5 Underrated Padel Shots (That Actually Work)
A lot of average padel players seem to have the same padel shots ALL the time.
Or there are shots that they rush, barely use, and don’t practise.
Today I want to talk about how there are certain padel shots that you HAVE to start using more. They ACTUALLY work.
Let’s get started.
Do. Not. neglect.
Before we look at the 5 padel shots, you need to know this.
DO NOT NEGLECT ANY SHOT.
I have done this before, I have seen SO many people do this. And that is not practising certain padel shots.
Especially the ones they are weaker at, for example, everyone loves to practise their forehand shots, because most people find that easier and find it satisfying when they do it well.
By ignoring the shots they are bad at, for a lot of players this is the bandeja and/or the walls, they won’t improve.
"What am I bad at?
Think to yourself “What am I bad at? What needs improving?”
This could even be something like learning spin and slice, on your volleys and bandejas, if you don’t try and learn this, then your improvement won’t progress as fast as you want.
Let’s now have a look at some underrated padel shots that need to be learnt!
1. The Serve
One of the most underrated padel shots!
I think when people have there serve down, and can get it in consistently, they leave it at that.
Even sometimes just playing it without a lot of care or effort, just to start the point off.
Now, we know the serve is not like tennis, and isn’t going to give you 10 aces a game.
The serve can help you set up the point and put the opponents on the back foot straight away.
Practise this shot.
And do not rush it!
Take your time with this shot so much, remember the serve is designed for you to get to the net position easily. So why would you want to rush this, you are only going to cause yourself more problems.
What do we want the serve to achieve?
A few things really:
- Pressure on the opponents.
- Allow us to get to the net.
- To set up the next point.
- Force them into a poor return.
Time is big, don’t make your serve too fast, it won’t give you enough time to get to the net, even if you do get there, you will waste more energy as you are running more.
Pressuring the opponents, we NEED them to be on the back foot and under pressure from this serve.
Allowing us to get to the net is the fundamental reason why we serve, we are given a FREE attacking shot, so we need to make the most of it to start the point.
Setting up the point is what we always want to do, and if you serve effectively you could win the point in the next few due to the poor returns from your opponent.
Overall, the serve is one of the most underrated padel shots, when practised well, it can be SO effective!
2. The Lob
A LOT of people do not lob enough, sometimes they don’t lob at all for games on end!
In padel, the lob is SO important, I can’t stress enough how many times the pro players lob in a match.
I went on to the world padel tour channel on youtube (check that out) and watched 5 rallies. I counted the amount of shots in the rally, and the amount of times they lobbed in each rally. Overall the average amount of shots in rally were 21, and the amount of lobs per rally were 8.
Meaning over 30% of the padel shots were lobs.
1 in 3 shots were lobs.
That is crazy, now I watch matches when I am coaching, and there are 15-20 shot rallies with 0 lobs.
I think this is due to people coming from different racket backgrounds and not appreciating how important the lob is. In tennis, you rarely lob, squash you don’t at all.
Start working on your lobs right now.
Tips for your lob
Do not rush, flick the ball or hit the ball when it is not in an easy position to do so.
Control is needed.
We need to lob at the RIGHT time.
Play the lob as flat as possible, too much topspin will make it easy off the glass to return. With slice, although it will make it hard to return off the glass, it can quite easily fly long and go out due to the backspin.
Focus on height over depth, if you play too short but it is really high this gives you two things:
- Opponents struggle with very high balls.
If you do hit a very high ball and it lands near the back of the court, there is a chance it could bounce out of the court!
Look how much the players lob in the video below!
3. The Bandeja
This one is mad, because people don’t do this properly, or have a half bandeja without fully committing to the shot.
People don’t try and learn this, and I don’t know why. If you learn it correctly it is SO hard for the opponent to get it back and it puts you in a great position to win the point.
Obviously this shot is hard to learn, and it takes a bit of training to get to grips with it, but once you have it, suddenly you play it against average players, and they don’t know how to return it.
Let’s have a look at the pro players again, another clip from the world padel tour, this rally had 26 shots in and 10 of these were bandejas!
38% of the padel shots played were bandejas.
WELL over 1 in 3.
Learn from them
If it works for the world padel tour, why can’t it work for you? If you want to get better at padel, but won’t properly learn the bandeja, then what is the point?
You might as well try and get this shot down, your progress will skyrocket if you can, no one will be able to defend against you.
Tips for the bandeja
- Watch and learn: The Padel School and Otro Nivel have amazing content on youtube for this, spend hours watching them and you will learn a lot.
- Take lessons: it is going to be really hard to learn this yourself, you need to have a coach help you out. It will save you a lot of time.
- Do it all the time: keep practising, you will miss a lot at first but just keep going for it.
4. Using the Cage/Fence
Now this one isn’t one of the padel shots itself, but this area of the court is so underrated and needs to be used more.
With the cage there is a large chance that if the ball is played to it then the ball will go straight down and be really hard to pick up.
The cage is VERY unpredictable.
Even when you play some shots yourself towards it, you won’t know if the ball is going to come up or down!
I know it is high risk, and it is definitely trickier to play to the cage than it is just central and to the back wall, but the more you practise the easier it gets.
All the padel shots I am covering today, simply require practise.
When to play to the cage?
When you are the net, mix up your volleys and aim some towards the cage.
It will make your opponent move, and even if they DO get the ball back, you have still moved them out of position and have a chance at finishing the point.
It will frustrate your opponent as well, as they will feel hard done by if the ball flies straight down after hitting the cage.
Another time to aim for the cage is with your overheads, you can mix up your overheads and play to the cage rather than a traditional bandeja to the back wall.
Mix it up.
Every good padel player mixes their shot selection up, to keep the opponent guessing, and by using the cage, you are doing just that.
5. The "Soft" Padel Shots
The best players, play soft.
They do it in nearly every rally.
And there are specific technical soft shots that are practised by the pro players in training every day.
Earlier I said “mix it up” and I don’t just mean mix up your shot selection, but also mix up your shot pace.
Soft and hard. Power and control. Using spin and playing flat.
The soft padel shots are hard to judge as well, and it makes the opponent more surprised when you then DO play a smash or hit hard.
The BEST example of a soft shot
The BEST soft shot is the chiquita in my opinion.
It allows you to take the net, without lobbing. By playing the ball softly from the back of the court over the net, at the opponents feet, you can then push the net and win the point through volleying.
Because the shot is played at the opponents feet, they have to hit upwards, allowing you to come in and volley.
Again, every good padel player does this. Every time they play.
Other soft shots
- The fake smash: pretending to smash and then playing a really soft overhead past the opponent.
- Soft overheads, can be hard to read the bounce (especially in colder and wetter weather).
- Soft strokes from the back of the court: gives you more time to react to the next ball.
Watch the world padel tour, and you will see what I mean, they mix up the pace SO much.
Conclusion - 5 Underrated Padel Shots (That Actually Work)
The main reason these padel shots are underrated are because they are harder than your average and take a bit more time to see the progress from them.
You have got to stick with them and add them to your game. If you do half of the things today your game will improve a LOT.
Hope this helped!
“5 Underrated Padel Shots (that actually work)” – Ewan Ramsden
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