When International Club Cup padel 2023 (won by his team), José Solano, the founder of Solano Academy, tells us about his journey with his son, José Solano junior, who became world champion in padel.

It all started 30 years ago

“I started 30 years ago by creating an academy exclusively dedicated to tennis in Marbella, on the Costa del Sol. Back then it was all tennis. With 600 students, our institution has quickly become a reference in the world of tennis. Big names like Carlos Costa and Juan Carlos Ferrero came to give clinics with us.

I was very invested, so much so that I didn't know my son was playing padel. Time passed and I had no idea how much he loved the sport.

Although our academy had land padel, we did not exploit them. Five tracks were available but I wasn't interested in them because the tennis academy was thriving. Many of our students went to the United States with scholarships to continue their studies.”

“Everything changed when my son was 9 years old…”

“One day, everything changed following a conversation with my son.

It was a Friday and he was 9 years old at the time. He admitted to me, almost ashamed: "I'm bad at padel. Despite years of practice, I'm really bad at it. » My son participated in tournaments, in his corner, but did not win any victories.

I asked him: “What do you want to do then?” »

He answered me: “I want to be world champion of padel »

Despite his self-perception and his failures, he dreamed of becoming world champion.”

“I stopped everything, inspired by my son’s passion”

“The following Monday, I decided to end the tennis academy, although it was very well known. I stopped everything to create a training academy padel, inspired by my son's passion. Since that day, I have devoted myself to my son and his dream.

This led to his title of junior world champion, obtained with Javi Garrido in 2017 against Tapia / Chiostri.

Today, the Solano Academy has 72 beds for young athletes who wish to train seriously or follow a sports-study program in padel. Big names have passed, and still pass through our academy.”

“Knowing how to fight at the highest level is the key”

“My son continues to train here. In my opinion, most young people know the basics of padel, but what really makes the difference is perseverance, work and combativeness on the ground. I fear that this notion of combat is not sufficiently instilled in the new generation. In a sport like padel, where competition is tough, knowing how to fight can make all the difference.”

CP: Maryna Kaliush – AECP

Franck Binisti

Franck Binisti discovers the padel at the Club des Pyramides in 2009 in the Paris region. Since padel is part of his life. You often see him touring France going to cover the major events of padel French.