The Joy of Padel podcast with Sandy Farquharson

Sandy Farquharson is a member of the National GB padel tennis team, having developed as a tennis player and previously been coach of ATP and WTA players on the tennis circuit. In 2012, Sandy converted to padel and participated in the development of the sport in UAE. He has organised WPT and FIP tournaments, being the coach of the national teams in both the UAE and GB, and representing GB in the World and European Championships. He founded The Padel School in Jan 2019 to give the padel community the tools to take their on-court performance to a new level, which will in turn grow the sport into a powerhouse across the globe. An ambassador and a shining light for the sport. 

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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.

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Sandy Farquharson, Minter Dial

Minter Dial  00:00

¡ 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, for this 10th episode of the Joy of Padel podcast I’m excited to bring to you Sandy Ferguson. Sandy is a member of the National GB padel team, having developed as a tennis player and previously been coach of ATP and WTA players on the tennis circuit. In 2012, Sandy converted to padel and participated in the development of the sport in the UAE. He has organized WPT and FIP tournaments, been the coach of the national teams in both the UAE and GB, and represented GB in the European and World Championships. He founded The Padel School in January of 2019. To give the padel community the tools to take their performance to a new level, which will in turn grow the sport into a powerhouse across the globe. Sandy is an ambassador and a shining light for the sport. Vamos Sandy! Currently you are the maestro of The Padel School and great to have you on the show. The Joy of Padel welcomes you! In your own words, how would you like to describe yourself Sandy?

Sandy Farquharson  02:07

Well thank you very much for having me first of all Minter absolute pleasure to be here describing myself I suppose I would say that I’m a kind of community slash people driven person really I enjoy you know, and we’ll I’m sure we’re talking about this with padel but I enjoy the social aspects of padel and I’m you know, a sociable person. I like to meet people I like to travel and so, you know, what I’m currently doing fits that quite nicely.

Minter Dial  02:38

Indeed. Well, you know, let’s talk about your path into padel because obviously, you have your great athlete and what’s your what’s your pathway, their credentials into padel.

Sandy Farquharson  02:50

Yeah, so my, my pathway into padel and my background was tennis before, so I played college tennis and then I played pro tennis for a couple of years and, and then coached on the tour. And I think it’s probably worth saying at this stage that my education was in biomechanics of human performance. So, you know, a lot of what I did, as a tennis coach, I also did the strength and conditioning side I also did a lot of the kind of biomechanics and when it comes to players off court routines and so when it when it came to changing sports that that came in very useful, but my journey into padel really is probably quite unique. I was in Dubai, I would finish my tennis coaching experience there, I canceled my visa. So, my furniture I was on, on my way out of Dubai, as it were, and someone dropped out of a padel competition and just sheer chance it was the week before I was leaving. And I have quite a strong squash background, particularly as a junior and I thought, you know what, I’ll give it a go. It looks fun, it looks like something that I would enjoy. And we ended up playing that tournament and doing quite well in that tournament. And eventually I ended up winning that tournament with my Spanish partner and that’s probably more of a reflection on the level of the padel there as opposed to me just being a natural at the game. And at the time there were there were really only two public courts. And this was a private private facility. And after the final I had my flight, like two and a half hours after the final so I had all my suitcases with me at the final end. And literally was right I need to get a thank you very much. Fantastic. All right, I need to get to the airport. Now I’m on my way out. And the management team there gave me a call on the way to the airport and said look, you know we really liked you. We think that you might be a good fit for managing the padel facility or managing racquet sports but they didn’t have tennis and so I said look, let me think about it. My whole background is in tennis. I’m making a jump to a sport that really no one knows. And at the time, I mean, there was, you know, there was this is 12 years ago, there was no content in English there was, you know, most of the countries Sweden hadn’t even started, they hadn’t even opened their first club at that stage. And so, you know, really no one knew about it. And in the end, I thought I was going to take a little bit of a pun, I was a bit frustrated with the tennis and how that was developing. And so, I thought, You know what, I’m gonna go for it and part of my agreement with the club. And actually, it turned out to be His Highness, Sheikh Camden’s facility, so I was actually his coach and his rackets manager part of my agreement with them as I get to go to Spain and train with the coaches that I feel would help develop me as a player, but also as a coach for the coming years. And that’s exactly what I did. So, I spent the next three or four years taking dozens of trips back to see, you know, those influential people in the game. And quite often I needed a translator, and my, my Spanish is, you know, pigeons badge in Spanish at best. And so, you know, the first course I had her ASIO Clemente, teaching me coach education is almost the godfather of, of paddling, we had a translator for that, and I got all of his material in English and, and that really started my journey in playing the game, but also, you know, coaching the game and understanding, you know, the methodology behind it and things like that. And so, you know, that that was, like I said, 12 years ago, I play tennis once in the last 12 years, there was not really a, you know, it just went from one straight to the other. And so, you know, I’m very, I’m very thankful that padel has grown in the way that it has otherwise, yeah. I may have had to make a jump back to tennis, had it not have been going so well.

Minter Dial  06:53

Just quickly, on the time you went back to tennis, did you find that your padel helped or hindered.

Sandy Farquharson  07:01

Um, it was a difficult situation. So, my brother who now works with me at The Padel School, he was playing on the tour. And so, and he was about 380 ATP, and I used to coach him when he was younger. And so, he was one of the players I was on the tour with. And I went to hit with him in a warm-up for a challenger event. And I played, you know, a couple of years of padel at that stage. And he was hitting, I mean, he hits the ball so well and so heavily that I kind of immediately fell out of my depth. And, you know, for me, it was everything from you know, the way I was playing with continental both sides and you know, the shortness of the racket it just, you know, had I gone for a gentle hit with a friend it probably would have been fine and I would have enjoyed it but as it was, as it was, I found you know, a real struggle and so yeah, so it was difficult that one time in tennis.

Minter Dial  07:59

Well, I you know when you need to perform, and tennis, of course, has been evolving in its own way. I want to go back to that first game you had with your Spanish partner. So, you’ve got your tennis background, some squash, you’re playing with a Spaniard. And I’m guessing he couldn’t have been so bad as well. But talk us through how much he was helping you to learn and as a what how he was instructive pedagogical helping you to transition into the game of padel a sandy don’t hit it so hard, Sandy, you know, wait for the wall. You know, how much of how much was that was happening in that game for you? And how much does that inform your way of helping, you know, tennis players into padel?

Sandy Farquharson  08:42

Yeah, it’s interesting. If I look back at it, now, I was doing all the things that I am recommending players change about their game now. So, you know, I was I was rushing in there. I was playing fast volleys, I was hitting attacking smashes, and I played a lot of doubles. I played a lot of doubles in college. So, I liked that style of play. And I like coming forward and attacking the volley. And, and it’s interesting because the Spanish in that tournament, like I said, the level wasn’t a high Spanish player, I would say it was an intermediate or strong recreational player. So, it’s quite interesting. And I see this with coaching now is that they, they were trying to articulate how to play but not really understanding the methodology themselves. So, it was very much do what I’m doing, but I can’t explain to you why what you’re doing needs to be corrected, if that makes sense. And so, you know, really the main learning came the year after I joined Dubai because I went on, on all of these trips and I started that role and then a year later, we brought in a good Spanish player and he came and he was coaching with me at the facility in Dubai and I’ve played a lot of one on one with him and learned a lot from him about, you know, defending the glass and almost breaking through that barrier of, you know, as a tennis player, I’m sure you’ll see this a lot of injuries that players are always blocking and instinctively avoiding that glass and, and it takes real time and effort to, to break that down. And you know, and I spent months like trying to get through that and really getting frustrated with the double glass and the spins off the glass and understanding how to deal with those and where the ball would be and how I positioned myself and, and I think all tennis players need to go through that before they can become a good padel player that they might play, you know, tennis well on a padel court and get like, like I was at the beginning. But until you really embrace those parts of the game and padel, it’s very difficult to get to a good level,

Minter Dial  10:56

I get the feeling that it’s almost like going through the wardrobe in the line the witch in the wardrobe, you once you’ve gone into it, you go through into this other world, it becomes so obvious to wait and let it hit the back wall. And until then you’re still half falling. You’re still while I know how to do that. I don’t know how to do that. Or, I know intellectually, I shouldn’t be doing it. But I prefer to do this. And what does it take for someone to move through that?

Sandy Farquharson  11:31

I like I mean, I like that example, you know, the nine-year example. But for me, it would be like having almost wardrobes within wardrobes, right? Because I think in that example, it’s like you go through that first door and you think, right, I’ve got to learn the glass. You know, I’m really struggling and you admit to yourself, right? I need to learn the glass. And then you start getting used to the glass. And then you say, right, well, I need to change my overheads. You know, I’m being far too attacking, I need to understand padel overheads. Okay, great. Then you go to the next one, you say, well, actually, the way I’m approaching my points is far too aggressive. And I’m, I’m getting to where I’m trying to finish. So, I need to change that mentality. And then it’s suddenly, you know, and this is what I love about padel is that as you get better, it gets more and more complex. And, you know, I just come back from Chicago last night, and we had a couple of advanced players that were playing. And we were discussing the different types of lobs so you have a high lob and a fast lob and, and they hadn’t really understood that concept and why you would do that. And that’s a, it’s an advanced concept, you know, that you kind of teach on how to get net players out of position. And so, this is what I really enjoy about it is that it’s in stages. And you, you develop your game as you go and learn as you go. And that’s this is really where this guidance from a from a coach. Well, this is exactly what we’re trying to do with The Padel School, but it’s this guidance along that journey to help you get better because if you don’t have that, then it can be very frustrating. And you end up plateauing. And you know, well we see it all the time.

Minter Dial  13:13

I love it. I love how you describe the sort of the multi-layered Narnia. And to add to that, the other thing that I’ve observed and you can comment is padel itself is also layering on new techniques, new methods. I mean, I was talking to one coach the other day who said, No, you don’t do the gancho anymore. The best players — you know Sanyo — do, or maybe Bela. But for the rest modern padel, we’ve eliminated the gancho which is — just for those who are listening – a kind of a flat or straight arm overhead, where you are just pushing the ball back usually, when you’re playing typically in the deuce court as a right-hand player.

Sandy Farquharson  14:00

Yeah, I mean, I find those sweeping statements and I’ve heard that with the bandeja and the ganja. I find those that quite entertaining. Because

Minter Dial  14:10

if you let us laugh, this is the Joy of Padel. Well,

Sandy Farquharson  14:13

the thing is, is you say that you say right, well, now the band EQ is not in the modern game. And you watch through 30 seconds of LeBron playing on the right-hand side and you see his hit three band decades. And you say well, who’s exactly and the bit I find really difficult. You know, this is a conversation I have with recreational players all the time is yes, but you know these players now we’re hitting viboras instead of bandejas. So, yeah, but, you know, this is you’re talking Sanyo at the World Padel level, and if you’ve ever watched him live, you will see that I mean, he has phenomenal hands. And so, you know, it’s a bit like saying on the tennis circuit that, you know, Nadal, you’ve got to hit your forehand how Nadal hits his forehand, but it’s not, it doesn’t work like that, that you need to sort out the mechanics first. And, you know, again, it comes to, well make slight changes in the grips, like the pros will first, get the game in continental grip and get your technique good. And then you can make the changes that suit you physically. But this is the idea that you don’t have a gancho or bandeja anymore, I find is absurd. Because, you know, there are players all the time playing that shot, and that’s at the pro level. So, you’re going to find lots and lots of players, you know, an intermediate and learning level that are doing it. So, you know, this is an ongoing discussion. It’s quite interesting, because a lot of the coaches that we talked to that are from a padel country, a long-term padel country, say, Well, yeah, I didn’t, I wasn’t taught the gancho. So, I don’t think it’s necessary now. And you said, Well, that’s not, you know, that’s not how, you know, education works. Every individual is different. Yeah.

Minter Dial  16:09

And, for example, you know, if, for me, the gun show, I find very necessary, because I’m, I’m not quick enough to get myself back into position to do something else. And, you know, also have to worry about my Steam my age, I can’t be running just the same pace everywhere, like a youngster can. And I wanted to get back into one other thing, which is an area of expertise near side is the biomechanical element. And I was wondering if you could translate for us, if there was any difference in the, the, the way you do training and biomechanical elements of work, relative to a lawn tennis or a squash versus padel?

Sandy Farquharson  16:51

Yeah, I mean, I think that the major thing to consider when you’re comparing the sports is, you know, racquet head speed and generation of power. You know, you look at those two sports, specifically, and you’ve got your squash where, you know, often you see the players lift their elbow, and it’s a lighter racket, a very light ball, and the racket head speed on squashes is extremely high, you know, and tennis really the same, the court is, you know, much longer, and they’re the generation through the whole kinetic chain, you know, right, the way from toes up to up till contact point is kinetic chain to develop power, whereas the game of padel is, is not about power, I mean, really, you would only use the power on, you know, the overheads or, or the aggressive shots that you want to finish the point, you’re never, you’re never going to see a pro player, have a ball from the back, and then absolutely drive their body and hit it as hard as they could like it you just did, there would be no intention to doing that, you know, risk reward, it’s just not worth it. So, when you take that into consideration, you then look back the chain on the biomechanics. And then, you know, for example, the tennis swing, you therefore don’t need that loop, you don’t need the leg drive into, you know, back front or footprint to back front to front foot. So, much. And so, you know, all of this combines, you also got to realize that it’s multi directional movement that you’re, you know, and this is where it’s slightly more like squash, but it’s, you know, the movement patterns are very different. And actually, the deeper you get in the game, the more you realize it is a different sport. And I think that if players and coaches can take that kind of appreciation from the beginning, that the faster they will improve, and it’s, it’s interesting, we travel the world working with coaches, and you know, a lot of clubs think, right, well, I’m just gonna put my tennis coach in to coach padel and you say, Well, it’s interesting. Would you take your squash coach into coach tennis? No, you wouldn’t, right? Because it’s a different sport. And so, I think that that appreciation needs to or will come to light soon, right when tennis coaches experience it, they see it but until they do they don’t you know, they don’t appreciate that.

Minter Dial  19:08

Yeah, the net and the yellow Fuzzy Ball are deceitfully not the same. Talking about The Padel School, I’ve listened to several interviews of you, with your brother, what you’re doing there, give us Where are you what is The Padel School and and where are you with it today?

Sandy Farquharson  19:33

So, The Padel School really started. And it kind of originated with creating some video content for initially for my group of players, I was in Dubai, I was feeling I was explaining the same things over and over again. And there was no reference in English. I mean, we’re, you know, this is a long time before English content was being produced. And so, I just thought, right, I’m gonna make this content for a group to answer basic questions, you know, things like grip and footwear and rackets and all that kind of stuff. And, and I made the first few videos, and you’ll kind of completely understand this. And you know, I think my first video got 11 views. And you know, and it’s, and I wasn’t surprised, I mean, I was thinking, I was thinking, Wow, 11 I’ve only got eight in my group, maybe someone, someone’s watched it twice. And, and so, you know, in really those first three, four months, you know, similar maybe increased a little bit 50 Odd views. And, you know, and then I started seeing more and more Swedish, because you can see the analytics, which I love, by the way, I love watching the analytics and see which countries are taking, because it’s quite a clear, particularly in emerging countries, it’s quite a clear indication of, of how countries are taking up the sport. And that yeah, then the Swedes started watching, and it started growing. And they started asking questions, which gave me more content, you know, for videos that I could create for them. And, you know, it kind of grew through like that. And I thought, right, well, you know, we’re making all this social media content that is based on anywhere from a beginner player to an advanced player, and one week is different, and it’s a few tips here and there, which is, you know, fantastic. And I wish I’d have had that when I when I was learning. And then I thought, right, we really need to find a way for so players can implement it, you know, like, it’s a little bit like you see a lot of content, educational content online, you’ve got, you know, all your general inflammation, but it’s not really specific to the player. And so, that’s what we’ve done on the is made that a platform specifically for players. So, you get a test for your level, and you get a roadmap that fits you and you can send in your videos of your shots and our coaches, you know, we can feedback and help you improve your game. And, you know, over the six years, we’ve gone from those 1314 views of video to last month, we got over 9 million views across our all of our social media channels, which, which is obviously, you know, a massive effort. But it comes with time. I mean, I’ve done these videos for over six years and haven’t missed a week video on YouTube, which, you know, is organization and now we have a bit of a team. So, you know, otherwise, there’s no way I could, I could produce 50 bits of content a week, which is kind of what we’re producing. And so, yeah, that’s really where we’ve developed and so now we do a lot of trips to clubs and work with clubs, help them develop their coaches, help them develop their programs built helped build the community, we often do a lot of community days where everyone’s invited, and we have a lot of fun, and we do some clinics and training and you know, and then we work specifically with clubs to help them develop their programs.

Minter Dial  22:49

The very beginning of the pedal school, as I heard it from you, and your brother was that you didn’t have such access to material like this when you were beginning. And I think it was about tennis, actually. But you felt that there was not enough democratic Lee available material educational informational, which is what inspired you to really create this much more available material. Yeah,

Sandy Farquharson  23:18

and I think, you know, if I look back at my tennis, I found it hugely frustrating. Not partly for myself, but more probably for my brother. I mean, he was he’s eight years younger than me. He was a phenomenal player like number one or two in Europe, a kind of under 13 under 14 stage. And he was used to playing with me eight years older, so he hit a heavier ball and anyone who that in his age group because he was used to that level of play, he won Junior Wimbledon doubles, he played on the tour and, and I felt that the guidance that he received was, was not great. And not just him, but my parents as well. They grew up playing squash and they’re good sportsmen, both of them, but they weren’t they were relatively new to tennis, they hadn’t got that, that guidance or, or anywhere they could ask for support, they were going to their Federation, and the Federation, you know, has its difficulties, and I don’t want to kind of go into those but it’s, it’s, you know, there wasn’t anywhere that they could turn to get help or get information or he couldn’t either. And I came away from that and he ended up you know, being injured and in the end ended up stopping his tennis because he just couldn’t kind of get to that point where he could compete and look at a lot of a lot of the players that are playing now that he quite comfortably be as a junior that are, you know, Top 50, Top 60 in the world and I think that’s hugely frustrating that there wasn’t anyone or anything out there for him to develop. And so, really combine that with the experience of learning padel without any content, it really kind of pushed me to get this right and that’s, that’s really like a lot of people ask why, you know the cord wire content quality is so high for social media and I know I know it’s higher than anyone else’s because we all of the work we put into it is to create that content for those people that want to learn.

Minter Dial  25:26

It’s highly pedagogical highly recommend it plenty well done for your ongoing effort and discipline. In doing that, you mentioned Federation, we are recording this on the 25th of August also becoming much later but the news the hot news of the week is the merger between the Premier Padel and a World Padel Tours. Hhow do you view that merger?

Sandy Farquharson  25:51

I think it’s great for the sport and it’s needed to happen for a while you know we’ve had well pilots or and Premier tournament and you’ve also got the A one that are going into on general events and you know, you feel like that the Premier is a great set of tournaments now they’ve you know, at this stage finally had a women’s tournament which finally should have been from the beginning but is part of the as part of the program now and I feel like the combination with the world padel talk as well padel at all events are great, particularly in Spain that they are great events, they’re there, they’re well organized they are definitely you know, showcasing the sport padel. And I think that the FIP and the Premier does really great events at the top, but then the below the kind of I would say the amateur to pro level your challenges as it were. And right the way to European and World Championships are relatively poorly organized. You know, and so I think that this, this combination will be the best of hopefully the best of both.

Minter Dial  27:00

Golden point or deuce?

Sandy Farquharson  27:03

And I have to say at the beginning, I was not a fan of golden point. But now I appreciate it. I was tournament organizer for the 2015 world padel tour in Dubai. And we had our we had our schedule and I’m someone who likes to stick to a schedule and we didn’t have golden point in those days and I think the lady the First Lady semifinal took over for hours and they ended up just throwing the whole schedule out of out of whack and so I can definitely see the point of it. And actually I quite like it now I think it adds an element to the game not only as a spectator, but also as a player it puts that little bit of pressure on not only on that point, but also on the point or two before because if you know that you have that choose then you know you kind of want to avoid that situation if you can. Yeah,

Minter Dial  27:58

I was chatting with my friend Juan Gutierrez who coaches the Spanish male team and he’s like a big fan of the Golden point. Pressure though pressure. Alright, listen, let’s talk a little bit about you, Sandy: your game, your padel game! What‘s your highest ranking? Where are you in the world’s ranking these days?

Sandy Farquharson  28:18

Oh, man, so well I’m on a steady decline unfortunately.

Minter Dial  28:23

Like me: age is a thing, isn’t it?

Sandy Farquharson  28:27

Age is a thing. And as I do more clinics and more coaching and more content, and it’s less than less time for training really, which is partly not helped by the current number of courts in the UK and the options to train and when I when I left Dubai, I left a very nice facility with some very good players. And I moved back to the UK thinking the growth would be a little faster than it has been and so I struggle to find good players and a good facility in the UK so I’ve almost thrown myself a bit more into you know, the coaching and the traveling and that side of things for now. So, I’m hoping that when it develops a little bit I’ll get back on the training court but yeah, at the moment I moved from left side to right side and now I’m you know steadily playing more and more conservative padel so that’s my padel.

Minter Dial  29:23

Yeah, but you have been on the GB team Correct?

Sandy Farquharson  29:27

Yeah, yeah, I’m still on the GB team until some younger, younger legs knock me out. But yeah, I mean, the thing the really interesting thing with padel is I really think it’s, it’s it takes such a long time to get to grips with the game and understand the game. So, you know, experience is particularly if you can play on the right side, and you can play a bit more conservatively. The combination of experience and also understanding how to play with partners and means bring out the best in your partner and bring out the best in your game against your opponents. So, that that is a kind of intangible that is really important in a match. And so, that’s almost what I bring out. A lot of our British team are quite young. And so, that’s something that that I definitely bring to that team. And so, you know, I think, I think I’ve got another year or two left in me. And so, before, before I hang up my racket,

Minter Dial  30:28

I am going to say many more years and the and I think it sounds like locker room, that locker room experience in a rugby in a rugby team, that ability to bring wisdom, some perspective, obviously, there’s in play commentary as well, I’d love to have you tell us about and I’m guessing why, but who are your favorite padel players to watch?

Sandy Farquharson  30:52

Oh, good question. I just on that thing of locker room, I think this is really interesting. And this is really interesting from tennis players to padel is that, like I’m playing, you know, the, the younger players in our team are playing FIPs and they’re playing tournaments and they’re, they’re gradually building up their match experience, but when I moved to padel I was probably sitting on 1000s of tennis match experience, you know, and the college system is great for that, that you play pressure match after pressure match. So, it’s it is that locker room thing, but it’s also that calmness, that the on call and that that change of end that you know, look like I’ve been there where whatever the game score or situation is or the tie in the number of matches, I’ve been there multiple times and so whether it’s not whether it’s tennis or padel so it’s that calmness, I think that really helps as well. But favorite players to watch, I mean, you cannot not enjoy Coello and Tapia as a pair and you know, the same with really Lebron and Galan and I think I’m glad that Coello and Tapia are pushing up because I think that they are they both behave really well on core, they’re professional, they’re youngsters, they do things, right. And I think, you know, it’s great to watch them. I’m gonna to throw one out, right, you know, left field here a little bit, and I love I love Di Nenno as a player, because I just think he is he is underrated in the way that his tactical view on the game is so good. But you don’t really see it as a right court player, you don’t see the way that he controls the game, you know, with his lob. And I mean, his lob is phenomenal. And so, many players say it’s the most important shot in the game. And I mean, he’s one of those players that I just enjoy watching because I enjoy how he just really controls the speed, really sets it up. And I’m glad he’s playing with Stupa. And, actually, Martin and Stupa came to one of my first exhibition tournaments in Dubai when they were like 16. And they just blew the rest of the field out of the water. And it’s like these little kids come over from Argentina, and they flew with their dads because they were underage. And it was really nice. They were they were fantastic players. And, they played together that whole junior season. And now I’m glad they’re back playing together again.

Minter Dial  33:16

And of course that was performed after Martín had his accident.

Sandy Farquharson  33:21

Yeah, yeah, that was brutal. And, you know, a lot of people don’t know that. But to come back from that, with, you know, I mean two fractured legs, and to be able to compete at this this level. I mean, it takes an enormous amount of grit, and determination.

Minter Dial  33:44

Beautiful. Alright, certainly your favorite shot, what’s your favorite shot to play?

Sandy Farquharson  33:49

My favorite shot would be the vibora probably.

Minter Dial  33:54

Is that on the left to the right?

Sandy Farquharson  33:58

Generally, the left I mean, there’s nothing, you know, there’s nothing more satisfying than playing it from the left-hand side, you’ve got a bit more space, you can take your time a bit more on that shot and really get into it. It’s not as easy to play on the right for, for many reasons, partly because of the space and the opportunity. But yeah, generally would be the left.

Minter Dial  34:21

Yeah, totally. I had the same feeling I’m of course, let’s say condemned to play on the right, unless I’m playing with a lefty and hitting that Libra from the right is such a different a different field different look. What about what about a stroke that Sandy needs to improve on?

Sandy Farquharson  34:36

A stroke that Sandy needs to improve on? I’m not taking my time because I can’t think of one select between them! I think the one that this shot that I find the most difficult when I haven’t been playing regularly is the lob. You know and that for me is one that, when I play regularly and like if I go to World Championships or European Championships I play day after day for a week, I feel great by the end of the week, and I feel really accurate and consistent with the lob, but particularly those first few days is, is getting the right depth and getting the right kind of, you know, angle on it and the right trajectory. And that’s a shot that, if I haven’t played for a while, it takes, it takes a little bit of practice and takes me a little bit of time to get into. So, I’d probably say the lob.

Minter Dial  35:31

Brilliant. Well, I want to just dig in one second, because it makes me think, left backhand or forehand, because I, uh, my situation is, I feel much more comfortable with my backhand lob, especially when I’m playing left, getting that lob crosscourt. Or getting that height, I go down and go. But in my forehand, I feel like I like to cheat with that one between almost between the legs, the one that comes at you, when you sort of spoon it back up, as opposed to what I would call a more classic patent law, which is, you know, from low all the way high, I feel better on it. Do you have any distinction for that? Or is it both sides?

Sandy Farquharson  36:06

Well, I think you bring up an interesting point of the purpose of the law. And so, when we teach a beginner level, we were very much focused on the lovers and attacking shot. And you should force an easy ball and play the lob on an easy ball so that you can take the net. And as you get better and better part of the reason you do that is risk, you don’t want to have too bad lob, so that you get in trouble. And as you get better, you can play it in more and more difficult situations. Because you know, you can hit a consistent lob until you get to Martin Dean, no, who could play that lob on whatever you hit into that corner, you know, and, and he knows that he can drop it, you know, half a foot from that, that glass where he wants it. And so, I think, you know, along that that journey, what I find is that I go for a lob on a ball that I know that if I’m playing regularly, I could play a good lob on but as I haven’t been, I’m slightly out of touch and then I would hit a little bit short or hit a little bit. So, that it bounces too much off the back glass or whatever it might be. But you know, the idea is that forehand or backhand, it’s, it’s the same for me, it’s more about the decision making on that lob, and, you know, playing it at the right time. And as I gain you know, more and more consistency back in my game, I can go for that lob on, on a slightly more difficult ball. If that is that makes sense.

Minter Dial  37:29

Love it. Well, lots of nuance in the shots. How about describing yourself as a padel player and I’d like you to use the metaphor of an animal to describe Sandy.

Sandy Farquharson  37:42

This is some good questions here, Minter. I think if I would describe myself originally, I would play very much like an aggressive game, coming forward attacking volley, you know, attacking off a lot of balls in quite hard from the back. Like that’s, that’s when I was playing more regularly from the left hand side. As far as an animal for that, I would you know, I would I would like to think it’s a you know, one of those kind of aggressive felines and then but now I definitely play a lot more steady, a lot more controlled and a lot more like trying to open the court and being more selective with how I go about, you know, getting into that position. I’m really trying to set the ball up for my partner to finish and putting my opponent in more difficult situations. So, yeah, I don’t know. I suppose a monkey I wouldn’t mind thinking of myself as a monkey on the right-hand side mental.

Minter Dial  38:52

Yeah, love it. Excellent. Thank you for that Sandy. How about the funniest thing that ever happened to you on a padel court? I mean, there are many things but give us give us something that’s parks pops into your mind?

Sandy Farquharson  39:04

Something that just pops into my mind and I’ve been very fortunate in Dubai in that I was involved in a lot of a lot of people come into the court we have, you know, a lot of celebrities and we had Lebron and Bela and Galan all come and train at our facility. And so, one day we played an exhibition match and it was one of the local coaches with Golan against myself and another and another coach and we played and he’d been training at our facility during the day and I’d had a little bit of training with him and then we went on the exhibition court and you know, obviously now you’ve got a lot of people watching it’s a big occasion and playing the first set. He is like lightning like it’s very difficult to describe if you haven’t played against someone like that. I mean, he knows where the ball is going before you’re hitting like and add that to the fact that he is incredibly athletic. It’s like, it’s like how on earth do I hit a winner against someone like this, and I had the opportunities and, and no matter what situation I’d put him in, he, he put that ball back up. And so, I tried to disguise a smash against him where the ball was coming up. And I thought, right, I’m gonna look like I’m going here, but I’m going to try and change to try and catch him off guard and hit a little bit faster and flatter to bring it back down the line. And what happened was that he kind of read it halfway through, and he would have definitely got there but I ended up like, hitting as hard as I could, and it hit him in, you know, the rather painful, painful area. And he, you know, double down was lying on the floor on the court. And this is before like a world panel tour, like the following thing. Oh, my God, what have I done? And I was partly worried about his World Padel Tour next week and partly worried about if he ever wanted revenge later on in that set. Surely, you could surely get there.

Minter Dial  41:06

Right? One of the great stories of the permanent crown jewels! Who hasn’t had that moment? And my last question would be Sandy, what life lesson has padel bought you?

Sandy Farquharson  41:17

A life lesson that padel brought me this? This is a good one. I think what’s interesting is the life lesson, and it’s something that I’m trying to apply to the business and, and other areas of my life is that patience and, and consistency when the day really and when I think about that as a life lesson for padel I think about that as not only like my playing experience, my coaching experience, patience and consistency with players, but also their experience. Like, I often find that players are trying to really rush in and do what the pros are doing and do it when really it’s just building blocks is building solid building blocks. And a lot of people say, and I get this on a very regular basis where they say, Oh, I love your videos, I’m going to make these videos too. And I think fantastic. Go for it. But just bear in mind that it’s been you know, it’s been very consistent over a number of years to get to get that that build up and it compounds after you know a number of years but patience and consistency is king I think and it King on the court king as a coach in a business I’m sure you would probably agree with that in you know, in the work that you do as well. And I think that it’s having that is key really and that I’d say that has been my life lesson.

Minter Dial  42:46

I love it. Sandy, I think it’s a great lesson or life lesson for parents to patient and consistent in the way you bring up your children. Sandy, beautiful, thank you for coming on the Joy of Padel. Tell us how we can follow you what are the best ways to see what you do your work? track you down in Insta Sandy, what are the best links?

Sandy Farquharson  43:11

And yeah, the best place? Well, I’m on The Padel School. Every single channel really and we you know make a make a point of really being engaging. So, if you do write it is usually me who’s writing back or you know, if you’ve posted a video in our community, it’s almost always me. We have a free trial on So, if anyone wants to go and try test it out and you know, see our content, our tutorials, our roadmaps and send in some videos. That’s a great way to do that. And yeah, I mean, I’m just I’m just happy to have more positive people in the padel community. So, please do come and say hi.

Minter Dial  43:52

Keep up the phenomenal work. Sandy, great to have you on the show. Listen to your energy and your lessons. I loved it very much vital Sandy.

Sandy Farquharson  44:00

Thank you very much for having me Minter, an absolute pleasure.

Minter Dial  44:05

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 !

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