¿Hola, cómo estás? Te escribo desde la soleada España.
I haven’t started early on the sangria, but I am currently in Mallorca, Spain at the Global Tennis Team Academy with 4 players from the club.
I have been visiting this Academy for 19 years and bringing groups of players to come and train in this high intensity environment. The Academy is owned and run by Jofre Porta, who was the former coach to Rafael Nadal and Carlos Moya. Jofre is an amazing person and one of my great mentors. I first met him in my early 20’s when I went to a conference in Madrid where he was presenting amongst other world renowned coaches. I've always wanted to understand how the elite work and the things that they do to produce world-class players, so after watching Jofre in action, I wandered up to him and asked if I could come and visit him one day. It wasn't until six months after the conference that he made contact with me to see if I'd like to come and visit him and see his new project. Obviously I was chomping at the bit to be able to go and within a few weeks I traveled for the first time to Mallorca.
When I visited, the clubhouse had only just got the footings in and the courts had just been laid. At that time Global Tennis was just a concept with a facility starting to take place. Jofre was still working for the government academy in Palma, where he coached Nadal from the age of nine and until 17 but you could see the environment he’d created with world class players coming out of the centre. Being from England, we put people on pedestals and keeping grounded is one of the most important factors to becoming world-class. You can imagine how I felt when I am sat on the court watching Jofre working with Flavia Pennetta (former world number 6) and then her boyfriend, the former world number 1 and French Open Champion, Carlos Moya turns up and starts chatting with me. What was even more impressive is that none of the players batted an eyelid when Carlos turned up as it’s normal for them and they are focussed on their training. Could you imagine Andy Murray walking across the back of the courts at Stony while the kids are training?
Over the years I've had the great pleasure of seeing the Global Tennis Team Academy grow from strength to strength and establish itself as a world-class tennis academy. This is a very special place with a family environment, high work ethics and lots of love for everyone involved.
I have personally been influenced by this environment and I have created a similar culture amongst everyone in Team Stony Tennis, which I believe is the best way to thrive in tennis for life. Team Stony Tennis and the Global Tennis Team both have an awesome inclusive environment where everyone is helping each other to be the best they can be and it doesn’t matter what level you are, we all share a passion and love for tennis to help players maximize their potential.
The four players that have come out with me for this trip are doing three hours of tennis and one hour of fitness each day with a coach to player ratio of 1:3. These kids are experiencing some pretty tough training while mixing with other players from around the world and I know that after this week each one of them would have put the themselves to the test. What they are doing isn’t easy but I also know that by the end of the week the huge amount of satisfaction each player will have from this experience will be invaluable and a memory for life.
I hope the weather is being kind to you all back in England and I'm about to go back on court for another grueling session so I will say adiós for now.
Director of Tennis