La grid at padel is part of the game. rebound capricious who can put in difficulty your opponents or on the contrary, put them back on the right track. Let's see this together.
Working your opponents by playing balls towards the grid can be a formidable weapon. Compared to the side windows, the grille favors finicky bounces that can save you the point ... but not that. So, depending on the moves you have to make, is it better to play the grid or not?
On the fly
You are close to the net and you have volleys to achieve above waist level. You are quite comfortable and can put some rhythm into the ball. Why look for the grid when your opponents are at the back of the track? You are the master of the net. If, in this dominant position, you try to hit the ball against the grid, what could happen? Ideally, the ball bounces down and you win the point, sure. But considering the height of the impact and the speed at which you are going to impact the ball, there is a good chance that the ball will bounce upwards. after touching the grid. Result: your opponents who were pushed to the bottom, will be able to impact the ball in front of them and come and disturb you.
In this case it is different. You have a ball to play below the level of the net. Chances are your opponents are already racing forward. Seeking to play the grid, in this position, allows to open the angles, to slow down the speed of the ball, and after rebound on the grid, to have a random trajectory for the opponents, allowing us to regain control of the point .
Played slowly, the volley towards the grid will have more interest.
If you are right handed and playing right on the track, looking for the grid will be a nice option. The fact that the ball is impacted in a cut or brushed way, during its descent, will allow a hazardous rebound on the grid. So be careful, at high speed the ball may be able to be retrieved, but in building your point, vary your bandejas between the rear window, the side window and the grille, will become a major asset.
Right-handed to the left or left-handed to the right, the smash to the grid must be part of your repertoire. Played slowly, it allows above all to retake the net while disrupting the attack prepared by your opponents. The more powerfully it is played, the less effective it will be. Slowly, with a topspin effect, the ball will tend to bounce back to the ground after hitting the grid.
It also exists the smash that first bounces off the back glass, then crashes into the side grilles. Do not hesitate to use those shots which force the opponents to turn on themselves, to run forward and to manage a “fuzzy” rebound on the side grid. Of course, there is a chance that the ball will come back to your court, but since the player is completely outside his comfort zone, it will be easier for you to finish the point.
The gates at 3 meters
It is possible to look for the smash in the direction of the grid at 3 meters, above the rear windows. Would that be a good idea for a smash? Certainly not, because it is better to look for the par 4, the smash where the ball comes back into your court, or the smash worked with effect. Play this high grid is interesting on a lob. You are at the bottom of the track and you are playing a high ball. If you succeed in making that after the rebound on the ground, your ball touches the grid at 3 meters, it will be easier to take back the reins of the point.
From the bottom of the track
No no, we haven't forgotten that slow ball you love to play from the back of the track towards the opposite grid when your opponents are at the net. This is the perfect plan to put pressure on and dislodge the volleyball players. The angle you give the ball, the speed (often slow) and the slight topspin effect mean that your opponents have to impact the ball while backing up. Be careful though because this is a move where the margin of error is not large, so it is better to have a good hand to try this kind of thing ...
Conclusion: should we play the grids?
Of course, because at padel, it is necessary put all the assets on our side to disrupt the opponents and build our point. But remember, however, that a ball at the grid must be played with intelligence. Indeed, a ball played without tactics and with too much speed could make you lose the advantage in a point ...
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.