By Emilio Sánchez Vicario, Founder & CEO of Sanchez-Casal Academy
I am Emilio Sanchez. I am 55 years old. In the eighties and nineties, I competed at a pretty good level and even won some Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic medals. After that professional stage, I coached tennis players individually as well, such as Davis Cup teams. I combined my work as a coach with founding my own Tennis Academies, both in Spain and the USA, where students could take advantage of opportunities that tennis and education providers. I also shared my knowledge on TV and created my own Foundation, “Fundación Emilio Sánchez Vicario”, to help children achieve a better life through tennis.
My zodiac sign is Gemini, and for those who know us, we are thinkers, we are unpredictable, we love people and we care for them. We also have a very curious ability: our mind works, every night, in a way capable of creating little movies that we then translate into reality the next day.
So, I see my life divided into stages: 8 years before dedicated to tennis, 10 years developing myself as a tennis player, 14 years working as a professional tennis player, and 20 years coaching. It was probably a normal evolution, until last year when Covid arrived.
At long last, we have come to the end of the year 2020! We can’t help but look forward to one of the most unexpected years of our lives finally ending. We are truly ready for this year, which has brought us a new disease that continues to knock down the whole world, to be left in the past. Indeed, it has been a tough year, but we have already talked about it too much! Now that there are only a few days left, we prefer to think positively and remember everything it has taught us.
2020 is proving to be a strange, very strange year. What started as a new disease in a city in a small part of the world, ended up being a global pandemic. Little by little, we saw how countries were closing their borders, how citizens were staying at home. We also closed: first the academy in China, then one in Barcelona, and finally both in the USA.
From one director to another:
Naples was a unique experience to us: The practices, the USTA tournaments, the cultural exchanges, were unique and unrepeatable. The tennis academy in Naples has experienced a full week of useful knowledge to be able to adapt in our training method
Normally it is very difficult to talk about yourself, but tennis gives players the habit of having to review ourselves, to find out what are our areas of improvement, and makes us create new habits to reach our goals. I love this process and I try to do it personally every now and then. I’m a coach, and therefore I need to be coached and coach others.
After 20 years of making opportunities in tennis and education and being a world renowned academy in Europe, I tried to apply the same process to our Tennis Academy and School, ASC and ESIS.
In the US, one of the most important dates of the year is Thanksgiving Day. After living here for seven years, we have started to understand this tradition and to feel part of it. The only problem is that when you have a tennis academy for kids from 10 to 18 years old, most of them have a goal to compete in Eddie Herr at IMG Academy on that weekend. – by Emilio Sanchez Vicario
When you read the masterpiece of the little prince, depending on your personal stage the outcome is different. It does not have an end. The Rafa of today with the trophy represents the little prince, it has been reinvented.
Rafa is already the best player in history; he is one slam away to overcome Roger Federer but is only a matter of time, in my opinion on 2020. He is already the best not only for today’s win and be closer but to have turned more every detail in each one of the pillars and have won against a new player.
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.