Au padel we often insist on holding one's diagonal. In defense as in attack, it's a bit of a base. But why couldn't we play in parallel?
Playing diagonally is a good tactical basis which avoids opening the track, which allows your partner not to be surprised by a change of direction, and above all which allows you to show the opponent in your diagonal that you accept the fight. But, both in defense and attack, it can be interesting to play in parallel at certain times.
You are positioned in defense and you hold the diagonal. Why not try, as soon as you have a ball to play in front of you, towards the side window, a fast ball along the grid? And if the opponent lets it pass and goes to defend out of the window, you will have plenty of time to get to the net. The mistake would be to hit while advancing: if the player lets it pass, so much the better, but if he volleys, you are “done”.
Another possibility: when exiting the window which would be closer to the side window. If you accelerate along the grid, you will never have time to attack, but with a chiquita, you can simply cross the line, do your support and put pressure on the opponents.
Finally, another option would be the lob. Still with a ball played towards the side window, you attempt a tense lob, not very high, which will push the opponents towards the back of the track. If you have the eye, this lob will happen as soon as the player gets closer to the net, so you will have more space.
In summary, playing parallel from the back of the track is more effective with balls hit close to the side window. The angle allows you to do this and if the opponent lets the ball pass, with the spin, the latter will tend to stay close to the lateral limit, which is good for your counter-attack. In the event that the opponents manage to volley, the ball will either go towards the center or in the maison of your partner. So no big risk taking.
As for the attack, it's slightly different. We will be able to play parallel when we have a high ball to play from the center. We will attempt a quick, aggressive shot towards the first back window. This will be the most frequent and most effective case.
And if you play bandejas in the diagonal which do not endanger the opponent, you can change direction to seek the parallel. This can relieve you and create panic in the opposing organization.
Then you can play parallel when the diagonal defender puts pressure on you by coming towards the net. You play parallel, deep and slow, thus stopping the advance and the assault.
Playing in parallel, yes, but not just any time. As you will have understood, playing in parallel involves risks and you therefore cannot do it all the time. You will need a minimum of control and technique to be able to place the ball in a specific area, especially when you are close to the net.
A tip: start by changing the direction of the ball when you are at the back of the lane, well placed and in a good position. You will have more time to think, more control, so you will be more efficient and will be able to see the damage you will cause. Go!
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.