Let's tackle an important theme for a better defense. The position of the body close to the ground while being bent may allow you to take theinitiative since runway background.
Defense at padel is one of the important pillars. A player of padel must make as few faults as possible to then put down his game and finally come and take the net with the offensive play.
When we are at the bottom of the runway, we tend to stay high on our legs, stiff and passive. This position means that our reaction time will be a little slower because our heels touch the ground. Being stiff, straight as a stake will make your adjustment approximate. Imagine a car without shock absorbers ...
Finally your pala. A swinging pala, with a preparation too high or a racket head towards the ground will complicate the defense. It's up to you to decide whether or not you want to make precise and effective shots.
What to do?
At first, be in a flexed position, bringing your center of gravity closer to the ground, legs apart the width of your shoulders, and the rear end (buttocks) low. With this waiting position you will gain in reactivity because your body is already on alert, you will be able to access very quickly the defense balls which are generally low balls, and above all you will be much better placed.
But what if the bounce of the ball is high?
No problem. You will find it much easier to play high balls when you start at a low position than vice versa.
The work of the pala
When working with low balls, and in order to avoid 0 control, here are our tips. First the preparation. Remember to prepare your pala backwards as quickly as possible, so your brain will have time to dedicate to placement, typing etc. This preparation must be low, under the belt, and with a maximum angle of 90º with the rear window. If you can place all of these elements, your defense will be efficient and precise when you can move forward.
But what if I have to back off?
And yes, sometimes we cannot hit the ball forward. We are in a defense position and we must retreat to impact. This will happen during service returns that touch the side window or at an extended point where your opponents have managed to get you out of your comfort zone.
The idea is to always stay with this low position on the legs, but this time your pala will come to point the ground in order to get you out of this situation with a lob. Simple, efficient and above all it saves you a little more time for typing.
Defense at padel becomes efficient, precise and gives you control over the ball when your legs are flexed. Then the preparation of the pala below the belt and very quickly will allow you to play accurately when you finish forward and with a lob when you go back.
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.