Influence of the opposition on overhead smash velocity in padel players.
Abstract: Although it is well established that velocity of execution is an important performance factor in ball sports and the presence of opposition influences it, there has been no research done to date on the ball velocity in padel shots. The overhead smash is one of the most successful shots in this sport, and the present study aimed to study the effect of opposition on smash performance in semi-professional and amateur padel players. Forty-four semi-professional (n=14) and amateur (n=30) players volunteered to participate in this study. The overhead smash velocity was recorded for both groups of players with and without opposition using a radar gun. The ball velocity decreased in both groups of players in the presence of opposition (from 133.1±8.2 km·h-1 to 120.72±9.8 km·h-1 in semi-professional players; and from 124.6±9.2 km·h-1 to 104.5±10.0 km·h-1 in amateurs, p<.001). Although the semi-professional players achieved a greater velocity in both situations (p<.001) compared to amateurs, the reduction of velocity in the presence of opposition was greater in the amateurs (p<.001). The greater velocities for the semi-professional padel players could be attributed to a technical and tactical superiority due to their greater experience and higher level of competition. Simulating conditions of opposition could help reduce the velocity-precision trade-off, helping the players increase their overhead smash velocities.
- CAFYD