I | Diary of a creator of his own destiny
Never ask a coach what you should do, ask him what he would do if he were in your place
Diary of a creator of his own destiny is my Skin in the game: being venerable to the consequences of my actions and what I say. I put on paper how do I face the day-to-day situations that my context provides me. Maybe it helps you or gives you some ideas to apply in your context. Subscribe or upgrade now to read it:
A little over two years ago, I landed in Finland to teach them how to play basketball and I left, by chance, few months ago, excited to start a revolution coaching padel. I don’t know when it all started: I can’t help but think about Ryan. The truth is that there are so many interdependencies in every stage of life that I can’t tell you at what point everything changed.
I met Ryan by chance one day when I was going to see Kike in Lleida. It was autumn and after a 10-day holiday in Catalonia, the day before taking the plane back to Finland I decided to beat the laziness and went to Catalonia’s Western lands. Chatting with Kike on the padel courts of his small town, his friend Ryan just left the school to watch the children at playground. There, thanks to Kike, I met Ryan and, after a while of talking, the three of us said goodbye, promising to meet again at Christmas, when I would be back in the country.
I was born in Catalonia, the cradle of padel. But, at that time, I was working as a padel coach in Finland where the sport had just arrived. The growth of padel has been as sudden as it has been exponential. For this reason, Spain has had a monopoly on knowledge. All the countries that just discovered the sport, have sought help in Spain in order to grow. That’s why every time I went home was an opportunity to met great professionals and continue to learn. But, if everyone goes to Spain to learn; you, Martí, who are from Barcelona, why did you leave to Finland? You may think I’m going against the flow and that I must be a bit of a moron. Don’t worry, I’m thinking about it too.
I went to Finland to graduate in Sports Science while working at the basketball academy in Jyväskylä. In basketball I had coached at a high level, in padel I only played as an amateur. Due to the needs of student life and the fact that I have never been able to sit still without looking for challenging environments, I agreed with a padel academy in the city to collaborate with them as a physical coach. Over time, the padel academy lacked coaches and they asked me for help. When they needed me, I complied. The players certified it.
I thought arriving to padel without previous experience was a disadvantage. It was completely the opposite, I will tell you why later. I had learned to train in Catalonia, which some —including me— consider the best coaching school in the world. I wasn’t aware of it, but it made things easier. I always say that Joan Cortés is largely to blame for this: with him, I didn’t learn basketball, I discovered how to coach.
Observing padel trainings there were many things that did not fit me. To be clear and brief: I did not see padel being trained, I observed that only technical shoots were practiced, without taking into account the game situation, without paying attention to the interaction with the teammate and the opponent. Most training sessions did not teach padel, they taught the player to just hit a ball. All I had learned in previous basketball seasons was running through my mind. I had the opportunity to change it and test if things could be done in a different way.