When do I need to play a slow ball?
The advice in padel is always to slow the ball down, but how can we do that? Sandy discusses the way to hit softly as a tactic even against fast, powerful hitters. There are some great ways from the start of the point to keep yourself (and your partner) in control of the point!
Hard hitting style
It goes about slowing down the opponent’s hard hitting style, not specifically their hard shots. A lot of people came from tennis to padel and have a hard hitting style. You want to slow down their speed by playing balls at the speed that you want. So let them play the balls that you want to play and make it a padel game, not a tennis vs padel game.
Lobs and chiquitas
If you want to slow down the speed of your opponent, you need to learn to hit lobs and chiquitas. To learn these balls, you need to learn to use the court length instead of the court width in order to change the rhythm of the match.
To slow down the rhythm of your opponent, you need to buy yourself time by allowing the ball off the backglass. The extra bounce and the rebound will slow the ball down. With that extra bounce and rebound, you will have enough time to play a ball that slows down the pace of your opponents.
A good shot to slow down the speed of your opponent is the high lob. This shot is easier to play than a chiquita, which is a more advanced skill. A high ball drops faster, so it forces a more defensive overhead, which is a slower ball to play for your opponent.
Sandy has the following tips for your return:
- Start each point slowly
- Do not hit a fast/hard return
- Play a lob or chiquita when you are returning a faster serve