Today we’re joined by our guest, pro pickleball player Tyler Loong. Tyler is going to help us walk through a great volley drill called Figure 8 Volleys. This drill will help you with your reaction time at the non volley zone line as well as directional control on your volleys. Let’s get started…
For this drill, each player will position themselves in the middle of the court at the non volley zone line. One player is assigned to hit the ball “Across” and the other is assigned to hit the ball “Ahead”. I’ll explain what this means in a moment. Keep in mind that both players are hitting volleys only so each player must strike the ball hard enough and high enough so that it reaches the other player at least waist high without bouncing. The trajectory of the ball will be clear in the live demonstration that you’ll see in a moment. Also, remember that this is a cooperative drill (not competitive).
Let’s say that in our example both players are right handed and player A is assigned to hit the ball “Ahead”, while player B is assigned to hit the ball “Across”. Player A will feed the ball out of their hand using the forehand and hit it straight ahead at Player B’s BH, Player B will hit the ball “Across” to Player A’s BH, Player A will hit the ball “Ahead” to Player Bs FH and Player B will hit it “Across” to Player A’s FH and both players will repeat this cycle and maintain it for as long as possible or as long as they decide upon.
The reason this is called Figure 8 Volleys is because the volley rally that develops essentially draws a shape with the ball trajectory that looks like the number 8.
Once both players are satisfied with the number of exchanges they have had in this directions they should switch assignments. Now Player A will play the ball Across and Player B will play the Ball ahead.
this is a cooperative drill (not competitive) so you will want to rally at a pace that both of you can maintain and as your control improves you can up your pace. Remember, it’s important to get the ball all the way to them at least waist high so you will have to hit firmly through the volley in order to achieve that.
Let’s take a look at some exchanges between Jordan and Tyler. Jordan is right handed while Tyler is left handed but as long as you remember what your assignment is “Ahead” or “Across” you’re good to go.
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