Are you starting to learn how to play padel? Do you often find yourself wondering how can I improve my padel skills? Well, look no further. With the warm weather approaching and as the courts begin to dry off, we are all eagerly awaiting the new season and have created an easy beginner’s guide to padel full of tips to improve your padel skills ahead of spring. In this guide, we explore some of the main things to remember when learning to play padel as well as some of the common mistakes made by padel beginners.
First Tip for Padel Beginners – Learning Basic Positioning
Learning your basic positioning play can help you to avoid some of the biggest mistakes made by padel beginners. No matter what training or background you have, by learning the right tips on positioning in matches your form is very likely to improve.
There are 2 main things to focus on with regards to positioning when learning how to play padel:
- Avoid No Man’s Land – No man’s land in padel is obviously quite self-explanatory. It consists of the area of the court that no man – or player – ever wants to be. It is an area within the padel court situated between the white line and the net position. It is important to avoid this area as you allow yourself to become more vulnerable within the area and this is where you will likely lose a point, or several, due to opponents being able to exploit this area as it is tricky to defend and volley within no man’s land.
- Run to the Net at the Correct Moment – Running to the net in padel opens you up into an excellent position to pressure your opponents with a combination of volleys, bandejas, smashes and a multitude of other aggressive shots. It is a common belief that 90% of all points in padel are won at the net. The best times to run to the net are after the serve, if your team lobs the opponent or if you hit the padel ball past the line.
Second Tip for Padel Beginners – Learn The Walls
It can often be difficult to learn how to use the walls to your advantage when you begin to play padel, particularly for tennis enthusiasts. It is a natural instinct to run back with the ball rather than remaining where you are or in some cases moving forward. It is essential to learn the walls in padel to boost your skills. This is because the wall can be your friend, if you know how to use them correctly, and can help you to earn a number of points as you become a more advanced player.
Below are some beginner padel tips for learning the walls:
- Stay relaxed – Take regular breaths and ensure you are aware of your surroundings at all times
- Prepare the racket early – Ensure your racket is operating at peak performance and don’t forget to hold the racket correctly
- Consider the depths and pace of the ball you are using – Padel balls which are harder and deeper will result in a bigger bounce
It is important to remember to watch out for the spin – when the ball is played with a topspin, it will rise off of the wall. On the other hand, if the ball is played with a slice, then it will go downwards off of the wall.
Third Tip for Padel Beginners – All About The Continental Grip
The continental grip is a little more technical to learn. If you haven’t already mastered this technique, it can often take a few weeks to get into the swing of things.
The benefit of the continental grip is that it allows you to execute some of the more technical shots in padel a bit easier. As you advance and improve your padel skills, you will find that you will need some of the more technical shots depending on your opponent, so it is good practice to begin learning the right habits for Padel.
Main benefits of learning the continental grip:
- It allows you to increase your spin
- It provides enhanced acceleration
- It will help your technique across the majority of your shots.
- It will give you the best dexterity and manoeuvrability.
Fourth Tip for Padel Beginners – Play With Consistency, Consistently
When you play padel consistently, this results in a good rhythm and creates great momentum. This will help you don’t get out of practice and ensures you will be more prepared than your opponents. Playing padel with consistency will help you to ensure you start to win more matches.
If you focus on your pace, positioning, momentum, surroundings and concentrate on hitting every ball back with as few mistakes as possible, then you are almost guaranteed to win more games of padel. You may even find yourself beating people on the same level, or perhaps those even better than you. Simply put, you could play an opponent that is technically better than you, but could beat them simply by making sure you return more balls than them!
Remember to play the middle as this area is low risk whilst offering high rewards. Many players find that they leave a ball that is going down the middle because they anticipate their partner is going to return the ball. Flipping this around on your opponent and playing down the middle can be an easy way to score easy points and can leave you scoring points left, right and centre, or in this case, mainly the centre.
In the instance that you play a shot down the line and it goes wrong, the ball will most likely go out of play, by hitting the side wall first.
To recap, the benefits of playing the ball down the middle in padel are that it bodes a low risk whilst opponents can often leave the ball due to a lack of good communication.
Fifth Tip for Padel Beginners – Watch Your Pace
A common mistake for padel beginners is hitting the ball too hard during shots. It is actually possible to play a whole game using just 50% power on your shots, and still win the game.
There are only a small number of scenarios where hitting the ball with force is required. These include:
- The Kick Smash Shot
- The Flat Smash Shot
- The Aggressive Vibora/Bandeja/Volley Shots
It is unlikely that you will encounter these as a padel beginner. Instead, it is beneficial to focus on a variety of other factors, such as:
- The Net game
- Building Up Technique
An easy way to think about this is to consider how hard you can hit the ball, and then halve that. This will be the ideal pace to play padel.