- Choose the padel racket right for you
- Wear the right padel shoes
- Watch padel tennis videos
- Get a grasp of the basic shots in padel
- Take padel lessons
- Remember to warm-up to avoid injury
- The right grip
- Make your feet move
- Remember to use the walls
- Forget power
- Keep the ball in play
- Play as a team
- Play on both sides
- Play against better players
So, you want to start learning this one of the world’s fastest-growing sports. What a wonderful decision! Padel is social, it is never monotonous and is a great sport for all sorts of players!
The nice thing about padel is that it is super easy to start with. But do not worry, there is some challenge to become a master. Tips listed here make sure that you get a flying and fun start to your new hobby.
1. How to choose the right padel racket.
Choosing your padel racket definitely has a lot to do with your gaming experience. A good racket for beginners is one that is easy to play. It also helps you get clean hits while reducing any risks of mistakes.
Padel rackets come in three different shapes: rounds, diamond-shaped and teardrop-shaped. For beginners, the best is to start with the round racket that has a bit softer core.
2. Wear the right padel shoes
While playing padel you will jump, make fast movements, and sharp turns. It’s so much fun! With the right shoes that are adapted to this, you will enjoy the game even more and reduce the risks of any injuries.
It is absolutely fine to test the game for the first few times with some regular training shoes. I recommend investing in a pair of proper padel shoes. Especially if you fall in love with the game and start playing more regularly.
There are padel courts with more or less sand, which requires different types of soles for the best grip. Some tennis shoe models can work for playing padel.
3. Watch padel tennis videos
If you are looking to get even more inspiration and learning padel nuances, I recommend that you start watching videos of padel matches. Youtube is an endless source id excellent educational material, and it is also free!
4. Get a grasp of the basic shots in padel
Learning these some basic shots in padel, you will cover most in-game situations. Examples of these are forehand and backhand ground shots, volleys, lobes, and serves.
If you have played tennis or some other racket sport before, you will need to make adjustments in the technique as padel shots are somewhat different. Taking your time to learn these shots right, it will help you to become a better player faster.
5. Take padel lessons
Many players find padel via friends, family, or from an event and instantly fall in love with the sport. When the match is over, a new session is booked, and so it continues, you are hooked! It’s social, fun, and easy to get started.
If you have reached a point where you want to become an even better player, I recommend taking lessons. The quicker the better, before you build up wrong techniques and habits.
Padel lessons can be expensive in some places, and not all players can or want to splurge a lot of money. Yet, a couple of lessons are often enough to get a grasp of basic ideas. You can then practice those ideas yourself.
Or book a holiday and go learn from the place of origin. In the home country of padel, Spain, it is possible to find significantly cheaper lessons from world-class coaches.
6. Remember to warm-up to avoid injury
Like in many other sports, warming up is always a part of the starting routine. You should remember to do that before you start a match. I have seen way too many players jumping straight into a match without any warm-up or stretching. That increases the risk of hurting yourself.
Spend a few minutes doing a few warm-up exercises. Paying attention to your shoulders, neck, and legs minimizes the risk of any injuries. Another good idea is to keep a Stretch Band in your bag. With a band, you get blood flowing and your right muscles warm.
Imagine playing an intensive and fun game for two hours, especially outdoors on a hot summer day. What happens when you forget to drink your water? You get cramps and energy levels go down and you lose your concentration. Water is a great option, but even better results are guaranteed if you sip a sports drink for optimal performance every now and then. Remember to drink before the game as well.
8. The right grip
When it comes to grip, there are two things to keep in mind, grip size and how to hold the racket.
I bet you don’t want to end up with tennis (or padel) elbow? Right? To avoid this, you have to have the right thickness of the grip. A grip too thick or too narrow means that you need to hold the racket tighter and tense your muscles as a result.
Shopping a padel racket, it comes with a standard grip. You may also need to add one or more overgrips. This depends on the size of your hands. So how do you know when it is the right size? You should be able to place an index finger between your fingertips and the palm of your hand when holding the racket.
Hold the racket right way
The most used padel racket grip is the Continental grip. The good thing about this grip is that you can use it in all situations and with different types of strokes.
9. Make your feet move!
Having good footwork is essential.
With good footwork, you will reach those difficult balls. It also helps you to get in the right position before the shots. In padel, you should first move, then stop and stand still when you actually hit the ball. If your feet don’t move, it means you arrive too late to the ball and deliver less effective shots as a result.
My advice is not to stand on your heels and wait. Idea is that you are active even in situations where you don’t have the ball. Keep the weight on the front of the foot.
10. Remember to use the walls
Padel is different from other racket sports because the court is surrounded by glass walls. A lot of the game also includes using the walls to your advantage. To become a great player, you should start to learn how to use them properly.
If you have a background in tennis (or other racket sports) it might feel unnatural to hit the ball after it has reached the glass wall. I advise you to practice letting balls hit the back wall of the padel court and bounce back before you hit them. In that way, you have more time to think about your next move. Ball also loses speed when it bounces off the glass, making it easier to hit.
Walls are your friends, use the walls.
11. Forget power
I know it is tempting to power smash any easy return, but don’t do it. Padel is a game of patience and waiting for the right opportunity to decide the point. It is also more fun when the points are longer.
Padel is not a power sport. I mean sure, there are situations that need a lot of strength, but they are a handful. Using too much strength leads usually to more mistakes. When you get to study good padel players, you will notice that they will quite likely let your hard shots bounce off the glass for a simple counterattack.
The best thing is that you first learn how to play very controlled and safe shots. After you have mastered those, you should start to practice the smash.
12. Keep the ball in play
One of the best tips to get better at padel is to play more consistently and stable. Regardless of level, unforced errors are a key statistic.
There are many reasons why it is important to keep the ball in play and avoid mistakes. Remember, that returning the ball, chances are also increased that your opponent makes a mistake. Longer balls also give you more time to practice.
Finally, you also get a psychological advantage over the opponent when you return all their shots.
13. Play as a team
Why I love padel is that it is a social sport. That is also one of the reasons why it is growing so fast. You play padel always in doubles, and no matter what level you are playing, your team’s interaction has to work as well.
Teamwork is important for tactical reasons but it also affects games on a psychological level. I bet that if you like your playing partner, you will perform better on the padel court as well.
Remember to communicate with your partner during matches, and don’t forget to encourage them even when they make mistakes.
14. Play on both sides
Normally a more defensive role is reserved for the forehand player while the backhand player expects to decide more points.
More advanced players who train and play actively often usually specialize in one of the sides. As a beginner, it is a good idea to test on both sides that you see what suits you best.
There are a lot of benefits of being able to play on both sides. Besides a good understanding of what is required of your partner, it gives you more opportunities to find matches. Being flexible allows you to join matches, whether a forehand player or a backhand player is missing.
15. Play against better players
This is one of the best pieces of advice on how to develop in any sport. Learn from better players. Best option is that you find opponents and partners who are slightly higher level compared to you. Some players might not what to play with worse players, so sometimes it can be difficult to find people to play with you. Being humble and honest about your level and explaining why you want to play with more advanced counterparts usually does the trick. Let them know that you are eager to learn.
Be careful with too large skill gaps, though. Being the weakest link on the padel course is not fun either.
When you get hooked into padel, it is very tempting to play every day, all year round. But remember, too much of one thing is not good. The same goes for padel as well. That is why you should make sure that you also remember to have a few rest days here and there.
If you notice that you are not enjoying the game the way you used to or your performance is weaker, there is a risk that you play too much. Take a break to come back strong and motivated.