The Joy of Padel podcast with Luis Estrada

Luis Estrada, the current number one male padel player in the US. Coming from tennis, Luis fell head over heels with Padel. He recounts how quickly it happened and his journey to becoming number one, with partner Nico Agri. We talk about his transition from tennis to padel, his experience of playing with the best in Europe, playing for the Los Angeles Beat of the PPL, and the exciting prospects for the future of padel in the US. A joyful exchange.

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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.

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Full transcript of interview via Otter.ai

SUMMARY KEYWORDS: padel, play, tennis, ball, court, good, players, hit, shot, ppl, volleys, paquito, talking, number, marcos, padel tennis, nico, net, coaches, train

SPEAKERS: Luis Estrada, Minter Dial

Minter Dial  00:11

¡ 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 evergreenpodcast.com. So, this is the second 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. 

Hey, here we go with episode number three of the second season of the joy of padel podcast and this one is with Luis Estrada. Luisito is the current number one male padel pair in the US. Coming from tennis Luis fell head over heels with padel. He recounts how quickly it happened. And his journey to becoming number one with partner Nico Aggrey. We talk about his transition from tennis to padel, his experience of playing with the best in Europe, playing for the Los Angeles speeds of the pro padel League and the exciting prospects for future of padel in the US and most joyful exchange bombers. Luis – Luisito – Estrada, what a pleasure to have you on my show. It’s not so often I get to talk with an American about Padel Tennis, not platform tennis, not pickle. No pádel. It’s padel. So, Luis, in your own words, who is Luis Estrada?

Luis Estrada  02:05

So, now professional pops the air here in the US but many people listening and started to play right now. I was a tennis player too. So, I’m a normal guy. Used to be a really good tennis player. I still love tennis even though I don’t play anymore. And I was born in Venezuela now I’m living here in the states since 2015.

Minter Dial  02:31

And you’re in the sunny state of Florida where which probably means you get to play a lot of good outdoor in the sun padel.

Luis Estrada  02:40

Oh, yeah, right now the weather’s amazing here. I think we have the nicest weather. For sure. Avoiding San Diego taking San Diego out of the picture. I think we have the nicest weather in the States.

Minter Dial  02:52

You do, you’re spoiled for that. So, Luis you wrote your routes to padel obviously you are a tennis player is interesting is that you are doubles specialist if you will, getting into padel tell us about the moment padel arrived in your life.

Luis Estrada  03:09

So, I will say he was back in 2021 when they put the first quarter the USDA at the National Campus. And I think I try one afternoon I started but they put the court there was this crazy guy that has been here in Orlando for like, five six years trying to put cores and pushing the sport in that I will see him playing padel in the tennis court hitting Monday has in the tennis court. And I got introduced to Margaret villa. And Marcos and Pilar from the beginning when he saw me play he said like you could be really good it’s a really good opportunity and I got hooked like from the minute that I played the first minute let’s say I will I played a Monday and on Friday I was getting certified to be a coach like I want it I want it to grow this boy I wanted to help I wanted to get in I mean involved.

Minter Dial  03:57

And is there anything in particular that made that hook happen? Was it the interest of a bandeja? Was it the the walls? What is it that hooked you?

Luis Estrada  04:09

I mean I will say I will keep sometimes fitness in in Venezuela when I was training I will go play mini tennis, and play Kalita, I mean a short maintenance game. And I will say I thought I was playing the same thing, short court, a lot of hands, volleys and overhead, to say like I mean this perfect for me. And after we running around grinding is like this. This is my game. I wish I would have found this sooner.

Minter Dial  04:37

So, you play left and how tall are you? Now?

Luis Estrada  04:42

Not at all I’m actually five eight or nine I measure myself and so I was like 17-18. But yeah, well…

Minter Dial  04:48

You’re still growing, Luis. You’re still young?

Luis Estrada  04:51

Nah, no, yeah, I’m 25.

Minter Dial  04:54

Wow, you’re still growing, man. But you know for to play left. That’s a short size. I mean, you know, Chingotto he doesn’t play left. Although there is someone who’s been on the show Patti Laguna, she plays left and she’s not the tallest woman on the court, corporate campus. But let me just say one thing, you still play some tennis but not so much.

Luis Estrada  05:19

I still teach a little bit. Actually, my Dad has a Tennis Academy here in Orlando. And we also run the Lake Nona Golf and Country Club. So, I’m still involved in tennis, even though I mean, I’m not playing I’m not hitting anyone. Because I don’t want anyone I’d rather play padel.

Minter Dial  05:38

But well, so but what about when you get back on the tennis court? I mean, I paid a lot of tennis as well. And, and I have found that padel can actually be really complimentary, especially since I was more of an all-rounder on the tennis court. But at the net, I feel so much more comfortable. I was wondering what you feel what does matter brought to your tennis if you still play?

Luis Estrada  06:03

I agree. I agree. I think it helps. It helps a ton. Actually, I think padel helps more tennis than tennis helps padel. But I don’t know, I mean, people will get around. But if you come from tennis, of course, it’s easy to get everything. But the thing that gets me at least to me, is the size of the racket. In terms of overheads and serving, if I go back to tennis, and I started serving, I mean, it happened to me in the beginning, when I was still like going between two, I will go back to tennis and play a set. And then I will go to play padel and then I was shanking my overhead, at the top of the racquet just because of the size. So, obviously that’s the only stopper that you wouldn’t translate like I mean, to play tennis to help you to, to your padel, but besides that, I think you helped sometime. Right?

Minter Dial  06:46

Yeah, no, now it’s moved from tennis to padel. Yeah. Many, many people in this who are listening in the world come to padel usually from tennis. I mean, I think that’s the majority. And yet, while it’s the same sort of ball, there’s a there’s familiarity with the net, it seems so difficult unwire the tennis player, what was your route to helping you, you know, on, you know, stop doing half fall into the back of your court, you know, be think that the wall is your friend.

Luis Estrada  07:23

All right. I mean, I couldn’t agree more than that. I think that’s the number one stopper for or even for, I wouldn’t say for me, because I mean, he was at the beginning. But I was fortunate enough to have Marcos at the beginning. And he said, like, listen, like you’re not going to beat whoever plays padel, you’re not going to beat them by doing this. So, I think my first year, I didn’t win a single match. I mean, I was winning matches, but against the good players, I was just letting the ball go to the glass. You know, I was lost. The ball was bouncing two times. And I was still like, going behind, I was losing 6-1, 6-1. People will say like, okay, but if you don’t know how to play with the wall here before I like, no, no, I want to learn how to play the right way. And I think my first year I lost every match 6-1 6-1, 6-2 6-2 against players that I am playing now. And I beat 6-1 6-1, 6-0 6-0. I think that changed my mentality of going right away, going into it, not being afraid of losing at the beginning, getting used to the walls being I mean, therefore they want it to be your friend. So, letting the ball go play slower. I went to go no, I went to stay. So, I was saying Marcos helped me a lot.

Minter Dial  08:31

La pared es su amiga. And, yeah, but the interesting thing is letting yourself loose. When I practice even before warming up. One of the things I do is I always let the ball go through and if it double bounces, okay, I’m learning the court, right, the speed of the ball, and what’s happening off the back wall. And then when we get into the game, letting balls through even if you screw it up at the beginning, you’re learning what’s happening. You know, the fear is when you have the slip this hard spin, like you know, a lefty for example. And you’re like, oh, it’s going to be dangerous. I better cut it off. Cut it off. You’re never going to You’re never going to learn how what the shape of the ball is when it comes off the back wall.

Luis Estrada  09:20

I agree. I agree. And the angles are different angles when they play with actually with slides or when they play flat is completely different when they play on your screen that he was going to die. So, you got to get behind the getting your pants down. You’re going to be waiting on it. So, yeah, I mean a lot of things learning how to defend the road or I mean other things other things. It’s just patience as long as you have a good coach and you’re patient. And you’re consistent. I think you everybody can learn the walls.

Minter Dial  09:48

One of the thing that strikes me that’s important in padel is watching the racket on the ball of the opponent in tennis, I mean my eyesight, it’s not even good enough for you to see exactly what’s happening. But you get a shape. You get a grip in padel. It’s so close and so visceral, you have to be sort of eagle eyed, watching him or her where they’re stroking the ball, which angle? And then, you know if they’re going to do an amaga or a deceitful shot…

Luis Estrada  10:23

Yeah, all of that all that. I think, I think fortunately enough, I got it from tennis. I mean, reading a little things about the service, I mean, not to see where they’re going to have a better return, trying to take time away. But all of those things, I mean, you got to get them. You got to get them to have an edge. Otherwise, you know, you can counter you know where the world’s going to go. But yeah, I think it’s important that a little a little people start learning that.

Minter Dial  10:50

Alright, so playing padel in America 2021. My cousin Nallé who lives in Miami? I don’t know if you don’t if you don’t know. Check them out.

Luis Estrada  10:59

And I know I know Nallé really well.

Minter Dial  11:00

Well, they got the biggest center in the world apparently coming up. But the challenge must be finding the coaching and getting the good tournament work in. Because it’s one thing to be. I mean, America is a big country, number one in America. But really, at the end of the day, if we look at it in the universe, a padel, it is a small puddle. Yeah, compared to the big lake that is Spain and Argentina. And even you know, Sweden and the countries where you have 1000s of courts. So, how do you do, how do you do figure out how to be get better work better? If you’re the number one in America? What are you doing? How do you work it?

Luis Estrada  11:52

So, yeah, so basically, my partner Nico and I, this preseason we were in Madrid we were in Madrid for a month. We were with Nerone every morning for a month, we got to train with all the top players we got to train with Coello, you got to train with Paquito, Sanyo, Garrido, Yanguas…

Minter Dial  12:16

Who by the way, just beat the number ones.

Luis Estrada  12:24

It was basically a three versus one. It was Galan against Lebron, Garrido and Yanguas. Lebron was not in it. Yeah. Yeah. And I mean, yeah, so we got to train with the best players in the world. I mean, we got to be with Coello on the court to train for an hour and a half. And I mean, they step above the top 30. The number one through 30 is different. They play another sport. But then below that there’s a gap where we can compete, we can meet there, we got some good wins, we beat a couple out of 60 or 50s. And then below that, and no chance. But in order to be at a level, we need to play that level consistently. And we’re just, I mean, I’m honest, we in ourselves, and we’re not never going higher here in the US, at least in the next five years. In order to train at that low, we’re not going to have that many players. So, of course we need to go out, we need to we need the help to go out and is starting, I mean in some way because we know we’re not going to have that jump but I think in the next 10 years, I think the US is going to start catching up for sure.

Minter Dial  13:36

We’re going to get to the PPL in a moment. But what do you think differentiates the number 30 from the number one? What is it that what is it the difference?

Luis Estrada  13:48

I mean, so many things, the way they play. They play so that the ball is this close to the net. They’re not missing, they’re counting  every shot they have. If your bandeja is decent. If it is not perfect. And if there’s not good enough, even not enough rebound. It’s another thing. They’re playing a different game, where they can do whatever they want with you.

Minter Dial  14:14

So, isn’t that funny when you’re playing I and I’m imagining that, you know, for the vast majority of your experience, when you’re coaching or playing with other players, you know, someone like me, you see the ball four minutes before I’ve hit it. You have a cup of tea, you’re drinking it, and then you stroke the ball back and you come back. It’s completely the reverse when you’re playing with a Coello.

Luis Estrada  14:38

Correct. I mean, and then not only that, like that’s one thing we were surprised when we were playing with Garrido, Yanguas and Coello. The speed that they play when they’re defending is not like they’re saying like, Oh guys, you got to play slow, whatever. No, it’s the complete opposite. They were playing so fast. That is basically your volleys, you cannot actually step into them. You’re always blocking it. So, that’s one thing that will surprise us and we know We need to work on basically, we cannot actually take long swings and cut the ball. We got to just block the wall and basically keep our position because we’re playing so hard. And so, I mean so low to the net, you cannot do anything. And not only that, you would think, Oh, they’re playing hard. Why don’t you let the ball go and then counter. We try that. And then the ball rebound was low. We’re getting there. But we’re getting there. They were both on the net. And they were hitting the crap out of it. And getting us going giving us tattoos all over the place. I got two tattoos by Coello, one or two by Yanguas, by Garrido. It’s crazy. I mean, we had a great, great experience that we’re looking forward to do it and again.

Minter Dial  15:41

Well, and the other thing is the fantasy. Yeah. I mean, yeah, you know, those no look shots. The, you know, Galan is kind of just ridiculous. I mean, he can hit balls.

Luis Estrada  15:53

I mean, he’s impressive. But also, Sanyo, I think he was the one that impressed me the most. He could do anything he wanted with the ball. Like I mean, Paquito I know what to expect with him.  The rulo, the pegado, the chiquitas with the backhand, but Sanyo impressed me the most. He had the ball here and he could do six different things. And you never know because he was hitting the ball here everywhere. He was not hitting a bajada from here. He was leaving the ball, shoulder height, and he could do anything, straight down the line. To my chest. Middle, to Nico, across or the angle. He had everything from the same spot so I couldn’t read it.

Minter Dial  16:33

Beautiful Sanyo Gutierrez. So, what about a what style of a player would you characterize yourself? You’re obviously not a tall, big animal. But are you hitting por 3? What sort of style of there are you?

Luis Estrada  16:48

Yeah, I mean, I will say I still hit it. I was a little more like Coki. Coki Nieto. Yeah, I mean, I will still hit it. I will say the closest one will be like Coki, working the point, moving the ball, playing a little more smart. But yeah, more like that.

Minter Dial  17:08

He’s a fun player. I’ve enjoyed meeting him. And if you had an animal fewer to describe yourself as an animal on the padel court. Do you have an animal in mind?

Luis Estrada  17:18

Yeah, it was more like a tiger, waiting his chance. I mean, superfast. And what are his chance to finally attack!

Minter Dial  17:25

It is such a different thing. Is that that patience right? Yeah. Waiting for a moment to pounce?

Luis Estrada  17:34

Yeah, I agree. Or Yeah. Waiting, waiting, waiting, waiting. And I think we’re doing we’re doing good. Hopefully, now we added new tools coming from Spain. From Nerone. And, and yeah, we’re waiting to travel to travel more and show those skills. Because here in the US, we know we have only one or two teams that have challenges. Like besides that, we know we were winning most of the matches.

Minter Dial  18:02

Well, and with Marcos, you’ve created this Professional Padel League, the PPL, and and I say it’s a very exciting format. Tell us about your experience in the first season. And what’s going on in the second season?

Luis Estrada  18:16

It is amazing. It was an amazing experience. Playing for a team not for yourself is like college tennis and something that didn’t have, but I had in Venezuela, playing for a city, playing for your country. But I think it’s something great because here in the US people feel identified with their city. So, if they know they can root for something more than just a player, they can root for their city. I think there’s something perfect here for the American market. And this I mean, last season was great. It was in Tampa, but this is when we’re going to be playing in Miami and then in Los Angeles, which is going to be great. A lot more teams coming. The players. I think I can Yeah, we’re going to we’re going to post these because I think I can tell you that my teammates…

Minter Dial  19:03

It will be coming up in nearly two weeks time, so…

Luis Estrada  19:08

Perfect. So, I can tell you my teammates. So, we’re going to have  Tolito Aguirre.

Minter Dial  19:14

Oh my God. He is such a magician.

Luis Estrada  19:17

As my teammate. And besides that we have Javi Leal.

Minter Dial  19:22

Nice. Yeah, he’s a pounder. He has a great overhead. He’s strong. He’s very tenacious. And well, that’s clearly having these injections into your team and have to play against in the US market that’s, that not only brings attention to the game, it’s going to up your level because you can’t just go to those or that’s real stuff.

Luis Estrada  19:48

it’s real stuff. And I mean, Nerone is coming back as a coach, then we have for the woman’s, we have Jessica Castello. Yeah, she’s good, getting better and better. And then we have Elia Amatrian and Carolina Orsi. So, we have a good team, you know, we’re talking about we’re going to rotate whatever, we know that the team is going to be a little heavy. I still, I know I’m going to play a couple matches. But of course, that’s going to be the main thing. Hopefully, we can get to the PPL cup. That is going to be in New York. And then we can fight it off.

Minter Dial  20:24

As somebody I like. I mean, I also like the hexagon cup that they just did as well as very exciting formats, the mix of the of women and man, it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s bringing joy to padel at a professional level.

Luis Estrada  20:39

You know it’s exciting. It’s not like you’re just watching a player and the other guy they’re going to play tomorrow night. You got to wait for the to see the team and see what happens and the fact that ace League and it’s not just a tournament, I mean, even though they’re going to be they haven’t announced I think they announced but he hasn’t been clear people are still a little confused. Every week is going to be like a mini-tournament, even though we’re going to be playing against each other for a league. There is still going to be prize money at the end of each week.

Minter Dial  21:06

Nice. So, and then price. Right. So, Luis, you’ve been playing now for three years? Roughly. What’s your favorite shot and why is that your favorite shot?

Luis Estrada  21:16

Favorite shot? I mean, things still volleys. My volleys are really good.

Minter Dial  21:20

High cut.

Luis Estrada  21:22

Yeah, cut. I mean, I give that much rebound. People usually as soon as if I’m feeling it, they don’t play low to me. So, they start going to Nico and then they start getting lobs and then he’s okay, I start working…

Minter Dial  21:37

Well, but I mean, of course, but how do your volleys match up when you’re playing like a Yanguas, or you know someone like that? I mean, are you do you feel like you’re in there?

Luis Estrada  21:48

Yeah 100%. In Spain, I was still doing damage to all of these guys. I mean, Garrido was getting pissed when we’re training. He was hitting the racket. To Paquito, I was winning points, to Sanyo  was and Coello, I winning points. Oh yeah for sure volleys is my shot.

Minter Dial  22:09

That’s really good on you. And what about a shot that you need to improve on?

Luis Estrada  22:14

To improve on? I mean I will say still defending even though you guys got I mean I was defending Paquito, but I don’t know what happened that day or whatever, but I was defending his vibora like nothing, until the second day that we trained, he said like okay, you had a good day. Let me show you how it is and then the next day, then I couldn’t, I wouldn’t see the ball. But yeah, I mean, I will say defense I can still get better. Because I still feel even though now we’re playing with the walls and everything at that level, still we can defend better, I mean, playing this close to the net, low to the net, not giving that much height or defending my game you know, create the spaces put into the body, all those sort of stuff.

Minter Dial  23:00

Your one thing I when I’m playing on the left if they allow because I’m an old guy, but when you got the those viboras coming in, and the ones that go all the way up to the side netting, you know those those ones you’re up there you’re following it and then all of a sudden, fuck, it’s past the wall is bad. Then you’re then you got it, you know, jam it before. Alright, so what about on the pro tour? Do you watch a lot of the pro tour?

Luis Estrada  23:28

Yeah, I love it. I love it.

Minter Dial  23:30

It’s so entertaining. Who are your favorite players and why?

Luis Estrada  23:34

I mean my favorite things really was Galan, because he didn’t know anything about the beginning but he’s the one that I saw that he was more classic, it was more like Fed, more classy, clean  shots and a little earlier I started seeing that he’s, I mean, the best, he is good really good and less a player but the other one that I started liking a lot was Tapia, before he started playing we call you we send you I mean he was doing some stuff that the little things little things changing the pace bringing bringing the players certain spots to actually calendar it was a little thing that I started seeing it was like oh man is he’s actually doing everything for a reason. And not many people do that consistently. So, I think that Tapia is another one that is really really good.

Minter Dial  24:17

Yeah, both of them pull rabbits out of hats on a regular basis.

Luis Estrada  24:23

Yeah, but actually I like them not only for the crazy shots, it’s more for the little things. Little things that people will see like, how they stand, shots that we think, that’s just a normal shot, he’s  just hitting a shot. But no, it is those little things that actually get my attention from them.

Minter Dial  24:37

Is there something specific that you could teach us about that little things that they’re doing? Because you know from the naked or the amateur eye when you look at Galan, you’re like: Oh my god that’s just crazy and the big shots is the fantasy Yeah. But what are the some of the little things that you are looking at as a pro as number one in United States what intrigues your eyes?

Luis Estrada  25:01

I mean, one thing that I think boggling my mind a little bit for the last six months is basically the steps that they do how they move or they’re moving in the lateral. They’re moving always, falling back, how they’re when they’re falling back, they can still play low or they can go with a lot. So, basically they’re faking it like they’re going to play, elope. And then the police, I mean, to get them, they crushed in it. So, basically, by that they mean the second that you’re leaning back, already, the guy the next they can step back, too. So, by the time you’re playing forward, you’re running, you gain that edge, you gave them that leeway space, to heal with more margin and to be able to walk forward. Those little things. Is there one that I look for the most, because they always have an advantage.

Minter Dial  25:50

That transition. When you want to jump in and go from the back to the front. It seems obvious, but what you’re talking about there, there’s this sort of deceit that they’re pretending to pop up a lob but then all of a sudden said she hit her up on your next shot.

Luis Estrada  26:08

Yeah, all those little things because right now the game is so fast that if you play normal, you’re playing low all the time, everyone is getting crazy volleys now they’re not even volleying, they’re slapping the volleys. So, if you’re not playing, like, like we’re saying, like this low to the net, the games are going super quick against Coello and Tapia. If you’re not loving it, the love is no, like this goes to the wall. The hidden other way in it. If you’re playing this high over the net, they’re slapping and winning, so you got to find a way…

Minter Dial  26:43

Yeah, I It’s fascinating. At the same time, I continue to believe that for us, mere mortals, it’s better to have, the ratio that I tend to encourage is 70% of your shots should be high margin of error. Just push it back up, move it to space. And then 30%, you’re trying to do something.

Luis Estrada  27:06

Yeah, no, no, 100%. I will never recommend anybody to do the things that we’re talking about, I guess not put the ball in play, and have fun. I mean, for the one playing you got to you’re going to wait for whoever is winning at the amateur level is the one that is putting more balls in. Like he’s not about the chiquita. So, if you’re coming in and hit a good ball or if you hit an angle, or hit a Por 3, it’s about who’s I mean, who’s moving the players better, who’s making them move and miss more, or create higher percentage shots, the more you move them, the most likely they’re going to hit a bad lob. And then you can put that away, then you can go for your portraits if you want. But it’s all about moving the players and not missing at all.

Minter Dial  27:50

Yeah, Nalle drove this into me: he said in French at the time, of course, but it’s better to be unhappy about the unforced errors than happy about the winners. All right. How about a this is the joy of padel, Luisito and what is the funniest moment that you’ve had on a padel court in the last three years that you’ve been playing?

Luis Estrada  28:14

Funniest? Yes. The funniest? Let me see. I mean, I will say that the funniest for sure was playing PPL with Sergio Nerone. I mean, in between points, he was just cracking jokes and even though I play on the right. PPL was the funniest, even though I don’t play on the right in PPL, I play on the right, because Nerone was on the left, even though last month last match we switch between the left and the right because they didn’t nearly have no difference on the right and we switch and we actually be Las Vegas now on the men’s will be the winner.

Minter Dial  28:52

Watch out Las Vegas this year. Right?

Luis Estrada  28:55

Yeah, I mean, it’s going to be tough. Martita and Amora

Minter Dial  29:01

Ortega. But the notion of communication is critical, right? This talking piece. And, I don’t know how it’s like in the US. But in England where I play a lot. We don’t talk. It’s like, Wait, we’re playing? We’re playing tennis. We have a beer. But what about on the court in between points, during the fight? Where’s the talking? What’s it like in the US? And is it a problem? And how do you get people to talk?

Luis Estrada  29:34

Yeah, so that’s one thing we encourage a lot. I mean, we may go and I were ambassadors for PadelHaus and also the tournaments. In pilot house. We are at the beginning where we’re getting cleanings and I mean, seeing people play they’re like, guys, like if those are coming in, you can actually talk here it gives me this is not 10 it’s not going to be a lead. You can actually map out where they’re going where they’re going to be so your partner knows where they’re going to do both October here in the USA, I will say is getting better in Miami was already good because a lot I mean this Aladdin community so you have a lot of Argentinian Spaniards. But I will say the rest of the US like San Diego, New York. Vegas. Yeah, Vegas, Houston was already big, Dallas, they have now two clubs, there’s good. But I would say it’s not that bad. I will say if you’re telling me that in England is like that, then we got to go there and teach them!

Minter Dial  30:29

We need to we need to pull the legitimate cork out of the arse and get excited and enjoy talking. What about in your three years that you’ve been playing, Luisito, relative to maybe your whole experience in tennis as well as in padel, what life lessons have you learned on from padel tennis?

Luis Estrada  30:47

I mean, I was able to change my life for sure. I was in a point where I was done with tennis. I was just teaching and then the fact that I’m open to competing again, I will say is such a fun sport. It is, I will say is the best thing has happened in my life is social, a social super easy to learn really hard to master. I learned so many things. I mean, it’s a new phase. Okay, I got to play completely different. I got to be patient. Even though I was already patient, you can tell anybody. I never make phrases or I never get mad. I’m always laughing. But it’s a different mindset. So, I’m happy to be to be here to be helping padel to grow in the US and to keep pushing it.

Minter Dial  31:38

That’s beautiful. Or the last guest on my show was Jack Binstead. And Jack plays adaptive padel, which is playing in a wheelchair. And he explained how padel changed his life.

Luis Estrada  31:50

Yeah. 100% And here, actually, I think the only adaptive courts in the US we have them here in Orlando.

Minter Dial  31:58

Nice. Well, Jack, hey, let’s go to Orlando next time. You find a way to? Yeah. He’ll be happy. All right, beautiful. What about the future of padel in the United States? What do you think?

Luis Estrada  32:12

I think we’re doing an amazing job of organizing of creating the coaches and giving them the right tools to learn to be good padel coaches and not tennis coaches in the padel court. Which I think it’s really important. We’re under the umbrella of the USPTA, which I think is the best was I mean, the best association for coaches to start getting certified. There’s another one, that is not the best, but I think the only thing missing here in the US is courts, we need courts, when we call it when a more American people playing we need people getting involved. We know that the Latin Community is there and that’s fine is always going to be there. But for sure we need more American players getting involved getting involved in Padel, not thinking that is a foreign sport and they need to start feeling that it can be also theirs and that they can I mean, they can have that feeling of belonging. It’s not like oh, we’re going to play with the Latin guys. No, no, we’re not playing have fun with our guys.

Minter Dial  33:12

Well, I know in in in I go to States as often as I can see my family. But in Philadelphia, it’s beginning to boom. I play in New York whenever I can. And it’s burgeoning. It’s not just Latinos or you know, Mexicans, whatever. Yeah. You know, regular Americans playing and, and there are so many good athletes and it is such fun. So, I’m very excited to have had you on the show, Luisito. W what’s the last word for you on padel and Luis’ life?

Luis Estrada  33:46

You’re going to have me for a while. I’m going to stick around. You’re going to see me I don’t know where the future is going to give me if I’m still going to hear Orlando hopefully which I love. Or I’m going to move at least if Nalle pulls it off, I’m going to be involved. I’m going to evolve you’re going to see me around whether it’s I hope that I can have a decent career. Whether he’s here, or also traveling outside. Whether it’s FIP or A1 or Premier, who knows. But I also want to help the sport here, whether it’s with Padel MBA, getting more coaches or running clubs. You’re going to see me in both!

Minter Dial  34:24

I hope to see you on a court sometime soon, if you’ll allow me? Luisito, how can someone follow you? What’s the best way to connect with you if you like? Are you social?

Luis Estrada  34:37

Yeah, of course. So, my Instagram is @LuisitoEstrada. And you can find me there. If you need anything. You can send me a DM and I’ll sure respond to you.

Minter Dial  34:47

Well, it’s been a pleasure. For those of you who aren’t on a video, you’ve had a continuous smile. I’ve enjoyed myself with you. Luisito, it seems that you are enjoying yourself with padel. It’s been fun, un placer.

Luis Estrada  35:00

The pleasure was and thank you for helping me here and hopefully we can go through in a couple of years. I love that. Thank you.

Minter Dial  35:08

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 NMinterDial@gmail.com With that, thanks for listening. And see you on the next episode of the Joy of Padel podcast. ¡ Vamos !

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