One day, our children 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?
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.
The ASC 360 Tennis System©, designed by Emilio Sánchez Vicario and Sergio Casal, is based on four core pillars of athletic development: technical, tactical, physical and mental.
Each of these four pillars is developed intensively and tailored to the player’s level, which will depend on age, physical condition and tennis level. The levels are reflected in the ASC Development Pyramid©, and range from the initiation stage to the elite stage.
Fitness in tennis represents a very strong and important pillar on the players preparation; a well designed physical plan can be the key factor for a successful match result. At ASC daily physical training is composed of 1 hour of athlete-specific performance training; working on different aspects including: speed, power, agility, quickness, coordination, balance, and core.
At Sánchez-Casal Academy, we have created our own premier training system, the ASC 360 Tennis System®, proven time and time again to be the most effective method of ensuring students-athletes achieve their best tennis level. This successful system has been used by professional ATP and WTA tennis players such as Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Daniela Hantuchova, and Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, among others.
Jerry Shang is a 14-year-old player from China. He is part of the ASC Florida annual Tennis and School program for the last 2/2 years. Jerry came straight from ASC headquarters in Nanjing, where he started developing his skills as a player. Since Jerry and his father Yi landed in Naples, Florida in 2016 to play some tournaments, it has been nothing but a pleasure to work and be around them. He explains that at the time he thought that he wasn’t playing well, but that practiced at the Academy and liked the system and the possibility of combining both high-performance tennis and school. That’s when he decided to follow his dreams of being able to achieve a professional level of tennis and study at the same time.
Last June, a class of 12 students graduated from the Academia Sánchez-Casal and ESIS Barcelona. In the next months, they will start a new journey. Most of them will pursue a university career in the United States and/or Europe, combining sport and studies.
Some of our student-athletes who graduated last year, from the Class of 2018, have returned home this summer for vacations, after their first year of college. For them it has been an intense year, full of emotions, work and tennis. They want to share their experiences with us, by visiting and playing tennis again on the courts that have seen them grow and develop.
As the Class of 2019 prepares to graduate from ASC/ ESIS, a wide variety of opportunities await them in life, most immediately at colleges and universities throughout the United States. The 13 seniors, comprising the largest Academy class from Naples to graduate thus far, have accepted offers from some of the finest academic and athletic programs in the nation, among them Tufts University, Michigan State University and Brigham Young University.
There are only a few weeks for the long-awaited graduation of our students-athletes at ASC Florida, we wanted to interview our senior students and know their stories of how they got to Sanchez-Casal, what their expectations are in this new university stage, and their advice for young people who seek to balance tennis with their studies; they told us how all the effort was worth it in the end after so many years of sacrifice and hard work. Clara March, Aleksandra Caricir, and Casey Cummings of the Sanchez-Casal Florida Academy.