The víbora is an attacking shot, very similar to the bandeja and with the same aim, to keep your position at the net and pressure your rival. Having said that, you need a medium-high level of padel to hit this shot as it is technically complex.
To begin with, you need to be clear about the aim of the víbora and when to hit it. When you have earned a position close to the net, your aim should be to keep it in order to then win the point. It is recommended to hit the víbora to complicate defence for your opponent and get them to make a mistake or return you a comfortable ball in order to finish off the point. It is risky to try a winning shot with the víbora, it is likely that it will lead you to make a mistake.
If your opponent hits lob shots so they can try to win at the net and one falls short, in the middle of the court, that is the time to hit the víbora.
It is also a good solution if the balls you are playing with no longer bounce well making it difficult to finish off the point with a smash.
Where to aim the ball?
The idea is for you to return the lob safely and make it uncomfortable for your opponent to respond, if you aim the víbora at the feet of your opponent or the back of the court, aiming for the corners and a double bounce off the side wall and the back wall, then you will make it very difficult for them to return, and they won´t be able to attack, so you can keep your dominant position at the net.
Preparation or waiting phase:
Before hitting the víbora:
- Focus on the trajectory of the ball that the opponent has hit to you.
- Move into the position you have read as quickly as possible and using short side steps.
- Follow the ball with your gaze, it may help you to point at it with your left hand (right hand for left-handers).
- To set-up the shot you need to bring your elbow to shoulder height and the racket behind your head.
- You need to position your body completely sideways, looking at the side wall.
- Your left arm should be perpendicular to your hitting arm (the other way round for left-handers), NOT pointing at the ball as is often said.
Once you have set-up your arm, it is time to strike
- At the point when the ball is falling you need to extend your arm, calculating the point of impact at face height.
- The ball needs to be separated from the body and you need to strike the side of the ball, aiming to get round it in order to put a lot of spin on the shot (the point of impact for the bandeja is the bottom of the ball).
- As you move the arm holding the racket forward, you need to shift the weight of your body forward and the other arm needs to follow the rotation of your body.
- You need to finish the shot with the racket at the height of your left shoulder (right for left-handers).
Once you have finished the shot, remember to reposition yourself to continue playing. If you hit a good víbora continue to put pressure on at the net as if your opponent can return it then it won´t be with an attacking shot.
In the video attached to the article you will see, in great detail, how it is done by three padel geniuses, Agustín Tapia, Mapi S. Alayeto and Miguel Lamperti.You can also be interested in:
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