Padel – A Racket Sport the Whole Family Can Enjoy

people playing padel

If you’re looking for a new way to get active and spend quality time together as a family, padel could be the perfect activity. This exciting racket sport is taking the world by storm, and for good reason – it’s easy to pick up but challenging enough to keep everyone entertained.

Padel combines elements of tennis and squash, played on an enclosed court about a quarter the size of a tennis court. The smaller confined space makes it ideal for families with kids of all ages and skill levels. Even young children can develop rallying skills quickly, while teens and adults will love the fast-paced competition. With a nice mix of strategy and aerobic exercise, padel offers something for everyone in a fun, social atmosphere. Games are short but action-packed, making it the perfect family activity to enjoy together on weekends or after work and school.

Learn more about the benefits of padel for families and find out more about our padel courts in Horsham – coming soon.

What is padel?

Padel, often described as a blend of tennis and squash, is a racket sport that can be played in doubles on an enclosed court about a third the size of a tennis court. Originating in Mexico in the late 1960s, padel quickly spread to other countries, becoming especially popular in Spain and Latin America.

Unlike tennis, where you need a large space and often find singles matches, padel courts are smaller, and the game is typically played in doubles, making it ideal for family padel outings. The court is surrounded by glass walls or solid material from which the ball can be played, similar to squash. Padel tennis uses a specific padel bat, which is solid without strings, unlike the traditional tennis racket. This makes it easier to handle and control, suiting players of all ages and skill levels. The balls used in padel are similar to tennis balls but with slightly less pressure, facilitating longer rallies and more enjoyable gameplay.

padel racket and balls

Benefits of padel for families

Physical health benefits

Engaging in padel offers substantial physical health benefits, such as improved cardiovascular fitness and muscle strengthening, for the entire family. Every match elevates the heart rate, promoting better heart health and endurance. This constant movement boosts stamina and overall energy levels.

Additionally, padel requires players to run, swing, and stretch, strengthening various muscle groups. This offers enhanced arm, leg, and core strength and improved coordination and flexibility, reducing the risk of injuries during other physical activities.

Mental health benefits

Beyond physical health, padel also offers notable mental health benefits, including stress relief and enhanced mental well-being for the whole family. The simple act of hitting the ball can be a powerful form of stress release. Each stroke allows players to channel pent-up energy or frustration in a controlled, healthy way.

Engaging in a light-hearted game with your loved ones can significantly boost your mood. The laughter and joy that naturally comes from playing together can be incredibly therapeutic. The focus required in padel can enhance mental agility; planning strategies and anticipating your opponent’s moves also gives your brain a workout. This can lead to improved concentration and mental sharpness, benefits that extend well beyond the game.

Social benefits

While padel offers mental refreshment, it also fosters social connections, strengthens family bonds, and helps you make new friends. This sport’s unique setup, which uses doubles as the standard play mode, naturally encourages teamwork and communication. You’ll find yourselves strategising together, improving your game and interpersonal skills.

Playing padel allows families to spend quality time together away from the distractions of daily life. It’s a fun, engaging way to connect, ensuring everyone, from kids to grandparents, can join. This inclusivity boosts feelings of belonging and happiness among family members, making every game a joyful family event.

Padel courts are often part of larger clubs or community centres, where you meet other families and padel enthusiasts. This environment is perfect for socialising and expanding your social circle. The shared interest in the sport provides a common ground, making initiating conversations and fostering new friendships easier.

Playing padel with different age groups

When you play padel, you can easily adjust the game to include players from children to seniors. Each age group brings unique skills and limitations to the court, creating an exciting mix.


You can introduce your children to padel as early as four, which offers significant developmental benefits. This fun sport enhances motor skills, coordination, and social abilities. Benefits include:

  • Improved hand-eye coordination and physical agility as they learn to hit the ball with a racket. These early experiences in sports can foster a lifelong interest in staying active.
  • Playing padel helps develop teamwork and communication skills. They learn to cooperate with a partner, share space, and strategise, which are invaluable lessons for their social development.
  • The game’s fast pace keeps them engaged and teaches them about quick decision-making and adapting to new situations.
  • Padel courts are often smaller and enclosed, which makes the game safer and more manageable for young kids. 
  • The equipment, specifically rackets, is lighter and more manageable for small hands to handle, ensuring they can play comfortably and enjoy the game without feeling overwhelmed.
Child playing padel


As children grow into teenagers, playing padel continues to offer valuable physical and social benefits:

teenager playing padel
  • This fast-paced game keeps them physically active, sharpens their reflexes, and improves hand-eye coordination. It’s a fantastic way to manage stress, which can be plentiful during teenage years.
  • Playing padel can also be a social outlet, allowing teenagers to interact with peers in a fun, relaxed environment. 
  • They’ll learn teamwork and communication skills as they work with a partner and strategise to win points. These skills are essential not just on the court but in everyday life. Plus, it’s a chance to make new friends or strengthen existing relationships.
  • This sport is adaptable, meaning it doesn’t matter if players are starting or have been playing other racket sports. 
  • Padel courts are smaller and enclosed, which keeps the ball in play longer and makes the game easier to pick up. This inclusivity makes it perfect for all, regardless of skill level.


Padel offers numerous health benefits for adults, making it an ideal sport for staying fit and active: 

  • As adults engage in this dynamic game, they burn calories and enhance their cardiovascular health. Every sprint, turn, and swing improves heart health and overall endurance.
  • Playing padel can significantly reduce stress. The game’s fast-paced nature demands sharp focus, pulling the mind away from daily worries and onto the court. This mental shift is a natural stress reliever, and the social interaction can further elevate mood and mental well-being.
  • Padel also offers an excellent way to improve agility and coordination. The game’s quick exchanges and need for strategic placements enhance reflexes and sharpen decision-making skills. These benefits translate into other areas of life, improving reaction times and cognitive functions.
adult man playing padel


Playing padel can significantly enhance both social engagement and physical activity for seniors. Benefits include:

senior playing padel
  • Padel offers a perfect blend of staying active and connected. 
  • With its lower impact than other racket sports, padel is gentler on joints, making it ideal for keeping fit without overstraining.
  • Padel courts are often buzzing with padel players of all ages, providing an excellent opportunity to meet new people and strengthen community ties. The game’s format encourages teamwork and communication.
  • Adaptations for older players, such as lighter rackets and slower balls, ensure they can enjoy the game comfortably. 

Getting started with padel

To get started with padel, you’ll first need to familiarise yourself with the rules, choose the appropriate equipment, and locate a suitable facility. Reading up on the basics can quickly get you up to speed. You’ll find that padel rules are similar to tennis but have unique twists, making it essential to understand these differences. Read our guide to playing Padel for more information.

Equipment-wise, you’ll need a padel racket. When selecting padel rackets, consider your skill level and comfort. Padel balls are similar to tennis balls but with slightly less pressure, so make sure you pick the correct type.

Finding a good place to play is essential. Look for local sports clubs or facilities that offer outdoor padel courts. These venues often provide additional resources, such as coaching or group sessions, which can be great for beginners.

You’re ready to start playing once you’ve got your equipment and found a venue. Remember, padel is as much about strategy and skill as it’s about fun, so enjoy your time on the court with your family.

Padel at Bluecoat Sports

Padel court mock up at Bluecoat Sports

At Bluecoat Sports, we’re thrilled to announce the addition of four state-of-the-art padel courts to our already impressive racket sports facilities in Horsham. Coming soon to the club, members and non-members alike will be able to book courts online and enjoy a padel game quickly and easily.

Keep an eye on our website for more information on how you can get playing!

Stay tuned for the official opening date, and get ready to serve up some excitement with padel at Bluecoat Sports!

Frequently asked questions

If the padel court is covered, you can play padel in all weather. At Bluecoat Sports, our padel courts will be covered, so rain or snow won’t stop your game.

You don’t need specific shoes to play, but it’s best to use court shoes that offer good grip and support to handle quick movements and changes in direction effectively.

Typically, a padel match lasts around 60 to 90 minutes. However, it can vary based on players’ skill levels and the specific rules of the tournament you’re in.

You’ll find scoring similar to tennis in padel, using love, 15, 30, 40, and game. However, matches are typically best of three sets, and there’s no advantage scoring during a deuce.