Let’s take advantage of a video found on the net to dissect and better understand the Bandeja technique. Step by step, become a better padel technician.
The use of videos is important for the improvement of our technique as well as our game. To film ourselves to get to know each other better and especially to know where the majority of our balls go and what damage our rebounds can do to our adversaries.
So let's talk about tray. Bandeja is a specific padel hit. It is a kind of high forehand volley.
The bandja is used when the opponents play a high ball which does not allow us to finish the point. The primary goal of the Bandeja is not to lose the net.
There are 2 types of bandjas; la Bandeja with a cut effect, and another with a brushed effect that we will call Vibora.
In this video, this player only performs viboras with a high execution speed. For intermediate level players, it will be better to perform them a little slower and stronger, which will give you more time to return to the net and find a comfortable waiting position.
This player has a perfect technique hence this article.
At the start, the pala is in front of the body, pointing to the opposing camp, in the high position. When the opponent performs the lob, we immediately put ourselves in profile, which allows us to reach the best position more quickly. The non-dominant hand (left in this case) first points to the side grid, and the closer we get to the stroke, the more it helps to stretch the body upwards. The dominant hand prepares the stroke with the bent elbow, and places itself slowly, at the same speed as the non-dominant hand.
If you notice, high level padel players realize as a break before hitting their shot. It’s not only with the Bandeja but with all the padel moves. This break helps stabilize the body in order to have the best possible performance. In this player, the break at the feet is achieved by taking a step with the non-dominant foot (the left) towards the center of the field. This step allows him to open the track, to change the supports from the back to the front, and to leave faster towards the net. On the upper part of the body, the pause is realized when the 2 arms have reached the perfect preparation.
We talk about preparation, end of gesture, but the place of impact is very important. It takes place at eye level and approximately 2 hours if your waiting position at the net is midday. To find this place of impact, the advice is to throw an object, a ball or a pebble to make a ricochet. The place where you drop the stone defines your point of impact. Everyone has their own, it's up to you to find your own. For optimum performance, the arm must be stretched at the time of striking.
The end of the gesture
It all depends on the height at which you are going to impact the ball. We talked about eye height, but maybe you will be straight, with your legs bent or slightly suspended. So depending on this height, your end of gesture will be more or less high.
In this player, we can notice that for the balls a little higher, his end of gesture is down, the pala finishes its race up to the level of the left pocket. For the other viboras, in support, the gesture ends under the non-dominant arm. For him and for his game, it is certainly the most suitable finish. Be aware that you can also finish a Bandeja by wrapping your dominant arm like a scarf around the neck. You end up with 3 different gestures depending on the direction you want to give the ball. End of low gesture to quickly drop the ball (high balls), end of gesture under the arm for balls that will bounce around the service area (mid-height), end of gesture in a sling to gain depth ( balls played close to the height of the net).
Finally we can notice that the player takes the time to finish his gesture before taking the net. If you find that you do not have enough time to get back into position, slow down your vibora.
Photo credit: WPT
Julien Bondia is a padel teacher in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very appreciated by clubs and padel players. Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his many padel tutorials.