Savoir vary the pace of a match to do it toggle on our side is not to chose easy. here are some advices who can certainly help you.

Remember those matches of the great champions who found their backs against the wall with even match points against them, and who managed to turn the situation around to finally leave with victory. This situation is not reserved for the best: it can also be seen at much lower levels. But how can you change the rhythm of a match?

The very first mistake would be to believe that in a country, a region, a city or a club, everyone plays the same way. We often hear that the French game is very fast, aggressive, the Spanish game is error-free, the Argentinian game is relaxed, etc. Basically it's true, but in detail, each player has his own style and must be able to express it. This is why it is interesting to know the game offered in various countries to be able to counter it with your own weapons and not try to copy the style of others.

So this requires above all mastery, control, experience. That's what we're asking players to do, to create their own padel, with their desires, their technique. From the moment you play calmly and are comfortable with your shots, you will be able to vary and offer different things to your opponents.


What to do if it plays too fast?

This is often the case in Northern Europe. The points are very short because everything happens very quickly, and as we believe that arm wrestling is the best solution, we do the same. Result of the races? Either it's a winning point or it's a foul. We end up with a not very interesting match which lasts 30 minutes.

When it plays too fast, the idea is to slow down or wait to wait for the mistake. Not simple, you say? In defense, try never to volley at shoulder height. Volleying at waist height or below net level does not allow for power, so if you can force your opponents into these situations, then you can start working. If players tend to hit all your lobs, deprive them of high balls for a while. Later you can try to make them play higher again, maybe they will get frustrated and start making mistakes. If you play outdoors, do not hesitate to vary the heights of lobs because a player may be comfortable with balls rising to 7 meters but will be uncomfortable with balls at 9 meters (see article on the candle lob).

Another tactic would be to “charge” the player who hurts you the least for a while. His balls being easier for you to negotiate, you can then allow yourself to attack, to assault, to put under pressure the one who was hurting you until now.

And in the net?

Tell yourself that when you are at the net, you are in control of the game. If your opponents are playing very fast and take the ball early, let them get excited. First, maybe you will need to step back a little, move away from the net, to better read the trajectories. Just put the ball back in and wait for the foul. Remember that among amateurs, you generally cannot hit more than three balls at high speed from the baseline without making a mistake.

If, on the contrary, you are faced with players who are playing too slowly for you, try to get into rhythm, as soon as possible, by looking for a simple area where you can increase the speed of the ball.

“Don’t fall into the opponent’s rhythm”

This would be the sentence to remember. Each team must know its rhythm of play, the one that allows it to play comfortably. In front of you, most of the time you will find teams with different rhythms. From the start of the match, try to impose your rhythm. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. And when it doesn't work, you have to react quickly, otherwise either the games will go by, or you will fall asleep losing against players less strong than you, but more cunning.

Knowing how to vary the pace means above all having the technique necessary to adapt to any phase of play. Work on ball control and not power in training, so you will broaden your technical and therefore tactical range. for beautiful rhythm variations. Go!

Julien Bondia

Julien Bondia is a teacher of padel in Tenerife (Spain). Columnist and advisor, he helps you play better through his tutorials and tactical/technical articles padel.