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How to move your feet during a padel match?


In padel, your footwork is one of the most important aspects of the game. If you’ve never played competitive tennis or if you don’t have any racketsport experience, you should make sure that your footwork gets on point!

Beginning padel footwork

Let’s start with the “split step”. This is something you want to implement at all times. You should stand on your toes in order to make a small bounce. Your calves will be tight and this makes you able to move quicker. Whenever your opponents hits the ball, you want to jump slightly up. Whenever you know the direction of the ball, you can choose a direction to hit the ball back.

If you just start with padel, it can be difficult to read the direction of the ball, that’s why we suggest to focus on the small jump and your movement after you know where the ball comes. Try to avoid to put your heels in the ground, this will make you less quick. In the World Padel Tour you see how important the footwork is. The professionals are able to read the ball perfectly and they can place their feet accordingly.

To become better at your footwork it is important to train this. You can do this by making more steps when going towards the ball. The professionals can read the ball and move accordingly with one step, if you’re new to padel, you should take as many steps as possible in order to get comfortable with less step later.

Just like other racket sports, it is important to have a stable basis when contacting the ball. If you want to get into a good position, you want to have good footwork en a lot of steps. If you’re getting into position too early you probably have to hit the ball behind you and this is something you want to avoid at all times!

Padel footwork difference

In padel you have less reaction time compared to tennis. That’s why you don’t want to make a low split step just like tennis. No, you want to make a lighter, quicker and higher split step so you can react quicker. Another difference compared to tennis is that the ball can have multiple directions. It can bounce of the glass for example. You want to think of the different directions and implement this into your footwork as well. A lot of tennis players do a low split step but if you want to be quick it’s important to do a smaller split step.

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