Learning the shot and
Understanding the game
I would love to start this series of articles regarding Padel techniques with one of my favorites shots: BACKHAND VOLLEY
First of all, what is a Backhand volley?
A volley is the name we use for naming the shot you use when you don’t let the ball bounce. Most of the time, you will do this kind of shot when you are close to the net where we call “offensive area” (we will probably go into these concepts in a different post)
The main idea is try to hit the ball as soon as possible forcing your opponents to move very quickly and leaving them almost without any time to react and recover their position. Thus they will probably be in a difficult situation to hit the next ball.
Leveraging on the concept that I love called “compound effect”, the more volleys we hit, the more difficult situation my opponents will find. So, please keep in mind the idea of that if you are volleying, you are already attacking. No need to try to win the point with every volley and taking an excessive risk all the time.
What about the right GRIP? I recommend continental grip*. That is an easy option for backhand and also forehand volley but if you are a beginner and feeling lack of strength, you can try a bit more closed grip (facing with the racquet clearly to the other side and showing middle knuckles to the opponents).
And what not to forget regarding the technical stages of the shot?
The PREPARATION should be short, just focusing on the contact point and follow thorugh (that is also shorter than a defensive shot). The racquet has an approx. 45 degrees angle with the knuckles slightly pointing upwards
Regarding the READY POSITION:
* Racquet up, with top of the frame facing the sky and racquet in front of your chest
* Body in a low position (like a cat ready to jump)
* Stance is hip width apart
* Elbows close to the body (that’s a very important part)Shoulders and jaw relaxed
Let´s go now to the CONTACT POINT and FOLLOW THROUGH:
We need to make a big difference here:
a) If you HAVE TIME enough and the speed of the ball you´re receiving LET YOU GO FORWARD..
• Turn shoulders and place both arms to the left side of the body
• Try to show right shoulder to the ball/opponent before starting the movement
• Short preparation, showing the face racquet to the ball
• Put all your body weight on your left leg and push forward to get in contact with the ball
• Automatically, you will take a step forward with the right foot looking for the appropriate distance on impact .
• Contact point will vary depending on the direction you are looking for but make sure ball doesn´t pass your body line.
• Stretch your left arm backwards to stay on balance (the more extension on your left one, the more penetration on your right one)
• Feet stay firmly on the ground with body weight on your right leg and left heel slightly raised off the ground as a consequence of the weight transfer.
• Short follow-through, keeping the racquet at the same plane to stay in contact with the ball and trying to continue the movement to the direction you have chosen to play
b) If you DON’T HAVE TIME and the speed of the ball you´re receiving DON’T LET YOU GO FORWARD..
*You will only be focusing on trying to control that volley and finding the way of putting it in play.
* Since you don’t have any chance of attacking the ball, put all your attention on placing your weight on your left leg in order to find an stable position.
* Just contact and follow through with probably no transfer of your body weight forwards.
As you can see, apart from the right technique in every single shot, you should apply your COMMON SENSE and UNDERSTANDING the concept of the game and your placement and goals in every situation in order to make the right decisions when playing.
Hitting the ball is absolutely much easier than learning how to play the game.
Want to learn more? Thinking of a training program? Get in touch! I will be more than happy to help you!