5 Clear-Cut Reasons Why We Should Run To the Net In Padel

run to the net in padel

I have been a padel coach for a while now, and I can tell you there is one main thing that people DO NOT do in padel.

It is not struggling to hit a bandeja, or failing to use the wall.

It is actually something a lot simpler.

Something that only requires 5-6 paces forward.

That’s right, running to the net. 

But why should we run to the net in padel? If you run to the net in padel, then you will be in a great position to pressure the opponents, with volleys, smashes, bandejas and other aggressive shots. 90% of all padel points are won at the net.

Let’s review this further, here are 5 reasons why we should run to the net in padel.

Contents - Why Should We Run To The Net In Padel?

Where At The Net?

Before we get into the reasons, it is important you know where at the net you should be. 

You may think you know, but just check, because a lot of players go too close or too far back.

On the padel court, your padel positioning should be around midway up the court. 

This allows us to recover the ball if we are lobbed, and apply pressure on the opponents.

A good way to remember is to look at the second post on the padel court, if you are faster and taller, you can stand a touch closer, if you are slower and smaller then a little further back.

But overall, the second post is a great place to be. 

In the image below we can see two players, the one closest has come closer, and the one behind is in the standard net position.

padel positioning
He is closer to attack the ball, and his partner is in the standard net position.

Why Here?

This position is perfect for three main reasons.

  • Close enough to volley
  • Able to deal with high balls
  • Far enough back to deal with being lobbed

People are usually a touch too close because they want to volley and attack the ball early, and also don’t want the ball to bounce before.

People are also too far back sometimes because they are worried about being lobbed. Read until 3 (a) if this is you.

This position gives us the perfect mix of positioning!

run to the net in padel
Look how many WPT players are at the net!

When To Run To The Net In padel

I am going to go on a lot about running to the net in this article, but what I don’t want you to do is to run to the net at the wrong time.

We have to be strategical about running to the net.

The following situations are when you SHOULD run to the net in padel.

  • When you lob the opponent.
  • When you play the ball past the white line.
  • After your serve.
  • If you play a Chiquita.
  • If any of the opponents are at the back of the court. 
  • If your partner goes to the net.

When NOT to run to the net in padel.

  • When both opponents are at the net.
  • Randomly (don’t just charge at the opponents)
 
So, essentially, only run to the net in padel when there is a clear chance to!
run to the net in padel
All 4 players at the net!

5 Clear-Cut Reasons To Run To The Net In Padel

Let’s break down now why, here are 5 reasons why we should run to the net in padel.

- 1. To Pressure The Opponent

I mentioned this earlier, but 90% of all points are won at the net position in the world padel tour. That is crazy.

This is simply because it is 10 times as hard to defend compared to attacking. When you are defending, you have to use the walls, react to aggressive shots, and maybe even run forward if someone plays a smash.

Compared to if you are attacking, it a lot easier! You can play volleys, bandejas, and smashes. 

But the main point is, that you are not under any pressure and the opponent is.

If you and your partner are both at the net, then your opponent is going to be under a LOT of pressure. They will be trying to figure out a way of getting the net off of you. 

They KNOW that you have the upper hand at the moment, and they would love nothing better than a perfect lob over you so that they can take the net back off you.

a.) What happens to your opponent?

When the opponent is under pressure, the favourite shot that they will play is the panic lob.

This is where they will hit the ball up, quite high and short, in attempt to get out of danger.

This is where now, you, at the net can take advantage and win the point with an aggressive shot.

run to the net in padel
Pressure your opponents with aggresive volleys.

- 2. You Are In Control Of The Game

When you are at the net, you have all the power. Imagine you are playing a game of chess, you work hard to strategically move your pieces and finally, you get your opponent in check.

The net position in padel IS check. 

And then it is very likely, without mistakes, that you will get your opponent in check mate, aka losing the point. 

a.) Changing the pace

When you are the net, it is very easy to control the game, you can move your opponents around the court with ease due to use of volleys. 

You can make your opponents run around, moving backwards, sideways and forwards, while you stay in a compact position.

Changing the pace is also VERY easy when you are at the net, playing soft and controlled, and then playing a kick smash out of the court. 

The pace and the place are amazing tactics, if you want to read more about them, check out this article.

Let’s summarise how easy changing the pace and moving your opponents around is when at the net, here are the benefits.

  • In control of the point
  • Easy to tire out the opponents
  • Surprise the opponents easily with a change of pace
run to the net in padel
Run to the net in padel and this will be you!

- 3. The Threat Is Low From Your Opponent

When you are at the net, there is not a lot your opponent can do to win the point, except try and take the net back off you.

I can think of only one very rare situation where they can win the point, this would be if they play a winning shot past you at a soft enough pace that you can NOT retrieve it. 

But to be honest, 80% of the time when the ball goes past you at the net, you can retrieve it. 

a.) You CAN get the ball if it goes over/past you

Trust me when I say this, you ARE faster than the ball.

If you anticipate the ball going past you,  and take swift, large side steps back, you will have plenty of time to get the ball.

This is the same for when you are lobbed.

People always say to me “if I go to the net, they will just lob me and then I lose the point”

Not to be harsh, but that is a different issue they need to tackle.

If you are lobbed, this should 100% NOT be a reason to lose the point, instead it should be something easy to retrieve, as long as you anticipate and move backwards.

run to the net in padel
Look at the players at the net, Navarro is under pressure!

- 4. You Can Utilise Your Best Shots.

When I say “best shots” I am talking about the shots that are most likely to win you the point.

So your best shot may be the forehand of the back wall.

But, in my opinion your “best shot” is the one that is going to win you the most points. 

So the best shots that you can utilise would be your volleys, bandejas, vibora, smashes and to be honest, any type of overhead/volley.

a.) Train the "best shots"!

You should spend hours training and focusing on these attacking shots, and then when it comes to a game situation, you can run to that net and utilise these shots for maximum effect.

Imagine two players.

Player 1 has a great forehand, backhand, and serve.

Player 2 has a great volley, bandeja, and smash.

Now I am not saying that player 1 is bad for having these attributes, they are still very important shots to learn!

But player 2 is going to beat player one because he can USE his shots to win the MOST points.

Is this your best shot???

- 5. You are Playing "Proper" Padel

If you do NOT run to the net after the serve, when you have lobbed the opponents, or when the opponents are at the back, I hate to break it to you, but you aren’t playing padel properly.

Instead, it is likely you are playing squash or tennis on a padel court.

Now this is fun and it doesn’t matter! 

However, if you want to improve as a player, and play somewhat competitively, the first step you need to take is to run to the net in padel.

a.) Staying at the back will only get you so far.

I use the words “so far” here because I know a lot of talented racket players whether this is from tennis or squash, coming on the padel court, not playing properly, but beating other players.

This then leads them to believe that they don’t need to go to run to the net in padel, because they are winning.

If they run to the net in padel they will notice huge differences.

However, eventually, they will face someone who has the same racket skills as them, but plays the game correctly.

No matter how talented you are at another sport, it means NOTHING in padel unless you can adapt to the game.

run to the net in padel.
Are you a "proper" padel player?

Summary - Why Should We Run To The Net In Padel?

This has got to be the most fundamental and crucial padel positioning attribute.

Your number one goal should be to do this!

So, recap, why should we run to the net in padel? 

We need to run to the net in padel because it allows us to utilise our best shots, and pressure the opponents heavily. Leading to a lot more points being won!

“Why should we run to the net in padel?” – Ewan Ramsden

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