This may be a question you have already asked yourself. Why do professional players have a waiting position between shots with the pala in front of them? Here is the answer.

First course of padel and your instructor suggests that you adopt this waiting position with legs slightly apart and bent, the pala taken with both hands in front of you. You apply the coach's advice to the letter without really understanding why. Then you look at the big guys and you see them doing the same. So for sure, it's the right position. But why ?

be neutral

This is the first point. Have a neutral position from which you can access all shots. Years of experience have led champions to choose this position over another (if you have a better idea, feel free to suggest it). We take the pala with both hands in front of us, the tip of the pala being above the level of the dominant wrist.

At the bottom of the track

At the bottom of the track we will have to play a lot of balls below waist level. Why get tired by placing the pala in a high way when if it is already in the low position we will make less effort? So the pala will be placed at waist height to quickly access defensive blows.
Attention: it is not because you will place the pala in a low way that the head of this one must also be. Be stylish in the field. There is nothing graceful about a dangling pala, so the racquet head should always be above wrist height.

Net

The majority of the balls we will have to negotiate will be above waist level, so why place the pala low? We will therefore adjust the height according to the area in which we find ourselves. At net, the pala will be at chest height for quick and easy access to volleys.

Ale Galan WPT Miami on return of serve

To protect himself

How to protect yourself from a bullet that would come to your body or worse still in the direction of your face? Dodging it? Yes of course but you would need a hell of a speed of execution. The other solution is to protect yourself with the pala. But if your racket is dangling, you'll never have time to place it in front of your little face, so knockout guaranteed!
On the other hand, by using this waiting position with the pala in front, in the high position, everything will be easier for you, or at least less dangerous.

To relieve the dominant hand

This is also one of the reasons why players place the pala like this, in front of them, in order to relieve the hand and the arm which carries the pala.

Everyone is free to wear the pala as they see fit, but not relieving the dominant arm can create several problems. First of all, premature fatigue, then a bad position of the pala during the various preparations, finally the appearance of tendonitis of the elbow. This action of the non-dominant hand is very important on a track, both to relieve, to place the pala or to return to the basic position and therefore reassure oneself. Some call this hand “the boss” because it is the one who directs.

Pala positioned in front of you, hanging or as you wish, as long as you are comfortable. But know that a correct position will allow you to have the weapons to access the next level. 

Julien Bondia

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.