This is a question that comes up regularly among rather beginner players who find themselves losing to pairs who spend their time on the baseline...

Au padel, we tell you from your first shots of the ball: it's at the net that you win the points. If this is absolutely true from a certain level, it is not always the case for those who discover our activity.

The situation is as follows: you and your partner face two players who are content to stay at the bottom and who despite this manage to gain the upper hand over you. This frustrates you, even annoys you, and you look for a solution to get out of this nightmare. Here are some tips that could save you in such a case.

Stop making mistakes

If your opponents manage to dominate you by staying at the bottom, it is probably because you are making too many mistakes. Clearly, they are certainly saying to themselves “no need to do more, we push the ball and we wait for them to make a mistake”.

So the first thing to do is to concentrate on putting the ball in the court, and only take the winning shot when you really have an interesting ball to play.

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This goes with not making mistakes. Concretely, your rivals are at the bottom, you are in an attack position, so there is no real danger. If the players you face are capable of stringing together winning points from the baseline, it's because they are probably several levels above yours and unfortunately there won't be much for you to do... But in other cases, you should be able to get by.

Don't let frustration get to you, keep your cool and everything should be fine. These instructions are also valid whatever the level as you will see here.

Analyze the strengths and weaknesses of your opponents

Now that you are calm, relaxed and have understood that being at the net is an opportunity, you will have to seize this opportunity. Rather than putting too much force into your arm strokes and risking making mistakes, move your legs and add intensity to your movements.

Then, test your opponents: force them to play sometimes before the glass, sometimes after and see how they react. If they are tennis players who are very comfortable playing direct, force them to play after the glass. If they are squash or Basque pelota players who do very well with the windows, try having them play live. Also see if one of the players is more likely to give you easy points and if so, target him. Basically, take as much information as possible and apply the tactic that makes the most sense to you.

Make the defenders move

If your opponents are so comfortable, it's because you're not bothering them enough. Still without taking too many risks, try to make them move, to tire them out to force them to give you easy balls. You can destabilize the defense by playing the angles, the grids or towards the feet. Also don't forget the center, the famous divorce zone. Furthermore, try to avoid bouncing too high after the glass. In short, keep your opponents under pressure as much as possible.

If it's within your ropes and only if you have the possibility, sometimes try a dropshot or a quick smash (the famous winter smash that you will see explained below) when the players are very deep to force them to move forward, to get out of their comfort zone, but also to sometimes transform the spaces they leave you into winning shots.

Don't refuse the fight

If your opponents manage to beat you by staying at the bottom, it is because they have a good rhythm and are able to keep the exchanges to a minimum. Clearly, to win this game, you will have to accept the fight. You will have to fight, force yourself to always play one more ball, but normally, with this advantage of being at the net most of the time, you should be able to win this battle. Remember, the padel is a game of patience and at the amateur level, the pair that makes the fewest mistakes almost always comes out on top.

We summarize: don't get frustrated, don't let your annoyance take over, be lucid, ready to put up a big fight, and play intelligently. After a while you will find faults in your opponents, gain confidence and they will be forced to adapt. Be the ones to make them realize it's okay while at the net that we win the points padel !

Xan is a fan of padel. But also rugby! And his posts are just as punchy. Physical trainer of several padel, he unearths atypical posts or deals with topical subjects. It also gives you some tips to develop your physique for the padel. Clearly, he imposes his offensive style as on the field of padel !