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Golden Point – Strategy + Psychology

One of the strangest seasons is over, if not the most. Once this season is over, the characteristic dance for couples begins, for many couples the final master's degree has...

One of the strangest seasons is over, if not the most. Once this season is over, the characteristic dance for couples begins, for many couples the final master's degree has meant their last game as a couple. A season in which uncertainty has taken over the world of paddle tennis; It was not known how many tournaments were going to be played, if they were going to be with the public or behind closed doors.

This year there have been many modifications that will affect the future of paddle tennis worldwide such as: the tournaments played outside of Spain (Sardinia), the change of color to the track for the final master, but what has been talked about the most is the change of strategy when implementing the Golden Point.

The gold point has been implemented by the World Padel Tour organization to speed up the matches and give them more excitement. In the end, to continue growing, paddle tennis has to be broadcast, and this often forces a match to have a roughly determined duration. A measure that at first brought many retractors since they did not see it feasible in a sport like this.

As the tournaments have gone by, the golden point has been established normally and almost no one remembers what it cost to win two points in a row with forty equals.

The amateur player still plays like the old-fashioned way, he continues to play tournaments and friendly matches counting forty equals and his subsequent advantage . Many of the players have not adapted this change to their friends games or internal competitions. Instead, many federations follow the World Padel Tour format and for their high-level official competitions they have the gold point.

Every time Seba Nerone writes down a golden point in his notebook, a mental game begins and a specific strategy for couples; both for the one that takes out and the one that remains. This article will explain the ways in which this moment of the match can be dealt with. It must be noted that it is not an easy time to control emotions , nor to manage such an important point that can define from a break, a set and even a match . The couples have twenty seconds to manage a decisive point.

This point can break the game or hook the couple that was behind on the scoreboard again. Certain players will play a chip in these points and what can cause you to run out of the point or in the reverse case sell and lose the point, so the emotion is served .

We will start with the management of emotions:

Strategy and situation for the couple that serves:

A very complicated situation since the future of your serve to a single point is being debated, you have the advantage of serving . By serving you have the advantage of choosing a predetermined move with your partner . The serve is one of the most important shots and if you know how to use it, one of the most effective in paddle tennis. A good serve at such an important point can leave the ball free for your partner to define . It must be kept in mind that we start with an advantage since we have our serve.

At no time should we enter the loop of errors and decline for having reached this moment with our serve, it is not a lost game. The pair cannot sink because if the pair sinks the rest will find it comfortable when subtracting and most likely that game will end in a break.

In the case of playing with the second serve , you must remain calm, as all is not lost, the only thing that is generated is a decrease in the advantage that the serve provides us. This fact does not mean that we do not continue to have the initiative of the point, but always knowing that it is a point that decides the game.

The couple that is preparing to serve has to change the chip, and know that the mental rest that they had before in the forty equals, now they will no longer have it.

Time management is very important since in the end you are responsible for making the serve. The couple has to know what is good for the game, if it is a fast game or instead to stop the game a bit (if it is necessary to earn a time warning). If we are in good dynamics, we will choose to serve as soon as possible, and if they have scored several points in a row, then the most convenient thing would be to stop the game.

Strategy and situation for the remaining pair:

For the returning pair there is also a complicated situation when it comes to managing emotions; it is so close and at the same time so far from getting the long-awaited break . The remaining couple has to remain calm, nothing is done. Trust that they start with a small advantage that is: choose the side of the receiver.

The mood value is very important, since the receiving partner chooses who returns according to the mood or confidence in this game . As much as I have a very good return, if I'm not putting a ball into the opponent's field and my partner has made a game to frame, obviously he will subtract out of confidence and development of the game.

One must be cautious and know that one point decides the game, that all the effort can be for nothing but that one point can lead you to glory and an advantage on the scoreboard.

It is very important when doing the rest, knowing how to handle time , if I want to subtract quickly or I want to stop time to analyze the point (This usually happens after making a rude mistake). If the couple is working well, they will ask to subtract as soon as possible, to continue with this good streak. Otherwise, the score was 0-40 and they have reached the level, it is important to stop and face the point without these previous points having influenced anything.

From a tactical point of view:

After this measure and as we have commented, a strategy was born that they did not have before, some tactics; many coaches have begun to warm their heads looking for maximum effectiveness in these situations. These headaches start not only for the coach , but also for both couples. The subtracting couple must take into account who subtracts better, or where the member of the opposing couple serves worse.

This measure is a prize for success in decisive moments , a setback or leaving the game at some specific moment can tip the balance against . When a moment like this is reached, there is no margin for error for couples and they must decide how to deal with it: if we are going to risk it, we are going to take risks to see if it favors us, with the risk of failing. The other option is to be tight-lipped and conservative until you see the point clearly.

Tactics for the remaining pair:

  • Rest side:

The returning pair can choose to return on the side where the serving player has more distance until they reach the net. With this strategy, the subtracting player will be able to subtract in parallel and the player will take longer to hit the volley and will have to hit it while moving.

The pair can also choose to return on the side where the returning player feels more comfortable to throw a lob and remove any point initiative from the serving pair.

  • Strategy:

The remaining couple can choose between playing slowly, and playing calmly enduring the rival's attacks. The pair will try to play a slow game until they find some weakness or a bad blow from the opponent and have the opportunity to counterattack.

The other available option is to subtract with a lob (whenever possible) and if it's moderately good, go up to volley your tray . In these cases the couple will try to take away the initiative and dominate the network from the outset.

  • Play a chip:

Knowing which court we are playing on and what its characteristics are like, it is possible that if I am a player who trusts my punch a lot, even if I am not one hundred percent comfortable, I may play a chip to try to define and finish the point . This usually happens a lot on very fast tracks like Valladolid.

Tactics for the serving couple:

  • A good serve:

A firm serve can generate an obvious opportunity to finish the point. In case of not creating an obvious chance, at least not losing the initiative of the point and being able to continue maintaining the net. In case of loss of network or initiative, the forces are equalized and the future of the point is already in equal parts.

  • Do not use the Australian formation:

If the pair does not use the Australian formation, the rival pair will see fewer holes when subtracting. You will not be able to subtract in parallel since your partner will be waiting to volley with your feet still and you will be able to get on top of the ball and finish the point.

With this kind of strategy and mindset you will be able to improve in this new format!


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