Do you want to play attackingly and win at the net in padel? This resource may be the key to victory in your matches, provided that you carry out the right shot before hand to facilitate it. In this article we are showing you the best ways to achieve it.
How to win at the net in padel
Going up to the net isn´t an end in itself, but rather a move justified by play that should be decisive in order to win the point. This will only be the case if, you actually execute this move at the right time, just after hitting the right shot beforehand.
Below we present 9 pieces of play for going on the attack and heading to the net on the court.
1. Serve-volley in padel
We all, in some way, feel this temptation when we serve. It is an easy way to move towards the net, but you need to ensure that your serve is good enough to move towards the net with guarantees. Ensure that your serve goes close to the “T” or the side wall and at the right speed. After your serve move forward quickly, otherwise your opponent will find it easy to respond with a return that causes problems for you.
2. Long and deep lob
This resource, well-executed, is much more effective and accurate for heading to the net. Getting past the opponent with this high and long shot sends them directly to the back of the court. Thus, they go backwards and you can take advantage of the situation to put yourself in a winning position at the net.
The best option is to execute the lob with a diagonal trajectory, never centred. Thus it will be easier for you to close down the net if the opponent hits an off the wall smash.
Consequently, what is originally a defensive shot becomes an offensive maneuver that will work very well for you if you have the right technique.
3. Lob followed by block
You need to apply this variant if the lob you hit was not properly executed. In this case, a good opponent will react by setting-up a bandeja shot prior to the ball bouncing.
In such a case, foresight is essential. If you read that they are going to react this way, quickly move forward towards the net, and by doing so, you will block their shot. Instead of a strong volley, seek the ball with your elbow in front of the ball. Keep your hand firm and move your wrist to strike with the face of the racket.
Surprise will be your greatest ally: it will difficult for your opponent to react on time. This guided return will enable you make better use of the advantageous advanced position you had obtained. And you will possibly win the point.
4. Off the wall smash
You don´t need to have hit a lob to head to the net to block a bandeja.
If you are able to hit a good off the wall smash while playing from the back of the court, you can head up to the net. This is an attacking shot that makes it possible to speed up the ball onceit has come off the wall. If you execute it well, you will manage to beat an opponent stood at the net.
As soon as the ball goes past them, quickly move forward toward the net. It is likely that your opponent will have to respond with an off the wall smash. If that is the case and you are in the right place, it will become a “gift” ball that you can finish off with a winning shot.
5. Chiquita after serve
If you are determined to play attackingly, your opponent´s serve is a good time. Especially when it comes to you comfortably. This is most common when the opponent misses their first serve and is forced to not take such big a risk with the second. Return it with a chiquita
to the area that the server has to cover, towards their feet.Thus, you force them to lift the ball... And you will be right there, well-prepared for when this happens.
Instinctively, if you feel that your return was good, move towards the net. Don´t wait to check visually, because by then it will be too late.
6. Chiquita from the back
The aim is the same: to hit the ball at the feet of your opponent to force them to lift it. If you force them to volley below the waist and feel you moving forward, it is very likely that they will rush and make a mistake.
In this case, you also need to react very intuitively and go to the net at the same time as your partner.
7. Chiquita with half volley
This resource will work well for you after receiving a bandeja shot from the opponent that comes easily to you. To prevent the ball reaching the walls, you may need to master the half volley.
If you hit your return well, the opposing player won´t have time to return to their position at the net. They will find themselves with a difficult ball between their feet and won´t manage to lift it. It is essentially a matter of technique. Do you feel ready to attempt it? If you do it well, you will end up volleying over the net or hitting a bandeja shot.
8. Powerful shot into space
Another useful option for winning at the net in padel is to take advantage of spaces with violent and powerful shots. If you have a lethal arm, executing this attack will come naturally to you.
Identify a gap on the opponent´s side of the court and hit your shot there with all your energy. You will force your opponent to retreat to the back to chase after your ball and the precision of their return will diminish considerably.
You will have time to settle at the net and finish off the point after their return the shot, if they even manage to.
9. Low play with side movement
We are going to finish with another attacking technique. It consists of launching successive shots against opponents that move them sideways. By doing so you will open up spaces and displace your opponents. With a little patience, you can go to the net and achieve your aim.
We have just shown you nine ways of winning at the net in padel in order to dominate points in a few movements. As you know, theory comes before practice, but the keys lie in training and perseverance.
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