Are you learning to play padel or are you already a seasoned player? Do you know the 3 striking heights? We tell you everything.
To learn to play padel is to start from the back of the track. Once you are comfortable with direct hits and window exits, you can begin to venture into the net and the attacking game.
Positioning yourself at the bottom of the track is not that easy. We must first have a basic location, then quickly detect whether we are going to play a forehand or a backhand before finally reading the trajectory of the ball, impacting it in the best conditions to put our opponents in a uncomfortable position.
In order to help you in this defense construction, it is interesting to understand the 3 strike heights from the bottom of the track.
It is the most complicated. It sits between the floor and slightly above your knee. Here, when you carry out your preparation, you will be able to claim to return in a “fairly” safe way. balls close to the ground sent by your opponents both directly and out of the window.
In this case we will speak of attack balls. These are all the bullets that we can impact above belt level. These high defensive balls will allow us a little more freedom to attack opponents at the net with a fast ball, a well placed ball or a lob.
We will call it neutral because it is located the height we use most often, without even realizing it, between the top of the knee and the belt. During our defense we play a lot of shots at this height for both offensive lobs and slow balls in the feet, topspin balls or simply waiting balls.
How to prepare correctly?
Difficult to know what is the best preparation for these 3 heights is not it? Here are two different ways to prepare.
The most complicated is focused on players who already have experience in racket sports and who can read the ball. The technique consists of put the pala in preparation position very early at the height of the move that will be played. Ex: you know that you will be able to attack because the ball will have a high rebound, so you place your pala above the level of the belt.
This technique is quite complicated because if you don't read the ball well, you might find yourself playing a low ball with high preparation, which may cause ineffective defense and therefore an attacking ball for your opponents.
The second is certainly the more suitable for beginner players. It allows your brain to develop a habit of preparation and therefore automate a gesture. When you have detected whether you need to play a forehand or a backhand, place your pala in the low preparation position. From there, following the trajectory of the ball and its rebound, you can adjust the preparation height to go from low to neutral or even high.
It is much easier to prepare first in the low position and then raise the pala than the other way around.
The difference with the pros
For us poor amateur players, preparing early will not hamper the end result. On the other hand among professionals, early preparation will allow opponents to read the game and therefore to position themselves accordingly.
If you dwell on the preparation at the back of the track of the WPT players you will notice that it is very late for “Hide” the move they have chosen.
Julien Bondia is a padel teacher in Tenerife. He is the founder of AvantagePadel.net, a software very popular with clubs and padel players. Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his many padel tutorials.