A letter about Padel – by Padel Tennis Coach – Michelle Collins

When I learned that the Triangle Centre at Burgess Hill was going to have a Padel court built,
my ears pricked up. I had played a bit in Spain with my cousins and loved it; it is all doubles
and suits the volleyer, so it was right up my street. I was excited to be on board at the
Centre as part of the team to get the first undercover Padel court in Sussex busy.  The
centre paid for Adidas Padel to teach us some skills, which was a truly memorable weekend
of learning, with some excellent tutors: Diego Suarez had played on the tour and really knew
his stuff.  Since then, I’ve done the Level 1 Padel course at the LTA National tennis centre
with the marvellous Sandy Farquharson and Tom Murray.  The National tennis centre have
put in 3 indoor courts in preparation for the fast growth in Padel, which is sure to hit the
country.
In Spain there are 20,000 Padel courts, and Padel is 10 times more popular than tennis
there, with it being equally popular with ladies and men.  The Pro circuit is very exciting to
watch, and it’s no wonder the game is the fastest growing sport in the world. Right now, as I
write this, there are only 69 courts in the UK, but this is increasing quickly.

So, how do you play?

It’s very similar to tennis; if you can imagine playing great doubles points at the net
with lobs, volleys and long rallies that sums it up.  There is little negative downtime.  No
time to walking around at the baseline wondering if you like your opponent, and very few
double faults, (I know: tennis is fun sometimes too!).  The serve is underarm, and you can
get through 3 sets in an hour.  It brings all the racket sports together, squash players love to
play rebounds off the glass, badminton players are quick and cunning, tennis players are
great once they realise that topspin is not your friend, and that they don’t need to hit the
ball so hard!  It’s great for the clever player, a great leveller for tactical players over power,
fantastic for learning all continental grip shots.  It’s about short back swings, fast reactions
and reading the ball.  Beginners love it as it’s really easy to pick up. I think you’re getting it.  I
LOVE it!  Almost more than Tennis! and I’ve been playing a good county level all my life, and
coaching for almost as long.

The court at Burgess Hill has been almost fully booked since it opened, so you really have to
be quick to get the court at peak times. I cannot recommend it enough, and would be happy
to give you a trial at the Triangle when it reopens. If your club/centre has any room for
Padel please get in touch with me and I’ll arrange for us to have a game.  I’m always up for a
game with anyone who wants to have a go.

Of course, I’d love to be teaching Padel and I would like to think that I can be a travelling
Padel coach in the future travelling around the county getting everyone on board.
The LTA have links here for more details.

They’ve covered everything and are very keen to see Padel take off.
Do speak to me on tennismichelle@hotmail.co.uk or on 07825216349 – I’m happy to talk
Padel anytime!