In this series of articles I share with you tips that will help you win more matches and have more fun playing under these conditions. In last week’s article, I gave you some general tips on how to attack. Today I start sharing with you some advises on how to defend.
The ball is wet; your racket is wet. Result: there is no grip between the racket and the ball. For that reason, you want to avoid top spin and slice. If you do use top spin, the ball will tend to slide down to the net. When you play with slice, the ball will tend to float and fly up in the air. It may go as far as hitting the back wall. Thus, play plain; no effects. Simply concentrate on pushing the ball forward. Hold your racket firm. After hitting the ball, follow through nice and long. This will increase your precision and control over the ball.
Avoid using the wall
Yes, Norberto got crazy, you probably think. No, I did not. If you heard me coaching live, you probably know that I strongly encourage players to learn to use the wall. In this occasion I will go against my own advice: avoid using the wall. The technical reason, as I explained in an earlier article, is that when the ball –or glass- are wet, there is a very limited grip between the ball and the wall. Thus, the ball will slide down immediately after contact with the glass.
Play mini-tennis! Yes, I said it. It is a tabu. But if you want to win, under these playing conditions, do it. Just try to swing and hit the ball right after bouncing on the floor and before touching the glass.
If you have a background in tennis, you can use your tennis skills. If you don’t have a background in tennis, this is a good chance to learn to play mini-tennis in a padel court!
Positioning: stand close to the back wall
While defending, when playing padel in Holland (or any other cold country), you would typically stand about one long step behind the white service line. This time I will advise you to stand one step and a half to two steps behind the white line. Standing closer to the back wall will make it easier for you to play mini-padel. You will be able to intercept more balls before they touch the back wall. And in any case, if you have to return a ball after it hit the wall, you will be right there close to the wall to take it after it slides down.
Would you like to learn more? Then come back next week on Wednesday. I will help you improve your performance when playing under “wet” conditions.
Started playing padel in Argentina in 1987. Contributor to the structural development of the sport in Holland since 2006. University lecturer in International Business, specialized in media, sports and entertainment. Senior padel coach, sports journalist, manager and pioneer.