3 Pickleball Tips for MASTERING the Roll Volley

Written by Adam (HV)

June 19, 2023

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What is the roll volley in pickleball and why does it matter?

The roll volley is an important shot because it helps you extend your ability to attack balls that are closer to the net or shots that you would normally reset. 

Watch the full video here.

Pickleball Tips: What is the roll volley in pickleball?

  • You’re adding topspin to the shot, this makes it harder for your opponent to hit off the bounce
  • When you’re at the net, you can use this shot to become more of a threat by attacking higher shots to keep your opponents back
  • Lastly, when you get the feel for the shot, you can use it to deceive your opponent by attacking a shot that they think is unattackable.

Pickleball Tips: Mental Mechanics of the Roll Volley

Before we get into the physical mechanics and how to hit the shot, let’s talk about some mental mechanics with this shot that can help you hit it successfully.

  • Less is more – You may want to add a bunch of leg movement and extra flare with their arm movement, but really all of that extra movement can lead to inconsistency. Instead you want to use efficient, smart body movements.
  • Anticipation is key – When you’re starting out, your success in this shot largely depends on your ability to read the right ball for this and decide in real time. A good rule of thumb for this are shots without a lot of pace that float above the net. 

Pickleball Tips: How to Hit the Roll Volley in 3 Simple Steps

  • Use the _____ grip – first you want to use the continental grip because this will automatically give you the ability to add plenty of topspin on the shot and help you brush up on the ball.
  • Get low – By bending your knees, this gives you stability but it also helps you extend your ability to hit balls that are closer to the net – again I wouldn’t extend your legs during the swing because this could add some unnecessary motion.
  • Mind Your Reach – because some reach and balance is required, you must get comfortable reaching over the non volley zone and using your length to hit this shot. If you’re just starting out with this shot, start off small 
  • Accelerate from low to high – when making contact with the ball you want to drop your paddle head below the ball and accelerate through the ball while turning your forearm and your wrist.
  • If you’re new to this motion, think about throwing a frisbee – start off with that motion, and then when you get comfortable, drop your paddle head lower to apply more topspin 

Bonus Pickleball Tip: Be Unpredictable 

When you get the feel for this shot, you will have a lot of options with high floating balls to your backhand – you can roll them, punch them, or drop them. Remember to mix it up, stay unpredictable, and always keep your opponent guessing. 

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It’s often overlooked, but if you know how to use a pickleball volley, it can be a dangerous weapon.

Today we’re going to break this shot down step by step. It’s my hope that with this video, the next time you get on the court you can use it to your advantage.