Le padel stands out not only for its technical and tactical aspects, but also for its mental dimension which is crucial for the performance of the players. The mental preparation of players padel, a sport practiced in pairs, requires a specific approach that encompasses emotional contagion, communication, confidence, concentration, and management of emotions and energy. Signed analysis Clément Dardé de Mymental.fr.

Binomial and emotional contagion

Le padel is played almost exclusively in doubles, which makes the team dynamic particularly important. Emotional contagion plays a central role in this configuration. Emotions, whether “positive or negative”, can quickly spread from one player to another, thus influencing the overall performance of the pair.

Oria Sager joy semi-final Premier Padel P1 Riyadh

Not surprisingly, scientific studies confirm that “positive” emotions such as enthusiasm and confidence can improve team cohesion and performance. Conversely, “negative” emotions like frustration and stress can have a detrimental effect, leading to errors and reduced performance. It is therefore essential for players to padel to develop strategies to manage and regulate their emotions in order to minimize negative impacts and maximize positive impacts. The preparation work then consists of becoming aware of the moments during which they are transmitters or receivers, influencers or influenced, contagious or contaminated. From this awareness comes regulation.

That said, pleasant emotions are desirable, but unpleasant emotions are inevitable, so you have to learn to adapt and work.

The importance of communication in the pair

Communication is another fundamental pillar of mental preparation for padel. Effective communication allows players to synchronize their movements, anticipate their partner's actions, and stay aligned on game strategies. Studies have shown that pairs who communicate clearly and regularly are more successful, because they can communicate with each other. quickly adjust to changing game situations. There is therefore a direct link between communication and performance.

Gil Moyano discussion Rome Premier Padel 2023

Players must learn to use verbal and non-verbal cues to coordinate their actions. The ability to give constructive feedback is also crucial. For example, after a lost point, rather than criticizing, a player can encourage his partner or suggest tactical adjustments. This constructive approach helps maintain positive dynamics and build mutual trust. Thus, a common vocabulary and body language must be built and favored. Likewise, certain words and attitudes should probably be avoided. The mental coach is there to support this construction.

Concentration: a demanding discipline

Le padel is a fast sport where points are decided in just a few rallies, and games in just a few points. Important points are frequent. Concentration is therefore essential. Losing focus for even a short while can be costly. On the other hand, the cognitive dimension has its particularity here. Between the trajectories of the ball, the movements of the players (teammates and opponents), the different elements of the field (glass, grid, net, doors, sand, etc.) the taking of information, the development of situational and decision-making intelligence seems essential to perform at a high level. Mental preparation will therefore include techniques to improve and maintain this attention throughout the match.

Visualization and mindfulness can be extremely beneficial. Visualization allows players to mentally prepare for various gaming situations, while mindfulness helps stay present and minimize distractions. By practicing these techniques regularly, players can improve their ability to stay focused even under pressure when playing decisive points.

Managing emotions and energy

Le padel is above all a game of patience and precision. Unlike some other sports where raw power can be a major asset, padel requires players to take a more thoughtful approach and have great self-control. They must therefore control their emotions to maintain their precision and calm. Indeed, any overactivation linked to poor emotional regulation can quickly lead to unforced errors, bad tactical choices and balls that are easy for the opponent to exploit.

A study ofInternational Journal of Sports Science & Coaching showed that the players of padel who are able to channel their energy efficiently, without being overwhelmed by stress or excitement, tend to perform better. Techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, and positive self-talk can help manage stress and maintain optimal energy levels.

Trust at the heart of the duo

Self-confidence is a fundamental element for any sportsman and player. padel is no exception to the rule. But in this pair sport, this confidence must be coupled with equally strong confidence in your teammate. Each player must believe in their own abilities to execute precise and strategic shots, but also in those of their partner for the team to function harmoniously. This dual trust is crucial, because the overall performance does not rely solely on an individual, but on the synergy and collaboration between the two players.

Acceptance and letting go are essential qualities to develop. A player of padel must deeply understand and accept that their success does not depend solely on their own actions. The performance of your partner directly influences the final result. It is crucial to welcome your partner's mistakes with kindness, realizing that mistakes are an integral part of playing and learning. By integrating this perspective, the padeliste can reduce frustration and create an environment of mutual support, thus promoting better performance of the tandem.

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Furthermore, managing guilt is an often overlooked but equally important aspect. When a player makes a mistake, they may feel intense guilt, fearing they have disappointed their teammate. It is vital to learn to deal with these feelings constructively, remembering that to err is human and that each player has a shared responsibility to maintain a positive attitude. Mutual support and open communication can help overcome these moments of doubt and build team resilience.

In conclusion, confidence in oneself and in one's partner, acceptance and letting go, as well as the management of guilt are pillars of mental preparation for padel. They allow players to navigate the emotional complexity of this sport, strengthen their cohesion and maximize their collective potential.

Finally, the mental preparation of players padel is a crucial aspect, all the more so because this sport is practiced in pairs. This cannot be neglected, and must even be worked with as much ambition as other dimensions such as the physical, technical and tactical. By integrating strategies to improve communication, maintain focus, and manage emotional complexity and energy, players can greatly improve their performance. THE padel requires a specific mental approach that combines these elements to enable the team to realize its full potential.

Clément DARDÉ

Clément Dardé is a mental trainer & coach, trainer & teacher. He is notably the creator of MyMental.fr