Use Grid can become the key to get out of a match that seemed hopeless. How to play it et how to defend it ? We guide you.
Have you ever tried to play the grid? From the back or from the net, when we attack, playing the grid is quite attractive and impressive at the same time because we don't know what will happen next. When we defend it's exactly the same reaction; the fear of losing the point due to a rebound, or the fear of leaving pieces of carbon from your pala on the road…
When to play the grid?
This is the first question to ask. First you will be able to find the grid which is in your diagonal more easily than the grid which is on your side. Then the more angle you have the easier it will be, and finally, the more time you have, the more angle you will have.
So let's take as an example a right-hander posted on the left at the back of the track. When will he be able to play the grid? Directly in the forehand it will be very difficult because it is unnatural. Backhand perhaps because the angle will allow you to get this short cross zone. Those with a two-handed backhand should have an easier time lifting the ball with their wrists. For a one-handed backhand, it will be better to wait for a slower ball with more bounce, which will allow you to better adjust your attack to the grid.
Coming out of the window, we will have a problem on the reverse side knowing that the grid will be behind us. The only solution: the ball which will bounce at the level of our left shoulder and which will give us the angle and the sufficient height to lodge the ball at the grid. This shot is very difficult, but so spectacular… On the forehand side, it's much simpler because even with a medium rebound you can hit with enough time to work with your wrist and find the best speed and the best angle.
On the fly, finding the grid will be easier when you have the possibility of impacting the ball above the net. Forehand or backhand cross volleys, the important thing is to hit the ball well in front of you to create an angle. For a right-handed person, the bandeja or víbora will be good opportunities, when you have to play them close to your own grid, to find the opposite grid in your diagonal. For left-handers or right-handers posted on the left, finding the grid will be done with the “rulo” or the slow smash also from a position close to your grid or window for always the same reason: the angle.
How to play the grid?
You can play the grid with several effects: cut during volleys or exits from high windows, lifted during balls from the bottom of the track or for “rulos”, flat when exiting from low windows and brushed during víboras. The rebounds will all be different depending on the effect of course but above all depending on the area of the grid affected, and that is impossible to define. On the other hand, we can say that depending on the speed, the ball will be easier to play or not for the opponents.
By testing on the track we discovered that at low speed, out of 10 balls played to the grid, the defender and his partner saved 8 which is huge. On the other hand, as soon as the ball hit the grid at high speed, the curve was reversed with only 3 balls saved by the defenders. So the faster it is, the harder it is to defend.
How to defend the grid?
The first thing to say is that the grid is defended by two because depending on the rebound it may be up to your partner to recover the ball. Then you have to let the ball bounce with the pala placed down, ready to impact. If you run towards the gate, you risk damaging your pala. So for low balls, pala down, and without rushing, you let it bounce.
For higher balls like grids after a smash that has bounced off the back glass and is coming towards the net, it will be much more difficult. Try to find yourself behind the ball, and when it hits the grid, wait for it above your belt and then…let luck do the talking. Finally, during the “rulos” one of the techniques consists in preventing the ball from touching the grid and therefore taking it directly. But in the event that it comes into contact with the metal, your partner should be ready to defend.
Playing the grid or knowing how to defend the grid can help you tip the match on your side. You have been attacking towards the back panes so far and lost the first set, now the gates take the lead in the second set. Sometimes, in defense, you have all the rebounds in your favor and bring back all the balls, which makes your opponents trip!
The grids are therefore a good way to bring chance and good fortune into play. padel. Use them wisely and don't hesitate to congratulate your opponents if you can't defend, this will save you unnecessary irritation! Let's go!
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.