Topspin or NOT to Topspin? Unravelling this disparate tactical element in padel

Among the various techniques in a padel player's arsenal, topspin stands out as a skill that can give you an edge over your opponents. But some coaches tell you to never hit tospin and others say it is okay – who do you listen to? In my experience coaching padel, players with a tennis background use way too much topspin and at the wrong times within the point. And squash players don’t seem to use topspin at all, relying in their slice heavy background. In this Coaches Corner blog post, we'll explore the ins and outs of topspin in padel and provide you with valuable insights on how to incorporate this tactical element into your gameplay. 

Understanding Topspin:

Topspin is a type of spin imparted to the ball that causes it to rotate forward as it travels through the air. This rotation creates an aerodynamic lift, causing the ball to dip. When executed correctly, topspin can be a powerful tool that not only makes your shots more challenging for your opponents to return but also provides you with better control over the trajectory and placement of the ball. 

Benefits of Using Topspin in Padel:

  1. Controlled Placement: With topspin, you can exert greater control over where the ball lands on your opponent's side of the court, making it harder for them to set up their shots effectively.
  2. Deceptive Spin: The spin generated by topspin shots can deceive your opponents, making it challenging for them to read the ball's trajectory and adjust their positioning in time.
  3. Reduced Errors: Topspin can help mitigate unforced errors by allowing you to clear the net with a comfortable margin, increasing the probability of successful shots.


Strategic Application of Topspin:


  1. Chiquita: Use topspin on chiquita’s to dip the ball and keep it low to force your opponents into a defensive shot selection, setting you up a favourable opportunity for your next shot.
  2. Return: Using a touch of topspin on the return allows you to control the height of the ball and gets it to dip down to your opponent’s feet. As we said in the previous blog post, the return is such an important shot, and hitting your target areas with a precise return will give you an advantage for the rest of the point. 
  3. Defensive Play: When defending, similar to the return, utilize topspin to control the height that you hit over the net to hinder your opponents' attacking options. However, if you hit the ball too hard, experienced padel players will let the ball go and they will easily counterattack your shot so be careful how hard you hit the shot. 



When NOT to use Topspin:


  1. Lob: If you use topspin for your lob, the ball will bounce away from the back glass due to the spin. This will allow your opponents to get into a better position to attack you with a bajada. 
  2. Serve: Using a topspin serve might allow you to hit with more speed, however, if you are playing experienced opponents, they will easily defend this as the balls bounces up off the glass. If your opponents don’t use the glass, the topspin will still bounce higher, allowing them to hit a more effective return.


Mastering the Technique:


  1. Racket Angle: To create topspin, adjust your racket angle slightly downward and brush the ball from low to high upon contact. Focus on making clean and solid contact to maximize the spin.
  2. Follow Through: A proper follow-through is crucial for generating effective topspin. Allow your racket to naturally follow the path of the ball and finish higher than the contact point.
  3. Timing and Footwork: Incorporate topspin into your shots at the right moments. Hitting topspin when off balance will not do you any good. Engage in footwork that positions you well behind the ball, giving you ample time to execute the topspin stroke.
  4. Practice, Practice, Practice: Like any skill in padel, mastering topspin requires dedicated practice. Spend time on the court perfecting your technique and gradually incorporate topspin into your gameplay.


Elevate your topspin game by taking advantage of our August racquet sale. Purchase a UK Padel racquet—specifically, the Number 2 or Number 3 racquet which both feature a textured surface for enhanced ball bite—and receive an entire month of free membership. 

Topspin is a game-changer in padel, providing you with improved control, deception, and shot variety. By incorporating topspin into your arsenal and mastering its technique, you can elevate your game to new heights and become a more formidable opponent on the court. As you continue to refine your topspin skills through consistent practice and strategic application, you'll find yourself dominating rallies and outmanoeuvring your opponents with finesse.

Looking forward to seeing you on the padel court! Keep adding tools to your padel toolbox.


Coach Jared

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