Let's tackle a Thème which may not tell you much : rhythm which everyone can play, which makes you feel comfortable on a track of padel or on the contrary that we gets overtaken.
Have you ever been completely overwhelmed in a match? With opponents who are higher in level than you but where you still go for winning points using speed? And the result is that in the end it is you who are at fault...
We all have our rhythm of play
First of all, we must understand that we all have our rhythm of play, a rhythm and a speed at which we are comfortable, making very few mistakes. We could call this rhythm the “cruising speed” like an ocean liner that moves slowly but travels a great distance.
Imagine that you are on a trail of padel facing a child or a person who would be a beginner. If you have a little experience, you will be comfortable facing them and return the ball easily to end the point on a foul on their part. It's because your cruising speed is higher than theirs.
We can also imagine, so that you better understand this idea of rhythm, a formula 1. You get in and do a lap. You leave the steering wheel to an experienced pilot and he achieves the same lap, with 20 seconds less but still with the same vehicle. This does not mean that you drive badly, but that your pace is slower than that of an experienced driver. This does not prevent you from having fun on the track.
Finally, one last example padel would be at a professional level. All the players play very well, have incredible technique, from pre-qualifying to the final draw, but why are the top players in front? Because they have a higher cruising speed, so they are more comfortable than others who have not yet reached this speed, and who will never reach it for some.
Keep up the pace
So, hoping that you have understood the idea of rhythm, you can now apply your own during your match. If you find that your cruising speed is higher than that of your opponents, try to maintain it and you will win the match without too much difficulty.
If, on the contrary, you realize that your cruising speed is slower than that of your opponents, you will have to try to force your opponents to play slower so that you can fight. And that's where tactics come in.
Finally, and it must have happened to you before, if you fall into the slower rhythm of your opponents, you will "fall asleep" and certainly lose the match thinking to yourself "but why did we lose this match if we were stronger than them?”
So this is what happens if you don't play at your own pace during a match padel. Either we overplay with little chance of keeping up with the pace for long, or we get pulled into a slower pace that can cause us problems.
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.