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Ache in the palm while volleying constantly

Published: 23 Apr 2008 - 06:59 by scar

Updated: 24 Sep 2008 - 17:34

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General question on volleying:

When volleying (doing drills with volleys back to yourself) does anybody's palm ever ache? Might sound like a strange question - but curious? To be more specific - for righthanders (since, I am one myself), the bottom left of your right palm. That's about where the palm generally curls up when you grip the racquet.

I see that while volleying continuously for 12-15 times, I start feeling an ache there, and then tendency for racquet to turn/slip. Wonder what I could do better/ differently to make sure I am doing it right?


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From rippa rit - 24 Apr 2008 - 15:27   -   Updated: 24 Apr 2008 - 15:34

Yes, to hit the ball with slice, say, on a shoulder height  volley you would strike the ball at about 10.15 on the clock dial (the ball). If you hit the ball in the middle it would be a flat hit with no spin, and that may occasionally be possible or necessary due to body position, ball height overhead, or to go for a "dead nick" (a risky shot but good if you can get the ball to roll along the floor).

Ocassionally it might be difficult to put spin on the ball, eg when reaching high to volley a ball and you cannot get your racket high enough to do a good attacking shot, but do not want to let the ball drop, and chose to just place the ball back into play, eg return of serve down the wall, high ball close to the side wall.....just throw a few balls up onto the front wall and try out the various shots.

At this stage I would say forget out the flat stuff, that will sort itself out in time.

There is a thread about slice in the forum archives, plus other posts on slice, undercut and spin, and we should try to keep on topic here too.


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From scar - 24 Apr 2008 - 14:23   -   Updated: 24 Apr 2008 - 14:27

Thanks again Rita. I did see the videos. As I hear Ray's voice about Craig hitting on the outside of the ball. That's a sort of slice, right? 

Are there times when you hit it flat?


Maybe, I am missing something. Would appreciate your help.

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From rippa rit - 24 Apr 2008 - 07:35   -   Updated: 24 Apr 2008 - 07:41

Ray, you can be so lucky.

Adz - that solved my mystery as I normally blame Ray if something goes missing, or stuffs up, oops!

Scar - apologise for putting that PS on your post, it was a "geek" thing happening while I was squirting around the site.

Scar - here are some solo volley video clips with slow motion and voice over showing all the points to strive for during your volley sessions.. 

scar - keep going back to look at these volley videos as you continue practising your skills.

Keep on keeping on as practice makes perfect.

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From Adz - 24 Apr 2008 - 00:46

Here's a thought......... the pain I get in my hand is caused by the little and ring fingers closing into the palm too much....... if you had a fatter grip it might help with the problem? The downside is that if you use a fatter grip you might end up losing some of your control and touch on the ball.


Just relaxing every now and then should do the trick...... maybe taking a change in routines every 5 minutes or so?


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From scar - 23 Apr 2008 - 23:45   -   Updated: 23 Apr 2008 - 23:45

I really appreciate all the points made - really helpful.

Adz - exactly right. That's where I find the ache emanating from. I will try what you mentioned the next time I do this.

Ray as you mentioned - I also think that I do hold the grip a bit tightly (apprehensive that the racquet will turn - which it does when I hit off center during the volley). I also need to make sure that the movements are short and sharp ( I will check that aspect as well). Advice taken about intermediate rest. The standards you set are high - but that's the good part. It is motivating. Will continue to practice and work hard. Thank you Ray. Ray - since you are the builder, any recommendations on strengthening wrists? I do some exercises for the forearms (curls etc).

Rita - you are right in that when I sometimes shorten my grip, it feels better (because of the shortening of the lever). I try to keep my wrist firm during the movement. There is no blister - the ache is of the kind that Adz mentioned (just at the area below the little finger where the palm is curled up). Could you speak a little to the flat and slicing actions during the volley? (right, wrong, which used under what circumstance if at all). I think there is some slice, though I think it happens on the outer edge of the ball.

The thing is - I am practicing a lot of volleying now to improve my technique, improve the coordination (hand eye), and so that it becomes a much more natural part of my game. So any insights on this front will be much appreciated.


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From raystrach - 23 Apr 2008 - 23:30

you now know adz what it is like to work with her!!

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From Adz - 23 Apr 2008 - 22:49



Your PS is added to Scar's original post!


Scar: I know exactly what you mean about the muscle ache. I think you'll find it's caused by the little and ring fingers curling around the grip. That causes the big fleshy part of your hand (the lower left corner of the right hand), to strain, and excessive strain will lead to a cramping sensation very similar to what you describe.

For now until your hand gets used to the activity, I'd suggest taking a brief moment every now and then to straighten the little and ring fingers whilst still holding the grip with the index and middle fingers and the thumb.


Volleying uses the little and ring fingers to add pressure onto the grip much more than a standard drive or crosscourt. Repeated enough, this exercise will always cause this type of pain no matter how much you train. The trick is just to balance the training out to not put yourself under too much strain.






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From raystrach - 23 Apr 2008 - 22:20

hi scar

depending on where you are standing to do this drill, there are some things that you need to pay attention to. although you might be doing weights, unles you are soing something very specific, it is unlikely you are working the muscles in use in this drill.

  • keep the racket  head under control with short and sharp movements - it should not be waving around at all - the more movement, the harder your hand has to work to keep it under control
  • once your hand starts hurting, go onto  something else for a short while - you might find you can alternate f/h and b/h 15 - 20 hits per side. over time you will find you can hit many more shots - perhaps into the hundreds! don't persist too long with the hand hurting too much - you don't want to get a chronic injury out of it.
  • don't grip the racket too tight  and check your grip size 

i used to do a short chipping drill and could achieve well over 300 hundred hits in a 5 minute period. these days i am flat out getting to a 200 and my hand starts to seize up. you need to keep working at it to make improvement - it will happen over time.


best of luck

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From rippa rit - 23 Apr 2008 - 19:21   -   Updated: 23 Apr 2008 - 19:48

scar, I did add a PS to that post but where is it.. ..maybe I did not update the post...

Oh well, I said to shorten the grip, which will make the lever a little shorter, and also take a bit of drag off the handle.  I am really not sure what is wrong with your palm,eg pain in the muscle, red abrasive pressure mark that might form a blister, holding the racket too far onto the bottom cap. As for the technique I do not know if you are hitting the ball flat or slicing as per the Gold volley videos, whether the wrist is firm during the hit, or a wrist movement doing the hitting action causing friction in your hand.

Until further discoveries on the technique, I still recommend you do not stay on that drill for too long, as in a game you will not be doing that many volleys in a row.

The weight training, is not likely to resemble a hammering action which is possibly what you are doing in this practice. The volley needs a stiff wrist.

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From scar - 23 Apr 2008 - 14:12

That's the thing that surprises me Rita. Even though I push a pen, I also push weights, and am fundamentally in pretty good shape. So, I was wondering if something is wrong with my technique etc.

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From rippa rit - 23 Apr 2008 - 09:54

scar, my guess is your muscles are not used to that much continual strain.  Dare I ask if you push a pen/keyboard all day and not a hammer?

Ease off before it aches, go do another drill, then come back to it again.  RSI is just what you are describing and if you continually aggravate it it may become chronic.

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