Why are there so many changes of pairing?

We've seen a number of changes of pairing in just six events this eason. We talked to an expert to find out the reasons behind so many break ups.  

Why are there so many changes of pairing?

Changes of pairing on the World Padel Tour are on the rise. Many of our stars have decided to switch their partner after only six events.

Uri BotelloJavier Concepción, Jordi Muñoz, Fernando PoggiFederico QuilesSebastián NeroneMatías Marina and Alejandro Ruiz are some of the most notable names to make recent changes.

Sometimes it's down to a lack of good results or differing tactical points of view.

Today, at the World Padel Tour, we've spoken to one of the most notorious sports psychologists in padel, Oscar Lorenzo, to try and understand why there are so many changes of pairing in this sport.


WPT: Oscar, first of all let's talk about the peculiarities of padel, such as having to compete alongside a partner, making if different from individual sports like tennis.

Psychologically padel is much more complicated than tennis. In tennis if you have an off day you can manage it on your own, whereas in padel it's multiplied by two. You have to solve your problems and those of your partner too. It's not enough for you to play or compete well, the person next to you has also got to be up to par. And if you don't know how to solve your personal problems, you're in trouble.

WPT: Above all, what reasons lead to a change or partner?

Above all, they're professionals and are looking for results. Therefore, regardless of how good their relationship is on and off the court, the most important thing here are results. They're also massively under pressure from sponsors and the difference for them between qualifying for the quarter finals or last 16 is huge and on many occasions they're looking for immediate results.

Besides, some players are at the back end of their career and can't afford to lose time if they sense that things aren't going too well. Many changes come because they're searching immediate results. In the case of Uri Botello and Javier Concepcion, they've got a great relationship and are good friends, but they wanted better results and saw that together they weren't meeting their objectives.


WPT: From a psychological point of view, what effect can it have? Because it can turn out well or badly...

When a new pairing is formed you mustn't forget that it requires a tactical, physical and psychological adaptation. There are different personalities that sometimes complement each other better, because what one person possesses the other doesn't have.

But each person needs to understand the role they play in the pairing. Different personalities can work but only if each person understands their role. If not, it's a disaster. A person must understand if they have to be the one to encourage the other when things aren't going well or vice versa. Or know that your teammate isn't going to encourage you, in fact quite the opposite, and understand how to manage it. Sometimes one is the tactical leader and the other the emotional one. And both facets are important. When they aren't distributed another problem arises.

It's also important for both to set the same targets. And for the commitment to be similar from both parties. The effort has to be the same, both in training and in terms of the involvement in the project.

Another matter, which isn't less important, is to have one coach, because sometimes deciding who sits on the bench can also lead to a conflict.

The level of confidence between the pairing is also important. Having too much confidence isn't good and not having much is also bad. It's almost better for them not to be great friends, because if they are, the line between friends and partners on court is difficult to manage.

Finally, you have to know how to manage the communication on and off the court. Not talking to your partner and tackling problems head on is another big reason for pairings to go their separate ways. Like in life, communicating with your partner is vital.


WPT: With so many changes of pairing, it seems that the veteran-youth tandem formed by Gaby Reca-Juan Lebron or Marcelli Jardim-Franco Stupaczuk is working well.

It's a variable that tends to work because one adds energy and the other knowledge. If you combine that well it's an added value. I work with Reca-Lebron and I can tell you that Gaby knows how to understand how Juan is, what he needs in each moment, and Juan makes the most of Gaby's knowlegde, which is infinite. If energy and knowledge combine well it works.


Whether we'll see more changes of pairing this season, Lorenzo tells us that it depends on the results and patience of each player, but he underlines that players step on court with one clear objective, to win, and they can only achieve it alongside their partner.

Therefore, look out for the results of new pairings because they can be key for future changes...Nothing is certain on the World Padel Tour.

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