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.
At Sánchez-Casal Academy, we believe that communication is the image and the nuance of each person, who, with mere silence or just a look, sends a message or reveals a simple intention. But who teaches us to communicate better in our daily interactions, and in our personal and professional life?
Sports psychologists are not new to tennis. Ivan Lendl travelled with Alexis Alexis Castorri in the 1980s, and Martina Navratilova worked with one too. When somebody asks me if this role is key to a successful tennis team, my answer is always ‘no’. However, I would argue that working with a sports psychologist brings a lot of benefits, and can help tennis players, coaches, parents, even businessmen and women, to develop their game.
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.
When summer arrives and the school year ends at ESIS – the Emilio Sanchez International School based in Florida – my role as a coach continues. Our student athletes at the Sanchez-Casal Academy, along with other players, can join our Traveling Team, a year round program in which we coach and accompany players to ITF tournaments in the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe.