Where is too far back? What exactly does too close means? While there is an “ideal” padel net position, truth is the space each player gifts either in his front or back will produce a gap that creates an opportunity for his/her opponent. Honestly, the analysis of the point being played will help you to decide between an aggressive response or a defensive one. Your padel intuition will develop in time and will be the best tool to help you read the game as it develops. If you are starting out be patient. Time will do its work diligently, and when you least expect it you will be able to move between lobs and bajadas soon enough to respond to the game, regardless of how well you hit or spin the ball.
Is it an easy ball? The logical answer would be stepping forward and get ready for an attack…Has a lob been hit? taking a step back and preparing for defense is the safest action. There is though one exception: If you have been lobbed by your opponent you definitely want to block the attack ball after the “bajada”. In this case, being fewer feet away from the net will provide a more confident position, which would give fewer angles of attack to the opponent.
mind position leads to padel position
Indecision is what leads to almost every wrong positioning. While there is no decisive action, either attack or defense, the player is in no man´s land. A risky territory for beginners and intermediate players. More advanced players can make very good use of this space for sure, but we deal with that one on one sessions. There is such a difference. Again, padel needs a strong mental game. Never can underline the fact boldly enough.
Your precise position will depend on your size, reprise, and your character as a player. Let´s say those make up the small captions of your positioning. Nonetheless, as a general rule when defending you would want to stand approximately a few steps behind the service line, making sure that your arm extended to the side does not reach the sidewall. Students can be guided by the pole between the 2 side walls and between one and two steps from the pole between the 1st and second down wall. (Since we have to write it down let´s round it to approximately 8metres from the net, and 2 to 2,5mfrom the sidewall. Make sure to go back to that spot every time you respond when deciding to defend.
As for attack a few steps away from the net and in the center of our side. We should be able to attack the ball regardless of a soft or hard hit, being able to answer a volley without losing it to the net. If we are somehow slow, or short you should be slightly down, in order to reprise a higher and faster volley, allowing enough time for the opponent to recover the net later. If your conditions are inversed -faster and taller- it is interesting for the player to remain closer to the net.
It is important for beginners and new partners playing to learn to play in parallel, tilting to the side where the ball is oriented. This way we would be able to cover the average angles of the opponents. There is a lot to say about positioning, hard to explain writing down on a post. I hope beginners and intermediate players find some comfort in these words, while only action on the cage is able to provide you with enough experience and practice that in time will give you enough confidence to find your own space.
To learn more and oerfect positioning in accordance with your padel traits and character make sure we get together and work on the techniques to make you, the best version of the player you dream to become. Can´t wait to hear from you!