By Eva Pascual, Marketing department, Sánchez-Casal Academy.
When children are young, parents want them to learn to play sports, specifically because it is a healthy habit. Maybe we push them to play football, hockey or another sport because it is the sport we also like. Perhaps, they begin with some multi-sport classes and, afterwards, opt for one of the sports they have been practicing, like tennis.
As time goes by, training becomes more demanding: more days, more hours, and more effort. Usually, young athletes will begins to compete. They begin to feel the motivation of learning and improving, and then they feel the excitement of overcoming an opponent, of competing and winning.
And one day, they might tell us that they want to be a professional tennis player. And we realize that yes, they have talent. But we know how difficult it is to become a professional athlete. Pursuing their dream will take many hours of their leisure time and also many hours of study.
Could it be worth to try it out? Or do we have to push this idea out of their minds?
Our children will have to sacrifice classes, miss school time, and negotiate agreements with teachers, asking for exam changes. They will have to study at night, in the car, on airplanes, or in hotels while away on competition. Will they still be able to follow the academic program of their school? Will they be able to access a university if their priority is sport? What will happen with their future if they fail while trying to reach the elite? On the other hand, what will happen if you don’t support them and they give up on their dream without ever trying to achieve it?
Emilio Sánchez and Sergio Casal went through this experience. They know well how difficult it can be to combine studies and tennis: they suffered through it themselves. They managed to reached their goals, but they have also seen many other children and young people who decided not to risk it, who at some point abandoned the path of training towards the elite.
For that reason, they created an Academy where it is possible to combine tennis with school, guaranteeing the best sports training, physical preparation, and mental development, but also, guaranteeing the best academic education as well. An Academy with its own American school, ES International School, which has the accreditations of international organizations (MSA) and national organizations (Generalitat de Catalunya), and prepares students from 1st to 12th grade. ES International School offers careful academic guidance and personal advice, in order to guarantee both the acquisition of academic skills and the development of individual strengths and talents.
In addition, thinking about the future of their students beyond the school stage, they have developed a university orientation process to make it easier for students-athletes to continue to develop their sports skills at the university level. They are registered and respect the academic requirements of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA), National Junior College Athletic Association (NJCAA), and the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics (NAIA).
As Emilio Sánchez says , “Our academy graduates go to Harvard, they go to Duke, they go to Columbia … but they also go to Wimbledon.“
Thanks to the Sánchez-Casal Academy and ES International School you don’t have to ask yourself what path your children should follow if they want to be a professional tennis players. You can be open minded until the end of their school stage and even beyond, if they also play college tennis. Now, the future is in your hands. Therefore, if any of your children want to be a tennis player, nothing is stopping you from helping them to follow their dreams.