Someone once said that in life, what really counts are the moments that take your breath away. In the history of our Academy we have had many moments that have left us breathless. These have included many successes, and some failures; moments of knowledge and truth, and story after story of drive and passion. For each of us who are, or have been part of the Academy, these feelings are experienced in very different ways. For me, I focus on why it has happened. Sanchez-Casal has lived 20 years of history, and, in my opinion, the 20 key concepts below hold the secret to our longevity.
The night before last we celebrated the 20th anniversary of Sánchez-Casal, with the whole Sánchez-Casal family in Barcelona. All together, we passed games and challenges in team building activities. There have passed twenty years since the Academy’s foundation but yesterday we all played as if we were children.
The big day had arrived. The dream final: Rafa against his archrival. Rafa spent months changing his game to be more aggressive and had created great expectations. The whole world of tennis predicted a great battle, even I thought it would be another epic final that would ultimately depend exclusively on the mental pillar.
At Sánchez-Casal Academy, the development of our long-stay players is very important to us. That is why we created the ASC Player Development and Competition Plan, summarized in the Sánchez-Casal Pyramid©, which shows players the path to success in the professional world of tennis. Do you want to follow the same path as Murray, Kuznetsova, Sanchez V, Dimitrov or Monaco?
I accompanied Verdasco to the Rome Masters in May 2017 and when he lost, I got the urge to stop by Madrid to visit Casper, something within me pushed me to visit him instead of going to Barcelona to see my mother.
“When students come to ASC, they don’t have a lot of experience, but when they leave, they know they have learned something that will help them for any life match they play in their future. Values build character, and the right attitude can multiply the outcome, so parents often congratulate us and thank us for helping their children work on those values and develop their character.” Interview with Emilio Sánchez Vicario.
At first glance he seems shy, or maybe he is, but as soon as he speaks, his low tone captivates you. His arguments are very strong, and he knows how to put himself in your place. Víctor Hugo Camargo puts effort into what he does, he is always available, and the ASC values are his DNA. He is involved with attention, his greatest virtue is that he cares about others and gives everything for them.
This year is our 20th year anniversary, looking back it’s amazing how fast it went, I could write pages and pages of our success and relationships with amazing people. It brings a smile to my face when I hear testimonials from past players and they talk about hard work, effort, discipline, and respect. Our mission of creating opportunities in tennis, education and life is stronger than ever and it makes me proud to look back and see that base of our success and values are still intact.
I want to take this opportunity to introduce you to Vovodymyr “Vova” Nikolenko, another great traveling coach who has been on the Sanchez Casal team for many years. He started playing tennis early on at the age of 7 in his home country, Ukraine and arrived in Barcelona as a student-athlete in 2003. After high school, he decided he wanted to continue being a part of ASC and started coaching in 2006.
The nº 1 seed, Roberto Carballés, was proclaimed champion of the Challenger Sánchez-Casal Mapfre, by defeating another Spanish player, Pedro Martínez, by 1/6, 6/3, 6/0. Carballés commented that “I felt at home during this week, which culminated with this important triumph, and I encourage more tournaments of this level to be organized in Spain.”