The service is a move too often neglected in training by players. We rather think of Smash, bandeja or the flight, but the service can easily allow you to quickly take the advantage.
If we were to compare service to padel with other racquet sports, it would certainly be closer to table tennis or badminton rather than tennis or squash. Why ?
Au tennis, a serve can be hit very hard, often the goal being to win the point. At squash, it is often a blow impacted violently also. At table tennis and badminton, on the contrary, we will look for different effects, depths and angles in order to hinder the opponent. A “medium” serve will immediately put the opponents in an attacking position.
To put it simply, a service game at padel will always start on the right side of the track. The server will have to bounce the ball behind the line then impact it below the level of the belt with at least one foot in contact with the ground. This service will have to rebound in the opponent's square, in the diagonal, in the direction of the windows. If you want more details on the rules of service at padel, do not hesitate to visit HERE.
What is good service?
Au padel we are entitled to a second serve if the first is wrong. The goal will be, for us players, to always try to play with a first serve. Mentally the opponents are more relaxed with a second serve return than during a first, even both played at the same speed.
Then it is important to vary. A very good serve at the start of the game can become a very bad one at the end of the game because your opponents will have understood it.
Vary yes, but how? With effects, speed, depth, directions and trajectories. Example: a flat serve, slow, with a bounce close to the baseline, close to the side window, in a curve, will give me enough time to reach my position at the net and thus cover a long line return. If you work and mix these 5 variations, you will create a huge range of possibilities.
The important thing, as we have underlined, will not be to seek to gain the point in a single blow, but to hinder the adversaries in their return of service, or better still, to allow us to reach our position of attack. to the net.
Let's start by saying that it's up to you to create your own style. Maybe you come from another sport and this experience allows you to have an efficient service. Today we just want to give you a few important keys to know so that you don't get defensive right after the faceoff.
To throw it
Always having the same throw of the ball will allow you to decline your serves in several ways. Clearly, if you throw the ball once up and once down, the bounce will be different. Our advice would be to just drop the ball from your shoulder height. So, be sure that your serve will always be in order, because after rebound, the height of the ball will not exceed the belt.
Depending on your preparation, your service will be more “security” or “aggressive” oriented. Pala positioned below belt level for control, above belt level for speed. It is important to prepare the pala before initiating the service movement so that this movement remains fluid.
It's stupid to say but take the time before each service to tell your partner the area sought. Take the time to concentrate, to breathe, to place your pala, to seek the best rebound because for this shot, you have no constraints imposed by your opponents. It's up to you.
We are all aware that as soon as we let go of the ball, it goes down, bounces, goes up and then goes down again. If we hit the ball when it goes up, we will have more speed and aggressiveness in our serve (that's what the pros do for the most part). And the higher we impact the ball, the more angle we will have. But beware, this step is reserved for very initiated players because it is not easy.
Now, if we wait for the ball to descend, we will move from aggression to control. Indeed, if we impact during the downswing, we will have to place the pala under the ball and our serve will be rather slow but well placed. We can then work on the depth, the proximity of the side window or the search for time to reach the net.
The end of gesture
This is the conclusion of our story. A story that does not end leaves the reader with a taste of bitterness.
Even if you don't want to reach the net after the serve, try to guide the ball in the direction of play at least one step, that is, passing the service line. This end of movement will always bring more precision, more effect, quite simply, more bite and elegance to your shot.
Don't skip too quickly by attempting overly aggressive serves that might get you to start the points with a second ball. Take it little by little by understanding all of the steps listed above. As soon as you have created your own services, try aggressiveness on very specific points, where the fault is, in the end, not so serious (30-0, 40-0, 40-15).
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.