Paola Longoria: Culturally Relevant With Racquetball
Sudsy &Ellis Show: Sudsy Monchik, John Ellis & Paola Longoria
The new normal across the board has been Zoom styled interviews and group chats this year for sure. Though it's not the first time I've seen Paola Longoria participate in one of these, this is the first time I've heard her so fluid in describing (in English) the things that have been driving her and her lifestyle. Mexico's Paola Longoria is the sport of Racquetball's most relevant professional. In this episode of Sudsy & Elli, Paola talked about some topics that have been limited to the handful of people who know her well and communicate often with her. In this call, she shares some details that could prove quite enlightening to anyone who is even a little interested in where racquetball is going. It's a call that when you hear it you get both excited by possibilities and concerned with a realization of just how far behind we are here in the States when it comes to racquetball.
Courtside, Paola is full on professional all the time. But getting beyond that is a rarity for most people. Paola is wicked smart and that is something you get a real taste of when the conversations move beyond the court and into the substances of career, personal life and legacy. Especially when details emerge. Before I go any further with thoughts regarding what I heard, I'll qualify my thoughts ahead of time with a list of the times I written about Paola Longoria in cultural terms within the sport, (below) written before I spent two plus seasons working exclusively with the LPRT. The topics of these posts are specific to Paola operating independently and professionally with her own notoriety, or the theme is mannered in perspective of a sport that has a superstar bigger than the sport itself. (Note: These aren't all the instances she's come up in my posts. Because she's really that good, and her performance is a separate issue, even though it's a catalyst for all Paola Longoria is. For just how good she really is... you can just watch my Top 5 Women video, where I breakdown why she is such a phenomenal racquetball player.)
Action. Personality. Who Sees What? How?
Sudsy & Elli do a great job leveraging their personal relationships with Paola to get her speaking about aspects of her life that normally would not be in the mix when just talking about her career on tour. Typically laced with nostalgia, these two have been getting progressively better at yielding substance from guests that is relevant for a sport in dire need of help here in the States. In this episode, Longoria is guided into providing some insight to her connections and what she does to grow the sport within Mexico and the influence she is trying to use to get racquetball staged internationally.
Paola Longoria on the "LPRT Court" at the US Open circa 2017.
Specifically notable is what she shared where she may prove instrumental with the possibility of racquetball being reinstated with the Pan Am Games. She also mentions the Olympics. I believe it's good that she continues her mention of the dream of Olympics, though I'm pretty sure it's more effective as inspirational in Mexico than it is a likely scenerio. (I'm still of the same mind as I was years ago regarding the Olympics. See my post: Olympics Talk - Feb 2014.) I believe continually mentioning the Olympics is in line with the aspiration Longoria is effectively bringing to the grass rooting and growing sentiment for racquetball in Mexico. John Ellis tries to get Paola to expound on her thoughts about what should be done in the USA... where she goes straight to the mention of Juniors. (Although not a separate topic, in depth, this is an apples and oranges type of question.) Paola does use a term that redlined on my radar though in respect to access. "Public courts". That right there is a well filled with all types hard rocks that can be thrown here in the States.
Elli also tries to get Paola to bite on Outdoor, but she breezed right by that. Vegas was an event that was a matter of convenience to Paola. Albeit a professional one, similarly to most of the indoor set this year. So any references made by Ellis about anything too big to be grasped should start with an enlightenment about just how big (or small) the object being grasped truly is.
Take the time to watch and hear this. This is a great way to get to know the world's biggest racquetball player in depth. As well as providing an overall bigger view of the sport. Well done gents.