Spanish spices and old dogs
Hello Padel People!
It’s been a while since I updated my blog. Not to worry, it is more due to lack of time, rather than lack of padel. Just recently got home after eight days of padel away and will now attempt to fill you in on some of the happenings of my padel life…
Last weekend was the Bossman SPT Masters in Västerås. My friend Kristina Clement came all the way from France to play with me, we got some extra hospitality from Baharak Soleymani since we were on her home turf and the Swedish weather gave us all some long-awaited summer vibes. So, it was an extra fun tournament weekend. We lost in the semis to Anna Åkerberg and her Spanish partner Marta Gullart Lain (WPT No. 156). This was the second semifinal loss for me against the pair — first time being together with Billie Gajic at the Umeå SPT. Both matches were intense and filled with long and exciting rallies in which everyone played solidly, but Marta stood out bringing some Spanish spice to the table — a spice that we Swedes need to get a taste of. The winning team of the tournament also consisted of a Swedish-Spanish combo Baharak and Sara Ruiz (WPT No. 39).
Second time I lose a semifinal to Anna Åkerberg and Marta Gullart Lain.
Believe it or not, my family of five comes as first prio over any sport so moving to Spain is not an option #maybebuyinganapartmentthereis. So, when these Spanish ladies come to visit and show us how “real” padel is played, no matter how annoying it is to lose, I gladly take the lessons they give. Aside from better technique, two things I see in their games that we, or at least I, need to improve at, are variation in shots and pace, in addition to the ability to read the game. Their visits save me plane tickets and time away from home and more importantly, they inspire us and force us Swedish ladies to adapt our game to players we are not used to competing against. It’s all beneficial to our development as long as we are allowed to progress and do not lose sight of how our games develop as a whole — as a team/nation.
Kristina + Antonette: almost 100 years!
After the Västerås weekend, Kristina and I reflected upon the sweaty but fun matches and laughed a little since we realized that our years (47+46) put together come to almost 100 years. I often joke about being old, but I don’t necessarily see it as a negative thing. Of course, a lot of people say, “I wish I would have started playing padel when I was young!” I often turn it around and think, I’m happy I found padel and am able to have fun with it at this age. I enjoy the fact that I can still keep up with guys or girls who are sometimes 20 years younger. The younger generation on the rise is not a threat, it is a reality and necessity if we want to develop our games and most importantly, if we want our beloved sport to thrive. I have three kids and they do just that — although they have given me some gray hairs, they inspire me and keep me young at heart.
Oh, and just during the past month, I got the chance to train with Padel Trainer Dani Dios several times. Every session with him is an eye-opener. He calculated my percentage of improvement as being much higher than I would have actually guessed. Maybe he implied that I just suck and that my level is that low, so there is A LOT of room for improvement… #hehe Regardless, I took his comment as a spark of motivation. In other words, this old dog just may be able to learn some new tricks.
As I flew straight from the Västerås SPT to Alicante for Camp Padel, I kept this in mind. It was my fourth year at the camp, where I get to train fellow padel junkies, get trained and also have a bit of vacation time. It was a luxury to get several hours to myself and my own game. This time around, I decided to keep it simple, and not get caught up in killing myself with heavy drills. Instead, I concentrated on more or less three shots that I would like to use more during matches. Maybe, when I blow out candles for my 50th birthday, I will wish for a kick smash #dreamon. In any case, my time with head trainer Richard Brooks and his assistant Alex Tasa was mainly used for repetition and keeping my flow, which I found very refreshing.
So, now it’s May and there is still more padel fun on the agenda before Summer Break. Looking forward to seeing you at one of the following!
🎾 Team Nationals — Battle between all the Swedish padel clubs in Trollhättan #padelcrew
🎾 SPT Uppsala — Last SPT of the season
🎾 Vilshärad Open — Fun outdoor tournament #tb2018 #luciasainz
🎾 WPT Båstad — Padel Party of the Year! Four Swedish ladies will receive a Wild Card! #crossingfingers