I’m writing from the terrace of the players’ lounge at the Indian Wells event. Fernando just finished his match, and it was a tough loss. Fernando couldn’t handle adversity the way I was hoping he could. We had practiced these types of situations a little, but these practices haven’t become a habit yet. He has to be more resilient. It won’t be easy, but I love challenges – the more difficult the better.
Tennis is a very demanding sport mentally, requiring strong focus, maximum attention, and motivation for a long period of time. However, it is also a noble and generous sport because it allows you to overcome adverse situations and rectify problems in the middle of a match. Our mind is our most powerful tool to achieve it.
Champions are those that in the face of adversity are resilient.
This is quote 17 of a series launched by Emilio Sánchez Vicario under the title ‘21 Successful Habits for Overcoming Adversity’. In his previous articles, Emilio has linked together personal experiences with other people’s stories of progress and improvement, with adversity as the underlying theme. The 17th quote is entitled, ‘Accept that adversity is always there: you have to live with it, it is part of your ‘Actual State’, it is a part of everything.’ In this article, we wanted Emilio to explain why he choose adversity as the underlying theme of this series, and what it means to him.
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.
Michelle Konkoly is all energy and determination. Last summer, the 24-year-old athlete saw her dreams fulfilled when she won 4 medals at the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio and broke two Paralympic records in the S9 100m freestyle and the S9 50m freestyle.
Originally from Pennsylvania, at Georgetown Konkoly joined the university’s swimming team. Her life was changed dramatically, however, when in her freshman year she fell five stories out of her dorm window and was seriously injured. She fractured several ribs and a vertebra, damaged her spinal cord, and as a result, was left paralyzed from the waist down.
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.
Tennis is an individual sport. However all the preparation, the travel, etc. is normally done in a team, the team who stands by you in both the best and worst of times – or at least that’s how Emilio Sánchez Vicario has experienced it.
Controlling timing and breathing are two powerful tools which help us to plan our next steps and overcome difficulties. If you are capable of perfecting these skills, your ability to overcome challenging situations increases. You just have to work at it.
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.