Mastering La Bandeja is no easy feat. Not to be confused with a tennis smash, this shot must be executed with precision to avoid injury and successfully move from a defensive position to attack.
If you’re trying to hit a Bandeja with a tennis mindset you’re doing your padel match and your body a disservice. The two primary objectives for this shot are to return a lob effectively - making it difficult for your opponent to play, and maintaining net position.
Identified as a high forehand volley, La Bandeja’s uniqueness is striking with a cut effect. While the pros might make it look simple, a clean and effective execution requires technique and practice. It may feel daunting at first, but there are a couple of key tips that will take the mystery out of the shot and help you achieve an almost perfect Bandeja.
First and foremost is your footwork. As soon as your opponent hits their ball, choose La Bandeja as your defense and move back quickly, assuming a position that allows enough space between you and the ball.
Now that you have ample distance, get ready for your swing. Start high with your left arm extended behind you. Note that contact with the ball must be in front of your body and not behind your head. Hence why it’s vital to get yourself behind the ball as fast as possible. Strike with a slice, through the ball and across your body, above the waist.
After you execute the shot, get immediately back into net position. This will avoid an attack from your opponent and rather encourage an attack from your side of the court. Which is the entire purpose of La Bandeja.
It’s just as important to aim correctly. The two ideal target areas for the shot are into the corner and down the middle. Aiming at the corner of the court gives your ball the opportunity to hit the glass once or twice, meaning more time for you to recover the net. This aim also forces your opposing player to hit from the corner, automatically placing them in a defensive position.
Setting your focus down the middle of the court and in between your two opposite players allows the second bounce to land near the back glass, moving your opponents towards the back of the court and out of the attack position.
As with every sport or skill, practice is crucial. The more you use these tips in your match, the more La Bandeja will become second nature. Try out these techniques and book a session with one of our official coaches at NK Social and Padel by Ascaro in Stockholm.