The lob is one of the shots that any player of padel must know, use, and if possible, master. But know that there is not just one type of lob. Let's find them.
When we are beginners, when we have never touched a racket in our life, when we enter a court, very often the lob becomes the solution to keep the ball in the court. With practice, we use it perhaps a little less to opt for the attack. A good thing, but it should not be neglected because it can become a good tactical ally.
When to play the lob?
This is certainly the question that everyone is asking. In fact there is no rule, it's a bit depending on the mood and the game of each. On the other hand, it is interesting to understand that we must play a defense lob in difficult situations and an attack lob when the situation is more comfortable.
The defense lob
This is where we'll start. Imagine that you are positioned in “the house” or comfort zone and that your opponents force you to play a ball outside, away from it. To have time to recover, you will play a high ball which will give you time to return to the safe zone.
This type of lob is also used when we have to impact the ball going backwards, or simply when the ball to play is too complicated. The defense lob can be used to buy time during enemy attacks. Your tactic is to play the volleyers and then cut the rhythm with a defensive lob.
The defense lob can be used at several heights. Outdoors no worries, we can play it very high, but indoors we will have to reckon with the ceiling and surely with a ball played live by the opponents.
In short, as you will have understood, the defense lob is above all used to recover a position lost in defense by forcing opposing players to return to the bottom or to play a high ball.
The attack lob
No more looking for height, the goal here is either to push the opponents to the bottom of the track, or to force them to play a bandeja. For this type of lob, we will be placed in the house at the moment of impact, which means that we will have more control over the ball.
The idea will be to play more on the depth, on the precision, than on the height, in order to prevent the attackers from having the best attack position. If the lob is well played, the opponents will have to return to the bottom of the lane with a ball to be negotiated in the corner.
This attack lob appears in intermediate level players who are beginning to implement a game tactic. Volleying opponents below the level of the net and then pushing them back is one of the game options.
Work the height
It's more of an outdoor tactic than an indoor club, the fact of vary the height of the lob. You will find that some players are programmed to play bandejas following a certain lob height, but when that changes they are completely lost, realizing the foul or giving you an attack ball. Do not hesitate to play with the weather conditions, the light... in order to disturb your opponents as much as possible by making them "outsmart".
The lob at padel is a difficult move as it requires precision and technique when used offensively, but quite simple when used defensively. Well placed in your comfort zone, in danger far from your home, indoors or outdoors, it's up to you; the lob is a game tactic of the padel which absolutely must not be neglected.
Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very popular with clubs and players of padel. Columnist and advisor, he helps you to play better through his many tutorials padel.