Choosing your perfect padel partner
Already geared up into padel, lessons taken, and you have the honest gut feeling you are absolutely ready to pen your name on the list of your club´s tournament. Next question is who to play with. Sorting out a good padel partner is an exercise on its own. Here we draw some clues that can give you a hand if you a re lucky enough to have a few friends to pick up from.
Let´s keep our focus, what matters is that we remain consistent in our training, both tactical and technical, as well as we stay focused on what our aim is: fun, pro-training, top competition…whatever the goal is, we must make sure ( our partner and ourselves ) are on the same line.
The theory is theory: right-hand players are supposed to act as anchors whose main task is to make sure the ball is on the move, get the balls through without a miss. A job which requires physical abilities as well as a trustworthy character. The anchor makes sure his partner has a fair opportunity to win the point, given the fact he is in the ideal position for a right smash or an impossible bandeja.
Left-hand players are supposed to perform a better technique, play wild close to the net while watching close to spot where to fit and advantage for his partner´s game to make a kill. Theory, yes. Does it work?: Depends. Although we are told 1+1 makes 2, truth is that two, who work as one is what wins sets and games.
Gamechanger clues to follow your feeling
- 1. Level: Basic number one. Nice is not enough. If you are not on the same performance level chances are there will be someone bored or does not take the game seriously enough or lightly as you. The end result will be a no show to play. It is very important to find someone who is on the same performance level as we are, who allows improvement in the same pace.
- 2. Compenetration. If your volley is not your strong point, try to balance your shortages with someone who is lethal on the net for instance. Overall balanced players can be found at a high level and professional level, so don´t bother. Just try to find someone who is better in the aspects that you are not, and that will make you a more compensated pair.
- 3. Trust. Your partner is someone you can honestly trust. Someone you would leave your children and car keys with. Someone you can yell to in the middle of the court, use the words your grandmother would wash her mouth after saying or tell the best joke of your life. Some one you have just met deters us from the right to claim in whatever mood it may burst a claim of any situation. Closer means good understanding inside and outside the court. Blind mixins are a good place to begin partner tryouts. Trust in your club coach and training is a must. Keep in mind that other players are also trying you, so keep your mind on the wider picture. You are being chosen too.
- 4. Commitment. If you like and can play three times a week, as much as you would like to, don´t pick someone who is available just Sunday morning. Seek for someone who is as time friendly to your schedule as possible, therefore continuity is guaranteed. Becoming a padel partner takes time for each member of the duo to work on his own style: some players enjoy offense, while others prefer defense, some enjoy risking a lot in each point, other less. It is not your style of the game, it is the combination of both styles of this partnership what will make possible for you to compete.
- 5. Adaptation.
The resilience of each player and partnership is unique. Those who are able to swiftly assimilate changing situations are most likely to evolve faster and easily develop playing strategies for the game. This depends on the personality of the players and the character under which their partnership is based. Winning does pay its toll, on your time, on your disposition, and your mindset, which is at the end what drives each player to every point won or lost. Adaptation to an ever changing situation during the game is a must for each player as individuals and as a duet.
- 6. Fun. You don´t need to win every day. It is important that it is clear for each half of the team what the objective is. Padel is a game after all, and although we keep our expectations high sports are meant to be fun and life´s healthiest entertainment. Competitivity is perfect, improvement and achievement are already a great success and if you´ve had a good time in between those so be it. You are served a plate of life´s good wisdom.
Choose a partner with whom you would like to have a drink afterward, although you have not won. The smiles and conversation after the game in the club´s bar are worth every sweat. Partnerships are well built outside the courts. Feeling, companionship, and what will be the beginning of a great friendship is what lies ahead. Keep your eyes open #gamechangers.