After knowing of the most “common” strokes in racket sports, let's talk about a specific gesture that is only used in padel : la bandeja.
Posted to the net you refuse to lose position when your opponents try to lob you. These tall balls can be played in different ways; with a smash, with a curled arm (gancho) or with a bandeja. The bandeja itself can be detached in 2 parts; la bandeja and vibora. What is the difference ? The effect and the technique.
So in the manuals of padel, these two shots are called bandeja, but little by little people distinguish and separate the bandeja of vibora. Today, let's talk about the first: the bandeja.
Understand first of all that the bandeja that you are going to play is not an attacking stroke but a defensive stroke which will allow you not to lose the attacking position, close to the net. Certainly, in some cases you will be able to put more speed at this bandeja and maybe you will be able to tell the difference, but until you are comfortable with this move and you can detect a position that allows you to attack, keep this idea of a defensive move that will suit you. give time to come back to the net while keeping and pushing your opponents to the back of the track.
Bandeja ? Quésaco?
La bandeja comes from the Spanish word meaning “plateau”. The goal is therefore to prepare and impact the ball with the pala facing the sky like a waiter would. If you want to copy the gesture of professionals, take a look at the bandeja by Fernando Belasteguin, expert in this field of gambling.
What's the point ?
As we have just explained, the bandeja serves to give us time to get back to the net. So if you opt for a violent strike, be sure that the ball will bounce off one or even two panes before the opponent returns it to you, otherwise opt for the slowness that will allow you to come forward.
La bandeja, thanks to its cut effect, from top to bottom, will reduce the rebound of the ball in the opposing camp which will complicate the defense. Also, and in the event that the opponents press you into the net, the bandeja will allow you to dive the ball directly into their feet.
Finally, if you are looking for the center, the bandeja will be perfect if played slowly, as the ball will tend to die at the bottom of the track.
You are posted to the net, in a waiting position identical to that of the volley, and your opponents try to lob you.
First of all you have to put yourself in profile. There is a technique to facilitate this profile position, it is called the “3 in 1”:
1- the dominant leg moves backwards
2- the dominant arm is placed back with the pala facing the sky
3- the non-dominant hand in the direction of the side grid
This 3 in 1 movement, with practice, will be automated, so you will always be ready to play the right way. bandeja.
Caution : remember to raise the elbow of the dominant arm to face height to facilitate the plateau position.
Following the 3 in 1 you will adjust your position with chased steps.
Just before the strike we will try to stretch upwards to “catch” the ball and throw it down. It is important not to wait for it but to make this effort to rise to catch the ball as high as possible and then descend with it and give it a direction. Our dominant arm will be extended, pala oriented towards the sky and it will be our abdominals that will work to achieve the rotation of the body necessary to allow the ball to be deposited in the desired place, at the opponent's home.
Once the ball is impacted, we will resume our pressure forward to recover the position at the net and play a nice volley.
La bandeja is a blow which requires a great physical effort when impacted in a high way. For girls, Léa Godallier is an expert in the field. Look at how the preparation is made, very early, a beautiful suspension which aims to get the ball as high as possible to accompany it down, then finally the rotation of the body thanks to the strength of the abdominals.
The final word will be the end of the gesture which will vary according to the players between the arm in a sling around the neck or at the level of the belt like a knight who puts his sword back in the scabbard, it will depend on whether your ball tends to finish its stroke in the net or in the bottom window.
Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very popular with clubs and players of padel. Columnist and advisor, he helps you to play better through his many tutorials padel.