Who or what is a Bandeja? I hear you ask…
Bandeja is the Spanish translation for the word ‘tray’.
I know confusing, right?
Well, actually it’s not, you see in Padel terms Bandeja means a sliced volley.
In Padel, a player’s aim is to keep their opponent at the back of the court where they can do the least amount of damage.
Padel rallies typically evolve in a way where one player is attacking while the other defends, but one cheeky Bandeja can flip a point on its head.
A cheeky Bandeja might sound like something you’d order at Nando’s but to Padel players, it’s an art form.
The nature of the shot allows a player to maintain an aggressive position at the front of the court.
While a smash might be preferable in Tennis, due to the nature of Padel’s enclosed courts, a smash would simply bounce off the wall making it easy for an opponent to guide their shot back towards you.
Ideally the ball is played high towards an opponent in order to avoid back-pedalling, however, the healthy dose of backspin on the shot keeps the ball low and not too powerful.
Typically, you’d balance drinks on a tray however I wouldn’t recommend balancing anything on the racket whilst performing a Bandeja, or you’ll quite literally end up with a slice of lime.
A player’s aim should be to place the shot crosscourt into the back corner where the two walls meet, taking pace off the ball and making it difficult for an opponent to return the shot.
Another effective use of the shot is for the ball to be hit down the middle to draw the opponent further out of position, starting a new bout of attack.
While that might all sound a bit confusing you know what they say, practise makes perfect so get out there and give it a go!
Why not check out this short video demonstrating how to play the shot?