:25 am

    I cannot log in nor register into your app [email protected]