Andalusian coach José Solano granted Padel Magazine extensive maintenance from Malaga. He expresses himself on its academy, its players, the padel French, and gives us superb reflections on the evolution of padel.

“Dad, I want to be world champion padel"

Lorenzo Lecci Lopez: How is the academy in Andalusia? Tell me the history and current affairs of your academy.

Jose Solano: “We started 11 years ago with an academy style that looks like a tennis academy. It was mostly physical, mental and tactical work. ”
“It all started with José my son who told me at eight years old "I want to be world champion of padel». The story began there. ”

"The padel has changed a lot in recent years. Before, only the seniors played. We are pioneers in the fact that we introduced young people and minors to padel. We grew up with the miners until today, and we are 100% dedicated to minors, and to WPT players. We are working with young people to reach the WPT. Our students work 3 or 4 hours every day of the week. Now you have to be much more focused on the padel, especially on physical work which represents 60 to 70% of the work. ”

José Solano jr ​​in full bloom

Lorenzo Lecci Lopez: Tone son reached his first round of XNUMX on the WPT last week. It must be a special feeling for a father, tell us your feelings. How far do you see it coming?

Jose Solano: “José's generation with Javi Garrido, Momo Gonzalez… We are facing a group of young people who grew up together. José, in relation to the physical qualities he has, needs a partner who is able to hit hard, as he defines himself as someone who is easily passable, as he is small in stature. When he's with a player who hits the ball well up high, like Jaime Menendez, then results can come. Instead of impersonating 20 times, he will impersonate 10 times. In addition, this boy gave him a lot of freedom. With Jaime the connection was good from the first moment, and he was able to be the point guard. In the end, everything lined up for them to reach the knockout stages. ”

“On a personal level, you can imagine. I know the qualities he has, I know how hard he works, and I know the results will come. ”

José Solano Jr. in his Round of 1 at the WPT Alicante Open

“Their mother tongue is padel"

“But now the level of padel is very high. Before, young people only played two competitions a month, and now they all play four, one every week. There are two generations, on the one hand, that of Galan, and Lebron, and on the other hand that of today with Momo Gonzalez, Garrido, Solano… These are generations which arrived with a lot of knowledge concerning the padel. These are young people who only know the padel. "
“When the Argentines arrived, there were mostly tennis players here. And they knew the padel since very young. Now here we have children that I have known since they were five or six years old, and who have always played padel. Their mother tongue is padel. And we notice it a lot, especially at the level of competitions in Spain. The miners' championships are impressive. They are super well organized, minors travel every week throughout Spain. There are two worlds, our academy won four out of five finals. Children today are born with the racquet in their hands and you really notice it on the WPT."

Coquito jugador Cartri

The little “Coquito”, one of the most promising young players

“In 4 years there will be a lot of French people on the WPT”

Lorenzo Lecci López: How do you see the development of padel French?

Jose Solano: “I have been the padel French, and it has evolved a lot. Before, when a Spaniard played against a Frenchman, we already knew the result before the match even started. Now there is a group of French people who play really well. There is also a group of young people who will be arriving soon, and who will be playing very well on the circuit in four or five years. ”
“We can notice that the level is improving day by day. The French are playing more and more tournaments in Spain and Portugal. They can be seen in Spanish academies. The Spanish academies are no better than the academies of other countries, the difference is that there are more very good players in the Spanish academies. You can train in France and have a very good level of padel, but the competition you will have in Spain will not be the same. In our academy for example, we have 7 pairs of youngsters on the WPT between preprevia, previa and the main table. ”

“Brandon Sfez has a very good hand”

Lorenzo Lecci López: You are currently training Frenchman Brandon Sfez. Do you think he's likely to make it to the previa, or the main draws in the next few years?

Jose Solano: “Brandon is a player who has a lot of padel. He's a kid with a lot of possibilities to go far. He unfortunately has a physical problem with his foot, but as they say here, he has a very good hand. It has a level of padel very very high. In addition, at the moment, he is very envious. He trains for three or four hours every day and you can tell he's improving a lot. "

brandon ethan sfez world padel tour menorca

Brandon Sfez at the WPT Menorca Open

“Béa Gonzalez made the right choice”

Lorenzo Lecci López: Let's talk about Béa Gonzalez. How do you see his change of partner?

José Solano: “I had been training Béa since she was 10 until she moved to Madrid last year. Béa is a girl with impressive competitive qualities. She is also a great person. She has a lot of talent for competition, she proved it from a young age. She has always played in the higher categories. ”

"I think she will benefit from the change of pair, because she is still very young, and I think this player will put less pressure on her. Béa is still in progress. She still has two or three years left so that she can be regularly in the final or semi-final. She needs a player who allows her to play her own game, and she doesn't feel so much pressure. ”

Bea Gonzalez Paula Josemaria

Bea Gonzalez and his new partner, Paula Josemaria

“Momo Gonzalez is the greatest talent”

Lorenzo Lecci López: Can you tell me the most talented player you have coached? And the most hardworking?

Jose Solano: “You know a lot of players have been here. The most talented I could possibly tell you Momo Gonzalez."
“Most workers, Garrido was a great worker. For example he was a youngster who could train eight hours a day, and he wanted even more. But in this lineage, there were also many. This group of young people got together because they were all hungry. Before, when there were no defined academies, young people formed groups to train. They would meet and train together all summer. I don't think there is a generation as pure as the previous one. They were so hungry for Word Padel Tower they devoured the padel, the pitch and the tournaments to reach the WPT. ”
“Now it's more of an individual training. I think now, either because they see it's very difficult to reach the WPT or because the groups are smaller, I don't see as many very good players in the minors as there are. two or three years. ”

Cartri, a leading brand

Lorenzo Lecci López: How did the Cartri project start? What relationship do you have with the brand?

Jose Solano: “It all started when the brand started in the padel five years ago. I know Antonio Martins very well, and I say he's practically like my brother. This is a brand that I feel totally identified with. Now the pandemic has arrived, but we were in the best time since the brand launched. There are a lot of players who, with our equipment, are on the front line, and we are not a multinational. ”

“Antonio does everything with his heart, and deserves a lot of credit. The first quality material and at the textile level, the number one in the world. Antonio is very close to everyone, and that's something different from other brands. Antonio is at the edge of the court with all the players. He is constantly talking to them via WhatsApp. This proximity is very noticeable. The evolution has been positive, and we can now compete with any other brand. ”

José Solano son Antonio Martins José Solano

Antonio Martins, CEO of Cartri, between José Solano father and son

The life of an academy despite the restrictions

Lorenzo Lecci López: How did you adapt to the restrictions of the coronavirus?

Jose Solano: “Until today we have been fairly free in Malaga. In the summer many people came from Chile, Mexico, USA, Portugal and this year they couldn't come. We have been much more with the national population. I really like it when you get rich with other schools from other countries, because the children who come and train for seven or eight hours are children who dream of padel. In our academy, a child does not come because he wants to play padel. It's those who want to reach the WPT who come: that's the difference. ”

"The padel, it's like French ”

“It's like a language. If you study French for two hours, you won't speak very well. But if you live in France and speak eight hours a day, then in no time you will be speaking French very well. The padel is a matter of hours. I saw children who had no qualities and who woke up with the competitions and in the end who play very well. And I also saw some very talented kids who after a while decided they didn't want to continue competing. Ultimately, you have to unite the two things: talent and the desire to train and compete."
“I always talk about hope because as long as there is hope you will continue to train and play and you will seek to achieve your goal. The moment you no longer have that optimism, you no longer train with the same desire, the same intensity and the same dreams. ”

"The World Padel Tour gives an important boost ”

Lorenzo Lecci López: How do you see the development of the WPT?

Jose Solano: "Le World Padel Tour is a private company that tries to sell the best padel of the world. There are positives and negatives. For example, the positives: this company allows that in the worst times, you can continue to see padel high level. They maintain the Tour with all the limitations that exist. Without an audience, with the difficulty of mobility, it is true that the WPT gives a fairly significant boost. “
“For me, it's very positive that they all play on the same type of surface since the pre-previas. All year round in Madrid, everyone has played on the same surface. It seems good to me because in the end, the player has to learn to adapt to the terrain. The WPT makes every effort to continue to maintain the highest level of padel in the world. ”

From his names, we can guess his Spanish and Italian origins. Lorenzo is a multilingual passionate about sports: journalism by vocation and events by worship are his two legs. He is the international gentleman of Padel Magazine. You will often see it on the various international competitions, but also on the major French events. @eyeofpadel on Instagram to see his best photos of padel !