The Willy is a defensive shot, used as a last resort, that is really spectacular and inherited from tennis.
First of all, as a curious fact, you should know that the name “Willy” is a tribute to the first tennis player to do it in 1975, the Argentinian Guillermo “Willy” Vilas.
As you will have noticed watching padel games, it is a shot that is done very rarely as in most cases it is preferable to hit a back wall boast or bend down to search for the ball low down and return it with a drive or backhand. So, when should you hit the “Willy”? You should only try it if you have great difficulty reaching the ball after it rebounds off the wall.
How to hit a Willy shot?
Before hitting the Willy:
- You need to be looking at the wall, with your back to the opponent´s side of the court. Have your legs open and slightly bent.
- Calculate your position well and the path you will take with the racket as it is very easy to hit yourself on the legs or in a more delicate place.
- At this point think if you are going to do a lob shot or go for a lower ball.
- Wait until you have the ball between your legs, that is the point to strike.
- If you intend to hit a lob shot, the path of the racket needs to be longer and with the face of the racket pointing upwards. If you want the ball to go lower, the movement needs to end straighter, finishing with the face of the racket in the direction of the opponent´s side of the court.
If you can, it is highly recommended to aim for a lob with the Willy. This will give you time to recover your position again for the next shot from your opponent. If you play a low shot and you have the other pairing very close to the net, it is very likely that they will dominate you with the volley and that you will be unable to recover your position.
In the video attached to the article you can see how our stars from Team Nox do it.
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