Padel has provided an opportunity for several adult professional to find their passion back into active sports. As it is fun and easy to learn and play, Padel has been the return path to active playing for a large number of professionals. A substantial number of professionals have Padel as their means for fitness and relaxation.
Although relaxed playing is in itself a great means to a fit and stress-free lifestyle, competitive sports takes it one notch higher. It is evident that even while playing as a pastime, rallying and hitting around purposelessly is far less intense and fun than playing for points. Playing formal matches and tournaments goes one step further. It inspires one to bring the best of their physical prowess, mental focus and emotional fire into one single package – zeal to win.
Many professionals who have been participating in the Padel tournaments in the last few months did experience a rekindling of that fire in the belly, that desire to compete and win all over again. It motivates them to fight it out to the end, never give up, think strategically and give in their best in their quest to win even those matches when they are pitted against better players. Participating in tournaments accelerated their skill-development many many times. In the last few months that we have been conducting regular Padel tournaments, the overall Padel skill quotient in India has escalated to the next level.
Adding to that, a sporting League belongs to a totally different league – literally. Unlike 1-day tournaments, where players go through shorter formats, which gives very little chance to recover from inadvertent errors, a League provides everyone ample time to recover from mistakes, giving everyone a fair chance to goof up and still get back into their game. A League consists of full matches, and hence both teams have sufficient chances to experiment, make mistakes, learn and improve while the match is on. You play only one match per week, and so you have enough time to plan and strategize for your next match. You could watch your opponents’ matches and build your strategy against each of them. The whole league is spread over 3 months which could see your skills skyrocketing to a whole new level by the team the end of the league approaches.
The InPadel Padel League was the first opportunity for me to participate in competitive sports. Apart from a few occasions of representing my school, which was decades ago, this was the first time I was indulging in any serious sport of any kind. We got a couple of tough draws to start with, pitted against players who had been playing Padel for some time, and sheer lack of experience in match-play caused me to not provide ample support to my partner, Divyang, who was playing brilliantly, and despite hard-fought battles, we blew away the first two matches. After these defeats, I became over-cautious, and as a result of feeling mentally cramped, gave away the third match too. This had led me to a situation where I seriously started doubting my capability to win any more, and I regretted being a liability for my partner, who could have done way better with any decent partner.
Luckily, this was followed by two easier draws, which we won, and gradually regained my self-belief. But, I got to know that the third match which we were supposed to play that day was against a team that had been beating the teams we had lost to earlier. This was a major setback, and I mentally braced myself for yet another loss. When the match started, the first game went on for about 10 minutes, with more than a dozen deuces, and we finally ended up winning that game and broke the serve. This gave me a belief that probably we could just take this game if I held on to my nerves and played with rhythm. Thereon, I just focussed on being consistent, not give away anything, and my partner did the rest to get us a real hard-fought victory
That win totally changed my self-belief and my approach to the games in the rest of the League.