7 padel tips for beginners

24.5.24

Are you a beginner in padel? It can sometimes be frustrating to invest countless hours before you can keep up with your more advanced mates. Of course, practice makes perfect, and you need to play a lot to eventually become really good. However, a few handy tips can't hurt to speed up this process. In the video below, you'll be given 6 tips that will help you feel more confident on the court as a beginner!

Tip 1: Make sure you have the right equipment.

Feeling comfortable with a good racket in your hand can lead to better shots and fewer mistakes. In padel, we distinguish between three types of rackets: round, teardrop-shaped, and diamond-shaped.

Generally, round rackets are recommended for beginners. This is because the balance is lower in the racket, providing more control and making it easier to hit the ball back due to the larger hitting surface. The downside of a round racket is that you typically have less power behind your shots. However, manufacturers are addressing this issue with material adjustments. Round rackets are not only used by beginners; many top players also feel comfortable using this type of racket.

Diamond-shaped rackets are generally best suited for highly technical players.The hitting area is smaller and concentrated at the top of the racket, making it more difficult to hit the ball well. But if you hit the ball with the so-called "sweet spot," you also give the ball a lot of power. This is probably not the best recommendation for beginner players.

The drop/teardrop-shaped racket is a good combination of both types, designed for power and control. This is why it's the most popular racket among most padel enthusiasts.

It's advisable to try out different rackets that you can rent at the courts a few times to see which one you feel most comfortable with before making a purchase. Looking for padel rackets? Check out Padelstore.com for rackets and more padel gear.

Tip 2: Ensure the Right Grip for Your Racket

The grip of your padel racket plays a crucial role in your performance on the court. It's essential to find the right grip size and type that suits your hand and playing style. A proper grip allows you to have better control over your shots and reduces the risk of injuries such as blisters or wrist strain. Grips come in various sizes and materials, so it's essential to experiment to find what works best for you. To determine the correct grip size, hold the racket in your dominant hand as you would during play. Place your non-dominant hand's index finger in the space between your fingertips and the base of your palm on the racket handle. If there's little to no space, the grip is too small, and if there's a significant gap, it's too big.

The ideal grip size allows for a comfortable hold without your hand feeling cramped or slipping during play. Additionally, consider the type of grip material that feels most comfortable for you. Some players prefer overgrips for added cushioning and sweat absorption, while others opt for replacement grips for a more tailored feel. Experiment with different grip sizes and materials to find what works best for you. Your local padel club or sports store may offer grip customization services to help you find the perfect fit. Remember, the right grip can significantly impact your comfort and performance on the court, so don't overlook its importance in your padel journey!

Tip 3: Ensure Proper Positioning

Achieving the right positioning on the padel court can be challenging for beginners. Maintaining the correct distance when striking the ball is tricky initially as you adjust to the game's speed. One tip is to stay in constant motion and remain on your toes to pivot and change direction quickly. This approach makes it easier to be in the right position when hitting the ball—neither too far nor too close. Practice staying mobile and maintaining a balanced stance to improve your positioning skills over time.

Tip 4: Utilize the Glass Walls

The utility of the glass walls is often overlooked by many novice padel players. The initial instinct (perhaps from experiences with tennis) often prompts you to hit the ball as soon as it comes towards you. Becoming adept at using the glass walls is essential for a padel player. By allowing the balls to bounce off the glass first, you have more time to react. This also slows down the pace of the ball, enabling you to position yourself better and return the ball with more control.

Tip 5: Not every ball needs to be hit hard

Het kan verleidelijk zijn om elke bal die je krijgt keihard terug te slaan of smashen. Naarmate je vaker speelt zul je erachter komen dat dit niet de beste tactiek is. Ervaren spelers zullen de bal namelijk eerst tegen de muur laten stuiteren om vervolgens de bal te retourneren. Daarbij is de kans op het maken van fouten groter wanneer je alles hard probeert te slaan. Probeer meer met controle te slaan en op je techniek te letten. Het spel vertragen met een lob is een van de beste manieren om een bal te slaan. Het geeft je wat extra tijd om jezelf goed te positioneren en tegelijkertijd drijf je de tegenstander van het net af. Het slaan van gecontroleerde ballen kan je helpen beter in je spel te komen en daarbij zal je tegenstander gek worden dat je alles terugslaat. Laat die ander maar de fout maken!

Tip 6: Bend Your Knees

Bending your knees is crucial in padel. It helps you maintain balance, generate power, and react quickly to incoming shots. By bending your knees, you lower your center of gravity, making it easier to move laterally and adjust your position on the court. This flexibility also allows you to absorb the impact of the ball better, reducing the strain on your arms and back. Whether you're preparing to serve, return a shot, or move to intercept a ball, always remember to bend your knees for better performance and injury prevention.

Tip 7: Take Padel Lessons

Perhaps the most valuable tip for beginners is to invest in padel lessons. While playing casually can be fun, structured lessons with a qualified coach can significantly accelerate your progress. A padel instructor can teach you proper technique, footwork, positioning, and strategy tailored to your skill level and playing style. They can also provide feedback and guidance to help you address weaknesses and refine your strengths. With regular lessons, you'll build a strong foundation, develop good habits, and gain confidence on the court much faster than through trial and error alone. So, if you're serious about improving your padel game, consider enrolling in lessons and watch your skills soar!