THE FLOATER AS A VOLLEY
Most of you enjoy the game best when your opponents are giving you the balls you like, just as a tennis pro in a lesson gives you the friendly feed – the right bounce, the right pace… just right. It’s in those moments that you’ll execute your shots with confidence and success.
Now, let me ask you, what are you going to do when the ball comes your way in a manner that you don’t like?
As an example, let’s say your opponent, for whatever reason (and there are a few) starts hitting soft, floating balls, moon balls, or semi-lobs which are landing between the service lines and the baseline. What’s your response?
Most recreational/club players know when they’re in the grips of this style of play – the high bouncing balls, the rainbow-like rallies which take an eternity to reach you. I’ll bet the only color you see is red from the mounting level of frustration at having to face a style of play which you are uncomfortable with. Facing this nightmarish experience on the court is the number one complaint I receive from recreational/club players day in day out.
Okay, let’s see how you can combat this conundrum, how you can see the opportunity, the green light to turn it in your favor. What if, instead of back-pedaling to let the ball bounce and end up with an uncomfortable ground stroke, you, instead advance purposefully towards the ball and take it as a volley. By moving inside the baseline to volley the floating ball, you have the green light to transition to the net. And, above all, you’ve broken the tedium of the rally and are in control of the tempo of the point.
Some of the advantages of the Floater as a Volley Tactic:
- Take time away from your opponent
- Connect with your partner at the net
- It shortens the length of a rally
- It’s great fun
- An excellent way to grow your game
As a tennis doubles strategy, I highly recommend the Floater as a Volley tactic for the 2.5-4.0 levels of play – these are the levels where that style of play is more prevalent.
4.5 and on – no issues with it. It’s part of their game plan.
Mastery: Easy to do under the watchful eye of a teaching pro, but more difficult to apply under a competitive environment.