Pickleball Volley: 4 Secrets to Better Punch Volleys

Written by Adam (HV)

May 2, 2023

pickleball volley

In pickleball, there are some shots and skills that can help you take your game to the next level. One of those shots in particular is the punch volley.

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.

Watch the full video here.

What is the pickleball volley / punch volley?

The punch volley is a shot you can use when you’re at the net to punch the ball out of the air with a compact motion and a semi open paddle. It’s not an overhead but it’s also not a rolling volley.

How can the pickleball volley punch volley help you?

The pickleball volley can help you attack better on your fourth shot, putting pressure on your opponents. It can be used as a counter attack during speed ups. And it’s the building block for rolling volleys.

Pickleball Volley Punch Volley Tip 1: Anticipation

The first step to every successful pickleball volley is your anticipation, readiness, and where you hold your paddle. When you’re at the net you want to have your paddle up in the ready position and if you’re using the continental grip or eastern grip, you can use your backhand to cover the majority of your body.

When you’re taking on pickleball volleys, there will be times when the ball comes to the right side of your body. Instead of turning your arm or getting jammed, slide or lean your upper body and use your back hand to contact the ball.

Pickleball Volley Punch Volley Tip 2: Timing

The next step to a pickleball volley is timing. This is important because since you’re at the net, too early or too late could mean an out ball or a ball in the net.

Focus on hitting the ball in your goldilocks zone. What I mean by this is it’s not too hot or too cold. In other words, don’t get jammed and don’t overextend.

Pickleball Volley Punch Volley Tip 3: Contact

Now that you’re making contact with your pickleball volley, you’ll make a compact punch. Your wrist is stable and you will punch through the ball. This isn’t a powerful swing or one where you’re cutting the ball, but just 6 to 12 inches of a punch.

Your paddle will do the majority of the work.

Notice that there will be some slight movement in your shoulders from side to side with your pickleball volley because you want to keep the ball out front and make contact without getting jammed. Moving your shoulders will help with this. In some extreme cases, you may need to slide to punch the ball with a backhand to avoid a chicken wing.

Avoid a big backswing or a bunch of wrist movements. Minimize your foot movement.

Pickleball Volley Punch Volley Tip 4: Placement

Regardless of the scenario, placement will be important with your pickleball volley. If you’re hitting a fourth shot, hit the ball deep with pace to keep pressure on your opponent. If the shot is a counter attack, try to force the ball down and onto your opponent’s court. Many times, the team who can get the ball on the ground in a hands battle improves their chances of winning.

What is your secret to winning with the pickleball volley / punch volley?

Do you have a secret to the pickleball volley punch volley? Let me know in the comments!

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