Hello again, I’m hoping that everyone is playing better as your court time increases.  Hope the earlier tips made sense?  With these tips are you hitting to your spots more often and with better accuracy?  I’ll bet that you are.

My next tip is the HALF VOLLEY, HV.  I’m seeing the improvement with everyone that I have played with because the shot making is getting better.  How do I know that?  My opponents’ shots are low and coming toward my feet.  When you do a half volley it is generally a defensive shot, but if you get good at it, it can be an offensive return shot.  Whenever I’m doing a half volley return, it is because I’m in the wrong area of the court and the opponent just hit a good low shot at my feet.

To hit the half volley, you must go low, and lower.  Your back is straight and your knees bent to the max. You are so low that if your hand were not holding a paddle, your fingers would touch the ground.  I’m hurting already.  But, no pain no gain!  Again HV is a defensive shot, but you still need be balanced if possible.  So where ever your feet are, try to be balanced so that you can have some forward momentum with your body and arm when you hit the ball.  The key is to not swing at the ball!!!  Why?  Because your opponent has hit a good shot and you don’t have time to swing.  You are down low to meet the ball, and all you need to do is a short push toward the ball with a soft follow through.  Your goal is to hit the ball as slow as possible into your opponent’s no volley zone.  Do it correctly and you will have enough time to get to the NVZ.

Sometimes a return shot comes so fast at your feet you don’t even have time to bend your knees to get low.  Not all is lost in that situation.  Again you won’t have time to do a normal swing.  The CHOP swing is the last resort.  Not the most accurate shot, but you have a chance to put the ball over the net.  So the chop swing is your paddle coming down straight from your waist or chest with a slight forward motion to meet the ball.  Do not worry about the follow through, but slight forward follow through would help the ball flight.

Get out the sun tan lotion, the summer clothes, and your sun glasses.  Enjoy the game, but most of all, enjoy all the different people that this game attracts.

Pickle Relish Mitch