A shot inspired by basketball but which is used more and more in padel. rolled arm deserves its place in manuals. If you are neither a fan of bandeja neither of Smash, you have an option with this Hook.
While we are stationed at the net, our opponents try to pass us with a lob over our head. Impossible to carry out a bandeja and also impossible to smash. What to do ? If we let the ball bounce, we will have difficulty defending because the lob will tend to end its course, lifeless, against the back glass. So the best option would be the Gancho.
What is gancho?
From the Spanish “hook”, the gancho is a curled arm used in basketball that will allow us to touch the ball in a high way, behind our body, above our non-dominant shoulder, which will prevent us from losing the ball. attacking position at the net. This gancho will be slow because we will impact the ball slightly behind us. This slowness of the ball and the somewhat topspin effect, from the bottom up, will mean that we can find an angle and / or simply push our opponents back to the bottom.
Please note: you will notice that a ball played with a slow gancho will bounce off the back glass and tend to “die”, complicating the defense.
How to realize it?
Be careful not to abuse the Gancho. It is a useful move but which, when used too much, is quite easy to block due to its slowness. On the other hand, when the element of surprise is successful, it can pique your opponents in their organization.
Posted at the net therefore, you think you are playing a volley and you get caught by a lob. You do not have time to carry out the preparation of the bandeja, so you just put yourself in profile by jumping as high as possible. The work of the arm will be quite simple. Your pala will make a loop from your waiting position, pala in front of you, to the point of impact above you, passing through the back. Why from behind? Because if you raise your pala directly while passing in front of your body, you will play a blow (if you manage to touch the ball) of the badminton type, which will propose a rebound very easy to negotiate by your adversaries. Going through the rear will give more speed, precision and spin.
Finally, what will make the difference in your gancho will be the action of the wrist. The impact will tend to be high, behind our head or over our non-dominant shoulder, and to avoid “offering” the ball to the opponents, your wrist will be the last link. Having flexibility in the wrist will allow you to strike the ball and find the angle necessary to disturb opponents. Speed will remain the role of the arm.
The gancho is not an essential hit in the arsenal padel, but it allows you to get out of embarrassing situations as well as to surprise your opponents in their assault on the net. It is often a blow made in a moment of distress, but which can be worked on in training for more efficiency the day you have to use it. Professional players do not hesitate to devote time to it, like here with Veronica Virseda.
Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife (Spain). Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his tutorials and tactical/technical articles padel.