At a competitive level there is no specific rule, there are padel players who immediately approach with a couple and others who change partners from time to time.
But when we have some goals to reach or we like to compete in tournaments and more structured situations on the court, the steady partner becomes an important weapon of our game.
It happens, however, that at some point in our journey we realize that the couple has reached the end of the line and there is no point in going further.
How to behave in these cases and how to move in search of a new couple?
First of all, it must be said that breaking up a team is not the end of the world. At the Pro level we see it with a certain habit, at the beginning of the season often are announced new pairings and indeed, if the couple then is not found (for results or character) they say goodbye well before it runs out the sports project that led them to play in the field.
In the professional world it is quite natural, they are people who live with padel and as a result of this, they must be able to achieve the desired result. At the amateur level, on the other hand, the breakup of a playing couple can be more difficult because we are often connected to our playing partner by friendship and it can be difficult to separate our personal relationship from the sporting one.
In these cases, the only advice we feel to give you is to be honest and straightforward and, above all, to learn to separate everything that is your relationship in the field with what you are in everyday life.
It can also be a good practice to keep playing, to do even small tournaments with other players even when your pair is solid. Both to open the field to the fact that you both play with others as well, and to keep your mind open to different ways of playing that you can then bring into your pair.
In fact, when we habitually play with someone, we enter into a mode of habit, oiled patterns that are always the same and that increase our feeling but can also block our improvement.
It also improves the relationship with our partner because often the confidence leads us to have a less respectful relationship with our partner as it does not happen with those we know little. Realizing this difference helps us understand what behaviors and attitudes we habitually put in place that are detrimental to our performance.
With our couple closed, how do we look for our new partner?
The first step is to know yourself.
It may seem trivial but it is not at all. In padel, what counts is the players’ complicity and ability to complete themselves, and to do this, it is essential for you to know your game well. Your strengths and weaknesses, your technical and tactical skills and an analysis of the playing habits you have cultivated with your last pair.
For example… if you’ve been playing with a lefty for a long time, in all likelihood you’ve developed a specific habit of playing the middle, both down the court and for high balls. You need to be aware of these aspects because with the next partner you will tend to put on autopilot these automatisms and awareness is the first tool that allows you to reset your schemes. Maybe on volley shots, you’re good with volleys but less good from ¾ of the court.
To find who compensates for you, you need to be clear about all your characteristics.
The second step is to know how to play as a couple
“Choose a player who is in tune with your game.”
We will need to be able to test each other on the court, work together in terms of tactics, stratecics and also give ourselves time to reset our previous settings.
We may also need to work in terms of physical preparation because we may have realized that in our previous pair our energy expenditure was less intense (always thinking of a left-handed player, as a left-handed player I tend to worry less about the right side of the court because my partner has the same facilities as me… if in the change I have a right-handed player on the right, the number of balls in my jurisdiction increases considerably).
The third step has to do with motivation
It is important to have common goals, to agree on how we want to manage our couple, how far we want to go and how much we are willing to put ourselves on the line.
Can you imagine partnering with a player who “just wants to have fun” while you aspire to rank 2.0?
The fourth is the approach to partnering
We need to adapt to our new partner and get to know them well. Knowing how we react in down moments, how we re-motivate or how we are used to coming out of negative situations, how we communicate, what we want to hear.
These are all details that can move the needle on a couple (you know Paquito Navarro and Lebron’s difficulties in finding a mate? If we can’t find a common line that doesn’t bump into each other, we’re bound to be short-lived),
You might also decide to give an old partner you’ve played with before a new chance. You already know him and some of the steps we have listed would be easier and immediate, the idea could be to take advantage of the history to accelerate the results in the field.
In this case our advice is to gather information on the path made by our potential mate, the successes and failures in which he has come across as well as what preparation he has done, what courses and what improvements he has made.
Whether it’s an old acquaintance or a newcomer never go blindly on trust, before defining the pair try to make some matches with different opponents, maybe even by level.
Because the field is always the best judge of our choices!
Good padel to all
by Roberta Lozza