The Joy of Padel podcast with Enrique Corcuera

Enrique Corcuera Jr. is the son of Enrique and Viviana Corcuera, the founders of this beautiful sport called Padel. In this conversation with Enrique, he regales us with the backstory about the creation of padel in Acapulco Mexico, about his experience during his youth and how the sport gradually grew to what it is today. We discuss the origin of the name of the sport, the patents and developments, the spread into Argentina and the prospects going forward. We also explore Enrique’s current involvement in padel with CopaPadel.

To find out more about Enrique Corcuera:

Other mentions:

To listen to the show:

To listen to The Joy of Padel podcast, you can use the embedded player above, or go find it on Spotify, Apple Podcasts or any number of other podcasting services listed here.

Send in your questions or reactions:

Please send me your questions — as an audio file if you’d like — to Otherwise, below, you’ll find the show notes and, of course, you are invited to comment. If you liked the podcast, please take a moment to review and/or rate it! ¡VAMOS!

Further resources for The Joy of Padel:

RSS Feed for Minter Dialogue

The Joy of Padel podcast is brought to you in association with Padel1969, who are proud to create one of the best padel product and service offerings in the world. Padel1969 believes in passion, joy, and integrity. We respect the DNA and roots of Padel – from Acapulco since 1969. To check all their full offer in padel courts, equipment and savoir faire, please go visit the Padel1969 site.

Meanwhile, you can find Minter’s other Evergreen podcasts, entitled The Minter Dialogue Show (in English and French) in this podcast tab, on Megaphone or via Apple Podcasts.

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  

Full transcript of interview via

SUMMARY KEYWORDS: Enrique, paddle, padel, court, play, good, rules, sport, argentina, father, sidewall, tennis, copa, love, game, patent, idea, tennis balls, wall, player, joy

SPEAKERS: Minter Dial, Enrique Corcuera

Minter Dial  00:11

Hola chicas y chicos. So, many thanks for joining me on 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 Court for Life by Padel1969. The Joy of Padel is part of the Evergreen Podcast Network. For more information about this network, please go check out their site,

So, this is the second season for the Joy of Padel. And, as with last season, we’ll be running an episode once every fortnight. Please let us know what you think about the show by putting up a rating and a review.

Hey there and welcome to episode number one of the second season of the Joy of Padel podcast. This one is with Enrique Corcuera Jr. If you recognize the name, it’s because he is the son of Enrique Corcuera, Senior, who with his mother, Viviana, were the founders of this beautiful sport. In this conversation with Enrique he regaled us with the backstory about the creation of padel, about his experience during his youth and how the sport gradually grew to what it is today. We discussed the origin of the name of the sport, the patents and developments, the spread into Argentina and the prospects going forward. We also explore Enrique his current involvement in padel with COPA padel, and how he relishes his time on the padel court too. Vamos! Enrique Corcuera, I get to say that name very often. And it’s never been my chance to be able to say to Enrique Corcuera, welcome to the Joy of Padel. I speak much about the origin of padel. I’ve had my father on, who played on your father’s court. I’ve had Nallé Grinda, the son of Jean-Noel, playing on your court. And now I have the great privilege to have the son of the founder of Enrique Corcuera and Viviana, who were the beginners. So, I often ask my guests, what’s their route to padel? Let’s say that your route is just a tad bit different from everybody else’s. Enrique, tell us about your beginnings of playing padel and being on the mythical, the wonderful initial court that your father and mother built! 

Enrique Corcuera  02:44

When I was born, I was already five, six years old. So, I remember the court was in my house. So, I remember playing at four or five years old, with my father and his friends. For me, it was a part of my life. It never came to me; it was there always.

Minter Dial  03:09

That’s right. And so, you got to play on this court that, what we always understood was, it was because you didn’t have enough space at the house for a typical tennis court. But what I’ve understood is that actually the idea of having a game in your backyard existed — well not in yours specifically because you were younger but in your father and mother’s backyard — started way before in the 50s. Can you take us through how it you know what were the original experimental experiences and experiment experiments that were tried until you get to the final 1969 20×10?

Enrique Corcuera  03:50

Yes, of course. My father had a sugar cane ranch, I would call them haciendas and in there he built a fronton court and one day he decided to play the other player, but against each other like tennis. So, he put a net in the middle of the fronton ,court and they started playing with tennis rackets and tennis balls and he liked the idea of using the wall with a fronton rules of a rebound. And then he saw that it was a lot of fun to play tennis with the with the back wall. And we decided … 

Minter Dial  04:38

But of course in this case, there’s only one wall because fronton you play against one wall right?

Enrique Corcuera  04:45

You play against one wall, but it has two walls, so they could play with the both walls. So, they had three worlds. They didn’t have the left wall. So, their rule was you can only play with the back wall. And then he could play like that for a few years. From there, he got the idea. And then there was a sport called paddle tennis and American sport, platform paddle. And from them, he saw that and with his permit with a wall, when he got when he got the house in Acapulco, it wasn’t that big to build his fronton. So, he decided to mix the two. He makes them and he started experimented with his friends and family. You were one of the first victims, I heard. And there he got it. He got something fun. And that was 1969. And by 1980, he got the rules and the rule book, he drew it up, made it!

Minter Dial  06:04

The famous Corcuera Paddle rules, which my father had a copy of, but for some reason, somehow I can’t locate it anymore. So, I would love to get an original copy. Again, I’ve been looking I’ve been scouring eBay to see if there’s one that will become available again. So, the interesting thing about the game now today 20×10, it is quite different, in that you have the four meter rule walls, and then the grill netting that’s around compared to what it was at the very beginning, which is as I understand it, and some of the rules, as I understand it. Nallé told me it was that some of that you would go to your friends who built similar games, because they so enjoyed your father’s version, that they started creating their own little padel games. But the rules were different in different houses. And one of the rules that I used to hear was that since the walls were only three meters high, and it was a tennis ball, if you hit the ball out, which was so much easier to do, you lose the point, as opposed to today, where it’s sort of: you win the point, basically, if you can manage to hit it out. I was wondering if you could qualify that story. And then the other one is tell us any other rules that have changed since the famous Corcuera Rules book.

Enrique Corcuera  07:31

Well, yes, there were like 10 courts in Las Brisas in Acapulco, but they all have a they have the 20 by 10. They are respected that and but at some side walls were smaller, some back walls were higher. Some top some houses decided that if you the ball got out of the court, it was bad. And particularly because it was also very expensive to buy a tennis balls in Acapulco in the 70s in the 80s. They were not easy to get. So, we took care of them. And so, yes, that is true. And every house had its own particular rules, like my side, this side was good that one is is not good, because we have a garden over there, etcetera, etcetera.

Minter Dial  08:22

Ruin the roses!

Enrique Corcuera  08:24

Exactly. So, that is true. And yes, so if you if you keep it very hard and you got it out of the court, you lose the point. Yes.

Minter Dial  08:37

And I also understand your father at the beginning, one of the rules is when you serve underhand he preferred it not to be bouncing into the sidewall as in or the glass where we were now it is.

Enrique Corcuera  08:50

Yes, they wouldn’t the players were not advanced because they were learning, no? it was a new game. So, playing against the sidewall on the serve was difficult. So, they decided that it has to hit the back wall first or not at all, but the sidewall was zero fault. And that is the only difference between my Padel Corcuera and the new padel is the serve. The sidewall was not permitted by my father.

Minter Dial  09:25

I love those little details and Okay. And so, today, one of the things I understand from having listened is that your father had a patent on the game. Tell us about that and where we are with the patent.

Enrique Corcuera  09:42

When the sport started to take off in Spain and in Argentina, and they started to talk about who invented it. And my father wanted to know everyone, but he wants everybody to know the truth. So, he got a very good friend of him. A notary, Sotto Borja, Ignacio Sotto Borja. And what should we do? Well, we have the rulebook, and we have the pictures that you are the first. So, let’s patent all those things. And let’s do the International Padel Federation. And that’s what they did. And it was difficult at the beginning, because you have to put the Argentinians and the Spaniards together and make them agree on some rules and, and in the new government body, the rulebook and etc. But after some loving, we were able to do it, thanks to Nacho Sotto Borja, and the international Federation was born, and Hispanic Federation, Argentina Federation.

Minter Dial  10:53

So, concretely, you get recognition for the invention of the game, the origin of it, which is beautiful. And to what extent is there a patent and that you, you can how somehow participate in something that you began? I mean, I know you’re involved with COPA, which is very funny. I want to hear about that. But is there any other benefit to you for having invented padel.

Enrique Corcuera  11:19

We had another patent with the glass walls. And that patent lasted 10 years, but my father took a decision that he wanted to make no money of it. And the most important thing was for the sport to grow. And not to make money of it. And so, he very altruistically decided never to make money with that part of the game.

Minter Dial  11:47

Well, it’s been a gift to the world. It’s what I talked about Enrique when I had been playing obviously, since 1974 myself, and when I say there are five rules to padel but rule number one is the most important. Rule number one is have fun!

Enrique Corcuera  12:08


Minter Dial  12:08

I figured you would. So, let’s talk about what your involvement is in padel because I understand you’re quite active in padel with COPA, the Corcuera Padel, as I understand COPA padel. So, tell us what you’re doing in padel. 

Enrique Corcuera  12:26

We have a brand is friends and family members, and it’s called Corcuera Padel, COPA. And we make a we have a clothing line and rackets, balls. And I can send you a brochure so you can show it. And we started two years ago when we’re doing pretty well. We’re in Mexico, and now we’re moving internationally. And the idea is to every product has a signature of my father and then the story of the game and we call it going back to the beginning.

Minter Dial  13:05

It smells like a Rene Lacoste, for me.

Enrique Corcuera  13:09

Exactly. That was the idea. Yes, very classic. It’s all the padel clothing. And it’s very colorful, and it’s more like a football or like something that Nadal or Alcaraz would work. And we have no there is no public clothing that is like Lacoste or the original. When you play in the 70s, with my father, they dressed in white, they didn’t play with colorful shirts.

Minter Dial  13:39

Now, those were the classic days, Enrique. And one of the things that was really interesting to me, as I’ve been researching before, this call was the growth in Argentina. I had always assumed that the growth, which was monumental in Argentina was related to your mum. But it’s not like it just sort of happens naturally, that you’ve got to be a little intentional to get it to have… I mean, as I understand it, there were 30,000 courts in Argentina at one point. So, it was it was growing like mushrooms back in the 80s. Right? Or maybe late 70s and 80s. Do you have any more understanding of how it got so popular in Argentina. Was it sort of, you know, Maradona, or the or whoever was the Argentine Footballer of the day? What was it that that made it so popular so early, much more popular than Spain?

Enrique Corcuera  14:36

Yeah. How it grew so fast. I’m not sure. What I know is that they play on a cement court. And in the 80s it was it was carrying a boom. But then it had a big decline because playing on cement and concrete without the artificial grass, hurts your knees. So, many people started suffering knee pain. So, they had to rebuild all the courts with grass to work according to the new regulations and that fixed the problem. But it was a very big boom. Argentina is a country they love tennis and they do a lot, very good at it, very culturally sporty. They love to play everything. So, when they discover there, they could play tennis in a small court what more what my opinion more foreign tennis and easier and you can play for it. The they went crazy about it?

Minter Dial  15:39

Yes, well it’s the case.

Enrique Corcuera  15:44

Many tried to build more courts and in one tennis court you can put three padel courts and also the that’s also an advantage.

Minter Dial  15:52

No doubt well, lor argentinos masculinos (the masculine Argentinian) are the current world champions right? The men’s version, so they’re always Argentinians and Spaniards. That’s basically they rule the roost still, we’re still waiting for some Mexicans, by the way I have I play with one of my favorite Mexican players guy called Gobo Loredo, who’s based in Sweden, so he always gave me a little bit of a taste of padel in Mexico but waiting for more. So, Copa is, let’s say, the commercial side of what you’re up to and bringing that and I can’t wait to find some Copa merchandise. But what about you you’re playing you play tennis you play padel. And you have lived your life through the evolution of padel. It is presumably always been part of your life. How have you developed your game? I mean, and how would you describe the change in the game.

Enrique Corcuera  16:48

It’s more offensive I play a very well the back of the court because at the beginning we play a lot in the back some one player the back one player in the front. So, Ember are really good at the rebounds and the back, but the ex-tennis players are really good at the net. So, that’s where I mostly, in the overhead at the net, that’s where I am good but not excellent. In the back, I’m really good.

Minter Dial  17:20

You’re a defender. I love to defend personally as well. And one of the questions I like to ask, is what sort of an animal are you on the tennis court? How would How would you describe Enrique the padel player as an animal?

Enrique Corcuera  17:36

I like to be very stable not run a lot. So, I know it would be something like that Tiger, something like that.

Minter Dial  17:47

Still pouncing around. And so, what’s your favorite shot?

Enrique Corcuera  17:53

My favorite shot is from the rebound from the back wall. A thing you hit back hard.

Minter Dial  18:03

La Bajada? The one that’s up high off the back. I say it in English, just describe it for those who don’t just know all the Spanish terms yet. Working on it. And what about the pro tour? Do you watch the pro tour a lot?

Enrique Corcuera  18:20

I watch all the pro tour and this year is changing we have a new we have a new tournament and I think it’s doing great and I also go to see them live because, when they play in Mexico I put my store, my Copa store on the tournament. Well I’m very happy because I’m in all the matches watching them. Then I go outside and sell my merchandise and talk to everyone about the creation of padel, etc.

Minter Dial  18:56

Just like we’re doing now. And I have to imagine, do you do Instagram?

Enrique Corcuera  19:05

No, everything that has to do with padel, I do it via the COPA website. My interviews, etc., No, I don’t use my personal Instagram for much of that.

Minter Dial  19:18

I was just wondering if yours is like mine, my personal Instagram I have a Joy of Padel Instagram but my personal one is just one off to the other padel points, padel points, padel points, which I love by the way.

Enrique Corcuera  19:33

I agree with you I want to buy one of those cameras you can put on the back of the court to report on points. It’s a good idea. 

Minter Dial  19:40

There’s there are a bunch of them. One of them I love is you get you once you’ve seen a good one you’ve done a good point. You run over and you punch in it captures the last 45 seconds, because it films it from several angles, but it doesn’t retain all of them so only the good points, you go over capture it and I don’t remember I don’t know the tech is but lots of good ways to do that, because a lot of points aren’t quite as great as the pro padel players.

Enrique Corcuera  20:04

Yeah, no, yeah, that’s a good idea. You only record the last four or five, the last point you want, you don’t want to look, everyone looking at the bad points. Send me the information about that I will need to buy one!

Minter Dial  20:18

It’s called Push-It, I will send it to you. And that’s a that’s a great one. And then so those are that you probably met some of them, but who are your favorite pro players to watch?

Enrique Corcuera  20:30

Stupazuk, the Argentinian. He moves like a gazelle. Like he’s very fast, beautiful style. And without hitting the ball hard, there’s a lot of control and positioning. So, he’s one of the crowd favorite and it’s also mine, right?

Minter Dial  20:53

His rulo is just spectacular. I mean, it’s lots of shots, right, but such a great mover. How about amongst the women?

Enrique Corcuera  21:02

Salazar or las gemellas (the twins). I like them. Yes, I recommend to learn, like the, the level of the women is more similar to my level a lot more similar. So, I prefer to watch the women to learn new tactics, and etc. And I watch the women more carefully. In that sense, the men who prefer to watch the spectacle, but I cannot imitate what they do, I cannot move out of the port, etc. But the women is better for me to learn.

Minter Dial  21:41

That is such a great insight, Enrique. I absolutely agree with you. I think that it’s more realistic for us. The pace. I mean, it’s not that they don’t play incredible padel and all that. But there’s it’s something that we can perhaps especially as we move on in age, relate to it. And so, the twins, of course, are great. The idea of the complementarity of the team as well watching them communicate so well and get it all together on the on the court.

Enrique Corcuera  22:12

Because they are they hit the ball harder than me, obviously. But they are not so offensive. And they don’t have those weapons, not like the men have that from any angle of the court, they can probably hit it out. So, they have to get in position. Yeah, I like to watch how they do it.

Minter Dial  22:32

That’s right, the fortress that the Lebron or Galan can do from the very back or Tapia, from the back of the court. I mean, crazy, right? It’s hard to imagine if you’ve played padel a long time. And padel is about having fun. What about if you have in your past a story about the most fun experience you’ve ever had on a padel court? Well, one that comes to mind anyway.

Enrique Corcuera  22:58

Playing with my father was a lot of fun. And before he had the rule book, he used to change the rules at his convenience. So, when we were playing with him and the famous two level when it’s a little off or a little down, he decided when it was good or bad because he invented the game. So, that was a lot of fun, everybody discussing with him. And in the end, I embedded it I decided it was good.

Minter Dial  23:31

Well it sounds very much like Henry the VIII. Who, who also changed the rules of real tennis to favor him. Right.

Enrique Corcuera  23:37

Like he knew that. That’s exactly like that. Exactly.

Minter Dial  23:42

And who’s going to disagree with the king of Padel? Oh, that’s wonderful. What about, and I think it’s true of all sports in some degree, but padel for you Enrique in your life, what sort of lessons has padel brought to you in your regular life?

Enrique Corcuera  24:00

Padel has given me the discipline of working out. That was very, very important in life. And you don’t have to go to the gym, and I try a lot of different sports. But padel is more addictive. And it’s a good addiction, in my opinion. I mean, I want to play every day, and I feel incomplete, where I don’t play and what is good for your body, is good for you. So, that’s the main benefit is physically. I’m thinking I’m in shape. And thanks to it, I don’t have to do anything else but play padel four or five times a week. And I love it. And I have a lot of friends inviting me and doing tournaments and different. Meeting new people. It’s very social. And so, I really like it. I mean, if my father hadn’t invented it, I will play it anyway. I really love it.

Minter Dial  25:00

So, I’m going to tell you Enrique, my five rules I told you, you know, rule number one is have fun. Rule number two is don’t get injured, because then we can’t have fun. Rule number three is try to play well, because why not? Rule number four is — in order — try to win. And then I add rule number five. You mentioned social rule number five, what’s rule number five? You have to have a beer, after noon, after the game.

Enrique Corcuera  25:27

Oh, yeah, it’s good idea. The weekends I do. The week, sometimes I don’t. But yes, it’s a great idea. I will start practicing it. 

Minter Dial  25:40

Excellent. I’m not imposing. But what I will do is when I come, when we finally played together, Enrique, we will have a good old social time as well as a good old battle on the court. So, last question for you. Okay. What about the future of padel? How do you, from your standpoint, consider the future of padel. What countries do you see standing out? Where is it going? Is it going to be more than football, or less than football?

Enrique Corcuera  26:06

Well, the future right now is in Mexico, we have to it is growing at the right pace, very fast. But we need professional players that can compete with the best. And we are far from that. We were just starting with the juniors to get them at the level. So, we are very involved in that. And then we have to penetrate the American market, The Americans, they’re starting to play especially in the southern states like Texas, California and Florida. And but there are some people playing in New York area, and a lot of clubs are three clubs already exists there. So, yes, the American market is very important. And we have a little problem with this game called pickleball that they are playing pickle, like the Americans they don’t like rugby, they invent American Football. They don’t like cricket, or they invent Baseball…

Minter Dial  27:11

They take football, which is a game played with the feet, and they played with the hands. 

Enrique Corcuera  27:16

Yeah, or I think he’s Rugby. I think they took rugby and made it football. I don’t know what it’s only play on their country. And I have to I hope that padel is like tennis in the US, that is very popular and, and it’s a world sport that everybody plays. And they don’t have, because pickle is not going to move beyond the Americans. And it’s a game is not a sport. And so, entering the American market is the most important thing the next decade for padel, in my opinion. I don’t know nothing about Asia. I have not studied situation.

Minter Dial  28:02

It’s just beginning. But I do want to give a little hat tip to my other two Mexican chums. Aldo who owns the big club in Cancun, and Wilson Arceo, a wonderful coach, highly recommend him. I met him in Merida. So, with that, Enrique it’s been great to have you on the show, I feel really honored to have been able to meet you. Thank you for taking some time to talk about what is clearly a common passion. What’s the last word you’d like to say, to the Joy of Padel listeners?

Enrique Corcuera  28:40

Well, thank you for having me. Play padel. Try it. Just take one class, in the second class is second hour, you’re going to be hooked. It’s fun, it’s easy. And it’s easy to start, but then you can go big. It has a lot of challenges to become good at it. But the difference with playing tennis or squash is that at the beginning you suffer. You’re going to suffer in the first. But after the first game [in padel], you’re not suffering anymore. You are having fun. So, try it. Just try it.

Minter Dial  29:18

The risk is you’ll be addicted. Yes. Muchas Gracias.

Enrique Corcuera  29:25

Thank you. Gracias. Thank you for listening me and taking the time to hear the story.

Minter Dial  29:30

It’s been a pleasure. 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 !


Pin It on Pinterest