The mental trainer Jean-Michel Pequery explains to you why players sometimes break down mentally during padel and above all gives you strategies to progress mentally, improve communication with your partner and manage stress during competition.

You mentally break down

“So what does 'You're mentally breaking down' mean? Maybe we need to agree on this, it doesn't just mean that you lose because you break down, you break rackets or because you're at the end of your nerves.

But the reasons why you're mentally breaking down could also be because you're so stressed that you can't play, or because you're so frustrated with how the match is going. You mentally break down because you are incapable of having a strategy that can lead you to win the match, you have no strategy. You lose mentally because ultimately the communication with your partner is disastrous.

And in fact, all these reasons cause you to lose the match, but all these reasons can be worked on and all these reasons you can improve on. Whatever your level of play, during the match you will be subject to making choices, you will be subject to stress, you will be subject to communication with your partner, you will be subject to frustration with the score.

And so, the idea is to say to myself that, in any case, from the moment I compete, I have to know how to react to these points and how to manage my stress:

  • that I have an idea with my partner about the way we communicate
  • that I also have an idea about game plans that we could put in place, that I also know how to react to the frustration of a match.”

The mind is important

“Why is the mind so important in padel ? Because compared to other sports, padel is a sport where we earn more points from our opponents' mistakes than from our winning shots. A player like Federico Chingotto who is an exceptional defender, is renowned for the few unforced errors he makes in a match. I saw a statistic not long ago that said he made three unforced errors per match. All the rest of the time you must achieve a winning point. Do you realize how difficult it is to score 100 winning points out of 100 points played against a player like him?

And so beyond the technical progress to be made to try to reach a better level, you also have all this potential available, this potential of the inner game of emotions which will influence, in one way or another, your level. from game to match.

I see a lot of players who have incredible shots, who are super efficient. And when the match starts, direct error, direct error, direct error. For what ? Because emotionally, they can't do it, because they are stressed, because they can no longer achieve a minimum level. And besides, this is all the more true when we go down in the rankings. When we look at the small categories, the first tournaments, perhaps the P25, we realize that most of the points we win are unforced errors or most of the points we lose are direct errors.

The higher we go in the levels, the more I would even say that, under stress, the players maintain a minimum level, which is not at all the case for amateur players who, in addition to having a technique that is sometimes more delicate than the most experienced players also have less experience of competition and also perhaps less knowledge of what is happening inside them. This combination of lack of competition, lack of technical accuracy and in addition stress and choices to make, often means that the first matches are not easy for amateur players.

Progress mentally

“The good news is that, like your technique, progressing mentally is entirely possible. Thanks to better knowledge, thanks to tools, processes that allow you to prepare correctly for the competition, you can have great results. And besides, beyond the results, I think that for many competitors, it would also allow them to take much more pleasure in the match, to also have a much better relationship with their partner and in the game. team, to also react in a much more interesting way. If one is put in the fridge, how can I react to it?

You must therefore prepare yourself mentally for all these eventualities. You understood it, the padel is a very mental and very strategic game, where you cannot win alone, you must also know how to play a role with your partner. I will talk to you about it in the next videos. See you soon !"

To watch the video, it's just below!

Dorian Massy

New follower of padel, I am fascinated by this dynamic sport which combines strategy and agility. I find in the padel a new passion to explore and share with you on Padel Magazine.