The golf course has traditionally been the place to build relationships with existing clients and secure business deals with new ones. Maybe it’s the fresh air that makes us more affirmative, maybe it’s the fact that golf can take several hours to play and so allows for more time to negotiate or maybe it’s the prestige and formality at a lot of clubs that win people over. This feels a little outdated though and we’ve read a number of reports recently, which suggest that padel, the fastest growing sport in the world, could be better for business.
- Padel gets the endorphins going. Let’s face it, golf isn’t exactly a gruelling workout and for those business men and women who are physically able, padel can really get those feel-good chemicals in the body going. All that expended energy converts to positive feelings that can only be good for business
- Business people are inherently competitive by nature and enjoy the buzz of a competition. Padel can be played for fun but there’s definitely more of a thrill to be had when you throw in some friendly rivalry
- We’re all busier than ever and asking people to find half a day or even a whole day to conduct a meeting through sport isn’t realistic. Padel can be played in a lunchbreak so it’s a more efficient use of time
- Golf has had a reputation for being elitist and selective but more than that, it’s not a game that you can just pick up and learn in a day. If you’re taking 14 shots to reach the green compared to your client’s 3 then what’s that going to do for your confidence in securing the deal? Padel is inclusive and easy to pick-up so you can have a great game even with limited experience of racket sport. If you can all have a good time then that is surely good for business
- If conversation becomes a bit awkward then the golf course can be an intimidating place to be and create tension, which is far from ideal if you’ve still got another 8 holes to go. Padel is fast paced which leaves little room for conversation. You can leave the pitching for business until afterwards when everyone has exerted some energy and feels more relaxed
- You can play padel inside or outside regardless of the weather or time of day. Being exposed to the elements on a wet and windy November day is not going to appeal to everyone other than the serious golfers but playing padel in comfortable conditions will be a more exciting prospect
- Aside from using padel to woo new clients and drum up business, this sport is also brilliant for internal relations. Since padel tennis is generally played in a doubles format, you need to form partnerships, which can be great for building a rapport with someone. We played as a team for the first time last Christmas. Some of us came with more experience of racket sports than others but everyone had such a great time both on the court and as spectators
For team building, bonding and business generation, it looks like padel could be the way forward, we just need more facilities to be built so it can be more accessible for all and that is something we can help with!