As he walks into the room, all the ASC Florida student-athletes stare at him. You can feel their admiration towards him and the curiosity about what he is going to explain to them.
It’s a Wednesday afternoon in December. On this day every week, Sanchez-Casal players have a group mental session, where they work on their short and long-term training and learning objectives.
Today the dynamics are different since there is a special guest speaker, former #4 ranked ATP player Robin Söderling. The Swede, who won a total of 10 ATP tournaments, may best be remembered as the man who beat Rafa Nadal at the French Open in 2009 and prevented the player from Manacor from winning his fifth straight Coupe des Mousquetaires.
It’s been 18 years since we founded the Sanchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona, and 4 since we opened our academy in the US. Our mission is very clear: to provide opportunities in both tennis and education. We have helped lots of students to go through college placement process and take advantage of the fantastic education system provided by the USA, which allows players that love a sport to practice it and attend college at the same time. In Spain and the rest of Europe, those possibilities quickly vanish. If you want to succeed in tennis or any other sport, you won’t find any infrastructure or competition.
It’s 7:30pm in Naples, Florida. The sun has set, little bright lights twinkle all around the concert venue. As the first notes of Daniela Denmark play, people stand up from their seats and sway to the rhythm of the song. Just arrived from icy Vancouver, Jonathan Roy and his band are performing and their live sound is spectacular.
Enjoy the pressure. Feel it, like it, savor it. You’ve worked so hard to arrive to this moment and now you are READY.
By Emilio Sánchez Vicario, CEO & Founder at Sánchez-Casal Academy.
The Davis Cup is different. It is something special that arrives at the end of every year bringing incredible stories full of emotion. The result of this energy that turn out epic matches. This year, Argentina’s story touched my heart.
The ATP invited Emilio Sánchez Vicario and Sergio Casal to be part of the “Finals Club”, an exclusive club that celebrates the heritage of the ATP World Tour finals, and honors the players who had such an important role in the success of the event. We are proud of our founders!
Today is one of those days when you walk around with a big smile on your face. I am proud of what I do; I am part of the journey helping others create opportunities in tennis, education and life. Therefore when you wake up and realize that one of your student-athletes has fulfilled his potential and becomes NUMBER ONE IN THE WORLD, it just fills you up with a sense of pride and accomplishment. Everything that you work for makes sense.
With 17 Grand Slams in his pocket, Roger Federer has lost multiple finals since 2008: to Nadal four times, once at the French Open, once at Wimbledon and once at the US Open; and to Djokovic, three times.
This amounts to more than ten Grand Slam finals lost – we can only imagine where he would be in the ATP ranking. However, today I’m not going to talk about the matches in particular, or about tactics, physical condition or mindset. Today I want to commend Roger Federer as a role model, as a player who respects his rivals when he is defeated.
In the aftermath of the Summer Grand Slams and Olympic Games, today I would l like to offer an analysis of some after event facts. As usual, I will try to focus on the technical, tactical, physical and mental ‘pillars’ of tennis, with a special emphasis in the US Open and the Olympics.
In many of my conversations with players at any level, the mention of “pressure” appears: “I felt under too much pressure”, “The pressure meant I couldn’t move”, “I completely froze under the pressure, I didn’t know what I was doing any more” … These are some of the examples of the effect of pressure, which on top of everything, usually manifests itself at the worst times, when nobody asks for it.
This past January I prepared a chart for the International Coaches Institute, comparing US and Spanish tennis. Over the last 20 years, Spain has been the world’s leading country in tennis, not just in the number of top players but also prospective players to reach the top.
While I was working on the report I realized that something was changing. I was in San Francisco, sharing my views with a group of coaches, but they were quite skeptical about my explanation. The topic of my speech was the headline of this article.