This June 22nd, 2018, a very special day will be celebrated here at the Sánchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona. A fresh new group of students will graduate, after 12 intense academic years, and it will be time for them to face the next stage in their lives. It is both a happy and a sad day as we say goodbye to people who have become part of our family.
This year, we celebrate 20 years in Barcelona, 6 in USA and 3 in China. Reaching these milestones made me think of all the ways my team has contributed to Academia Sanchez Casal’s success. Thanks to them, Academia Sanchez-Casal and our tennis teaching system have become recognized everywhere we go. To commemorate, I want to share a series of stories about the people who have helped us get to where we are today.
In a few months, Laura López, who started tennis training in the after-school program ten years ago, will achieve her dream of attending Boston College to play college level tennis while working towards a university degree. We had time to talk to her and hear her story; a story that she is happy to share with our current student-athletes, and anyone out there who might have the same dreams.
“Tennis is a mental game. Everyone is fit, everyone hits great forehands and backhands.” Novak Djokovic
What does it take to get to the same level of competition as Djokovic, Murray or Nadal?
A comprehensive training method is essential to take a player to the top of the tennis pyramid, the elite stage only a few of the thousands talented tennis players who dream to reach the top 100 attain. At Academia Sánchez-Casal, we use our own training method, the ASC 360 Performance System, which is universally effective in helping its students- athletes achieve their best tennis level. This system has been used by professional ATP tennis players such as Andy Murray, Grigor Dimitrov, Juan Monaco, and WTA players such as Svetlana Kuznetsova, Daniela Hantuchova, Tamira Paszek and more.
Dani Vallverdú was at Sánchez-Casal Academy Barcelona for a period of 3 years. As a player, he used to play a role like a coach, because he used to study the opponent and matches, analyzing errors and the best way to play against of other players with a special point of view.
Maturity and consistency are both ingredients that usually lead to success, although of course sport has another ingredient, which is competition, and with competition, anything can happen. This season has been especially important to the ATP player, Gilles Müller, who is 34 years old and is excelling thanks to some great recent results.
Emilio Sanchez is not a man who pulls any punches. He wears his heart and passion on his sleeve.
A proud Spaniard who will never sugarcoat an answer to curry-favor an over zealous parent promoting their son’s unbelievable talent. An inveterate champion who will never camouflage his true thoughts by spinning “a fools paradise” prediction about a child’s future prospects on the Pro Tour just to be polite or for potential business.
No, not Sanchez. He’s blunt and honest. When you entrust your impressionable teenager into his tennis domain, Emilio’s aim is simple, direct and straightforward—namely to nurture, develop, and transform each individual athlete he works with into the highest-caliber performance tennis player.
“Believe in your abilities, be humble, but also be hungry for success”.
“I hope this tournament will help young players to have their chance to compete” Svetlana Kuznetsova.
The Sánchez-Casal Academy is currently holding the Svetlana Kuznetsova Cup series, a $25,000 Women’s Pro-Circuit tournament held over two weeks. The series made its debut last week with a highly competitive draw, including rising stars Taylor Townsend, ranked No. 134 in the word, Kayla Day (WTA No. 143), and Samantha Crawford, once ranked No. 98 in the world. It is the first time that an event of this kind in women’s tennis has been held in Southwest Florida.
“Where’s the ice-cream machine that used to be here?”, was one of the pressing questions posed by world number one Sir Andy Murray when he came to visit his old training grounds at ASC in Barcelona. In town to play the Godó Open, Sir Andy Murray came to our Barcelona campus for a ceremony dedicating court number one in his honor.
Sánchez-Casal Academy is more than a high-performance center; it’s a place full of stories and dreams. It is the starting point for young tennis players and students who dream of a brighter future ahead.