What should your focus be when you step onto a padel court?
People often discover padel through friends or when a padel club has an open event – rarely through a coaching lesson. So within 10 minutes the padel players are smacking the ball up and down the court falling in love with the game. The session finishes and the next court is booked! As padel is so easy to learn people often continue these type of sessions for some time (and eventually will look to improving their game). These 5 padel tips are things you can bring in to your game early, which will help you develop your padel…but don’t worry, it will not interrupt your fun in the slightest!
Use the Walls
The walls are often the most foreign part for players learning the game. Whether players have come from tennis or with no rackets background, understanding the rebound can be difficult to get the hang of. Even squash players who often understand the principles need to be aware that the technique and the rebound is different! Players coming to padel often avoid the walls as they lack confidence, but this will only making learning that part of the game slower. So the padel tip here is to get used to using the glass!
There is a hugely satisfying feeling of thumping the padel ball around the court. The sound on the racket, the fast rebounds, the opponents (who are also new to the game) running in confusion…but padel is not a game of power. Yes, there are shots that require your maximum force, but those are only a couple. Using too much power learning the game, will likely lead to mistakes. But also when you play against better players they will just allow your monstrous groundstrokes to rebound off the glass and quite often will be better off for it! Start by learning to control the ball, before developing your padel smashes!
Play as a Team
Padel is a social sport, it is the reason it is growing so rapidly around the world. It is always played as doubles, so every time you step on court you will have a teammate! At every level of the game it is important to work well with your partner. This works at the tactical level, but more importantly at the psychological level – if you enjoy playing with you doubles partner, you will play better padel! So, while it is important to move together as a pair, cover the spaces at net etc…also remember to have fun as a team!
Get 1 More Ball IN
One of the best padel tips to improve your performance is to become more consistent. This is often the deciding statistic when it comes to matches of all levels! At the start there are many reasons to think it is good to aim to get one more ball in:
- Gives another opportunity for your opponent to make a mistake
- Gives you more practice, especially when learning
- Allows you the opportunity to get into a better court position
- Mentally makes your opponent think you do not make unforced errors
Do we need more reasons to play more percentage padel shots? As we have said before “consistency is king”.
Learn the Technique
The final of the padel tips (and probably the most important) – take time to learn the technique. Padel is a relatively easy sport to pick up, with only an entry level technique required. It means that often players do not think they need to learn the technique.
This means the player is most likely getting into bad habits! Let me tell you from a padel coach’s perspective, it is much easier for me to correct a player’s technique when they are just starting – rather than a player that has been playing for years without early guidance! This does not need to be in the form of expensive lesson and the beauty of the modern world is that you can have access to excellent advice for very little and on your phone.
The most important part of your introduction to padel is that you enjoy the game!
As a long term padel player, coach and “motivator” this is one thing I never have to worry about – if you’ve stepped on court with 3 friends and have played your first game, I have no doubt you had a good time!