If you’re a current or former tennis player and now starting to play padel, you’ll understand that there is a transition period to go through. You might even be experiencing it at this very moment in your padel journey!
Tennis players arrive on the padel court feeling confident – they can hit great volleys from the net, have a natural ability to smash and hit solid groundstrokes from the back. However, it is apparent pretty quickly there are many aspects of padel that aren’t so easy for tennis players. In this article we will discuss those aspects and more importantly, suggest ways to help overcome those struggles so you can transition to padel fast.
If you’re a tennis player going through the transition to padel, at the end of this article you will be armed with three tips to padel-ify your game as quickly as possible.
If you’re avoiding the glass at all costs and wishing it never existed, you’re in good company because almost all tennis players feel this way at the start of their transition to padel. You might hear coaches telling you ‘the glass is your friend’ but when starting out, the glass always feels like the enemy!
Now…before you think we may have a magic solution to this, spoiler alert: I’m afraid we don’t. Even worse, we also agree that the glass is indeed your friend!
However, here’s how you can master the glass as fast possible. Firstly, use it as much as possible particularly during training and when warming up. Try to use the glass at every opportunity. You will make mistakes, but the more you can use it and learn, the faster you’ll master it.
Secondly, learn the correct techniques early on through either in-person or online coaching. We built our online membership platform for players to access all the information they need to master every padel technique at the click of a button. We have courses designed specifically for mastering the glass – check out the platform here. Better still, you can even send in your clips of your shots to our coaching team and we will give you feedback to improve!
Lastly, have patience with yourself. Getting through the frustration of learning the glass is key and you just have to be persistent. Trust me, with the right advice and practice, you will get there!
The overhead in tennis is a point finishing shot and one you put all your power into to win the point. As a result, in tennis when you are lobbed you only have one option in your mind and that is to smash the ball hard!
As for padel, when you are lobbed, you have several overhead options to choose from. Further still, at higher levels you can be lobbed several times per point so it requires rapid decision-making.
If you’re transitioning to padel from tennis, there are two key things you need to learn on the overheads as quickly as possible. The first is spend time learning the techniques for the overheads such as the rulo, vibora, bandeja, gancho and the topspin smash. This will require repetition and the right coaching advice to get the correct technical foundations in place.
The second is understand when the right time is to use these overheads in a point. Again this requires not only practice, but also guidance from an experienced coach. With these two aspects in place, your overhead game will go up a notch.
Don’t be fooled by this aspect – it’s absolutely vital if tennis players want to transition effectively to padel. This is perhaps the most important shift tennis players need to make when learning padel and possibly the hardest habit to break.
Tennis players are used to trying to finish points quickly through using power. If you bring this mentality onto a padel court, you will find out pretty quickly – especially at higher levels – it doesn’t work.
Instead tennis players need to have more patience and understand that padel is more about manoeuvring your opponents to make a mistake, rather than winning through pure power!
The fastest way to shift your mindset is first simply be aware of it. Be aware you might have a tennis mindset and try to apply more patience in the point. And then play as many matches and game situations as possible, aiming to implement more of a ‘padel mindset’ in the process.
Enjoy The Process
If you’re a tennis player transitioning to padel, enjoy the process as much as you can. With the right advice and persistence you will make the glass your friend, master the overheads and develop a padel mindset. If you’re looking for the right advice, we are here to help!