We’ve seen before how to handle a game of Padel with inferior opponents, because from every game you have the opportunity to take something good and learn from others as well.
So let’s take a look at a series of tips to make sure we bring home the best possible result!
a) You’ll probably lose, so at least have fun.
Twists and turns can always happen, but as a general rule, if our rivals outplay us by a lot, we are more likely to scrap a defeat. This knowledge should help you play loosely and without pressure, the perfect conditions to let your arm go, giving you the opportunity to play at your best and… see how it goes. The fun with these ingredients is assured, so you are assured that no matter what the outcome, you will have the satisfaction of having played a good game.
b) Exploit the lightness of the opposing pair
Just as you know you have rivals superior to you, in all likelihood your rivals will know they are superior to you, and this often leads opponents to enter the field with less intensity, let’s say with half-hearted commitment.
For you, on the other hand, it is important to enter immediately at your best in order to take advantage of any small opportunity, such as this may be. Because getting fully into the game when you’ve started half-heartedly is still challenging and, depending on the pair, can take more or less time.
c) Never give yourself up in padel.
Maybe knowing that you’re going to be up against stronger players dazzles you. Well, it doesn’t have to! As much as you’re aware that you’re unlikely to win, enter the field showing all your desire to stretch your game as far as possible and use all the time you can get to play your best. It’s still a chance to play with someone better than you who, perhaps in club games, would never organize.
d) Always analyze your opponents
Ok, they are stronger but… we all have weaknesses. Never forget to analyze your opponents’ game even when they are superior to you and find out their best and worst shots. Obviously then, your game will have to avoid serving the former and give as much trouble as possible on the latter!
If you are in a tournament and you have the opportunity to observe your opponents in another game before entering the court, do it! You have more time to decide on a strategy with your partner.
e) Choose your match objectives
As we have suggested for the games where you are superior and you risk to leave the game for “boredom”, again a good strategy is to have goals. Which do not have to do with “winning” especially when it is rather difficult to achieve. Rather they can be goals related to the number of sets (e.g. get to the third set), rather than the number of games won. Rather than the use of certain strokes or a certain strategy.
The important thing is that they are achievable, realistic, measurable and under your control (having as a goal to make ten smashes assumes that opponents raise you an eligible ball, so you do not have full control of this goal. Making ten winners does).
f) Maintain concentration
Continuity is important, all the more so in an unbalanced situation on the court. It’s quite typical to have ups and downs on the court but if you can keep it light and fun, aware of your means and play for your micro goals, you’ll have an easier time staying in the game without giving up shots.
g) Always be positive
This is good advice always, regardless of the type of game. It is especially useful here because our attitude and state of mind will reinforce or undermine that of our opponents. Being on the field disconsolate or nervous because we are losing will galvanize opponents even more, while being on the field playing it in the best mood will leave the message that we do not give up until the end.
h) Remember when you lost to a weaker pair.
In padel it’s always a spinning wheel, it has certainly happened to you to enter the field as the overwhelming favorite and lose or win with more effort than necessary. Always remember these situations as leverage to do well and do better … because we said it at the beginning: to think of winning is almost something miraculous but … sometimes miracles happen.
i) Get into the game before you take the field
If you have the chance, get to the club before the game and better yet, if you have a free field or a space where you can warm up, take advantage of it with your partner. Taking advantage of 30 or 45 minutes of activity will help you get on the field early in the game.
Let us know how you do following these simple tips the next time you find yourself in a “David vs. Goliath” match!
Happy Padel to all
by Roberta Lozza