Your paddle should be way out front, not just a few inches from your body, but a good 10 to 12 inches.
Whenever you are at the ‘kitchen’, either in the ready-position or hitting a ball, your paddle should always be and remain in front of your body. You should never take a back-swing for any shot at the ‘kitchen’. Remember: the bigger the swing, the higher the probability of making an error. The volley is more of a punch, not a swing.