The Joy of Padel podcast with Marcos del Pilar

Marcos del Pilar is a successful serial entrepreneur and businessman as well as a Padel pioneer. A former tennis and padel pro player as well as pro coach, Marcos’ determination, commitment, hard work, and powerful networking have made him become one of the most influential and important figures in the development of Padel in the United States since 2017. In the World Championships of 2021 (Qatar) and 2022 (Dubai), Marcos was head coach of Team USA. Today, he is cofounder and commissioner of the Pro Padel League, President and CEO of Sports Management Padel, Director of Padel at the USTA, USPTA Head of Padel Certification, running the padel certification in North America (with more than 300 certified Professionals in the USA), and Director of PadelMBA.

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SUMMARY KEYWORDS: padel, marcos, play, sport, player, backhand volley, love, work, team, coaches, big, joy, year, facilities, partner, part, put, court, man

SPEAKERS: Minter Dial, Marcos del Pilar

Minter Dial  00:10

¡ Buenos días, chicas y chicos ! Hello and welcome, a very warm welcome to the Joy of Padel podcast, spreading and sharing the supreme delight of this wonderful and fast-growing game. I’m your host Minter Dial. And this podcast is brought to you by Padel1969 The largest manufacturer of premium padel courts, one quart for life by Padel 1969. The Joy of Padel is part of the Evergreen Podcast Network. For more information about the network, go and check out So, this is the inaugural season of the Joy of Padel podcast. And to start with, we’re going to do an episode once every fortnight. Episodes will drop every other Wednesday at 12 noon, London time. Please let us know what you think about the show by putting up a rating and review. So, welcome to the sixth episode of the Joy of Padel podcast. My guest today is the ebullient Marcos del Pilar. Marcos, if you don’t know him is a very successful serial entrepreneur, and a businessman as well as a padel pioneer. A former tennis and padel pro player himself as well as a pro coach, Marcos’s determination, commitment, hard work and powerful networking have made him become one of the most influential important figures in the development of padel in the United States since 2017. In the World Championships are 2021 in Qatar, and 2022 in Dubai, Marcos was the head coach of Team USA. Today he is co-founder and Commissioner of the brand new Pro Padel League out in North America. He’s also president and CEO of Sports Management Padel, director of padel at the USTA the USPTA had a padel certification running padel certification in North America with over 300 certified professional coaches now in the US. He’s also for his son’s director of padel NBA. Vamos! Hey, welcome Marcos del Pilar, what a pleasure to have you on the joy of podcast. Where are you these days, Marcos?

Marcos del Pilar  02:14

Hello Minter. Man, I’m so excited. Thank you very much for the invite. Really, really excited about this moment. Today in Orlando, I came back yesterday from Tampa, ready to rock, hey?

Minter Dial  02:27

And you are a busy, busy man. You have been invested in padel for a long time. Tell us first of all your route into padel? When did you discover it? And how did it go when you started?

Marcos del Pilar  02:42

Well, that’s a wonderful question. Because I obviously come from come from tennis, I used to be a tennis player back in the years, I don’t even remember, you know, it was 20 years ago. And then I became a tennis coach and a business owner, I used to have my my own locations in Spain. And at some point, we were fully invested in tennis, we were very well known in tennis building players traveling with them in the tour. But, you know, I had some members coming to me saying hey, Marcos, we would love to try but whatever, you know, and, you know, one day finally, I decided to build some for the courts in one of our facilities. And I usually tell about the story. You know, in the first two months, I I realized that I needed to be more courts because I discovered you know, the Yeah, the cross-selling strategies and the message, the business model behind it. And I thought like Wow, man, this is kind of a diamond that not only me, you know, but everybody should be exploring, you know, from now on and that from then, you know from them on that’s been my commitment, you know, telling the world about Battelle and about the potential and yeah, sharing my love, you know, for the sport and trying to get you know, more and more people involved around it.

Minter Dial  03:59

So, tell us exactly when that was when you build those first courts and where were you doing that?

Marcos del Pilar  04:04

That will seen in Madrid in Spain? I don’t remember the years too many years ago. I’m too old. Minter. I’m too old I’m becoming Oh. I don’t even remember like many years ago, and I need to tell you this. I’m not proud of saying this because some people are telling me like Oh, Marcos, you are the godfather for them. At least in the US or so on. And I’m not very proud to say this, but I know these kinds of podcasts is kind of, you know, saying funny moments around padel, and so on. But at the beginning, I need to recognize that I was a little bit hesitant you know, I say like, Hey, you know what, I’m a tennis player but I’m not gonna play this thing. You know, it’s like I didn’t want to play you know, in a cage. You know, this is for people that not don’t know, you know how to play tennis. But anyway, you know, thanks God that I had, you know, some members, good friends as well that were pushing me so hard. And I made that move, you know, I decided to include two courts. And after that the rest of history man is what I told you in a few months, in one month, I could say I said, like, What the hell, this is an unbelievable business model. Maybe because I understood it, you know, how to create these kinds of cross-selling strategies, once again, or whatever, but I discovered something amazing. And I need to tell you that we just doubled our income. In the next, you know, in six months, we basically doubled our income, you know, in our facilities, and I can tell you that we were pretty successful with tennis. So, that wasn’t easy, but we double our income by adding some padel courts. So, this is, you know, a legacy that I needed to tell the world about and to get more and more people, you know, connected with this because of that.

Minter Dial  05:52

Well, the timing that you’re talking about is before padel became so popular. And today, there are many sort of more traditional tennis clubs that remain hesitant to go about it thinking Pooh-poohing it saying, Well, what is that kind of a noisy game in a cage? So you aren’t the first person and you certainly won’t be the last. They continue to be hesitant. But fortunately, as soon as you get the bug, it goes live and goes crazy. So, in your in your padel life, you played in the FIP, you got to a ranking, as I saw it of like 550th or something like that. Congratulate! Right or was it higher?

Marcos del Pilar  06:31

No, I think that’s as of now because I just played you know, one or two tournament last year, because I needed to become you know, the partner of one of the players that I’m coaching. But I’m not in competition anymore. I usually, you know, play every day, but not on the competition level. I’m not, I’m not a player anymore. I consider myself like a coach or a businessman, you know, I’m very connected with the business, you know, in parallel. And I love playing but I’m not competing anymore. I’m not that good, man.

Minter Dial  07:02

Oh well, listen, I don’t believe that for a second and I can’t wait to get a chance to play with you. So, just before we get into some more fun, fun questions, tell us exactly what you’re up to. Because I mean, between coaching coaches, the professional padel League, and your consultancy in the worlds of the USPA and the USTA, you’re a busy man. So, give us what you’re up to in terms of these types of positions.

Marcos del Pilar  07:30

Well, basically, you know, everything that is related to personnel and very, very focused on invested, you know, on the growth of the sport in the United States. So, there are you know, kind of the, you know, big foundations of things that we’re doing in the US, which is obviously consultancy for clubs, you know, and investment groups, you know, and venture capitals that they want to learn, you know, or they need some help on how to land their investments in the US. This is taking, you know, a bit of my time. On the business side, obviously, you know, I’m the co-founder and Commissioner of the property League, which is an initiative that we put together last year is becoming very, very successful. We are you know, super excited about the next steps that we are doing, I’ll let you know later about it. Obviously the third piece of something that we are doing is education for coaches, this is more connected with my with my love for the sport, my goal to leave a legacy you know, and start building the army of ambassadors to spread the word out and to grow the sport and to grow it you know, with sustainability in the long term. So, this is something that I really love doing to be honest with you know getting into the court you know, providing them the knowledge and talking them about the experience you know, on how to start teaching and promoting the sport properly and how to teach you on the court and so on. This is something that I that I love we’re doing that you know in partnership with padel MBA which is our partner for these ventures as well here in the US, Canada and the Caribbean. And yeah, I work with the USTA, you know, but they’ll consultant you know, with the USPTA on this education side or whatever but mainly you know, is my main focus is proper the league education and working with investment groups and people interested in growing the sport on a consultancy basis.

Minter Dial  09:24

So I want to get into the PPL in a moment but let’s just focus on the coaching piece because I think this is a fundamentally important role that you’re doing. And when I when I look at clubs that are successful in padel it’s because they have a great coach and for me a great coach as I see it, and I’d love you to comment on this is someone not only who’s got the technical abilities to understand how to teach, but also knows how to level people knows how to create the ambiance and talk about the off-padel piece almost. You know the social piece, drinking a cerveza afterwards, despues del partido; and also providing that sort of the culture of padel not just the technical piece.

Marcos del Pilar  10:12

I couldn’t agree more Minter. I couldn’t agree more, I think that, you know, the technical side of the sport is important because we all need to work under the same umbrella, you know, and we need to teach properly, you know, and, but something you know, that I’m, I invest a lot of time in is, is telling them, you know, about the business model behind, you know, they need to understand, you know, what the business model behind the sport and how to start attracting people, you know, retaining players, which is probably the key for very successful facilities, high renovating revenue, you know, facilities and so on. And it’s not only that, I think, I usually say on my conferences that we are not in the rocket industry, this is kind of weird. I usually say that we are in the emotions industry. So, love it sort of, oh, yeah, I mean, emotional with a racket in our hands. That’s what I usually say. So, we don’t sell services, we don’t sell even messages, you know, what we sell is emotions. So, we got, let’s say, a big, big responsibility on creating memorable moments for people with the racking in their hands, you know, create impact in their lives somehow, and people to, we gotta look for this wow moment that I’m always looking for, you know, this wow moment, where people are looking at you with this light in their eyes, saying, Man, this is amazing, you made my day, you know, and, and this is coming, you know, obviously, myself, you know, coming from my passion for the sport, but also trying to apply all these marketing experiences, you know, and marketing knowledge for so many years, tried to apply them, you know, to the rocket industry, we are on the on the era of, of experience marketing, and we gotta learn, and you know, how to adapt, you know, for for coaches to be able to develop this on the court as well. So, part of the part of the things that I do for for my consultancy services is to try to help facilities to design their customer journey, you know, how to impact people how to start attracting, you know, what I usually call the blue ocean, people that are not connected with the rocket industry, which is where our big opportunity is, in fact, that’s, you know, in the US, you know, is over 330 million people, let’s say that 300 Haven’t been connected with any rocket sports. So, try to imagine what the potential is, if we know how to do that, you know, and, and part of the things that we need to help, you know, coaches to understand is not only how to teach, you know, the forehand and the backhand volley and this kind of sorts, but also understanding the business model and how to navigate, you know, with this on the same way that you were explaining before, you know, retaining customers, attracting customers, creating this customer experience, which is, what is boosting the feeling of belonging, and we’re facilities are putting themselves in a position where they become leaders. And when you have this, this kind of notoriety, you know, and you become the leader in the area, and people follow you because of your big why, then, you can do you can do, basically whatever, because they understand where you’re coming from, they understand your passion, your big why you know, your purpose in life, and you sell services anymore. At that point, you start selling emotions, you know, and people follow you. The community is growing and growing and growing very organically. So, anyway, I could Sorry, sorry about that. Because as you can imagine, you know, I could be talking forever you know, I really love this you know, how to get the world inspired, you know, through padel, and you’ve gonna stop me because I could be talking for hours.

Minter Dial  13:56

I love your passion. The one thing that I mean, on top of everything you just said that it strikes me is this a game that still evolving? And therefore even if you’re good, you there’s still new shots being invented. And for me, I’m 59 years old today as it happens in the day of recording, but I still feel like I’m improving. I still feel like I can improve anyway. And I want to improve and I have that sort of bug and little hat tip to my friend Gabo Loredo, of Tasty Padel. Gabo was one of my first real true padel coaches. And he instilled in me, that joy feeling, and I really and so with him, I really felt that I learned a lot about that sort of the ambiance. So, Marcos, let’s talk about the Pro Padel League because this is just such an exciting thing. You’re the commissioner and co-founder. You’ve got now seven or eight teams. They’re still the new ones coming. I don’t know how many teams the new ones coming up. I know about the New York one. I just signed up, there’s one out in the west coast. Another one, you just had the first session, which was won by Las Vegas, and the UK star, Tia Norton! Tell us about how it’s going and what are the prospects?

Marcos del Pilar  15:17

What are we successful, we finished the first season, as you know, you know, 2023 season was amazing, you know, we should have passed, you know, the goals that we were looking at. You know, I think that we accomplished everything that we promised, you know, we put padel on television in over 220 million households in the US creating a big bash, you know, helping other facilities to fill their spots, you know, providing exposure for the sport, everything that we promise that was accomplished. Now, we solve three more teams, which are the New York Atlantic’s plus Orlando with the white daddy Yankee, you know, I’m so proud, you know, for them to be involved with us, and also Houston, you know, with another good friend, you know, connected with a sport in there. And now we are planning to have two more teams, you know, by for 2024 season is still to be determined some details, but the division is to obviously, grow the exposure, you know, to get more TV content to get, you know, different locations, and, and obviously, providing, you know, better experience, not only for the players, which is what they are our main asset, but also for the fans. So, I still have this big commitment, you know, to keep growing the sport, to provide exposure for the sport, and I think there’s still, you know, a big room for doing things in there. I love the PPL became, you know, the catalyst, you know, of padel in the US, because that was part of the original, you know, thought when we were creating this. So, I need to say thank you to my co-founder, you know, Keith Stein, for supporting me in this venture, you know, from day one, and also the, the all the staff that we have, and obviously, you know, the business owners, you know, the team owners and all the players.

Minter Dial  17:07

It’s absolutely brilliant is and what I like about it, on top of everything is you created the new model, you’ve got the women involved, you got the mixed involved. And the thing I have to ask Marcos is, how on earth did you get a TV deal in the United States the first year. That just seems to me like a rock and roll moment?

Marcos del Pilar  17:29

Well, you know, there’s a lot of work behind the scenes, and unfortunately, you know, probably, you know, this last year or last year and a half. Now, I’m becoming a little bit more serious, I know, this is not the place, because this is kind of fun, you know, forever, but they’ll find but also is part of my message, you know, last year and a half, is probably, you know, one of my toughest moment, you know, in life for so many reasons. But also, you know, some of the most rewarding times of my life to so what I learned in this one year and a half is is something that I will keep with me forever. And I would love to encourage people to put themselves you know, outside their comfort zone, you know, try to explore different things become disruptive, you know, try to be innovative, you know, and try different things, why not then worst case scenario is that something isn’t working, if it doesn’t work, at least you will learn, you will learn a lot. And that’s what I did, you know, some of the things that we’re putting together are very successful. Some others are not, but I always think that those that are not so successful at helping us out, you know, with the other things, you know, so anyway, that’s a lot of work behind the scenes on that. I got an incredible team behind me, and I don’t want to get the credit of that. Because I truly believe in people. And people are the ones that are making, you know, big changes in life. So, I got an incredible team behind me and we all were pushing together until we we got this agreement, you know, with CBS sport for the finals, that is over 90 million households as far as I’m concerned. We also put together you know, an incredible deal for over 120 million household with different networks, like being a sport, you know, AT&T and some others, you know, the list is endless. Fox Mexico was well with the support of our Mexican team, you know, Cancun Waves in there and the incredible job that they did. You know, this is part of this. I would say that this is just the beginning and so everything that is coming for 2024 is even more exciting. I can’t wait to be able to share more news, you know, we’re still refining you know, their strategic plan and so on. And hopefully we can meet you know, in a couple of weeks or months from now again, and I’ll be happy to share you know, the magical things that are will happen into 2024.

Minter Dial  20:03

What’s this space! The fact that you had some challenges, I think it’s great to talk about that. Because in the end of the day, joy or happiness doesn’t exist unless, you know, sadness and difficulty. And I think, you know, I think, just like in a micro level, if you’re in a padel match, you’re playing padel, and then some days you go out and things aren’t working. And that happens. And how do you fight through that? How do you adjust? How do you support your teammates, who your partner who’s not playing so well. And then the other point you made about the team? Well, padel is a game of four people. In order to make it fun, you need all four to be on the court and participating. Because if you put someone in the fridge, for example, well, that person is not going to have a lot of fun. And so, you need to be considerate, even if he or she is a very good player, play with her play on her, go for it, you know, and experience what it’s like to try to return to the border. That’s a vicious, you know, shot in the corner, and just learn from it. Don’t get upset. And don’t think that winning is the only thing. So, Joy’s good. One I thought was just the other question about the PPL, you had a draft to make the first teams, are you going to follow up with a second-year draft? Much like the American sports teams, is that something you’re concocting?

Marcos del Pilar  21:22

100% will be opening, you know, another application for draft, you know, in 2024 season. That draft application and the draft actually will happen in 2023. We are expecting you know, a couple of 1000 players this year because last year, we had over 600 players applying from all over the world, different countries, all continents. That was amazing. So, this year with more teams, you know, on a more locations and so on were expecting you know, even you know a higher response.

Minter Dial  21:53

Well, I need to point out that I was very disappointed not to get drafted in the first year I was one of the 600. But I guess they don’t have an old bad team. You know, they need I need I need to be hired or drafted by the old bad team. Like us, let’s talk about your padel yourself. Because I always like to talk about the realities of padel at all levels. And even though you qualify yourself as not a top 10 player in the world. I’ll agree with that. However, you obviously are a good padel player from your background and everything. What’s your style of play? How do you describe yourself? I know you play on both sides, you’re right-handed. What sort what animal are you when you play Paddle Tennis?

Marcos del Pilar  22:35

Well, I’m, I’m alive. I kind of am I’m a total lion, you know, not only in the padel court, but also in life. You know, I’m a lion, you know, I love challenges, you know, I love to you know, I love competition, man. I don’t think I’m very talented, to be honest with you, but I think I have, you know, some abilities to compete and to perform, you know, well, not now, you know, back when I was a player, you know, back in the years, I had an ability to compete well, you know, and to be very consistent, which is also one of my qualities, you know, for business being very, very consistent, you know, working, you know, every day and being attached to the task, you know, I’m very well, very well versed on that. So, that is Tonatiuh I am also a team builder, you know, I think it’s pretty easy to play with me, you know, because, you know, I always put myself as behind the other players, so part of my mission is making my partner, you know, being a very successful situation as much as they can. Because this is this is maybe connected with my coaching mentality, right. But, you know, let me address this. So, the highest level of performance of every player is in intrinsically connected with the level of self-perception. So, let’s say that the player, you know, can perform as high as his self-perception is, and their self-perception is connected with so many different items, you know, like, like, one of the important ones is that the emotions that are running within the team, you know, the way that you open the dialogue with your partner, and this kind of stuff. So, let’s say that my main priority is obviously making my partner being in a very, very high flow estate, you know, where he can do and perform, you know, as best as he can. And I’m a follower, you know, I don’t need to be the leader. I don’t have that ego. I’m a team builder. I’m happy to make my partner’s you know, perform amazing and I want them to succeed. Because if they play well, I play well, too. I don’t need to be in the front line. You know, I’m happy to be the forehand guy just building you know, the points and helping my partners to become the superstar because that’s what I always did. And I’m happy in that role.

Minter Dial  25:04

I love it. And that is such a tremendous lesson for anyone playing any level is to think about that complicity with your partner, make them feel good. If they fuck up as they do, you know, a no problems, you know, I always like to say when like, there’s usually on the right, as well. And if someone’s on the left, and it’s a little pop up, I say, “con todo.” And I tell the person when I say “con todo,” you know, go for it, the Big Shot. If you screw it up, that is okay, you have permission at this point to screw it up. Because I’m asking you go for the big one. And when you go for the big one, of course, she unscrewed up. What about your favorite shots?

Marcos del Pilar  25:45

No, this is so interesting, you know that you are mentioning that. Because when I build, you know, Team patterns, you know, for pro players and so on. There’s, you know, a big piece in there that is that, that we the three of us is now setting, we have an agreement. The agreement is that we are going to be looking for certain situations that are making us successful all the time, right. And we are building patterns for us to go all in. So, when that opportunity comes, you know, we’ve been building so hard, you know, we’ve been working so hard for getting to that moment where we need to go all in the agreement is that at that point, we gotta go all in. And if the mistake is coming, you know, at that point, you know, it’s part of the agreement. Obviously, you know, I think it is a matter of practice, but it’s not a matter of bad decision making. So, that decision, you know, is made in advance by building these game patterns. And if the execution at that very last moment is bad, you know, it’s a pity you know, it’s a real shame. But this is what it is.

Minter Dial  26:46

You can see that I think in in when I when I when I watch when Juan Lebron and Ale Golan play when Lebron gets upset with Galan, as he seems you know sometimes does, I’m guessing it’s because he hasn’t had or he hasn’t executed the way we’re supposed to execute at the moment. And that seems to be something that pisses him off. Let’s move on to your favorite shot. What is your favorite shot, Marcos?

Marcos del Pilar  27:17

Ah, I will say the backhand volley. I think backhand volley and the smash.

Minter Dial  27:24

Well, it’s good to have a good back end if you pay. Right, right. If you’re playing right, you gotta have a good backhand volley. And the Smash. So, the big one, “por tres,” you can smash it out.

Marcos del Pilar  27:35

When I when I was younger, you know, that’s the only thing that I could do. You know, because as I told you, I’m not very talented, you know, I was a worker you know, like yes, trying to put the ball in play, you know, become very consistent, very solid, making good decisions trying to put my player my partner’s you know, in successful situations, as I told you, and you know, using my backhand volley to become more offensive, you know, and this mass that was my only to men, I’m very limited. I’m very limited play well,

Minter Dial  28:03

I’m sure not. But um, what about the shot that you need to improve? What is the shot you’d like to work on today? 

Marcos del Pilar  28:10

All of them!

Minter Dial  28:10

It depends on the situation, depends who you’re playing with, right?

Marcos del Pilar  28:16

But I can tell you that this is fun, you know, because this is very, very funny because when providing these courses, you know, for people I’m telling everybody like hey, try to play when there has to come back to the net, you know, and be smart you know, play neutral when you are not in a good position, you know, to kick the overhead and so on. And I need to learn the lesson, you know, because I never hit my life when I used to be a player you know, I was killing everything that was coming you know, that was my only tool as I told you so um, it’s funny for me that I’m telling everybody now you know, a play bandejas! Be smart, play neutral… and I never did

Minter Dial  28:56

Do as I say do, don’t do as I do do!

Marcos del Pilar  28:58

Exactly! If you want to be playing .. well now it’s different because I’m becoming older you know, and obviously I need to play slower than I used to do or whatever; but when I used to play you know, on the tour and so on I had only one chance which is a I see the overhead I go jump, and hit it like an animal. But anyway, let’s say that, you know, part of the biggest challenges for me is this kind of overheads because I never did you know, I was not playing bandejas when I was playing. So, I need to learn all sorts, but bandejas you and overheads you know, they are you know big challenge and I need to improve my defense as well. I need to improve everything!

Minter Dial  29:39

Well listen, you know keep at it that’s why we play padel because we’re always wanting to improve. How about who would be your favorite pro player on the women or/and men side?

Marcos del Pilar  29:51

Wow. Let’s say for women, you know, I have you know, an especial love for Marta, Martita Ortega. Yeah, Alejandra [Salazaz] as well. I like Bea Gonzalez. You know, it’s hard for me to say but I would say that Alejandra and Marta probably, you know, our our role there.

Minter Dial  30:14

All right-side players? Is that the commonality between all?

Marcos del Pilar  30:19

Bea Gonzalez is playing on the backhand side, you know!

Minter Dial  30:22

Right. Oh, yeah, I was thinking of Brea, her a partner of course, but yeah, sorry.

Marcos del Pilar  30:26

I mean, I can see you know, beautiful things in obviously, you know, all of them, you know, and things for all of us to learn, you know, in all of them. On the men’s side, obviously, this is pretty obvious. Probably everybody’s telling you this. Agustin. And I will say is, Tapia, is out of this galaxy. So, I really enjoy watching him playing because his unpredictable, he’s so talented, you know, he’s making things easy, which is opening, in my opinion, you know, these kinds of players in our opening, you know, a lot of a lot of opportunities for us, because they, they, they make it look so we see, you know, you see Ale Galan, a good friend as well. So, and I love Ale too, man, and they are making it so easy. That you see you watch that on television and you think, okay, you know what, I can do that, you know, I can go to the court and do that today. Okay, I said, Come on, go try. Go try, my boy. It’s not that easy. And he’s not a pro. Let me mention two more names in here because of my duty, you know, to the North American players. I want to mention, Luis Estrada, and Nico Agritelli. Luis and Nico are the current number one team in the country. Those are, you know, very talented players. And I would love to say a big kudos to him, you know, for all the efforts that they are doing, you know, and keeping themselves, you know, engaged with their sport, they’re doing great efforts. So, I would include both of them, you know, as part of my favorite ones, you know, even though they are not obviously at the same level than others.

Minter Dial  32:11

I’ll put I’ll put their names in the show notes. Marcos, how about you know, we, this is the Joy of Padel. And I always, you know, basically it’s always a joy. But what is the funniest moment that comes to mind for you? In and around, padel the court, a padel on the game, whatever comes to mind.

Marcos del Pilar  32:34

The funniest one, all of them are funny. I mean, padel is fun. You know, it’s exactly I could say that I’m having fun every day. That’s why I love it so much, man. I love it. You know, as much as the very first day like 25 years ago, I don’t even remember but let me check the funniest one. I have a funny a funny one. That yeah, I gotta find the one that I was doing an intro, you know, for. For the don’t don’t ask me For details, please. Because I don’t want to provide any details.

Minter Dial  33:08

Gotcha. Nameless!

Marcos del Pilar  33:10

I was doing an intro, you know, for the journalist, you know, on television live in a place in the US, I cannot tell you where. And I was doing that live. You know, we were live on television. I think it was CBS as well, or I don’t remember the channel I got into my in my YouTube channel or my Instagram. I don’t remember. And I cannot say any more clues because people will look for that. I’ll search for it. Of course. Anyway, so hours doing that, you know, the reporter that they see was a woman, you know, very beautiful, to be honest with you, obviously, you know, she’s a presenter, you know, journalists, and we were in television. So, I was keeping her so excited about the sport, you know, like this, and that, and I was teaching how to live on television in five minutes. Hey, I can make you, you know, become a great player, blah, blah. So, that ended up in in me being requested for a date.

Minter Dial  34:05

Wow. That’s brilliant. I love it.

Marcos del Pilar  34:09

So, yeah, that was that was kind of funny, because I was putting so much love from that. Do you know that? That ended up you know, and I couldn’t make it, you know, because at that point, you know, I was in a relationship. Not anymore. I’m single now, but at that point, I was in a relationship, but that was fun. You know, like, when you share your energy, the big lesson in there is when you share your energy and your passion and your love, you’re waking up, you know, different emotions. I’m feeling some people you know, I don’t think I’m so handsome, you know, for someone to come to me and say, Well, hey, you know, what are you doing tonight? You know, like I said, What you mean Patel? And she said, No, I mean, tonight, where are you doing tonight? I want to have a date. I say gosh, so I think. 

Minter Dial  34:51

I adore that story. I basically live on television getting proposed. That’s fine, but fabulous. Marcos. So, just to finish The prospects specifically I guess, in the USA, what do you think? Is the prospects of obviously, you’re the Pro Padel League, you got the clubs that are developing, the players are developing the coaches to being developed? When do you see the United States being with a big flag on the on the on the world map of padel?

Marcos del Pilar  35:20

You know, what, I’m receiving this question a lot. And I don’t like, you know, when people are telling me like, hey, when the US is gonna wake up, you know, in parallel, or what are the big things are going to happen in padel in the US or whatever, I said, Man, that’s already happening. I need to I need to, to put our hands up, you know, I’m saying like, Hey, listen, we are we are already winded, you know, like, you cannot imagine the number of projects that are being developed, you know, currently in the US, I think we over pass, what I usually call the tipping point. So, we are in a second phase of a sport now where, where there’s no way back, Man! So, the number of courts, I’m gonna be like scaling dramatically, you know. We are experiencing already, you know, a big growth of the sport, obviously, the Pro Padel League, you know, we’ll be keeping, you know, the excitement for the sport and the exposure and so on. But I also want to, I also want to highlight, you know, different groups that are doing an amazing job in. It comes to my mind, you know, like Padel Haus, Tactica Padel, they are doing amazing, you know, in the West Coast, you know, with a beautiful project, Reserve, you know, and some others I really want to recognize, you know, and give the credit to all the these business owners, you know, that are, you know, putting the courage and the bravery, you know, to start you know, of a new business in the US and I would love to help them out, you know, all of them, you know, to become very, very successful. But this is already a reality, Minter. This is what I would love to say, is already our reality is not a promise by the oil in the US is not a promise it’s already a reality. You know, the institutions are working, you know, our venture capitals, like EP Capital are working really, really hard. You know, I’m getting you know, a big exposure you know, on growing the sport in the US. So, I would say that it’s not reality it’s not a big promise anymore.

Minter Dial  37:18

I love it. Well, I I’ve already played I think in four or five states in America, so I’m all in a listen, Marcos Muchas gracias was a pleasure hearing you listen to your energy, your passion, your devotion to the sports, also the great lessons you’re giving us Many, many thanks for being on the Joy of Padel.

Marcos del Pilar  37:39

it’s been my pleasure Minter. Thank you very much for your passion for this poor Thank you very much for what you are doing, you know, spreading the word out and keeping you know, people involved and, and growing the community. Because it’s because of people like you that we can keep you know, spreading the word out and the love for the sport. And I wish you the best man, you know that we still have a one missing or pending match that we’ll be playing together or in front. I don’t care. But who knows?

Minter Dial  38:10

You got it. We’ll make that happen, Marcos, and thanks again for your support. I’ll put all the links into what you’re up to, all the businesses you’re running in such into the show notes and I’ll put some of the your links to Insta and such so that people can follow you. Keep up what you’re doing. Keep up the great work Marcos. Thanks again.

Marcos del Pilar  38:26

Thank you very much, my boy. Keep in touch. 

Minter Dial  38:30

So, I hope you’ve enjoyed this Joy of Padel episode. Please don’t forget to subscribe to be the first in queue for the next episode. And if you like what you hear, please do share it around with other padel aficionados. This is a sport that deserves to be played by absolutely everyone. And if you’ve got a story that you’d like to share, please send me an email or a better yet a voice note at With that, thanks for listening. And see you on the next episode of the Joy of Padel podcast. ¡ Vamos !

About the host: Minter Dial

Minter Dial is an international professional speaker, author & consultant on Leadership, Branding and Transformation. His involvement in sports has been a lifetime passion. Besides playing 18 years of rugby, captaining athletics teams, coaching tennis and playing squash for his university, he’s been a lifelong player of padel tennis, starting at the age of 10, from the time of its very first public courts at the Marbella Club in 1974.

Then, after a successful international career at L’Oréal, Minter Dial returned to his entrepreneurial roots and has spent the last twelve years helping senior management teams and Boards to adapt to the new exigencies of the digitally enhanced marketplace. He has worked with world-class organisations to help activate their brand strategies, and figure out how best to integrate new technologies, digital tools, devices and platforms. Above all, Minter works to catalyse a change in mindset and dial up transformation. Minter received his BA in Trilingual Literature from Yale University (1987) and gained his MBA at INSEAD, Fontainebleau (1993). He’s author of four award-winning books, including Heartificial Empathy 2nd edition (2023), You Lead (Kogan Page 2021), co-author of Futureproof (Pearson 2017); and author of The Last Ring Home (Myndset Press 2016), a book and documentary film, both of which have won awards and critical acclaim.

It’s easy to inquire about booking Minter Dial here.

View all posts on padel tennis by Minter Dial


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