PADELMBA ‘Maestro’ Pablo Franco Durán (centre front) has revealed that he enjoys holding Game4Padel clinics so much that he prefers them to enjoying time off.
In conjunction with Game4Padel National Development Manager James Rose (left
front), the Spanish padel coaching legend conducted a series of clinics in September at our venues in Chiswick, Ipswich, Wandsworth and Broxbourne before returning to The Padel Yard, Wandsworth for a 75-strong sell-out weekend session series.
With several students at the London venue second time around attendees, Pablo admitted the satisfaction he gets from sharing his padel wisdom is such that he prefers court time to sofa time and he said: “When I am working on court I always say that: ‘If your hobby or your passion is your work, then you don’t have to work anymore!’
“This is my feeling when I am teaching my students how to play padel – it makes me very happy. If I didn’t enjoy it, I wouldn’t do it. I choose to come to the UK to work with Game4Padel because I love it and I actually prefer to be teaching and helping people to enjoy their padel than having free time! That is how strong my love for padel is.
“Last weekend a lot of the attendees were repeat students from our previous clinics three weeks back and that means that they enjoyed it first time around, that they are improving and want to continue to learn. That makes me very happy.”
With Pablo working one court and James the other, the clinics were very much game-based as the Spanish padel maestro explained: “Every clinic was totally full and we also had waiting lists! So, it was Friday, Saturday, and Sunday with eight players on two courts for 90-minutes: 45-minutes with me and the same on the other court with James and basically it was focussed on game positions.
“We did a lot of work on position, transition, following in the lob to the net together as a team and if you come back you come back together. Also working on who covers the middle, so lots of really handy and important content to work with on improving the students' match-play and enjoyment of playing matches.”
Interestingly, as Pablo revealed, there was one technical issue which surfaced more often than any other: “Many of the students were tennis players or had not played padel before and that meant for these people when the ball went past them it had gone!
“But of course, in padel that is not the case and in this respect we had to prepare them to take the ball off the glass in terms of their own positioning and that of the racket and this was an area in which we were then able to see much improvement.”
Pablo was also pleased to accommodate students of mixed ability and sex as he worked hard to ensure that Game4Padel’s values – that our sport is for everyone – was at the forefront of his teaching.
He shared: “It was a good mix with perhaps more girls than boys and that worked well. The key for me is that we do a small intro presentation and then we move to the warm up, which lasts for five to 10 minutes, and then during that period we can assess who is stronger and who is slightly weaker and who are beginners.
“From there we then try to ensure that everyone is at the same level in each clinic to make sure this is the most comfortable experience for the students and also the coaches. That way everyone is happy and we can deliver the best clinic possible and make sure that our students get the absolute maximum out of it in terms of enjoyment and learning and that is what matters most to us.”
The Padel Yard’s uber-smart, three-court London facility opened earlier in September on Armoury Way central Wandsworth on a site previously used for a pop-up cinema.
Pablo commented: “The Padel Yard is a really nice venue and they have superb facilities with a nice terrace and a bar and a lovely atmosphere. Over the weekend the three courts were full all day long and that shows you how popular padel is and also what a successful venue The Padel Yard has become already – so well done to everyone.”
Game4Padel is delighted to confirm that Pablo will be returning to the UK for further dates to be announced at The Padel Yard this autumn while he will also be leading Padelmba CPC (Certified Padel Coach) courses in Edinburgh and Glasgow later in the year: https://www.game4padel.com/padelmba-uk