My favorite sport to watch and practice is padel, the fastest-growing sport in Europe. I started playing this sport in 2015 in Barcelona.
In 2017, I decided to go full-time padel, to see what it would be like living an athlete’s life, and also to understand how fast I could improve and whether I could reach a semi-pro level. It was an amazing experience that lasted around two years, during which I had the opportunity to train with some of the best coaches, compete in many tournaments and also meet and chat with pro players.
As of 2023, I am training and playing regularly with a simple focus on improving my game, meeting new people and having fun. I have found a very nice setup with two coaches, a club where I can play daily, and couple that with postural training and some weights.
Based on my experience, if you train 2x a week and play 2x a week for 7-10 years you will become a very good player at an amateur level. For competing at a pro level you would need to start at a very young age, or have competed professionally at a related sport like tennis before transitioning to padel.
Here’s my current skill level, according to the Padelagogo questionnaire, which in my experience is pretty accurate. The result shows a rating of 4-4.5 and I would rate myself on the lower end of that. My aim is to sustain a good rate of improvement over the years.
Below you’ll find a list of tournaments I played in, as well as recorded matches and articles about padel.
I decided not to participate in tournaments unless I found a partner with whom I had a great feeling and with whom I could consistently play well and win matches. If I don’t have such a partner it ends up being too random and honestly just stressful to me.
I played in a padel league organized by the Indoor Padel club and enjoyed it. You had to change partner every match, but it ends up better reflecting the overall level of a player in this format. There are two categories, and I’m currently in the second category. So my aim this year will be to reach the first category and stay there.
I also mixed in a bit of tennis as I felt that would make me a better padel player while giving me a bit of a break from padel. Adding to that, I also practiced beach tennis occasionally and won one beach tennis tournament in February.
The latter part of the year was conditioned by the COVID situation as well as an ankle injury, from which I eventually recovered.
|July||Publidep||Artos||Barcelona||Spain||4||Juanjo Arroyo||First round|
|January||Padelarium Annivesary||Padelarium Gava||Gava||Spain||4||Juanjo Arroyo||Winners|
|February||Padel7 Anniversary||Padel7 Sant Marti||Barcelona||Spain||2||Alex Puey||Group stage|
In 2019, I decided to focus my attention on what are generally considered to be the two best amateur tours in Catalunya: Publidep and Adeslas Tour. In addition to playing some rounds from these two tours, I will be playing in the Liga de Padel Barcelona. The main benefit of playing this league is that you get to play very well matched games on a weekly basis without having to waste a lot of time finding other players yourself.
Unfortunately, all my plans for this year were disrupted as I started to run a fever almost every time I played during the first few months of the year. With a baby at home, I couldn’t afford to be bedridden with high fever for two days after every match, so I had to lighten my activity and submit myself to many health checks to try to identify the cause of the fever.
There were some worries that it could be something serious so it affected me psychologically as well. In the end, the results of the tests were not conclusive and the fever disappeared as mysteriously as it had come. During the summer I got back to training at high intensities and played a few tournaments towards the end of the year.
I had also joined the PadelCat (started in 2018) and Liga De Padel leagues this year and had to drop out due to the health issues I was having.
|February||Publidep||Star's Padel||Cornella||Spain||3||Xavier Manzanera||First round|
|September||BePadel||Sant Just Padel Club||Barcelona||Spain||3||Claudiu Antonescu||Quarter finals|
|September||Publidep||RC Polo||Barcelona||Spain||3||Claudiu Antonescu||Last 16|
|October||BePadel||Padelarium Gava||Gava||Spain||4||Juanjo Arroyo||Semifinal|
Apart from playing the several tournaments shown below, I also took part in the PadelCat league playing for the Vall D’Hebron club. It was a nice experience as you get to visit clubs in different parts of Catalunya, however the level of the matches was very random, so it was disappointing to travel by car for 1 or 1.5 hours to play a match against two opponents who turned out to be very inferior, resulting in a very short match in which we didn’t break a sweat.
The facilities at the Vall D’Hebron club were very sub-standard too so I didn’t even enjoy playing matches at our home courts. All in all, I’m happy for the experience and the people I met, but I don’t think I will participate again next year.
|March||Barcelona Padel Tour XPress||San Just Padel Club||Barcelona||Spain||C||Juanjo Arroyo||Group stage|
|March||Pim Pam Padel||Padel 1||Sabadell||Spain||C||Juanjo Arroyo||Semifinal|
|April||Pim Pam Padel||Padel 1||Sabadell||Spain||C||Dani Espinal||Quarter final|
|April||Torneo Padel Indoor||Indoor Hospitalet||Barcelona||Spain||C||Juanjo Arroyo||Group stage|
|May||International Padel Experience||Padel Serradells||Andorra La Vella||Andorra||B||Juanjo Arroyo||Second round|
|May||BePadel||Slam Padel||Barcelona||Spain||B||Juanjo Arroyo||Second round|
|June||Letamendi Cup||Padel Manyanet||Barcelona||Spain||Intermediate||Pablo Salazar||Winners|
|July||BCN Padel Club||Vilasport Club||Vilassar de Dalt||Spain||B||Andreu Esteban||Group stage|
|September||Pim Pam Padel||Indoor Padel Barcelona||Barcelona||Spain||B||Claudio||Group stage|
|March||AfterWork||Laieta||Barcelona||Spain||C||Luis Pascual||Group stage|
|July||BePadel||El Prat Padel||Barcelona||Spain||C||Ole Mueller||Last 16|
|July||FairPlay||FairPlay Padel||Barcelona||Spain||B||Juanjo Arroyo||Group stage|
|August||International Padel Experience||Padel Club Victoria||Rotterdam||Netherlands||B||Ole Mueller||Winners|
|September||International Padel Experience||Padel Campo Grande||Lisbon||Portugal||B||Juanjo Arroyo||Last 16|
|September||Pim Pam Padel||Indoor Padel Barcelona||Barcelona||Spain||Mixto||Paola Aringoli||Semifinal|
|October||BePadel||Sant Just Padel Club||Barcelona||Spain||C||Marc Morato||Last 16|
|October||FairPlay||FairPlay Padel||Barcelona||Spain||B||Juanjo Arroyo||Winners|
|October||AIS||Indoor Padel Barcelona||Barcelona||Spain||Mixto||Paola Aringoli||Semifinal|
|October||Padel Blau||Padel Blau||Barcelona||Spain||Mixto||Paola Aringoli||Winners|
|October||BePadel||FairPlay Padel||Barcelona||Spain||B||Sebastian Sayde||Last 16|
|November||BePadel||Red Indoor||Barcelona||Spain||Mixto 3||Paola Aringoli||Last 16|
|December||FairPlay||FairPlay Padel||Barcelona||Spain||B||Marc Morato||Group stage|
|December||WhatsUp Padel||Padel Indoor Hospitalet||Barcelona||Spain||B||Andreu Esteban||Group stage|
|December||Pim Pam Padel||Indoor Padel Barcelona||Barcelona||Spain||Mixto||Paola Aringoli||Final|
My Padel Matches
I frequently record my padel matches with a GoPro (check out my how-to article if you want to do the same), and then upload them on Youtube. Here’s the self-updating playlist with all my recorded padel matches.
Articles about Padel
All the padel-related articles I’ve published on this blog:
- How to Find the Right Amateur Padel Tournaments
- Padel Progress Report – Year 4 (2020)
- Padel Progress Report – Year 3 (2019)
- The Rivals’ Mistakes are Our Points
- Proper Breathing in Padel
- Should You Deload When Training for Padel or Tennis?
- How to Record Your Tennis Strokes for Analysis
- How to Deal with Confrontation in Padel and Tennis
- Five Different Ways to Improve at Tennis and Padel
- Padel Etiquette and Rules For Non-Umpired Matches
- My Tennis Notes
- The Trap of Trying to Improve Your Skills During Matches
- Where to Play Tennis in Barcelona
- The Best Online Tennis Courses
- How to Improve Hip Strength and Mobility for Padel
- How to Win Padel Matches at Amateur Level
- The Most Important Factor in Padel
- Padel Progress Report – Year 2 (2018)
- Designing Your Bedroom as a Recovery Room
- What to Eat Before and After a Padel Match
- Knowing When to Replace Your Padel Shoes
- The Basics of Sport Massage
- What to Eat and Drink During a Padel Match
- Favorite Books and Resources for Learning Exercise Physiology
- Taking a Sports Medical Test Before Training Hard and Competing in Padel
- Jump Rope Training for Padel and Other Sports
- How to Improve Padel Footwork and Agility
- Fitness for Padel
- How to Warm Up Before a Padel Match
- Are You Using the Slice Effectively in Padel While Attacking?
- Frescobol – My Favorite Beach Sport
- Foam Rolling for Myofascial Release
- How Many Times to Bounce the Ball Before a Padel Serve
- The Importance of Proper Mobility in Padel
- My (Ideal) Padel Weekly Routine
- How to Improve Reaction Time in Padel
- Using TENS and EMS Devices for Padel Recovery
- Heat and Cold Treatment for Padel Sprains and Injuries
- Padel Training / Bootcamps / Clinics in Spain
- Padel Points FAQ – Was it a Valid Point or Not?
- Best Padel Equipment 2023
- Padel Progress Report – Year 1 (2017)
- Mental Training for Padel
- On Peak Performance
- Padel Courts in Malta
- How to Play Padel in the Rain
- How to Save and Re-Pressurize Padel Balls
- How to Choose a Padel Racket (Pala)
- How to Record Your Padel Matches and Improve Your Game
- Here’s How a Professional Padel Player’s Daily Routine Looks Like
- The Best Padel YouTube Video Tutorial Channels
- How to Add an Overgrip to a Padel Racket
- My International Padel Experience in Rotterdam
- How to Keep Score in Padel
- How to Find Out Your Padel Skill Level
- Best Padel Clubs & Courts in Barcelona
- An Introduction to Padel (aka Paddle)