The night before last we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Sánchez-Casal, with the whole Sánchez-Casal family in Barcelona. All together, we passed games and challenges in team building activities. There have passed twenty years since the Academy’s foundation but yesterday we all played as if we were children.
The big day had arrived. The dream final: Rafa against his archrival. Rafa spent months changing his game to be more aggressive and had created great expectations. The whole world of tennis predicted a great battle, even I thought it would be another epic final that would ultimately depend exclusively on the mental pillar.
I accompanied Verdasco to the Rome Masters in May 2017 and when he lost, I got the urge to stop by Madrid to visit Casper, something within me pushed me to visit him instead of going to Barcelona to see my mother.
“When students come to ASC, they don’t have a lot of experience, but when they leave, they know they have learned something that will help them for any life match they play in their future. Values build character, and the right attitude can multiply the outcome, so parents often congratulate us and thank us for helping their children work on those values and develop their character.” Interview with Emilio Sánchez Vicario.
At first glance he seems shy, or maybe he is, but as soon as he speaks, his low tone captivates you. His arguments are very strong, and he knows how to put himself in your place. Víctor Hugo Camargo puts effort into what he does, he is always available, and the ASC values are his DNA. He is involved with attention, his greatest virtue is that he cares about others and gives everything for them.
This year is our 20th year anniversary, looking back it’s amazing how fast it went, I could write pages and pages of our success and relationships with amazing people. It brings a smile to my face when I hear testimonials from past players and they talk about hard work, effort, discipline, and respect. Our mission of creating opportunities in tennis, education and life is stronger than ever and it makes me proud to look back and see that base of our success and values are still intact.
This week I want to share a story about a special person on the Sanchez-Casal team, Alvaro Pino. Alvaro is the son of Antonio Pino, a former tennis player, and coach who has worked with us since the Academy was founded in Barcelona.
The week in Mobile, Alabama went by fast and was solely concentrated on the tournament. It hit me at the trophy presentation when the announcer asked Jerry which places he liked most during his stay in Mobile, and Jerry answered, “the club was very nice”. We spent eight days in Mobile with very little time to go around and explore the town, but Jerry was cooperative and willing to sacrifice his free time because he knew he was there to win. This is the type of sacrifice a tennis player must make in order to achieve solid steps in his formation, even at thirteen years old. For anyone involved in helping young players, finding balance is an everyday dynamic. A kid is a kid, but in a competitive sport and environment like this, they need to develop professional skills from the beginning without losing their playful essence and “spark” that makes them fun individuals to be around.
This year, we celebrate 20 years in Barcelona, 6 in USA and 3 in China. Reaching these milestones made me think of all the ways my team has contributed to Academia Sanchez Casal’s success. Thanks to them, Academia Sanchez-Casal and our tennis teaching system have become recognized everywhere we go. To commemorate, I want to share a series of stories about the people who have helped us get to where we are today.
ASC player Ramkumar Ramanathan is one to watch at the Miami Open 2018. Last year the Indian player jumped 143 spots in the Singles ranking and is now ranked world N135. Also, worth mentioning is his victory over world N6 Dominic Thiem at the Antalya Open in June 2017 (where he reached the quarterfinals), his first main draw qualification of a Masters 1000 tournament at Cincinnati Masters in August 2017, or his role as a N1 player at the India Davis Cup Team. However, the 23-year old player is now facing one of his long time aspired career goals: to compete in the Miami Open.