What Is No Man's Land In Padel and 4 Easy Ways To Avoid It

no mans land in padel

I cover a lot of tips that are going to help you win a point, but this time I need to share with you something that will lead to you losing a point almost every time you play. 

No man’s land in padel or sometimes referred to as “dead mans land” is fairly self explanatory.

No man will ever want to stand in that land, or court in this instance. 

But what is no man’s land in padel?

No man’s land in padel is an area in the court between the white line and the standard net position that you want to avoid, because you are very vulnerable and likely to lose a point there. Opponents can exploit this position as it is tricky to volley and defend in no man’s land.

Let’s find out more about this and learn some tips to how and why we should avoid it.

Table of Contents - What Is No Man's Land In Padel?

Where Is No Man's Land In Padel?

Where is no man’s land in padel? No man’s land is anywhere from the white line at the back of the court up to the net position (second post).

Remember, in padel, we always need to be either behind the white line, or at the standard net position. If you want to know where the net position is, click here is a great article that covers this.

Remember, it is completely fine to move into no man’s land to retrieve a ball or hit a high ball, but then make sure you move BACK into the right position.

The image below can help you visualise this more, it shows a player that is creeping into no mans land, he needs to either move further back into the defensive position, or further forward into the net position.

no mans land
The player closest is creeping into no mans land.

Why Is No Man's Land In Padel So Bad?

I think one of the biggest reasons why people end up in no man’s land is because they don’t realise that it is a bad place to be.

Believe me, it is.

People often debate in padel what attribute is better to have, attack or defence, well how about if you didn’t have either of these. This is what no man’s land causes.

Here are some reasons I came up with as to why no man’s land in padel is so bad:

  • You are too far back to volley.
  • You are too far forward to use the wall.
  • You are too far forward to let the ball bounce and have time to react.
  • You cannot pressure the opponents.
This shows us how being in this position leads to us not being able to win many points because we are too far back, and also not being able to defend, because we are too far forward.
This is why it is such a bad position to be in! 

a) Your Opponents Will Pick Up On It...

People WILL notice this, and exploit it straight away.

 I know if I was playing someone standing in no man’s land then I would just stick it straight at their feet, and it would be point over.

Your opponents will do the same, and because of how bad the position is, even if they don’t notice it, you will still struggle to return the ball when it is played at you.

no mans land in padel
The player on the right has crept in to no man's land!

4 Tips To Avoid No Man's Land In padel

A lot of players know how and why they shouldn’t be in no man’s land, but still find themselves in this position a lot. 

It is not one of those things you can just note and avoid, it is a bad habit that can take time to fix.

Here are 4 tips to break this bad habit!

- 1. Be Decisive

Be decisive and confident on the court. 

Are you going to the net, or are you staying at the back of the court. Choose one.

People often get caught in no man’s land in padel because they are not quite sure if they should be at the net or at the back. 

But if you are unsure, it is WAY better to move to one of these positions rather than just staying still. 

Even if it was the wrong decision to go to the net or to the back of the court, you are still less likely to lose the point from being in one of those positions than sitting in no man’s land.

no mans land in padel
Both players have been decisive and gone to the net!

- 2. Follow and Talk With Your Partner

Hopefully by now you are always mirroring and following your partner, if not, you should be. 

ALWAYS moving as a unit together.

To avoid any confusion about where you are standing, watch your partner, if they are the net, so are you, and the same if they are at the back of the court.

If you constantly talk to them as well  then you will reinforce with yourself that no mans land is not an option.

Phrases such as “up we go” and “stay back” are a great way or reinforcing with yourself and your partner that you need to be in the right position, and it will help you avoid sitting in no man’s land.

a) Your Partner Might Be Wrong...

Obviously not every partner you play with will know how important no man’s land is.

So make sure that you are watching them and communicate with them just as much as your telling yourself not to go in this position.

Again, use the phrases with them that I mentioned above. This can help them a lot. 

no mans land in padel
Partners in sync!

- 3. Use The Fence/Cage As A Guide

During the game you can check yourself, use the fence as a guide to where you should be.

So remember the net position is the second post, or possibly a touch in front of it. As SOON as you finish as point that you either lost or won, check your position, and ask yourself the following:

  • Where are you?
  • Are you in a good position?
  • Did this affect the outcome of the point?

If you finish the point and look at your position and realise you are behind the second post and too far back, then you were in no man’s land.

a) This Goes For All Points

You can use this strategy for all of your points, for example when you run to the net, you can check. Am I inline with the second post right now? Am I too far forward?

Frequently during a match after a lost point I will think, where did the point go wrong? What position was I in when I lost it? 

It helps a lot.

no mans land in padel
Move back for the high ball, but remember to go back to the net.

- 4. Have Awareness And Change Mindset!

This one slightly overlaps with all of them, constantly having awareness during the point is the best way to avoid this position. 

Remember, our main goal is the net, so the entire time we are playing our only thoughts with positioning should be…. 


And then, once you are there, you are sorted and ready to win the point.

If you are lobbed, you go back and then start the process again. 

a) Change Your Mindset

Trust me, the game will be a lot less confusing if rather than your mind being cluttered with lots of different thoughts on positioning, instead have one main goal. How do I get to the net. 

You will find that your positioning improves a LOT with this.


Conclusion - What Is No Man's Land In Padel and 4 Tips To Avoid It

I hope you now understand how important it is to avoid no man’s land, and have learnt how to do so.

To summarise the main things you need to do to avoid no man’s land is:

  • Have a strong awareness of your surroundings.
  • Make sure you and your partner are communicating.
  • Make a clear decision with your movement.
Hope you learned something!
“What is no man’s land and 4 easy ways to avoid it” – Ewan Ramsden
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