Enter on a track of padel, it's simple. Making the first keystrokes is also simple. But do you know your cruising speed ?
But what do they want to talk about? What is cruising speed?
When we start this wonderful sport of padel, we do not try too much tactics but simply to put the ball in the field. Then comes the desire to take stock of our opponents. So what do we do ? We speed up the pace of the ball to challenge our rivals.
The problem is that in front of us there are 2 players who want exactly the same thing as you; earn the point. So begins a battle.
So here are our little tips to master this game of chess, and it is valid for all levels of play.
- First of all, understand that when a player plays a fast ball, which is difficult for you to defend, you have to try a rather simple, slow stroke in the direction of an area without difficulties such as the center, or even a lob.
- Then, when you have a simple ball to play, be aware that at this point you may be attempting something like a fast or well placed ball, which will put your opponents in difficulty.
- Finally, know your cruising speed.
The cruising speed
We can define this cruising speed as “0 faults”. We can work on it in training but also in 1 vs 1. The goal is to know how fast you have to play to never make a mistake. You kind of become a metronome. For beginners, this pace will necessarily be slow, and it will of course be much faster for high level players.
It is therefore very important to get to know each other in order to be “relaxed” on the track. When you are able to make no direct mistakes with this cruising speed, the time has come to work at a slightly higher pace. You will realize some mistakes but in a short time they will disappear. Warning: if you go from 20 out of 20 balls in the court to 10/20, your pace is too fast. Rather, the increase in pace goes from 20/20 to 18/20. Little by little and with patience.
And in the game then?
When you're in game conditions, you'll know how fast you need to play to be comfortable. If you “overplay”, that you exceed this rate, you know that the fault will not be long. So one move played faster, yes, but several moves in a row no.
On the other hand, your opponents may not have the same cruising speed as you. They can have a slower one, a godsend because without forcing you will put them in difficulty. But also they can have a cruising speed faster than yours and it is you who will be in trouble. So what to do?
Play with your strengths. Do not enter this hellish loop of wanting to finish too quickly otherwise the match will slip away. Take the time to try to reduce the speed of each ball to get them into “your garden” at your speed. Not easy to achieve but it can work and lead them to make unforced errors. Be patient and wait for the right moment to challenge them with your favorite shots.
It's not easy, but being able to challenge faster cruising players than yours is very rewarding. And a victory, let's not even talk about it ...
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.