What I Learned at Paddle Camp - The Paddle Camp

January 18, 2023


This is the fourth installment of a new series written by platform tennis camp clients from around the country. Each camp has a unique group of directors and pros in special locations, and each camper has a distinctive experience.

CAMP: The Paddle Camp in various locations

CONTACT: thepaddlecamp.com, Follow @patriciomistrano and @arrayajuan on Instagram and thepaddlecamp on Facebook.

DIRECTORS: Juan Arraya and Patricio Misitrano

INSTRUCTORS: Vic Cran, Liz Cruz, Jade Curtis, Kyle Devlin, Austin Gardella, Dan Hansen, Martina Ondrejkova, David Papis, Mark Parsons, Roman Stoisavljevic.

CAMPERS: Carolina Corrigan, John Kalas, and Jessica Kelly

2023-paddle-camp-Carolina Corrigan and group-600
Carolina's Group


The Paddle Camp Carolina Corrigan John Kalas Jessica Kelly
Goals for camp My goal for camp was to dust the rust off. Even though I play paddle almost year-round, paddle camp is a great way to get back into more competitive paddle mode. And of course, spend hours on the paddle court and have fun with my paddle ladies! My goal for the camp was to learn a combination of both technique and strategy with a focus on positional strategy. The camp experience for me is also becoming part of my annual tune-up to get better at the game. I went to the Nantucket paddle camp with my long-time league partner and best friend, Jami Cummings! We’ve been playing for about 7 years in Rochester, NY, and were looking to combine top-level paddle instruction with a fun end-of-summer gateway.
First thing you learned that you wish you knew two years ago Really understanding the reset ball. I had a tendency to hit down on the ball, which made for a really good drive for my opponent if I missed my target. Keep it low and deep. Hit the push overhead low, soft, and deep. If you hit a push overhead short, too hard, or high, come in and expect to defend a drive. If you hit a good, deep lob over the net team, there is no need to rush to the net. Your opponents will most likely hit another lob back. We tend to run up to the net so quickly that we overhit the ball because of the unnecessary momentum.
One or two pieces of advice from the coaches that you're using all the time 1. You don't want to miss a lob long. Yes, a short lob isn’t great and it might get you in trouble (and in trouble with your partner) but you always have the screens to help. When you do hit a great lob, look for offense.
2. Make your opponent hit a first volley; it can be a tough one!
1. When you lob, lob in a way to take advantage of your partner’s strength. Lob to the service line. When you move the overhead team off the net, look for an opportunity to shift in the baseline to take advantage of short balls.
2. Don’t hit winners. Hit the ball to make your opponent off balance.
3. If you’re covering the volley at the net from the ad side, don’t move left to cover the overhead
I wouldn’t classify this as advice but when we were at camp Juan would yell, “No, no, noooo!” when he saw us incorrectly executing the drill we just learned. We all would bust out laughing! Now when my partner and I recognize we are doing something wrong we too yell, “No, no, nooo” just like Juan. I think it helps us reset and release frustration in a game where we’re here to have fun!
Favorite drill at camp Any fun zone drill! I really enjoy transition/blitzing drills. On the last day, we had game play and the pros watched and gave feedback. It was really helpful. You can probably master most paddle drills, but putting it all together and being able to use it in play can be a real challenge. Serve and return are important to start the point—the pros were very helpful in giving us strategies when either wasn’t working well. You get so much more time on the court in paddle camp versus a clinic that you have time to work things through and ask questions. The I-Formation drill Overall, the camp was run perfectly. It was action-packed for all three days with very little idle time. My favorite drill was ‘covering the nick’. At my level, a nick shot maybe only happens once or twice a game and you feel helpless when it happens to your partner but if you can be in the right position to cover your partner, you feel like a hero!
Anything you want people to know about the camp experience/your experience Going to The Paddle Camp at Total Tennis in Saugerties is an experience in itself. If you ever went to sleep-away camp as a kid you will find yourself right at home. Outside of the great fun of playing hours and hours of paddle, you meet so many new and interesting people. I really enjoyed watching the pros play. It is amazing how easy playing paddle looks when they play The Paddle Camp experience is great. Juan and Patricio have participants with a common set of experience (for example no one is brand new to the game, no one is way beyond in ability of anyone else). Most folks sign up with friends or teammates. There’s a certain collegiality. And the coaches on each court give instant feedback on drills and point play. I’ve gone twice now, and I’ve made and learned from new friends. There’s also great music, drink, and stories. Think how it would be if you could take tennis lessons with Nadal. It’s amazing. Camp is for everyone. Juan and Patricio created the lessons/drills so they apply to anyone at any level. I would also say that my paddle partner and I got the most out of it because we did it together.
Any fun off-the-court stories Oh, you will have to go to The Paddle Camp to get the great stories. If you haven't been to The Paddle Camp, you are missing out. Grab your paddle buddies and go! I think we signed binding confidentiality agreements. We were so lucky to go to camp on Nantucket. We took full advantage of our location and didn’t hold back on late nights, good food, and (too many) drinks. It made some of the early morning camp start times a little challenging but we wouldn’t change a thing!


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John Kalas Group

2023-how-paddle-camp-Jami Patricio Jessica-500
Jami, Patricio, and Jessica


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