As Emilio Sánchez Vicario says, “Our academy graduates go to Harvard, they go to Columbia… but they also go to Wimbledon.” This is the main goal of the Academy, and to achieve it there is only one true method: offer the best high performance tennis training combined with an excellent academic education.
“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.
1258 kilometers of driving, 10 universities, 6 northeastern states and 111 tennis matches. We have just returned from the annual ASC-ES International School University Trip. This is not a typical university trip. Ours reflects exactly who we are – in both mission and values — as a tennis academy and a school.
Conversations, ideas, exploration, victories, disappointments, wins, losses, laughter, tears, discovery, and growth… the essence of our Academy embodied in the lives of 9 of our student-athletes.
A top-ranked tennis professional, although alone on court, is supported by a variety of experts: at the very least, an ATP or WTA player usually travels with a tennis coach, a physiotherapist, and a fitness trainer. However, on championship Sunday of the 2018 Delray Beach Open, 64th world-ranked German Peter Gojowczyk was supported by a much more unpredictable team: I (who had just met Peter 10 days prior to that Sunday), along with an old friend of Peter’s from 11 years prior and his friend’s daughter were the ones accompanying him. In hindsight, perhaps the unforeseen makeup of his player’s box that day was representative of his surprising run to the final that week.
In a few months, Laura López, who started tennis training in the after-school program ten years ago, will achieve her dream of attending Boston College to play college level tennis while working towards a university degree. We had time to talk to her and hear her story; a story that she is happy to share with our current student-athletes, and anyone out there who might have the same dreams.
I have two teenage kids who play sports. Both of them compete in the sport they chose, both of them study languages and, of course, as an absolute priority, both of them go to school and attend to their academic obligations. All of these activities will reap their benefits, not only now, but also in their future, and I am convinced that it is the best training at all levels that I can provide for them. However, it can be tough for them to keep up, as they often do not have time for anything else, and sometimes I wonder if it is all too much.
Sometimes I wonder why I engaged in this adventure of dreams in which I involved myself, my family and so many people who give everything for our students-athletes at Sánchez-Casal. Every holiday, when I review the year, I wonder if it’s worth it. 2017 was terrible, so many tough things happened: Casper, our little angel, left us; Irma visited us, leaving innumerable damages; we had to internally improve and grow in order to maintain our position.
December is a busy month for junior tennis players. The prestigious Orange Bowl, Little Mo, Eddie Herr are marked in their tournament calendar from the beginning of the year. Mostly all ASC academy players compete in these events, showcasing their talent and hard work demonstrated throughout the year.
Great efforts resulted in the first week of December: Academia Sánchez-Casal (ASC) student-athlete, Jerry Shang, won the Boys ’12 Eddie Herr Championship, an internationally renowned event which gathers over 2000 junior tennis players from more than 90 countries.
Last month Academia Sánchez-Casal (ASC) lived one of its most challenging moments when it had to prepare for Irma, a category 5 hurricane that landed over the city of Naples where the American ASC headquarters is located.
The hurricane, which was supposed to hit east of Miami, shifted towards Southwest Florida 48 hours before making landfall in the US. By then, the hurricane forecast models predicted that the eye of the hurricane, where the strongest rain, winds and gusts are experienced, was going to overpass Naples.
Many students’ lives today are filled with technology which gives them infinite access to information and resources, enabling them to pursue their interests in their own way and at their own pace. The opportunities are limitless.