The tray shot is one of the most important shots in our sport, most used and that generates more discussions as for its execution. The tray shot is not a definition stroke, and due to its skill, much more simple than other shots, it is going to be most used during the game. It is a safety stroke, which is used without looking for risk and which gives game volume if it is well used. On having had a shorter position of the arm, it provides assurance and precision in the execution of the point.
Due to this, it provides the following advantages to us:
- It transmits assurance in its execution.
- It helps us to preserve the net, since it allows to reach most of the passed lobs.
- It facilitates to change the direction of the shot in much, from a good work and placing of legs with regard to the ball.
- The game volume increases, since it is the simplest shot.
- Well executed, it helps us to maintain the rival in a defensive position.
The fact of being an a bit simpler stroke and without too many difficulty of executing it, turns it into a very important “weapon” of attack. In the explanation of the technique of execution of the stroke, we will see why it is simpler than other shots and therefore more used by the players.
TECHNIQUE (right-handed player)
Always setting off from the basic waiting position in the net, we will realize a half turn to the right, so that we are well sideways with the racket prepared behind. This position of the body, it must form between the left hand that points at the ball, the head and the right arm with the racket, the perfect one “W”. After obtaining this position, we begin the side displacement backwards in search of the ball, with the separated legs and a little flexed. On the other hand, the right leg, which is the one behind, will load with the weight of the body during the displacement.
We stop the movement in the moment in which the ball remains a bit advanced and to our right, while we aim at it with the forefinger of the left hand.
As soon as we manage to reach the ball, we pass the straight paddle towards ahead striking with the arm almost widespread. In this moment the weight of the body goes from behind forward, accompanying the movement.
The impact is made on the “5 o’clock” to give the ball a backspin. Thus, the effect that we generate provokes that the ball strikes a low rebound in the wall, which would prevent the response of the rival. Finally, the acceleration of the blow begins from the right shoulder inwards, to try to “wrap” the ball with the racket. In case of wanting to play the flat tray, we must impact the ball a little further on, realizing a movement of “pronation “of the forearm, so that the racket goes perpendicular to the court ground.
After the impact, we must accompany on the body the direction of the blow, which will facilitate us a rapid raise to the net. For his part, the racket, which must continue with its movement from out inwards, finishes below and to our left. Often, one does not give the most minimal importance to the latter phase, and it is thought that after the impact the blow has already finished. But, far from it, it is not even like that; we must bear in mind that the completion of a blow is the one that will help us to control and to give it depth.
Most frequent mistakes
- To step back looking in front.
- To prepare the racket far behind.
- To flex much the arm on having assembled the blow.
- To run under the ball.
- To keep the legs extended without loading the weight in that of behind.
- To strike very far from the body.
- To drop very much the ball.
- To slacken the wrist in the moment of the blow.
- Not to pass the weight of the body towards ahead.
- To approach the ball very far below.
- To fall down backwards.
- To finish the blow upwards.
- To finish with the body in the place of the impact.
- To end with the racket downwards.
- To stop the racket after the blow.
When we speak about the direction of the tray shot, we might say that it is a blow that gives us many variants, due to the simplicity of its skill. Anyhow, we will always be ruled by the “geometry”, since if we try impossible directions, surely that we will miss more than usual. Unlike other smash shots, we can use the tray shot from any place of the court, since on having executed it without much speed, the possibilities of success increase. Here also we must be attentive to the game tactics, since although we have a lot of possibilities of putting the ball in any place, if we play in the wrong direction we will be giving to the opponent too many options for its response.
If the player strikes close to its side glass, that is to say with more angle, it will be able to direct its shot in direction of the “corner” of the opposite side. At the same time that he will be able to play, on the feet of the defender and to the center of the court with the same security. If he was trying the blow in parallel from this position, in addition to having a lot of risk in the shot, he will be leaving the whole court “free” so that your partner covers it, therefore tactically it is not a good option.
On the other hand, if the player strikes from the T, he will only have security of shot if he does it between vertex and vertex of the opposite field. The best option in this case, will be to play on the feet of the rival that he has in diagonal, or a slow ball on the center of the court. As in the previous case, if he executes its shot in parallel, it would be leaving very free its side, giving the opportunity to the rival to make use with a shot of little difficulty.
In the concrete case in which the lobs are very past and we had necessarily to jump to reach the ball, the body would realize necessarily a rapid movement towards ahead on striking, to give major depth to the ball and to reach before to the net. The target here will be only to maintain the attack position, therefore the ball must go quite deep and in direction of some of the angles of the court; this way we will be forcing the rival to let it through and will gain time to reach the net.
Anyway, if we can avoid to jump to execute the tray shot it would be much better, since we would be more firm to shift the weight of the body ahead and would come more rapid to the net to take the position.La Bandeja The Tray Shot A Bandeja Le Smash Plateau Il Vassoio Tablett