It was 2014 when I first came across Academia Sanchez-Casal. I had just finished 10th grade and was frustrated with my daily life in India. I always felt like there was something holding me back and that I could perform better, both as an athlete and as a student. So, when I decided to join ASC, I came prepared to work hard and take my tennis to a new level, but what I got was truly something extraordinary. The two years I spent here was the most enriching years of my life. The quality of the tennis and fitness training was second to none, which was helped by a good, private international school. The coaches and staff made me feel as if I were a part of their family, so much so that 2 years after I graduated as the valedictorian of my class, I felt the urge to return to ASC as a coach.
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.
“You are one of those coaches that I admire, the ones that do the dirty work, the complicated task of staying with players in the key moments’
What does it take to become a good coach?
And how do they describe their players in the four pillars of tennis?
Emilio Sánchez, CEO of Academia Sanchez-Casal in Florida and Oscar Burrieza, coach of the Madrid Tennis Federation analyze these topics during an interview recorded at the $15,000 Men’s Futures at ASC
Last month Academia Sánchez-Casal (ASC) lived one of its most challenging moments when it had to prepare for Irma, a category 5 hurricane that landed over the city of Naples where the American ASC headquarters is located.
The hurricane, which was supposed to hit east of Miami, shifted towards Southwest Florida 48 hours before making landfall in the US. By then, the hurricane forecast models predicted that the eye of the hurricane, where the strongest rain, winds and gusts are experienced, was going to overpass Naples.
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.
Emilio Sánchez has spent more than two decades coaching tennis players, including the thousands of student-athletes that have trained at the Sánchez-Casal Academies in Barcelona and Florida, as well as the Spain Davis Cup team. He was the captain of the Spanish team when they won against their great Argentinian rivals in Mar de Plata in 2008, bringing together a dream team of players including Fernando Verdasco, Feliciano López or David Ferrer, among others. Together, they achieved a landmark victory in winning the Cup away from home after beating their opponents 3-1, giving Spain its 3rd Davis Cup title.
Last week, two ASC players, Ramkumar Ramanthan and Rudy Richter, participated in the first round of the Davis Cup 2017. Ramkumar is playing on the India Davis Cup Team, and Rudy Ritcher on the Guatemalan team.
The education of our young athletes goes beyond just sports technique. Having good values is equally as important, so we must teach respect, cooperation, self-discipline, and humility, among others. Teachers, coaches and, above all, parents have a great responsibility to provide this education in values.
When summer arrives and the school year ends at ESIS – the Emilio Sanchez International School based in Florida – my role as a coach continues. Our student athletes at the Sanchez-Casal Academy, along with other players, can join our Traveling Team, a year round program in which we coach and accompany players to ITF tournaments in the Caribbean, Latin America and Europe.
When we talk about a day in the life of a coach at our Academy, we’re also talking about a day in the life of our student tennis players, because the lives of both are closely linked. A typical day is very intense: training on the court, physical fitness training, school, studying, homework. But there is also time for camaraderie, and to create relationships that will probably last for the rest of their lives.