What if Liverpool FC’s winning streak is not just down to the talent and skill of their players but a regular game of padel?  The sport is hailed for improving mental strength as well as speed and agility so perhaps this is what’s giving the Liverpool team their marginal gains.

A few years ago the team went away on a training trip to Tenerife and discovered a love for the sport. Shortly after their return, Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp commissioned a padel court for the training ground.  The players and coaching staff at LFC now play padel often and have stated that many of their best ideas have come while discussing tactics and solving problems in between games. This is testament to the fact that padel is a great way to clear your mind, whilst delivering a fun and competitive experience!

Klopp’s right hand man Pep Lijnders said, “The game has been a nice distraction from our daily routine.  We sit down on a bench in between two sets and we discuss solutions for football problems. In fact, we do that a lot. When you are constantly playing matches or doing top-level training sessions every day, there is no time to wind down. So these games are the perfect moments to relax”

Padel is also an excellent low impact sport, meaning the players and coaching staff can play, safe in the knowledge that injuries in social games are extremely rare.

Recently, Klopp has partnered with Wilson to launch a new range of padel equipment, such is his passion for the sport, and it is hoped that his endorsement will help to make it more accessible for everyone.  “Padel is, besides football, the best game I’ve ever played. I’ve only known it in the last five years or so, but since then, I’m really addicted to it. You make big steps in a short period of time. It’s really fun to play,” he said. 

He’s not the only footballing legend to be a big fan of this increasingly popular sport.  Former French international Zinedine Zidane has invested in several padel courts.  Neymar has installed two at his home, Peter Crouch plays regularly and David Beckham recently announced his love of the game to his millions of social media followers.

It’s not just the footballing world that are discovering it either.  Formula 1 drivers Carlos Sainz and Charles Leclerc have started preparing for their F1 races by playing padel matches because it is thought to reduce stress levels away from the highly-charged environment of a racing track.  Carlos Sainz said, “I’ve been starting to play padel a lot to prepare for Formula 1. I like working on my reflexes and thinking fast under pressure.”

The sociability of padel is also great for team building and boosting morale.  For large F1 teams and especially drivers who are often out on their own, padel is a great way to bond with your squad.  Since it’s only played in doubles, in a closer proximity than tennis and there can be competitive rallies point after point, you’re certainly going to get to know each other pretty well and it’s fun!

For those who aren’t involved in professional sport, padel can give you the same buzz and adrenalin rush you’d experience in a top level match or race because it is super competitive and that’s probably one of the other reasons the Liverpool football team love it.  Competition is in their blood and they appear to be very good at it!