A warm-up before a padel game is crucial
This is one of the biggest problems I find with my players at tournaments (junior and senior). Players arrive at a tournament, start watching matches waiting for their game, chatting to friends, perusing Instagram…then suddenly they are called onto court, they run round trying to find their bag and partner…then 10 minutes later and they are 4-0 down in the first set and cannot for the life of them work out why!
The same approach with friendly games, players complain they “tweaked” a hamstring and do not consider the fact that they’ve driven half an hour to the club, got straight on court and start playing 100%.
Preparation for your body
This area goes without saying, there is a mountain of research that values the importance of warming up to prepare the muscles. Even if for no other reason, warming up increase your heart rate (circulation) pumping oxygenated blood to your muscles preparing them for action.
Preparation for your mind
Whether this is for training or a match, it is the perfect opportunity to take some time to reflect on your last match/training and the one to come. This can be used for visualisation or thinking about positive parts of your game or even just to disconnect from your personal life as you prepare to give your all on the court. Players often find music helps as part of this routine.
Speak to your partner
It might be difficult to find time to speak to your partner during your daily life, but the 10-15 minute window before you start a match together is a great way to find out how they are doing. It is a good time to discuss any physical issues they might have on the day and a chance to discuss any tactical situations for the upcoming game.
Opportunity to train
The warm up can be a great time to work on physical elements of your game that you know need improvement. For example, if you are feeling a little slow you can add ladder exercises or if you feel your movement could be better you can add some agility exercises. There should be a few basic moves you do to begin with, but after that it is a good idea to personalise your warm up.
Start from the first point
This is really the main reason for a warm up and that is so that you can start the match fully alert and ready to compete. A slow start in padel can often result in losing the first set, so you want to be primed and ready to go as soon as the first ball is in play!
A side note: it is a lot easier to repeat the warm up when you have a routine. So you want about 10-15 minutes of exercises that are specific to you and your game that fully prepare you for the match. The routine can be longer, if you have time, but we have found that 10-15 minutes is the minimum time required.