It’s summertime! It is the time of the year when I look forward to meeting my friends, so I can spend time together and enjoy the summer weather. During this time my parents are always working, which means they don’t have much time to spend with me or my siblings. It was then that they came across the Sanchez-Casal academy in Florida.
As the ASC senior student-athletes prepare themselves for the graduation date, our ASC academy prepares to say goodbye to 10 of our seniors. They are ready for the next stage of their lives, some of them have already committed to US Universities to continue with their education career and compete at the highest level in top Division 1 & 2 schools. During their last month of school, they are taking their AP exams, they are studying for their finals, and receiving their last SAT scores. On the tennis side, their last month of practice is getting tougher, they are getting ready for a college season, team competition, and lots of tournaments.
This past weekend we had a special visit from a group called YPO. YPO is a community of leaders that are global executives. Our academy was lucky enough to be able to host the first YPO event thanks to Jamin the leader of the community and his team. When Emilio Sanchez told us to prepare a brochure for the event we were confused, we didn’t know how important the YPO would be and what would be the event like. We started digging into what we could do to welcome this group of important people into our home, our academy and make them enjoy a tennis retreat where they can rest from their business routine and discover the love for the sport. We came up with a great program that had needs & leads with some light breakfast to start off, personalized clinics, competition matches in singles and doubles, hydro tennis lessons, stretching sessions, dinner food themes, and speeches from 3 of the most important people of this sport. Let me tell you a little bit about it. The program was planned as a tennis retreat weekend.
By Emilio Sánchez Vicario, Founder & CEO of Sanchez-Casal Academy
I am Emilio Sanchez. I am 55 years old. In the eighties and nineties, I competed at a pretty good level and even won some Grand Slam tournaments and Olympic medals. After that professional stage, I coached tennis players individually as well, such as Davis Cup teams. I combined my work as a coach with founding my own Tennis Academies, both in Spain and the USA, where students could take advantage of opportunities that tennis and education providers. I also shared my knowledge on TV and created my own Foundation, “Fundación Emilio Sánchez Vicario”, to help children achieve a better life through tennis.
My zodiac sign is Gemini, and for those who know us, we are thinkers, we are unpredictable, we love people and we care for them. We also have a very curious ability: our mind works, every night, in a way capable of creating little movies that we then translate into reality the next day.
So, I see my life divided into stages: 8 years before dedicated to tennis, 10 years developing myself as a tennis player, 14 years working as a professional tennis player, and 20 years coaching. It was probably a normal evolution, until last year when Covid arrived.
2020 is proving to be a strange, very strange year. What started as a new disease in a city in a small part of the world, ended up being a global pandemic. Little by little, we saw how countries were closing their borders, how citizens were staying at home. We also closed: first the academy in China, then one in Barcelona, and finally both in the USA.
By Tatiana Batalla and Ivette Nieto , Marketing department of ASC Florida
And yet we celebrated! We celebrated the end of the school year, the laughs, the hard work, the study, the accomplishments and the moments of joy. We set up a special event for a special day. We decorated the room with bright balloons and night lights, we helped the graduates with their speeches, we dressed them up with their caps and gowns.
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.
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.