Mastering the Padel Return: Techniques and Tips

The return is the first shot played by the receiving team after the serve. It not only starts the point but also influences the dynamics and rhythm of the game. A well-executed return puts your opponents under pressure, enabling you to seize control of the rally right from the start. Moreover, a good return can help neutralize your opponents' serving advantage and give you and your partner an opportunity to take the offensive. In this blog post, I will share my personal experience with the padel return, highlighting the initial hurdles I faced and the strategies I developed to improve my return game.


The Initial Hurdles 

As a tennis player making the switch to padel, the serve-return dynamics can feel vastly different. In tennis, we are accustomed to returning faster serves. When we get a second serve, we often view it as an opportunity to take control of the point. In padel, the serve is typically slower and closer to a second serve return in tennis. The mistake I made when first coming to padel was to try and attack both first and second padel serves.


Embrace Precision Over Power 

One of the most significant adjustments I had to make was to shift my focus from sheer power to precision in my padel returns. Instead of trying to hit the ball with force, I learned the importance of placing the ball precisely in specific areas of the court, particularly low over the net and at my opponent's feet.


Targeting the Opponent's Feet

Targeting the opponent's feet with the return can be highly effective in padel. By hitting the ball low and forcing the opponent to play a difficult volley, you put them under pressure and limit their options for an aggressive response. This approach often leads to weaker shots or defensive returns, setting up a better opportunity for your team to seize control of the point.


Mixing It Up with Lobs 

Incorporating lobs into your padel return repertoire can be a game-changer. Unlike tennis, where lobs are often seen as defensive shots, in padel, well-executed lobs can become offensive weapons. By surprising your opponents with occasional lobs, you keep them guessing and disrupt their positioning, making it harder for them to anticipate your next move.


Practice and Adaptation 

Perfecting the padel return requires regular practice and a willingness to adapt your game. As you become more familiar with the padel court dimensions and its unique playing style, you'll start recognizing patterns and developing a better understanding of when to attack and when to play a safer return.


In conclusion, the padel return is not just a simple shot; it's a strategic move that can set the tone for the entire rally. By focusing on precision, targeting the opponent's feet, incorporating lobs, and committing to continuous improvement, you can elevate your padel return game and take control of the court. So, step onto the padel court with confidence, embrace the challenge, and unleash the power of your return to make a lasting impact on your padel journey. 

We have a great deal for our existing members! You will receive £20 court credit to any current member who signs up any new member (monthly or annual), so please do get your friends and family on court!  T&Cs apply. 

Remember, padel is a sport that brings joy, camaraderie, and endless opportunities for improvement. Embrace the learning process, have fun, and watch your return game become a force to be reckoned with! Happy padel playing!

Keep adding tools to your padel toolbox!

Coach Jared

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