April 24, 2024

Saluti Law Medi

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Padel playing tips for beginners: how to get started

It’s been said that it takes only 10 minutes of playing padel to make a decision on whether you love or hate the racquet-based ball sport. While the complexities of the game can make it challenging, it’s also a fun, social and accessible activity that has the dual benefit of providing a real workout.

So if you fancy trying this fun sport, which is already played by more than 25 million people worldwide, then make sure to read the helpful tips below before you hit those first balls over the next.

A padel match in progress

© Jaime De Diego/Red Bull Content Pool

01

Watch matches and how to play videos

The best way to understand padel, from the rules and the tactics to the type of shots to hit, is by seeing a visual representation of the game, whether that’s by watching a match or an instructional video. It may be a little confusing at first, but you’ll soon gain an understanding of the game and why it is similar to both tennis and squash.

A targeted warm-up before a padel match will help prevent injury and could mean the difference between victory and defeat. It’s therefore essential to spend five or 10 minutes before a match to warm-up the muscles and joints. You also want to do plenty of stretching, as the muscles in your neck, shoulders and legs will see plenty of action.

03

Use the right equipment

Having the right equipment will make you play better, and that means having the right clothing, shoes and most importantly the right padel racquet for your level of play. Padel racquets have a short handle and a foam core and are classified around type: Diamond (greater power), Teardrop (Control and power) and Round (greater control). As a starter, don’t go for something complicated. Beginners should go for a round racket with a soft core.

The padel racquet

© Jaime de Diego/Red Bull Content Pool

Playing padel also puts an incredible strain on the Achilles’ tendons. Many players new to the sport will just choose tennis shoes as they see the two games as similar. But that’s a mistake, instead, choose specific padel shoes from recognised manufacturers as they’ll offer maximum comfort and cushioning that is specific to the stresses that a padel player undergoes.

04

It’s all about playing as a team

Padel is largely played as a doubles sport, so it’s good to find a playing partner who’s also new to the sport. This way you can learn the game together, understand the importance of teamwork and get to know the nuances of the game. Playing in a group can also make it a lot more fun when you’re just starting out.

Padel is usually played as doubles

© e|motion/Bildagentur Zolles KG

Don’t overcomplicate things too quickly. Just play the basic shots – serve, forehand and backhand ground shots, volleys and lobs – over and over again in matchplay or training drills. By doing this your feel and technique for these will improve and you keep the ball in play longer.

06

Don’t be scared to use the walls

Once you’ve learned the basic shots, it’s time to move on to making use of your surroundings. Because padel is played on a court with four-metre-high walls, playing the ball off the wall is a major part of the game. When you first start out it’s a good idea to pay attention to the behaviour of the ball when it hits the wall. Not only in terms of the direction but the speed. This will help you learn to anticipate where the ball will travel and arrive in plenty of time for your next shot.

07

Try lessons with a coach

Like in any sport, coaching helps. If you take some lessons you will be able to improve your technique, discover how to perfectly position yourself on the court and find out some of the main tactics involved in the game.

A coach will improve your game

© Gianfranco Tripodo/Red Bull Content Pool

It can be tempting to try and hit the ball as hard as you can, but in padel that’s often not the best idea. Instead it’s important to learn about timing when hitting the ball, especially when trying to hit a return or overhead smash. In the beginning it’s all about getting a feel for the ball and controlling it. Once you’ve mastered that, then you can unleash some power.

Touch and feel can be just as important as power

© Jaime De Diego/Red Bull Content Pool

09

Play on both sides of the court

Positioning on a court is an important part of padel when you play with a partner. So try to play on both the left and right side of the court. This will help you better understand the different positions you need to take in gameplay. It will also help you improve your forehand and backhand, as well as determine which side of the court you’ll be dominant in. A forehand player is normally on the right side of the court and a backhand player on the left.