Types of Backhand Volley in Pickleball

If you’re a pickleball enthusiast, you know that mastering different types of shots is crucial for success on the court. One of these essential shots is the backhand volley. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll explore various types of backhand volleys in pickleball, helping you understand when and how to use them to improve your game.

The backhand volley is a fundamental technique in pickleball that involves hitting the ball before it bounces. While it might seem challenging, understanding the different types of backhand volleys can make it more manageable.

Types of Backhand Volleys

Let’s dive into the different types of backhand volleys that every pickleball player should know:

1. Standard Backhand Volley

  • The standard backhand volley is the most common and straightforward. Use it when the ball is within your comfort zone. Hold your paddle in front of you, and make a controlled, short swing to direct the ball over the net.

2. Punch Volley

  • The punch volley is ideal for hitting the ball with a bit more power and depth. Instead of simply blocking the ball, use a firmer grip and a slightly longer swing to “punch” it, making it harder for your opponent to return.

3. Topspin Volley

  • Adding topspin to your backhand volley can be effective for creating a curving trajectory. This makes it challenging for your opponent to predict the ball’s path. To add topspin, brush up the back of the ball while maintaining control.

4. Slice Volley

  • The slice backhand volley involves brushing down and across the ball’s back. This imparts backspin, causing the ball to skid and stay low when it bounces. Use this when you want to keep the ball low over the net and create a challenging shot for your opponent.

5. Drop Volley

  • The drop volley is perfect for softly placing the ball just over the net. It can catch your opponent off guard, as they might be expecting a more powerful shot. To execute this, use a light touch with a short swing.

6. Angle Volley

  • The angle volley involves directing the ball to a sharp angle, making it difficult for your opponent to reach. Combine a punch or topspin with the right angle of the paddle face to create this shot.

When to Use Each Backhand Volley

Choosing the right type of backhand volley depends on the game situation:

1. Standard Backhand Volley

  • Use this for routine volleys within your comfort zone.

2. Punch Volley

  • Employ the punch volley when you need depth and a faster shot.

3. Topspin Volley

  • Use topspin when you want to create a curving trajectory and catch your opponent off guard.

4. Slice Volley

  • The slice volley is effective when you want to keep the ball low and skidding.

5. Drop Volley

  • Use a drop volley for a soft, unexpected shot over the net.

6. Angle Volley

  • The angle volley is perfect for creating challenging angles and keeping your opponent on their toes.


1. Are backhand volleys harder than forehand volleys?

  • Backhand volleys can be more challenging due to their nature, but with practice, they can be equally effective.

2. Can I switch between different backhand volleys during a game?

  • Yes, being able to adapt and use various backhand volleys is an advantage in pickleball.

3. Is topspin or slice more effective for a backhand volley?

  • It depends on the situation. Slice keeps the ball low, while topspin creates a curving path.

4. Should I use backhand volleys for every shot on the non-dominant side?

  • While backhand volleys are common, sometimes using a forehand can be advantageous.

5. How can I practice different backhand volleys?

  • Practice with a partner or against a wall to improve your backhand volleys.


Mastering the various types of backhand volleys in pickleball can elevate your game and give you an edge over your opponents. By understanding when to use each type and practicing them regularly, you’ll become a more versatile and formidable pickleball player. So, get out on the court, experiment with these techniques, and take your pickleball game to the next level!

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