Le padel is an strategy where it is essential to take theoffensive. From the bottom of the track it is very difficult to gain the point so it is to the net that will have to be imposed on us. Let's dissect together the forehand volley.
The fly ? It is simply the realization of a stroke without the ball touching the ground. Your opponents hit the ball and you manage to take so much time away from them that you hit it before it bounces.
Where to be to make a volley? We can say that there are two schools: that of the purists and that of the revolutionaries.
Very close to the net, the volley will be aggressive, often hit hard, straight. We will find ourselves less than 2.50 meters from the net.
With this type of player, the goal will be to prepare the attack, regardless of the position. They can just as well make a volley at the baseline, close to the net or even in "No mans land".
You've chosen your position, now you have to make up your mind to impact the ball. How to do ? First of all, there are several steps to understand.
La premiere is to stop you before the opponents touch the ball. If you are in motion as the player strikes the ball, you have a good chance of realizing the foul.
La second is that the volley is an attacking blow that must be prepared with the pala above the level of the belt. Your waiting position should therefore be with the pala held with 2 hands, in front of you, at chest height. This waiting position will not only allow you to access the volleys faster but also protect your body or face.
La troisième is that the head (top) of your pala should always be placed above the level of your wrist. This way you will be able to print the effect without hurting your wrist. A low pala will make you make a blow which will tend to rise, with a high rebound, which will facilitate the attack of the adversaries.
La fourth step is you have to meet the ball. Remember, at the back of the track, in a defensive position, we need time, and for that we tend to take our first step backwards. Here it is the other way around. We have to meet the ball in order to take time on the defense of the opponents.
La fifth and last step is the curve that you are going to give to the ball. It can be straight and very aggressive or even curved, slower but well placed to vary the pace and especially to move our opponents while keeping them at the back of the track.
We kept the forehand volley gesture for the end because, in our opinion, if you have grasped the game of positions and the 5 technical steps, the gesture will be less important. Just because you don't have the skills of the greatest players, doesn't mean you can't volley. Quite the contrary. Create your own style of volley.
Let's talk about the perfect style, the one that exists in all good learning books and all good online tutorials.
- Waiting position with the pala taken with both hands positioned in front of us at chest height.
- Legs shoulder width apart, slightly bent.
- When the opponents impact the ball we will perform a recovery of downforce otherwise called "split step".
- Following the resumption of support we will present the pala in front of our body in the direction of the ball, pala head above the level of the wrist.
- If the ball to be played is low, we will bend our legs to always have the pala above the wrist.
- Before impact we will use our legs to meet the ball. For a right-handed person, we will take support on the right leg. It will be interesting to work on this support, that is to say to remain in balance on this leg in order, at the moment of the impact, to put more or less weight of the body in the ball.
- The impact will be made with either the left leg in the air, or the left leg on the ground, or with the left leg touching the ground at the time of impact (right-handed people).
- In terms of the arm, you will have noticed that the preparation is short since we have placed the pala in front of us. So after having touched the ball, we will have to accompany it in the desired direction.
- For more efficiency, the end of the movement will be done with the pala oriented towards the sky, type server tray, so our ball will have a less important rebound, which will force the opponents to bend down.
The forehand volley at padel should not be confused with that of our neighbor tennis. In tennis, once at the net, the point must end under penalty of being punished. At padel This is not the case. Taking the net allows you to take the offense and control the point. It is therefore necessary initially to have enough control to keep the adversaries at the bottom of the track, to put them in danger to finally give them the final blow.
It is therefore a game of patience in which your body will have to evolve. Positions on the track, front-to-back balance management, balance control and stroke speeds.
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.