Women Paddle nowadays

Women Paddle nowadays

I live in Spain since 2001 when I got here to play the pro circuit and became couple number 1 along Iciar Montes since 2002 (2003-2004 I retired), 2005 to 2007 until summer 2008, when we had to stop for  two months due to Iciar health’s problem. I was also world champion in Mexico in 2002. In late 2008, I felt that it was time to retire and I did.

I have a degree in Physical Education and spent 30 years working in education (10 years in tennis and after in paddle).  I also studied personal and athletic coaching and a Master in NPL.

From 2009 I started my phase as a professional players coach. Through them, I was able to gain experience and observe tournaments, understanding the different profiles, levels and ways to play and compete. From my retirement until today.

I think evolving is a natural process in life; everything evolves and changes, nothing stands still. And not surprisingly, paddle like other sports has developed over time. For example, if we look at football games, basketball, volleyball ... we can see that before they played slow compared to today.

Before my arrival in Spain, the professional circuit already existed, there was a scene where paddle developed, there were few numbers one, couples were playing their way, with their criteria; I assume in order to try and get the best performance (technical, tactical, mental-emotional, physical) of each player and partner.

From my point of view, in women paddle today, there are different styles of play that are coupled to suit the profiles of each partner or player. It is true that most of the players today use the punch and aggressive shots to make the points. In the early rounds there is a great rivalry, matches are very competitive and require great physical preparation from the players.

There is more volume of players with great potential and possibility to win games. There are many couples with a more aggressive profile but there are still players with other profiles and physical types (have always coexisted). Each  has developed a game system according to the body they have and their characteristics. Each player, each team has to adjust according to their circumstances: height, athleticism, way of understanding paddle, mental and emotional characteristics.

So I think paddle in general has evolved ... there are many more players (male and female) and not just talking about professional players, also amateur players, fans, coaches, trainers, psychologists, media, everything is more specialized and in greater amount than before.

The materials (shovels, balls, tennis) used currently make paddle faster, with more power. The blades fire harder. It is natural that the game accelerates.

It is obvious that women paddle has taken an important step in everything mentioned above, but I still think unforced errors, lobs, intelligence in the game, making the team, knowing how to play the big points and interpret what is happening in the game, temper and presence, attitude on the court are still very important and decisive, as fundamental they were before.

If we look at couples that are high up in the ranking, statistics show how they use the lob combined with their aggressive style of play.

As a real example that confirms that each pair (player) plays according to their characteristics and that all criteria can have a place in today's women's paddle, we have the result achieved last year by Iciar Montes and Alejandra Salazar (2014). Iciar with 1.58 m in height and  without much power and Alejandra not having the punch as its main blow to close points, they were close to reaching the number one.

What conclusions can we draw from that?

My conclusion, from the way I understand it, is that we must celebrate and value that the current female paddle lives a great moment overall as a result of years and years of hard work .It is right now as it should always be. Every moment is valid and all game styles are welcome and have a place in Paddle.

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