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5 Tips for Playing Padel with Kids

Quick introduction… my name is Ryan Harrower – I am employed as Racquets Development Officer within Edinburgh Council’s Sport and Outdoor Learning Unit. I have been involved in sports coaching (predominantly tennis and badminton) and development for the last 25 years and have focused a large part of my career developing schools and junior programmes.


I completed the Padelmba CPC and CPC Kids coaching qualifications this year and a new partnership with Game4Padel will see us introduce Padel to Edinburgh school pupils and assist in growing the G4P junior coaching programme.


Getting on court with your kids is a fantastic way to enjoy some time together and it sets a positive example of the importance of keeping active and leading a healthy lifestyle. So… ditch the iPads and book a court at one of the G4P venues!


Here are some tips to assist in making the experience enjoyable – for everyone!

1.     MAKE IT FUN!

Kids love to play, so let them play! Tap into their wonderful imaginations (my son loves super-heroes, so that’s usually the theme when we play on court!)



As much as you want to see your kids develop their skills, try not to go on court and start demanding anything too technical from them! It can be off-putting for kids to feel they are being told to do something or if feedback is negative. Lots of praise, encouragement and guidance is key when kids are learning something new! Focus on building confidence.



Using a variety of equipment is key to having fun on court. Some simple bits can assist in making the experience more fun, and achievable for different ages and abilities.


Different balls:

Similar to tennis, Padel uses different balls at each of the learning stages. These are typically a Red, Orange, Green and then Yellow ball. You can pick these up online / in Decathlon etc at a relatively low cost.


Some fun games: 

• “Keepy Uppies” – play on their own and set individual challenges, or play with you and set a team score!

• “Balloon Padel” – play with their hands, feet, rackets etc.

• “Bingo” – call a number, first to hit it wins!

Try these variations too:

• Can they hit their age?

• Can they spell words out loud – one letter at a time as they hit the balloon/ball?

• Introduce targets – tie some balloons together / use racket bags / ball tins etc – these can become targets for throwing balls at.

• Use different sized balls – lightweight balls (football/basketball size) will be easier to catch / kick / hit for beginners.



The walls can be tricky to grasp in the game, so understanding how the ball rebounds, and how to move to the ball is a great skill to learn early on.


• Play “Wall Ball” – keep score of how many you can throw and catch together using the walls.

• Add in fun variations: right/left hand catching / different number of bounces / rolling and trapping with the racket / kicking and trapping with feet – try this on both the side walls, and the back wall. Once they’ve built confidence and understanding of the rebound, try hitting balls off the wall with the racket!



Setting achievable goals is key for beginners. Once they start to see success, introducing progressions to each activity will challenge their skill level. If they experience a sense of accomplishment, it will build confidence and they’ll want to come back for more Padel!

The G4P Junior coaching programme at Edinburgh Park will resume in January, and we have added some new classes:

Mondays / Wednesdays

Ages 5-7: 4.00 – 5.00pm

Ages 8-10: 5.00 – 6.00pm

Ages 10-12: 6.00 – 7.00pm



Ages 5-7: 9.00 – 10.00am

Ages 8-10: 10.00 – 11.00am

Ages 10-12: 11.00 – 12.00noon


Book your child’s place at Edinburgh Park and/or Thistle Padel.




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