A post for beginner padel players
Have you been bitten by the padel bug?
And you think that watching videos from your comfy sofa is good enough to prepare you for that Sunday match with your friends. This post is for you then. Just a three minute read. Nothing much to lose, but a lot to win my friend…
When cruising the web we often find comments that appear as common knowledge following these lines: “…at the beginning, it is advisable not to take a class or buy a racquet before having clear notions of the game”.
We won’t discuss the second part of the sentence, but we do have a say in the first part. As in any sport, the foundations are the cornerstone of future development in the sport. Regardless of how far, or how long one will pick up the sport, the right beginning allows the proper steps to be taken in order to make sure we start to travel the road of padel learning and future success within the proper track.
Having the right class with the right instructor is the key. What do we need the most when we start something new: motivation and the right kind of one. The one that not only praises what we can do right but the one that has a sharpened eye to see what are the strengths and weaknesses we have to work with them in a constructive and positive way. The motivation that makes you go get it, while leaving you thirsty for the next session, no matter how many times we have missed the ball.
But ist´not a yes class or no class answer. We invite you to look a little bit further. So, we´ve come up with the checklist for beginners to look at your prospective padel club and instructor to make sure you are up for that healthy start that will lead you into the positive athletic environment padel is distinguished for. If the padel instructor seems to play more or less well, and you see he or she is just volleying with you, without correcting any mistakes then please do make sure
What makes a padel class a good one?
From moment zero your instructor must explain first and correct from there on technical errors of the player. The aim is to follow a progression pattern that fits the strengths and abilities of the player while slowly filling the gaps that he or she might have with practice and consistency training.
Punctuality: It is most important both of us are ready at the same time. An engagement is a commitment for everyone, not just you or the instructor. Any delay will affect the planning of a serious and good instructor who has already figured out how to make the most of your learning experience. When we fail to be punctual is detrimental mostly to ourselves. Less warm-up, less theory, less practice and less one on one time.
Close to the pupil: We admit instructing doesn´t make you best friends, but we also have to say PadelTrainer way of teaching is honestly close. We do believe it is this what allows us to ask so much more to our pupils than to run the ball. And it delivers: physical and technical performance are enhanced with kindness. Good energy follows from there, all that we need to set up an all positive athletic environment.
Corrects the grip: If you have one class, and one class only make sure the instructor does check on your grip. If you already control continental standard, your instructor should check how well and asserted your grip is for certain strokes. Sometimes a grip is the main factor that deterred progress. That is detected and corrected by a professional, hardly on your own. Comfort rules out work, and changing a grip requires exactly that, conscience at work.
Teach tactics: One class scenario should at least introduce you to the idea that padel is not just execution. Padel requires you to “read the game”. Just volleying with friends will not demonstrate shooting to which zone will force the opponent to error for instance, or to look into the telltale signs of the opponents weakness.
Repetition of strokes: In order to build consistency repetition is needed until it becomes an automatic and natural movement, not an exercise. In order to build that, a good instructor should be able to deconstruct the movement and explain it once, twice, thrice and the number of required times for you to get it right. He or she won´t expect you to build that consistency within a month, but over time with his right guidance. Likewise, don´t expect yourself to “just naturally” perform on day one.
Explain the rules of the game: Yes those rules are made to be read (we made a free download, make sure you won’t miss them in our freebies section) but also to be explained by an instructor. They can be daunting, tricky or simply just won´t stick when we are beginning. It´s perfectly normal. And your instructor should be willing and ready to explain them to you.
Develop your interest in playing socially: Remember padel is social. It´s foursome designed. It´s OK to have scenic panic. Bear in mind that it will be the instructor who will assess who is the best match for your level, as a partner and opponent pair as well. But you will get over it, as we all have and do. We are all in the same boat here.
Is it worth it booking and showing up for the padel class? Yes, definitely and positively. Even when your aim is Sunday playing with friends it is unlikely you receive honest correction and rightful technical training. Your progression will be limited. Again: the answer is yes to having at least one lesson that fulfills a few of the ones we have mentioned before. Learning with tutorials is great, tell us about it, we are tutorial crazy, but the thing is you can follow and make good use of the tutorials, at least ours when we have the basics set in place. The road starts when you decide to stand up from wherever your comfort zone is and walk into the new, on your own.
So please if you are beginning, DO take a class, make sure your club and instructor are fit for the job and allow your body, your mindset and emotion to adjust to the experience. A minimum amount of lessons will diminish your chance of injury, correct potential bad habits and technical mishappenings that can endure over time. Looking forward to see you soon;)
The padel trainer team
Oh we don´t want our new padel players to be #superstar, by the way…