Imagine standing at the net in a heated pickleball match, the ball zooming towards you. Your next move could change the game’s outcome. It is where the art of volleying comes into play. Volleying in Pickleball is not just a skill—it’s your secret weapon. Effective volleying can elevate your game, giving you an edge over opponents, whether in singles or doubles. 

This article will delve into the intricacies of volleying, offering nine essential tips to help you dominate the net and control the kitchen, enhancing your prowess in pickleball. Playing pickleball is also good for your health. Players must have a look at Pickleball Health Benefits.

What is Volley?

The volley is a fundamental shot in pickleball; mastering it can take your game to the next level. A volley is any shot hit before the ball bounces on the court. It’s typically used at the non-volley zone (NVZ) line, 7 feet from the net on each side. It’s especially vital in doubles, where the game revolves around the kitchen and the net. Excelling in volleying strengthens your offense and bolsters your defense, giving you control over the game’s tempo.

Types of Volleys

There are two main types of volleys:

  • Defensive Volleys: These control the ball and keep it in play. They are typically hit with a soft touch and a slightly open paddle face to keep the ball deep.
  • Offensive Volleys: These are used to put away the point. They can be hit with more power and a closed paddle face for more direction.

How to Play a Volley

Here are the basic steps on how to play a volley:

Grip: Use a loose Pickleball Grip to maintain control and feel for the ball.

Footwork: Get into a good position with your feet shoulder-width apart and knees slightly bent.

Paddle Prep: Keep your paddle in front of your body with the face slightly open.

Meet the Ball: Swing your paddle forward to meet the ball in front of your body.

Contact: Make contact with the ball in the center of the paddle face.

Follow-through: Extend your arm and paddle through the shot.

how to play a volley

Strategies for Effective Volleying 

Volleying is not just about hitting the ball; it’s a strategic tool. It can make opponents uncomfortable, forcing errors and gaining the upper hand. Mastery of volleying involves understanding when and how to use different volleys, such as punch, roll, dink, and drop. Here are some effective volleying strategies: 

  • Targeting your opponent’s feet will make it harder for them to return the shot.
  • Use angles: Hit the ball cross-court or down the line to make your opponent move.
  • Vary your pace: Mix up your shots to keep your opponent guessing.
  • Communicate with your partner: Let each other know who is taking the volley.

Common Volley Mistakes

  • Hitting the ball too hard can make it difficult to control the shot and keep it in bounds.
  • Hitting the ball with a closed paddle face can cause the ball to go into the net.
  • Taking your eye off the ball can make it difficult to contact it cleanly.
  • Stay on your feet: This can make getting into a good position to hit the ball difficult.

Defending Against Volleys

  • Move your feet: Stay light on your toes and be ready to move to where the ball is going.
  • Use a blocking volley: This is a soft shot to control and keep the ball in play.
  • Hit a drop shot: This shot is hit softly over the net and lands inside the baseline.
  • Lob: Hit the ball high over your opponent’s head to buy yourself time to get back to the baseline.
defending against volleys

8 Tips for Volleying Mastery

Athletic Stance – Improves Reaction Time: An athletic stance is fundamental for effective volleying. It involves feet shoulder-width apart, knees bent, and arms ready, allowing for swift movement in any direction.

Maintain Position at Kitchen Line – Reduces Gaps: Holding your ground just behind the kitchen line is critical. Retreating creates opportunities for opponents to exploit.

Hammer Grip – Neutral Position: The hammer or continental grip, where the paddle head is nearly vertical, readies you for varied shots, including dinks and powerful backhands.

Adjust Grip Pressure – Creates Soft Hands: Modulating grip pressure based on court position is crucial for delivering soft, controlled volleys, especially near the net.

Swing from Shoulders – Maintains Control: Avoid using wrist action for volleys; instead, control the paddle and ball with shoulder movements for precision and power moderation.

Avoid Pulling Back – Governs Power and Control: Keep your arm extended and avoid a full backswing. It ensures controlled, precise volleys without excessive power.

Volley Low-Forces Opponent Mistakes: Low volleys are more complex for opponents to return and increase your chances of winning the point.

Respond to Low Shots Softly – Prevents Trouble: Counter low volleys with gentle, controlled returns rather than power, focusing on placement over force.

The Swinging Volley

The swinging volley, an attacking shot used in the transition and non-volley zones, allows players to take control of the point. When executing this shot, it’s crucial to use topspin and maintain forward momentum, ensuring the ball stays low over the net.

the swinging volley

Tips for Improving Your Volleying

         Practice: The more you practice, the better you will become at volleying.

        Drill with a partner: There are many different drills that you can do to practice your volleying.

        Watch pro players: Pay attention to how they volley and try to emulate their technique.

        Have fun. Don’t take yourself too seriously, and enjoy the game!


Volleying is a complex yet essential skill in pickleball. Players can significantly improve their game by mastering the tips outlined here and understanding the strategic applications of different volley types. Effective volleying is about anticipation, positioning, control, and strategic execution. With practice and these tips in mind, you can become a formidable force at the net in your pickleball matches.

volleying in pickleball


What is the ideal stance for effective volleying?

 Athletic Stance: Your feet should be shoulder-width apart, knees slightly bent, and arms ready. This stance allows for quick movements and better reaction times.

Can grip style affect my pickleball volleying?

Yes, Significantly: Utilize the hammer or continental grip for a neutral position. This grip helps quickly switch between shots and effectively controls volleying.

What is the key to controlling the power in pickleball volleys?

 Swing and Grip: Avoid using your wrist; use your shoulders for controlled swings. Also, adjust your grip pressure based on your position and desired shot power.

How can I improve my volleying technique in pickleball?

 Practice and Strategy: Work on your stance, paddle positioning, and grip. Use drills to enhance reaction times and experiment with different volleys like punch, roll, and dink.

Similar Posts

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *