Volleying is the art of striking the ball while it is still in mid-air. A professional player will be able to anticipate where and when the ball will arrive near him and quickly position himself to connect with it. It is one of the hardest skills to master.
Because everything happens much faster in the air, a player attempting to volley needs to be even more focused on timing and accuracy that in ordinary play. He can use the momentum the ball already has to create a very powerful strike, but if it’s not on target he will probably lose control and the mistake could cost him and his team dearly.
Not having time to think is one problem for the volleyist. Another is that a ball spinning through the air will behave very differently to one that has come rolling along the ground. The strike must be decisive and clean. There is no opportunity to calm the ball’s movement down, and little chance to judge the amount of strength required to put it where you want. For these reasons, volleys are notoriously difficult to aim.
Technically, the key elements of volleying are that the strike is decisive, the player is well-anchored to absorb the shock of the ball’s impact, and he follows through. Without these in place the ball will behave unpredictably.
As well as keeping up the pace of play, volleys can be used to seize control from the opposition. An intercepted pass can be turned to great advantage by a well-placed volley. Along with headers, volleys are a vital skill for players at the front of the field, being key to picking up crosses and delivering them into the goal.
A particularly spectacular volley is the the scissor kick – as shown in the video.