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We’ve both learned a thing or two

Hej hej! Hola! Hellooo!

It’s February, one of the tougher months for a Swede since the holidays are long gone yet there is still a long-a** wait until the Spring actually arrives. To make things worse, my daughter Alex had her second surgery since things weren’t moving forward after her first one. #secondtimesacharm On the positive side, the padel season kicks in soon with the first SPT being only a month away. #preseasonjitters

Pre-season training for me has included, among other things, league matches which started several weeks ago. Not only do they provide for a great sweat and great fuel for competitive hate fire #rageinthecage, they also make for great post-match conversation. Speaking of the league, the family feuds continue. My husband and his partner are leading the league — just a couple of points ahead of my team with two matches to go. So please send my team “Jenzanto” some good vibes :) 

Skaermavbild 2019 02 03 Kl 155510

Anyhow, something that has come up quite often during our post-match conversations is the mental side of padel. This brings me back to memories of aspiring to major in Sport Psychology in college. Those aspirations died pretty quickly. Working my way through the thick Intro to Psychology book, I read up on an endless amount of medical terms for dysfunctional behavior… Too many times I would say to myself “Wait. That behavior seems famiIiar. Do I do that sometimes? I do!!!” #paranoia #insaneinthemembrane #cypresshill In the end, I passed the course and quickly placed that book on the highest shelf of my bookshelf to collect dust #ignoranceisbliss 

Now that I’m starting to understand some of the technical and tactical sides of padel, I’m trying to figure out some of the psychological sides…

 

FIND YOUR FLOW

Why does the momentum of a match turn so quickly? Imagine you have won the first set quite painlessly and then suddenly you lose the second set in the blink of an eye without knowing what hit you. It could be that your opponents pick up their game up, it could be that you and your partner subconsciously relax and let your guard down. Maybe it’s a combination. Regardless, it’s a mystery and the main question is what do you do when the momentum starts to turn? How do you keep the flow? For me, keeping myself and my partner at least aware that a sudden turn can occur is the first step. After the win of a first set or taking a big lead, I try to maintain just as much focus other than just feeling relief.

PACE MAKER

Why does the pace of your opponents’ game so greatly affect the way you play? Seems there are still a lot of Swedish players that hit too hard and use high pace quite constantly. I understand the importance of using variation, but it is difficult to slow it down when opponents are hard-hitters. This is a constant challenge. For me, it is so easy to counter-act high pace with high pace because it is the most natural defense mechanism. How do you stay cool? When put under pressure by high-paced shots, I’m working on the fact that I simply need to create more time for my situation which means I need to take down the pace myself. #keepcalm #butkeepfeetmoving

IN SYNC

You and your partner are two different people with different strengths, weaknesses and attitude. It’s a challenge keeping your concentration, game and emotions synchronized as a team. It’s usually pretty easy when things are going the way you want them to but what happens when they aren’t going your way? How do you deal when your partner is “off” or when you are? Try to learn what your partner needs in certain situations whether it be a quick reassuring glance, a pumping fist or a quiet moment alone. And vice versa, try to let your partner know what you need or don’t need. #findthechemistry  

 Antonette och BillieAntonette och Billie återförenas i SPT-tävlingen i Luleå i mars.

Well, I have until March 2nd to let these thoughts marinate. So, in addition to training my shots and my body, I will also try to train my brain. For the first SPT in Luleå, I’ll be teaming up with former partner Billie Gajic. I’m looking forward to some exciting women’s padel together with her and seeing how we do after our long break from each other. I believe we’ve both learned a thing or two since then so I have a pretty good feeling and hope that we’ll be able to find our flow, control the pace and stay in sync!

//Antonette

 

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