People discover padel from a variety of ways: maybe an enthusiastic friend has dragged you to the court, or a new club has opened and there is a free taster day, or you’ve watched some exciting highlights on social media and have gone in search of a padel club etc.
It is more than likely that your first experience is not with a coach on court, but with friends or colleagues. People who passionately describe the game and their version of how to play. The primary objective of that first time is not necessarily to win the match or improve your level, it is more about learning or experiencing the game and seeing if it is something you’d enjoy long term. So here are 5 things to focus on that first time to give you a good experience of padel:
Feel the contact
If it is your first time it is unlikely you’ve ever held a padel bat before, so getting used to the weight and how the ball strike feels is important. If you have come from another racket sport the distance of the contact from your hand is likely to be different, so that also takes some getting used to.
Experience the walls
A major part of the game is playing the ball after the rebound with the wall, so allow the ball to hit the glass. Like most of the game it just takes a bit of practice to get used to it. But if you spend the whole time volleying and preventing the ball from hitting the glass it will always be a foreign concept to you. (To get an in-depth course about the Walls – CLICK HERE)
Experiment with different speeds
The game is not purely about power. Padel arguably has more strategy involved than most racket sports, so it is good to practice hitting the ball with different speeds into different areas of the court. You should also see how your opponents deal with these so you can work out which plays can be effective.
Take your time
Try not to finish the points straight away, get a feel for the tactics by using the lob, hitting slower volleys and using a variety of smashes. The sooner a new player realizes that padel is about patience and strategy, the sooner improvements will be seen.
This is by far the most important part of the game. You are learning (and most likely will be for a while), so do not worry about the result. The game is built on teamwork and socializing, so appreciate being in a partnership. It is likely this will lead to a better performance as well.