Have you grown some interest in playing padel lately? Are you an amateur tired of using the most overrated padel shots on the court? Are you already sick of the same old predictable shots you’ve been throwing?
Maybe it’s already time to crank up your gameplay! To do that, you must master the basic shots of padel while throwing advanced tricks at your rival.
Don’t fret if you have zero knowledge of padel shots. After reading this article, you’ll know how to hit the ball on the court like a World Padel Tour player!
Basic Shots in Padel
Everything will always start with the basics. You can’t go pro if you don’t master the minimum in playing padel.
You must go over the basics first before going advanced to ensure a smooth transition. Basic shots will always come in handy in all your games.
The Padel Serve
The serve is one of the most underrated but most important padel shots. It’s not as important as the serve in tennis, but it can help you gain the net position instantly.
However, it is still essential for padel players to practice their padel serve.
It aids the player in taking good advantage of the net position.
A padel serve can direct the ball’s speed, spin, and direction. It also gives the server power to dictate the shot their opponent will use.
A good service can even force poor and difficult returns. This establishes an easy volley during the early game.
Acing a service also helps set a player’s point and forces them to heed on their backfoot at the start of the game.
Best Way to Serve in Padel
When you serve the ball in padel, you have to note three main things:
Take an ample amount of time as you serve the ball. Don’t rush and serve too fast. If you give yourself the right time to serve, you’ll also have enough stretch to move forward towards the net.
You can take advantage of the net position when you aced the right timing.
Your intention in doing padel serve also matters as you hit the ball. You shouldn’t only intend to pass the ball to the other side. You can control the play with your service shot.
It is possible to force your opponent to throw poor returns. You can also direct them on which shots they would use to yield the ball back.
A good service can help you establish an easy rally and set your point during the early game!
How you position your body as you aim to serve the ball and after service is also essential. You can put one foot forward and drop the ball in front of you as you hit the ball towards the net.
The way you swing your racket and the ball’s level as you swing would also affect its trajectory. Ideally, you only want the ball to bounce slightly over the net.
You should also remember to put your body’s momentum forward before the ball gets to the other side. This is essential in keeping the correct position in the padel court.
Common Mistakes of the Padel Serve
A padel serve can be a simple shot to throw. However, there are also instances where you make common technical and tactical errors.
Mistakes during service can also impact your gameplay. Hence, you must know the common errors committed by many padel players.
There are three mistakes that players tend to make when they serve:
Mistake #1: Trick-serving
Sometimes, you think that doing complicated spins and tricks as you serve keeps the opponent guessing. You’re also hoping that it will result in poor returns.
However, you’re also at risk of committing service errors. Possibly, the ball won’t stay in its accurate placement. Keeping the serve simple will help you gain enough control of the ball’s trajectory. By doing so, you can force a difficult return from your rival.
Mistake #2: Hitting too fast
You should NEVER rush yourself in serving the ball. You must ace the timing as you padel serve. Others think that serving the ball fast would cause their opponent to fret as the ball approaches.
However, this sacrifices the ball’s accuracy.
Mistake #3: Not moving forward
Some players tend to wait for the ball to reach the other side of the court. This delays them from getting a good position on the net.
Moving a few steps forward is important to secure a favourable attack stance as you serve. It will prepare you to hit the ball as you proceed to rally.
Using a Backhand Serve
Forehand service is common among amateur padel players. However, professional players sometimes integrate a backhand serve into their play.
If you want to try using a backhand serve on your next game, ensure that you get the timing right for the backswing.
Your body should face sidewards and have your right shoulder pointing towards the net (assuming you’re a right-handed player).
After which, you can already proceed with dropping the ball and doing a backhand serve. This allows you to gain power while still keeping control of the ball.
Switching from forehand to backhand serve from time to time can redirect the gameplay in the long run. It can also throw off your rival at some point.
However, it is vital to master your backswing and timing to ensure a precise ball toss.
How to Position Yourself When Serving in Padel
The body’s position as you serve can determine the ball’s direction and trajectory. Hence, it is important that you correctly fix your body as you padel serve.
Bounce the Ball in Front
As you aim for service, place one foot forward and the other slightly back. After which, drop the ball on your front or side. DO NOT bounce it farther from your body.
With this, you can ensure that you transfer your body weight to the shot. You can also freely and accurately swing your paddle from the side.
Take Back the Racket Before Hitting
By the time you blow the ball for impact, you should remember to swing the racket all the way back. You’ll gain power and enough swing speed as you come for the ball.
Hit the Ball at Waist Level
As you come into contact with the ball, ensure that you don’t hit it too high or too low. Blowing the ball at knee or ankle level would cause the ball to shoot up and bounce higher than intended on the other side of the padel court.
However, when you contact the ball at waist level, you can send off the ball at a more shallow height.
Serve the Ball Flat
Serving the ball flat is a simple yet effective way to serve the ball. It will also help keep the ball at an ideal height as it approaches your rival.
DO NOT attempt to do trick serves and complicated sidespins during service. It will only cause you more harm than good in your game.
Move Forward as You Prepare for a Rally
After fully swinging toward the ball, move a few steps forward and secure your attack stance. This gives you an ample amount of time to rally with your rival.
Waiting for the ball to cross the net can delay your preparation to return the ball to your opponent.
The Padel Forehand
The forehand is another basic padel shot. But it’s also one of the most critical shots when playing padel.
It’s commonly used to return and defend the ball. A player also uses a forehand as a transition or placement shot.
There are three major steps that padel players do when they’re doing a forehand:
- Preparation – As you prepare to impact the ball, you should take your paddle fully back. Your upper body, specifically your shoulders, should also rotate as you create a swing.
- Foot stance – Your stance should be sideways to the court with one shoulder pointing to the net. This allows you to transfer your weight from back to front quickly.
- Horizontal swing – Swing your padel racket horizontally and blow the ball at waist level, followed by a follow-through.
How to Hit a Great Forehand
Blowing a great forehand is essential for a padel player to know. It’s a basic return and defensive shot that doesn’t require the player to exert too much power.
Here are a few tips you can use to improve your padel shots using the forehand:
- Prepare early, even before the ball crosses the net towards you. As your target approaches your forehand, you’ll have enough time to drop your shoulders immediately.
- Ensure an early and compact return by taking the racket fully back.
- Adjust your feet and keep yourself balanced as you impact the ball. This helps in making a full swing and regaining stance after blowing the ball.
You should also stay in a neutral stance as much as possible. An open stance should be your option if you don’t have enough time to run after the ball.
Common mistakes of Padel Forehand
The forehand is one of the most basic padel shots in padel. However, other players still struggle to get it right.
Common errors most players make when doing a forehand are:
- Mistake #1: Shot Selection – Some players tend to resort to complicated movements as they do a forehand. However, make sure that the padel shots you select are easy for you to control.
- Mistake #2: Late Preparation – Preparing to swing while waiting for the ball to approach gives time to contact with power. Falling short in preparation will result in a bad padel shot.
The Different Types of Padel Forehand
There are different types of padel forehand that you can integrate into your play:
- Topspin – A topspin can attack easy balls that float in front of you. Don’t use this shot for a high ball or when you’re pressed at the back wall.
- Flat – You can use a flat to disguise a shot. You can either make a lob or a soft shot with a flat. You can also increase your racket speed to release bast balls.
- Slice – Use this shot if the ball is approaching at a higher level, ideally near the chest.
The Padel Backhand
Another important element among other padel shots is the backhand.
Usually, when your opponent throws off low balls, you can counter it with a flat backhand. With this, you can direct the balls towards their feet, body, or to open space.
How to Hit a Great Backhand
Like the forehand, players also need to perform three steps as they do a backhand:
- Take the racket back as you prepare to swing your racket. Hand placement is also essential in guiding the racket. Maintain your right hand on the grip with your left hand on the throat.
- Move your feet to keep a balanced stance. Your hips and waist should face sideways before you take a swing.
- Swing and follow through with the ball horizontally. It’s also important to remember that your left hand should let go of the racket’s throat. Ideally, you should finish in an open stance.
You must go through ALL STEPS as they go hand in hand with each other— every minute and detail matters to ace the backhand shot.
Common mistakes of the Padel backhand
Padel players also commit several mistakes when doing the backhand shot.
Common errors done with a backhand include:
Mistake #1: Incorrect Use of the Left Hand
Players tend to leave the left hand hanging and not integrate it into their grip, while others hold the top of the padel racket.
This causes them to lose control of the racket as they approach to blow the ball.
Mistake #2: Wrong Contact
Beginners who are not yet comfortable with their backhand are at risk of making this mistake. They approach the ball early and blow the ball far in front.
However, it is ideal to approach the ball in front of the right hip for a more powerful shot.
Mistake #3: Inappropriate Spin Selection
There’s an appropriate moment to perform spins, flats, and slices. However, some players select inappropriate padel movements.
The Different Types of Padel Backhand
You can use several types of shots when you do a backhand. These include:
- Slice – You do this shot by moving your backhand from high to low. This helps generate more speed for your racket.
- Topspin – Same as topspin on the forehand.
- Double-handed – Mainly used to people used to playing tennis, or for balls that have extreme power.
- Flat – Prepare your racket at a lower height to contact the ball straight. Hit the ball low to high and finish in an open stance.
Hitting a backhand after the back glass/back wall
Another technique that you can use when playing a backhand is hitting after the glass. If you want to do so, take note of the following steps:
- Turn your feet to favour your backhand side.
- Rotate your shoulders and take the racket back.
- Move your feet to adjust to the ball’s distance.
- Transfer your body’s weight on the front foot.
- Swing the ball straight forward.
- Blow the ball in the middle of your paddle’s face in front of your body.
The Padel Volley
A volley is the strike or shot you make before the ball impacts the ground. This shot plays a vital role when playing padel.
When you establish a good volley throughout your game, you’re most likely in for a non-stop rally and set up a point against your opponents.
You must prepare yourself by pulling the racket back along with your shoulders. If you’re going for a forehand, put your left foot forward (and vice versa for the backhand shot).
Afterwhich, swing your racket and twist your shoulders to approach the ball. Always ensure to blow it in front of your body for a strong block.
Types of Padel Volleys
There are several kinds of volley in padel. To ace these padel shots, you must master the fundamentals of a volley.
These four types of volley would require you to master the basic shots first:
Reactive Block Volley
A player usually plays this if the opponent quickly attacks the ball and when they’re near the net. The goal of this shot is to return the ball quickly to the other side.
The shot is quite similar to the block. However, you are given the time to readjust your stance. You’ll be able to direct the next ball away from your opponents.
The traditional way of doing a block is called a standard volley. It forces your opponent to return weak shots to set up your point.
The best way to counter a soft shot is to aim for a powerful backswing. This allows for favourable racket speed and enforces a fast volley. An aggressive volley can help you win a point right away.
The half-volley is unlike the usual volley, where the player hits the ball mid-air. In this case, the ball is contacted after it has bounced off the ground.
The shot is often used as a defensive shot. However, other players can use this as an offensive shot against opponents who think the rally has ended.
The half-volley is done using the backhand and forehand. To create a backhand volley, you must wait for the ball to impact the ground and blow it with your backhand side.
A padel player can use a backhand volley as a base. With this padel shot, they can perform other types of volley.
If you want to perform the backhand volley, you must master the techniques:
- Prepare your racket in an upright, ready position.
- Turn your racket back along with your shoulders.
- Step one leg forward and keep a diagonal stance.
- Create a short swing to approach the ball.
- Keep your racket with an open face and blow the ball in the middle of the racket.
- Swing and follow through with the ball, and regain your balance.
Common Mistakes when playing Padel Volleys
While some find doing volleys easy, others find it difficult to execute. Common errors committed when a volley is played can be the following:
Mistake #1: Ready-to-Volley Stance
Some players keep their padel rackets too open by holding them horizontally with open shoulders and wrists. However, keeping a continental grip is essential to get more options in returning the ball.
Mistake #2: Standing too Close to the Net
This causes the player to have less reaction time to volley when they meet a lob from their opponents. Keeping distance from the net can help the player smash the ball.
Mistake #3: Standing too Far from the Net (?!)
It might sound odd as mistakes 2 and 3 here are opposites of each other. But it’s equally common, as in an error that players stand too far from the net. If your volleys often end up in the net after your opponents play a hard backhand or forehand, you need to move closer.
Standing closer to the net also gives you the opportunity to “knock” the ball out of the court if the return is poor.
Volley to the fence
The crosscourt volley to the fence is played when the opponent’s position is thrown off at the back of the court.
With this shot, you’ll be able to make an easy volley near the fence on the side court. You’ll also have more space to play with compared to a drop-shot.
Volleying to the fence can be a safe shot when played with a flat and a little slice. The ball may pop up the fence. Yet, your opponents will still have less control of their shots.
PRO TIP: Attack the ball with backspins to keep the opponent from getting the point back.
Should I play a flat or sliced volley in padel?
Certain situations require you to play a flat or a slice in your volleys.
When contacting a ball with a flat, there’s a tendency that the ball will bounce off the ball. Hence, when doing a flat, you need to make it quick.
You can consider playing flat when your opponent is forced against the wall as they return your deep shot. You can also use this when your rival approaches the net.
On the other hand, playing the slice can be useful in giving a difficult ball for your opponents to return. You can also use this to win points as you slice towards the fence.
Before you play the slice, you must gauge the type of ball you get. If you receive an easy ball, you can aggressively blow the target.
How to hit a great first volley
Knowing the basics of doing a volley allows you to make other types of volleys in your game.
You should also take note of your ready-to-volley position. You have to turn your racket back as far as your shoulders can extend.
Your feet’s position also matters in playing a volley to gain control of the shots and accurately direct the ball to the right place.
As previously discussed, you must put a foot forward depending if you’re doing a backhand or forehand. This will help you create an attacking shot.
Some players have difficulty killing the ball even if they’ve already met with an easy shot. Hence, practising a good killer volley would help you win points in your match.
Tennis players tend to do volleys to get past their opponents. However, the case is different in padel. Volleys can help in setting up a point for your team.
In doing a killer volley, you need to secure the right amount of speed, spin, and direction for your ball. You also have to make certain that your opponents are out of position.
You can either blow the ball using a flat or slice to send the target off the glass for the shot to die off. You can also hit a flat if you see your opponents pressed at the back of the court.
Block volleys are helpful shots in counterattacking aggressive hitters on the court. With proper technique, you’ll be able to execute this to your advantage.
You’ll be able to guess if your rival will hit the target hard through their body’s position. With this, you should already prepare yourself to block and save the point.
You can prepare by split stepping with the racket positioned near your chest with a small gap. Standing in front of the second post is essential to gain space to move forward or back.
You can also cut the angles of your opponents as you approach a few steps closer to the net.
The Padel Lob
A lob is another important shot in padel. You can use this to change a match’s dynamics and throw off your opponents’ position.
Unlike other padel shots, blowing a lob means contacting the ball at a lower level. You’ll then finish by swinging the racket high up.
You should also remember to bed with your knees as you prepare to make a lob.
Why is the lob important in Padel?
Doing a lob shot is advantageous in taking the net position and changing the game dynamics.
You can force your rival to press themselves at the back of the court to give you time to take a few steps forward.
If you encounter aggressive hitters who throw fastballs, you can slow them down with a lob. They have to wait for the ball to go down. This gives you time to recover.
How to play a great lob in Padel
There could be many things to do to improve your lob shots. However, two things we recommend to play a great lob are:
- Play Lobs on Easy Balls – By doing so, you’ll gain more control over your shots. This also helps in maintaining the ball’s accuracy.
- Contact the Ball’s Underside With Your Racket’s Holes – With this, you can control the height and direction of the ball effectively. It will also result in soft landings and less rebound at the back wall.
Different types of Padel lobs
There are two types of lob you can use in your game: High lob and fast lob.
- A high lob is a great defensive shot to make it difficult for your opponent to aggressively smash your returns.
- A fast lob can be a great attack shot when your opponents stand close to the net, leaving a space at the backside.
Why should you play the high lob in Padel?
The main reason to play a high lob is to regain position by the net. This shot is especially helpful when your opponent consistently throws smashes and Bandejas.
You’ll be given ample time to reposition yourself by doing a high lob. You’ll then be able to return difficult shots to the other side.
Where to aim with a lob in Padel?
You can target the ball in three lob directions: Crosscourt, tight down the line, and the middle.
- Cross Court – This gives you more space to work with your lob. It’s also difficult for your opponent to do Bajada while easier for you to execute a Bandeja.
- Tight Down the Line – Unlike cross court, you’ll have little space to do your lob in this direction. But, this makes it difficult for your rivals to make technical balls and smashes.
- Down the Middle – This direction could make it easy for your opponents to do a bajada. In cases like this, you must do more fast lobs than high lobs.
The Padel Smash
A smash is one of the most aggressive shots you can make in padel. This is used to close a play while the player returns attack shots to their opponents.
You’d tend to smash the ball hard when you came from a tennis background. However, this is not the right way to do it, specifically in padel.
How to hit a padel smash?
You must remember not to hit the ball too hard when doing a smash. You also have to ensure where you contact the ball and how you intend to do your smash.
If you aim for a topspin, ensure that you brush the ball away with your racket. In doing a flat, you must hit the ball a little bit to the side.
It’s also important to decide whether you want to direct the ball toward the fence, in the middle of the court, or the corners.
The different types of padel smashes
There are several types of smashes that you can play in a match. These include:
You can do this shot when you’re at the further backside wall. You must blow the ball lightly if you’re near the net. You should also hit the ball by the top end of your racket.
This is often played when the player is on the right side of the court. It’s also possible to do a Gancho when the opponent lobbed crosscourt or down the line.
A flat smash is done when the player aims to finish points. Ideally, you should hit the ball as high as possible to hit the glass at a high angle.
Top- and side spins are important to be integrated into your kick-smash. You have to spin your ball towards the back wall slightly higher point. Players use this shot if they want to throw the ball out of the court.
When to use power in your padel smash
When you’re used to playing tennis, you also have the urge to throw the ball hard. However, that is not always the right thing to do in padel.
There’s always a good time to make a powerful smash. If you know when to use power in your padel smash, you’re likely to get this to your advantage.
When your opponents are positioned at the back, you can perform an aggressive smash to end the rally. You also have great chances to ace a powerful smash if you’re near the net.
Receiving a soft and easy ball from your opponents is also an opportunity for you to smash the ball aggressively. Otherwise, you can opt for a defensive smash instead.
Defending the padel smash
In a game, it’s always possible for your opponents to throw a smash right at you. Hence, it’s also important that you know how to defend a smash.
Unlike tennis, you don’t aim to block the ball while standing. Instead, you have to let the ball hit the back wall.
Observing your opponent’s body language is also helpful in telling what type of smash they will throw.
With this, you’ll be able to know how you can counterattack their shot. You can either hit the ball before or after the wall.
When you see your opponent aim for a smash, move a few steps forward immediately. Ideally, you move towards the side wall to allow the ball to get past you.
Through this, you can hit after the ball bounce off the wall. You can also avoid it bouncing right at your foot.
However, an exception to this rule is when your partner is moving forward towards the net and when both of you are pressed at the back.
Common mistakes when hitting a padel smash
A few common errors padel players make when they aim for a smash are:
Mistake #1: Wrong Shot Selection
Players risk doing this if they are unaware of other shots to perform a smash. When you’re out of position, there’s a tendency that your opponents can attack the ball, and you won’t have time to catch it.
Mistake #2: Incorrect Contact Point
Some players may not know the appropriate contact point for each smash. This can make them lose control of the ball, and it will go off in the wrong direction.
Mistake #3: Wrong Smash Direction
When the ball is hit with a flat, there’s a possibility that they direct the ball at the centre. This is the easiest position for an opponent to counterattack the ball.
The Padel Return on Opponent’s Serve
The padel return is a shot you make after an opponent has served the ball. Essentially, you should be positioned 2/3 feet after the service line.
It’s also important that you know your rival’s service, especially their intention as they serve.
The return in Padel
There’s a great chance your rival intends to hit the ball at the glass or directly to the T of the field.
Either way, you must quickly decide how to return the ball. This way, you can prepare yourself by being in the right stance.
How to hit a perfect return in Padel
To secure a good return, you have to decide which shot is appropriate for easy and difficult shots.
Players from the World Padel Tour would sometimes integrate lobs or Chiquitas in difficult returns. With this, they can slow down the pace of the game.
Throwing the ball at the feet of the server is also beneficial. There’s a big gap between the server and the net compared to their partner.
Where to hit the return in padel
There are three main points that you need to remember when doing a return:
- Aim for a simple shot when your opponent threw a good serve against the glass.
- Make a lob shot and direct the ball towards the server’s feet if it’s a good serve on the T.
- Throw a powerful return if the service resulted in an easy ball.
Returning after the glass
Many players find it hard to make a return if the ball impacts the glass.
One thing you should remember in cases like this is to move forward. You must move away from the glass to allow the ball to come to you.
You should keep your racket low when the ball rebounds off the side wall. Blowing your racket under the ball would then help it cross the net.
When to use the lob return
One of the most used types of return is the lob. It helps the player take over the net position after service. However, there’s always a perfect time to use a lob.
In some cases, you’ll be required to make a defensive lob. It would help you regain the right position on the net, especially when the service is directed towards the T.
An attacking lob would sometimes be necessary if your opponent gave you an easy serve or when the ball didn’t hit the side walls.
Best time to slice at the back
Slices are great for keeping the ball low. But, it’s not always ideal to integrate this into your play.
The best time to slice at the back is when the ball is thrown above your chest level. It’s also ideal when you’re aiming to shoot a bajada or when the server threw an easy ball.
Play a flat if you see that the ball is low on the ground. Playing a slice would cause it to slow down and go lower than intended.
Advanced Shots in Padel
Now that you know the basic shots in padel, it’s time to UPGRADE your game!
These advanced padel shots can help you throw difficult balls at your opponents. You can use these to your advantage to win more games if executed correctly.
The Chiquita in Padel
One great shot that you can use to step up your game is the Chiquita. It’s a shot that will oblige your opponent to go lower than the net.
Learn this shot to buy some time and gain net position after a difficult shot.
What is the Chiquita in Padel?
Chiquita is a soft shot played by padel players to get the ball at a low height. This directs the ball to land on their your opponent’s feet.
A key to playing this shot is maintaining the right speed. Don’t hit the ball too fast or slow!
Playing this type of shot is helpful in:
- Changing the pace and dynamics of the match
- Hitting the ball into the open space
- Pushing opponents to move forward to gain a chance for an easy lob at the back
- Forcing a short or high ball from opponents
When to best use the Chiquita in Padel
The best time to use the Chiquita is when your rival throws an easy ball at you.
Do not play this shot if you’re pressed at the back glass. By doing so, you might fall short on crossing the ball beyond the net, given that this is a soft padel shot.
If you ace this shot, you can force your opponent to swing a high ball. This will allow you to come after an aggressive shot.
How to master the Chiquita shoot in Padel
You can use the Chiquita to turn the game to your team’s advantage. Hence, mastering this shot can help you ace a point!
Always remember to play the Chiquita as soft as possible.
When you play this shot with the perfect timing, you’ll be able to buy enough time to readjust your position by the net.
Otherwise, you are forced to defend the shot at the backside.
You should also know the right ball to play. Sensibly choose the ball that would allow you to play a slow and soft hit.
PRO TIP: Focus on blowing flat at the ball instead of integrating spin to gain control.
Watch this video to learn more about the Chiquita:
The Bandeja in Padel
Padel players who aim to hit a shot between attack and defence use the Bandeja.
Master this move to take advantage of average players. Such a shot will result in difficulty in returning balls.
What is the Bandeja in Padel?
The Bandeja shot is one of the most difficult shots to master among other padel shots.
However, when executed right, the player can force their opponent to step back and throw defensive shots. From there, they’ll be able to continue their attack blows at the net.
To do a tray shot, you’ll have to ensure to do the following conditions:
- Turn your body sideways as you see the ball approaching
- Move a few quick steps back
- Position your paddle on top of your head
- Keep your chest to face sideways while your arms are in an upward position
- Keep your feet steady as your shoulders rotate for a swing
- Blow the ball at the middle of your racket slightly above eye level
- Step back to recover your net position
There are two techniques that you can use when playing a Bandeja: Chest and arm.
This is ideal for beginners to control the ball and direct it towards the corner. In doing so, you need to keep your racket high up with your arms straight. Attack the ball with a high forehand volley.
This is a more advanced technique where the player aims to brush the ball away from the outside.
Your racket should be positioned behind your head with your elbows slightly bent. You then swing your paddle in a throwing motion.
When to best use the Bandeja in Padel
The best time to play a Bandeja is when your opponent throws a high ball. This shot will help downplay a difficult ball to set a point.
Depending on how you play your shot, you’ll be able to control the rally or increase the ball’s speed as your opponents gain net position.
How to master the Bandeja shoot in Padel
It takes PRACTICE for a player to ace a Bandeja. A key to successfully playing this is quick footwork and a good stance.
If you want to master the Bandeja, you have to master its basic techniques. It’s also important that you follow the steps covered in the previous sections religiously.
You can opt to practice with a coach from any padel school or look for videos online to help you with that shot.
How to hit a good bandeja in padel?
The Bandeja is a great defensive smash, especially in countering lobs with too much depth and regaining net position.
Here are three tips to improve your Bandeja shots:
- React quickly and prepare your stance as you see your opponent doing a lob
- Contact the ball in front of your body to guide the ball in your intended direction
- Move back forward after hitting the ball to regain net position
If you’re worried that your opponent might counter your shot, there’s a way to bypass that.
Switch from defensive to attacking stances by directing the ball to the corner or the middle of the field.
The former forces your opponent to go for a defensive shot while the latter moves them out of the net position at the back wall.
My bandeja bounces too much and is too high!
Some players find it hard to keep their Bandejas low. Most probably, they are committing errors as they play.
Common mistakes made by padel players in a Bandeja are:
- Hitting the ball behind the body
- Hitting the ball too high above the head
- Blowing the ball too hard
- Directing the ball towards the wrong swing path
To ensure that you won’t cause your ball to bounce too high, you must take note of the following:
Tip #1: Move back to the wall
When you see a high ball. With this, you can ensure to contact the ball in front of your body. It’s also easier to aim for your target at a forehead or eye level.
Tip #2: Take your racket as far back as you can
This gives you a high-to-low swing path. You can also release a powerful swing easily when needed.
Bandeja – Play it Differently in Right vs. Left Position?
There would be different outcomes when the Bandeja is played on the right vs. the left.
When you’re positioned on the right side of the court, you have to ace the shot perfectly to set up the point. This also allows your partner to follow through with an aggressive shot.
You must also raise your contact point to minimize the gaps on your right.
If you’re playing the Bandeja on the left, you must adjust quickly. As you throw the ball, move backwards fast to hit a Bandeja. It’s relatively easy for you to do with your open side.
This video can give you good tips on playing a Bandeja:
The Drop Shot in Padel
Another advanced padel technique is the drop shot. It is played to catch your opponents off-guard with their delayed reaction time.
Ideally, you perform this shot at medium speed while blowing the ball at waist level. The ball should then land against or near the base of the fence.
You have to be CAREFUL when doing a drop shot. As the ball goes slower, your opponent has enough time to counter it.
Hence, it’s important to ensure that you’re rival is nearly pressed at the back glass.
How to hit a great drop shot in padel
When you secure a great drop shot, there’s a huge possibility that you also finish a point in a rally.
Essentially, you DON’T hit the drop shot when you are positioned behind the second post. This will give your opponent enough time to catch and hit the ball back.
You also have to ensure that your rivals are pressed at the backside. To do this, you have to throw deep and powerful shots to force.
By then, you can already do a drop shot.
Before you proceed with hitting the ball for a drop, you must secure that its height is between your knees and chest. It will allow you to have more control and spin over the ball.
When to hit a drop shot in padel
Only hit the drop shot when:
- You’re positioned far forward from the second post
- Your opponents are pressed back
- The ball is on or slightly below waist level
This video can give you good drop shots tips in padel:
The Bajada in Padel
The Bajada is the shot played when the ball has rebounded from the back glass.
Ideally, you hit a Bajada when the ball is above head level. You should also stretch your arms straight to generate more speed for your paddle.
When to use the Bajada in Padel
You can use the Bajada to your advantage when your opponent throws a high lob at you.
It’s also especially helpful if the ball is REBOUNDED off the glass!
When the ball lands at the centre field, and you can’t use your forehand to counter, you can use the backhand Bajada. This is also applicable when the ball approaches the left side.
Where to aim the Bajada in Padel
Ideally, you should hit the ball in front of your body. To do this, you must move behind the ball as quickly as possible before it even hits the glass.
You can then opt to aim your shot at the centre field, crosscourt, or down the line. In some instances, players would choose to do a lob.
When you decide to play a lob after the glass, you can aim to direct the ball in the middle or on the open side of the court.
How to avoid hitting the net with my Bajada
When you play the ball, you always want to ensure it crosses and doesn’t hit the net.
If you think you’re at risk of hitting the net, you can opt to do an intentional lob instead. This allows the ball to go above the head.
Also, remember to aim straight toward where you intend to guide the ball. Being confident with your shot is key to securing a good blow!
Watch this video to know tips on how to improve your Bajada:
The Vibora in Padel
The Vibora is used by padel players when the opponent passes an easy lob towards them while positioned near the net.
You can blow off an aggressive shot by hitting the ball outside.
What is the Vibora in Padel?
The Vibora is a type of high volley shot and is usually played on the backhand side. The player integrates sidespins and hits the ball on the back glass.
When you aim for a Vibora, you must ensure to do only a little backswing. It helps prevent the ball from going out of the court.
To practice this, you must hit the ball’s backside in a chopping motion. You should also see your racket speed as it approaches the target.
When to best use the Vibora in Padel
When your opponent does a poor lob, it signals you to do a Vibora. It’s also best to use this when you’re quite far back in your court.
A Vibora is also a good alternative for a smash when the area is humid. When the ball is heavier, hitting a smash could be difficult.
How to master the Vibora shoot in Padel
Practising your Vibora shot often will help you hit great blows in your games.
You can use the back glass to help you resist the urge to do a full backswing. It’s also necessary to get used to chopping the ball from the backside.
When you have already mastered the right way of hitting the ball, you can already practice how you can add a slice.
While maintaining your stance, slice the ball directly towards the fence. Afterwards, practice integrating your read-to-volley stance with your intended Vibora play.
You can also practice hitting your Vibora as if doing a crosscourt volley. This will allow you to master great shots directed toward the centre line.
How to hit a great Vibora in padel?
Having great technique in doing the Vibora can result in great padel shots. To do so, you’ll be able to throw difficult attacks toward your opponent.
A good technique in doing the Vibora involves the following:
- Push your body back and rotate your shoulders immediately.
- Position the racket behind your head with both arms aiming high.
- Prepare your racket hand to swing through the space.
- Extend your elbow and swing your shoulders.
- Hit the ball at the centre of the racket above head level.
- Transfer weight to your front foot and move back to your net position.
What is the difference between the Vibora and the Bandeja in Padel?
The Bandeja is played as a defensive smash, contrary to Vibora, which is an attack smash. However, both the Vibora and Bandeja are played to attack easy lobs.
In the Bandeja, the player controls the ball at a slower pace at the backside of the court.
Contrary, the Vibora is played fast with more spins. The attack shot can lead to a winning point either with the current throw or the next ball.
The Ball Off the Back Wall/Back Glass in Padel, a.k.a. the Boost
One thing that’s unique with the padel compared to other racket games is the back wall. Hence, you must know how to effectively hit the ball after the glass.
You must move back and gauge the distance when hitting the ball after rebounding from the glass. This allows you to blow it off in front of your body.
After which, you come slightly forward as come for a swing.
When to hit against the back glass in padel
Ideally, before you hit the ball, you should position yourself behind it first. This way, you can ensure that you’re hitting in front.
As the ball blows the glass, you should prepare your shot. Most players would make a lob to neutralize the speed and change the game’s dynamics.
Padel Back Glass Common Errors
One of the biggest mistakes you can make when hitting the ball after the wall is not moving back quickly.
By doing so, you are likely to scoop the ball up from your back. You’ll have LESS control over the ball and its direction.
Not transferring your weight to the front and moving a bit forward will also cause you a problem. You won’t be able to create a full swing at the ball.
The Kick Smash in Padel
A kick smash can cause the ball to fly up and go outside of the court. In doing so, the player must integrate more spin than power in their shots.
You need to aim the ball towards or before the service line as you perform a kick smash. The ball should then hit the back glass.
How to smash the ball out of the court in Padel?
Doing a kick smash is not as easy as throwing the ball off the court.
- You must ensure you contact the ball with topspin on its left side. Ideally, you must direct the ball to land between the net and the service line 2 meters from the glass.
- The STANCE of your body also matters in acing that kick smash!
- You must remember to keep your legs close to each other while facing sideways. It’s also important to keep your elbow relaxed at a 90-degree angle.
- Finally, ensure that you hold your racket with a continental or handshake grip. It will give you more power and accuracy with your shot.
Mastering the topspin smash (kick smash) in Padel
Aiming for a kick smash is difficult, especially for amateur players. Hence, you must PRACTICE doing this in your recreational games.
- You can begin with mastering your topspins.
- After which, you can practice directing the ball towards the intended point and distance.
- Finally, you must take note of the correct body position and handgrip.
Once you master these, you’ll be able to perform a topspin smash effectively.
Some common mistakes are:
- Not powering with your body
- Hitting too far down the court
- Hitting too early in the court
- Not enough spin
In doing your kick smash, you should also be aware of the common mistakes committed by players. Avoid doing these to secure a better smash in your game.
Practice your kick smash with the help of the exercises this video:
You always want to step up your game every time you appear on the court. Hence, you strive to learn tricks and advanced shots to integrate with your play.
However, it’s also important to master the BASICS first.
By doing so, you’ll find it easy to transition to more complex padel shots. Knowing the fundamentals can help you do your blows right even at the advanced level.
Keep practising your padel, and you’re up for more interesting games in the future!
Frequently Asked Questions About Different Padel Shots
If you still have questions about the padel shots we discussed previously. Please see these common FAQs below:
The Bandeja is a padel shot used by a player to counter high balls. It’s the type of shot that can be played as an attack or defensive blow. Two commonly-used techniques in a Bandeja are chest and arm.
Chiquita is a soft shot performed by a padel player. This can force the opponent to catch the ball at a low height. When playing this, you need to maintain a medium racket speed.
To hit hard in padel, you need to have a proper stance. It would help if you also took your racket as far as possible to ensure a powerful swing.
Players commonly use a kick smash to send the ball off the court. To do this, you need to give the ball a topspin. You should also aim to land 2 meters before the wall for it to bounce out.
You can use the lob when your opponent is throwing fast shots. This helps change the dynamics of the game. You can slow the ball down to gain the net position.
Isabella Torres is originally from Madrid, Spain, and has been playing Padel as a semi-professional for the past five years. After completing her education as a journalist, she discovered her true passion in life was writing about Padel.
She loves staying up late watching intense rallies on YouTube, and is excited to share her knowledge about the sport with SimplePadel’s readers.