Tennis to Padel Part 3: Make the Transition from Tennis to Padel

Whether you are a professional tennis player looking to make a career switch to padel, or just a casual tennis player looking to swap racquet sports, there are a few things to keep in mind when making that change. While it is true that tennis and padel share fundamental skills needed to play the sport, there are a plethora of adjustments, both mentally and physically, that must be made in order to successfully make the transition.

Between adopting different training methods, developing new habits, and changing fitness routines, here are 5 strategies of how best to attack making the transition from tennis to padel.

Recognize they are different sports

The first order of business when it comes to making the transition between tennis and padel is recognizing that they are fundamentally different sports. Yes, many fundamentals are similar, but the strategy required and physical tax on your body are just a few of the big differences between the two.

One of the perks of making the change from tennis to padel is that the initial transition is pretty smooth. Because of this, tennis players may stick with their previous techniques on the padel court because it is working for them to some degree. However, to prevent a lack of development in the long term, tennis players must realize that you can’t simply play tennis on the padel court and expect continued growth. Accepting and recognizing that each sports comes with its own nuances and quirks is one of the most important things you can do early in your transition.

While the similarities between the two sports will no doubt be a reason the transition is being made in the first place, those similarities can’t be taken as a guarantee players won’t need extensive further training, which leads into the next step of making the transition.

Investing in high-quality coaching from the start

One of the most ignored steps when making the transition from tennis to padel is investing in high quality coaching from the outset. Because tennis players have the basic skills to get off the ground in padel, they tend to look past seeking out proper padel coaching, because afterall, things are going great for them. This is a crucial error.

By investing both time and money into an experienced coach, tennis players can maximize the advantage they have over players completely new to racquet sports, taking their game to a whole new level. If a player chooses against receiving proper coaching from the beginning, they run the risk of developing bad habits stemming from their old tennis techniques that could hinder their development in the long run. Further, the pre-existing skills developed by playing tennis shouldn’t be wasted by ignoring coaching. The work put into years of playing tennis can still provide value in a career in padel or if you just want to play for leisure, and a coach can help put that work to good use.

Further, by investing in proper coaching, you are doing yourself a world of good in preventing a development plateau that would no doubt come if you chose to continue playing padel without receiving any kind of instruction.

Prepare for a steep learning curve

Along with recognizing that tennis and padel are different sports, players making the transition must also understand that there will be a steep learning curve at one point or another when making the transition. The early days of your transition will most likely go pretty smoothly due to your pre-existing fundamental skills, but that doesn’t mean all of the transition will be like that.

The tactical difference between tennis and padel is a significant one, and trying to unlearn some of the habits developed by playing tennis can take a long time. Being patient with yourself and giving yourself enough time to adapt to the new sport is incredibly important in not getting frustrated with the sport. Further, the mental adjustment needed to make the transition can’t be understated. While tennis teaches you to overpower your opponent, padel lends itself more to outthinking your opposition. This subtle difference can take a long time to fully grasp and won’t come right away.

Additionally, preparing yourself for the change in technique between tennis and padel is crucial step on making the transition. With smaller courts as well as racquets, your body will be moving in ever so slightly different ways that you just aren’t used to. If you feel uncomfortable with the movements needed to play or even the rhythm of the game, just understand that it is all part of the process and you can’t rush this transition.

Overall, the early stages of the transition between the two sports can be very enjoyable, but at some point, there will be a skill or technique you just can’t grasp. However, it’s important at this point to remain patient and to persevere, or even seek out additional coaching to get over that hump.

Realise matches are as important as training

A key difference between tennis and padel is how you go about developing and improving. In tennis, relentless hours on the practice court perfecting your shots is a great way to get better. With padel, however, the majority of learning and development only comes through playing matches and learning the flow of the game.

As discussed previously, padel is a far more tactical and situational game than tennis is. Because of this, the more you can get on the court and experience match situations, the more you’ll develop a higher ‘padel IQ’ and learn how to outhtink your opponent.

For a tennis player looking to make the transition, it’s important to realize this difference. Not only will it be far more enjoyable to spend more time playing matches, but it’s also important to maximize your time spent on court, and you want to avoid wasting time practciing on your own when you could be developing far quicker by just playing matches.

Players coming from tennis are usually used to either playing loads of matches or doing loads of training on their own, when really a balance is needed. In padel, however, if you had to pick one avenue of development, your time would be much better spent playing matches and developing a feel for the game.

Don’t underestimate improvement on your own without a coach

While the importance of receiving proper teaching from an experienced coach can’t be understated, you also shouldn’t underestimate the improvement you can make using online resources. At The Padel School for example, we have an extensive library of drills and lessons that can be done on your own and really improve your game.

Furthermore, The Padel School Membership Community is fantastic resource to interact with our experiences coaches as well as a plethora of other players who are as passionate about the game as you. Through the community, you can get shots analyzed in-depth, access your own personalized road map to improve your game, and explore a library of shot techniques and skills.

Videos such as these are available for free on the Padel School’s YouTube channel which is a great resource for transitioning tennis players. This video in particular focuses on the smash and is specifically designed for players making the transition. All of these resources available at The Padel School are just examples of ways to improve effectively without having an in-person coach which may cost a lot of money. If you’re looking to seriously transform your game, head to our membership where we have an all-in-one platform designed to help you unlock your padel potential.


Overall, the transition to padel from tennis is one that is becoming more and more popular. In making this transition though, it’s important to keep in mind the differences between the sport, the different ways you can improve, and the obstacles you may face when making the transition. However, if you are mindful of these things, the transition can be incredibly fulfilling and enjoyable.


Related Posts

Become a Member

Take your padel to the next level by joining our all-in-one powerful padel coaching membership.

Stay in the loop!

Be the first to get news and updates from The Padel School and receive regular newsletters full of tips, tricks, drills and great offers.

Stay in the loop!

Be the first to get news and updates from The Padel School and receive regular newsletters full of tips, tricks, drills and great offers.