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.
It’s August. 6am in the morning in Naples, Florida. Alarms start to go off in the players’ dorms. Sleepy faces emerge, excited about starting a new day of their new life at the Academy. There’s lots of emotions, worries and news… They are also excited about this new stage of their lives. A stage which, for almost every athlete at the Sanchez-Casal Academy, is hugely influential on their development as a person.
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.
Sport is fair. Life should be fair as well. We may make mistakes, but if we persist, a new opportunity will come along. It will always end up appearing. But you should be prepared, working, looking forwards with confidence but not in a rush.
At Sánchez-Casal Academy we have been using tennis and education as a vehicle for the personal development of our young players for almost 20 years. We are extremely proud of all who have trained and studied with us. One of those is Mike Vermeer, who has graduated Cum Laude from Columbia University.