Padel may be the latest sport for adults to sweep across the UK, but it’s not exclusively for over 18s. Kids also love the game of padel.
The fact that the game rules are simple, you don’t need a lot of expensive kit to play and that the sport is becoming so accessible means lots of youngsters are signing up for a piece of the action and fun too.
Parents and carers rejoice because as well as providing a sociable environment for young people, padel is also great for exercise and honing motor skills. Another benefit is coordination. Then there is the self-esteem aspect. Even just being able to play the game brings around self-confidence. Winning a game is a double boost.
What is padel?
Padel is best described as a cross between tennis and squash. It’s a game played in doubles on a court, using a racquet and a tennis ball. The scoring is similar to tennis, but, like squash, the ball can bounce against the wall.
How kids benefit from playing padel
- Helps them develop psychomotor skills
- Improves coordination
- It helps with agility
- It motivates them to exercise
- It’s good fun – and sociable (especially if they join lessons at their local community centre)
- Learning a new skill helps boost their confidence
- They learn how to move around with a partner (teamwork)
- It teaches them it’s ok to lose a game
- They learn discipline and good time management
- It’s good for the heart, muscles and head (playing releases endorphins which are known as the ‘happy’ chemicals)
A good age for a youngster to start playing padel seriously (i.e. going for lessons) is eight or nine – although kids younger than this have been known to pick up a padel racket and enter a court…
By the time they’ve reached this age, they’ve probably played the game socially with friends or family. Now they’re old enough to learn the rules and start training for games. To encourage them further you can buy them a racquet and some tennis balls to go and start practising.
If by the time they reach ten, and they’re still playing, you might want to get them a better racquet and maybe even invest in some special padel shoes. If it’s a weekly or twice-weekly after-school club they’re playing in; then it’s an excellent way for them to learn the benefits of punctuality and time management in general.
@CoachEdu3: “I remember when I did youth sports coaching, the children that were the most enthusiastic were the ones whose parents used coming to sports practice as a reward for completing their chores.”
If they’re still playing as they enter their teenage years, you can bet they’ve become competitive and are keen to play in padel tournaments and leagues. This is when a padel obsession begins – and you end up buying more than one racket because of the battering it takes as your offspring plays game and game to hone their skills.
When they’re still playing by their mid-teens well, you can be sure they’ll carry the sport well into adulthood. And you can congratulate yourself on a job well done.