The padel club Mas is one of the artisans of the great development of padel in France. Focus on the club and the experience of Alain Henry.
1 / Can you tell us the beginning of your love with the padel?
By living next to the Spanish border, it is naturally in Spain that I discovered Padel. I immediately joined and we, with Frédéric TAP my partner, decided to build a court in our club first for our personal pleasure but also with the idea of discovering our members a new activity already well located in Spain.
2 / Do you think that the integration of the padel in the FFT is a good thing?
We were among those who campaigned for the padel to join the tennis federation. At the time, the Padel Federation in place had not done much for the development of its sport. The FFT has seized this opportunity. Things are moving but not fast enough in my opinion. It is still a little early to say if this is or will be positive.
3 / The club is one of those who launched the padel in France ...
We participated in its hatching but other clubs existed before us. It is true that our dynamic was going in the right direction and in a period favorable to the development of the padel. The most important thing was to create the demand and then gradually support this request with a concern for quality both on the pedagogical approach and on the social aspect of the padel.
4 / Today the club offers even more padel. 3 padel were not enough?
Our first short was born in 2012, then two others in 2013 and finally 3 others in 2015. We have removed 2 tennis courts for this. It was a bold bet but it turned out to be a winner. We do not forget our history with tennis, and we continue to train young people but today the padel gives a boost to the family of snowshoe sports that badly needed it. The proof in 4 years has gone from short 1 to 28 short in our department.
5 / What does the padel bring to tennis and vice versa? In your club, do you see synergies?
Unlike its big brother tennis, the padel is easier to access. No need for 10h lessons to make exchanges quickly. The closed structure, the size of the racket, the game for two make it easier ... People can have fun immediately even if it's the first time. Added to this is the social aspect of the padel which, based on the meeting, sharing and conviviality that has been a little lost in tennis and the padel brings to light. If the tennis activity can live on its achievements, padel activity requires more attention. It will animate, teach to make you want. The first time must be the right one and must make you want to come back and it works very well when the accompaniment and the presentation of the activity have been well done. However I am very skeptical that a person starting the padel then goes to tennis. On the other hand, a tennis player who switches to the padel is very frequent and he will not necessarily return to tennis, because to progress then he will have to forget some tennis automatisms. For toddlers, learning tennis on a padel court is also an interesting and effective thing.
6 / On the educational part, your tennis experience helps you on the tennis part?
Our club based its success on that. The quality of tennis instruction in France is recognized all over the world. Although teaching padel requires specific training the experience gained on tennis courts since 30 years is actually serving me. Nevertheless, I had to learn everything in Spain and Spanish / Catalan because in France the educational tools are sorely lacking. That is why with Cédric CARITE former French 1 and former DTN we wrote a book to explain and give readers the basics and specificities of this sport.
For a sport to develop there are two important levers: to train teachers and create padel schools with young players .. Already this year players will try their luck on the pro circuit (HAZIZA, SCATENA, Laura CLERGUE) And this is a good thing. It will take time to compete with Spain or Argentina, but we must be able to provide the means and ambitions.
Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Pyramid Club in 2009 in the Paris region. Since then padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France by going to cover the big French paddle events.