Four Weeks at Sanchez Casal Academy part 1
Thanks a lot to Mike, who allowed me to publish his report about his son’s experience at the Sanchez Casal Academy.
If you want to share one of your experience (encounter with a pro, your stay at a tennis academy…), please contact us.
Four Weeks at Sanchez Casal Academy
– My 14-year-old Californian son had four terrific weeks at Sanchez Casal in July 2011. We moved as a family to nearby Castelldefels for the month.
– His tennis improved a lot!
– We came mostly for the intense footwork training and because of the high quality of the players at ASC.
– We weren’t disappointed!!
Red Clay Tennis Mecca at last!
This is the sign you see right off the main road that connects Barcelona to the airport. The road is the C-31, Autovia del Castelldefels. Our heart went pitter patter with excitement when we saw it! We are finally at the place where great players are made!!!
Close up of sign
Big arrow pointing in the direction of the Academia….nice touch!
Let’s get over the highway, please
This shows the walk bridge off the main road (C-31). If you take the L95 bus from Castelldefels, you get off the bus in front of the Tryp Hotel (seen in background) and then walk over the highway to where this picture was taken (that is, the bus stop area for the bus heading southbound). ASC will drive your jugador directly to ASC each day if you want.
Tennis Camp or Camping Trip?
You think for sure you’ve made a mistake –you are out in the boonies. But you are re-assured by the large ASC sign you went by. Soon you venture down this country road.
This is going to be a bumpy ride!
When I say ‘country road,’ I mean country road! ASC puts their money into what counts more —the facilities and coaches!
A stroll through the country
Even though you are only about two miles from the airport, it feels like you are out in the country. This view is looking towards the city of Gava and away from the sea and the airport. There’s a splendid old country house there that you can easily pick out when taking the Renfe commuter train.
As you go down the country road, you are rewarded with views of goats, chickens, and dairy cattle. The rain run-off from the farm goes into this little creek next to the road. Hmmm…love those country odors! Maybe helps to explain the big mosquitoes my son encountered during camp!! Over-flow parking lot to the left there. In far background, there is the Renfecommuter train connects Castedellfelsto Barcelona. You can see ASC when you take the train to BCN!.
Looking to the right….Goats!
Hope the tennis lights don’t keep the goats up at night!
Ah! Signs of Tennis Civilization!
After a couple hundred yards or so, you see the ASC sign and your achin’ tennis heart goes pitter patter again.
We made it!
You make the right turn and the security guy is there. This is the main parking lot too. Tennis courts, the main building, and the international school are to the left. If you take a cab, get out here! Cabbies also wait here. ASC has an arrangement with the local cab company and all 14 drivers know ASC well.
The ubiquitous ASC van!
This is the size of the bus that brought my son home at the end of the day. Right to our front door in Castelldefels!!!! Thank you ASC!!!
You first see the hard courts
There are a bunch of them! Very nicely maintained. I snuck in a hit on them and they played well.
!Jugadores en las pista duras!
You will learn what this means! Yip, that’s my 14 year old hitting a big forehand! That one ain’t comin’ back!!!! This was the last drill they did at the end of a hard week of training. Usually, I saw only 3 or 4 players per court and all the jugadoreskept their feet in constant motion.
Ok, I can’t pass up the chance to show off my son’s lethal forehand! He did win two ‘torneos’ while we were there!!!
Astroturf! Let’s hit some slice serves out wide!
Yes, they played on astroturfand sand too! Now that will help the players tighten up their strokes in a hurry!!!!!!!!!! Let’s hear it for the last few remaining serve and volleyers!!! You can see the young kids doing footwork training in the background, and the main building too. The international school looks over these turf courts.
There are a lot of them! My son said they played their practice matches on clay, and did most of their drilling on the hard courts and some on turf. Played practice matches every day, except Saturday, which was more about competitive team sports, even padel and futbol!!! (!!!!Go FCB!!!!!)
The Schiller International School
The school looks right over the courts and is at the end of the hard courts. My son had about 90 minutes of Spanish language instruction before hitting the courts or going to fitness. Estimating that about 40% of the training time was in fitness; 60% actually playing tennis.
!!!!Mas pistas rojas!!!!
Note the huge number of tennis balls in those buckets on the court. I witnessed a private lesson with a very strong junior on this court –he was mowing down hundreds of balls. It’s all about the repetitions, baby!!!
!!!! Y Mas Pistas!!!!
I’m in heaven with all that red dirt!!! Main building in background.
The brief orientation on the first Sunday afternoon is here. Pro shop, racquet stringing was reasonable and fast, etc. Pool and outdoor café are to the right of this building.
Another view of main building
Nice palm trees!!! Somewhere for mom and dad to take a nap while junior whacks pelotas all day! The pool area is beyond the hedges.
View from the main building
The tent is where you go first on that first Sunday, and hopefully don’t wait too long to go through the admission process! We waited over an hour, but the ASC staff gave us free juices and snacks, and quality shade!!! Advice: go early in the afternoon for orientation!
Ah, the pool!!!!!
Lovely!!! The padel courts are to the left and back of the pool. We love padel now. What a blast!!!!! Let’s start a padel movement to bring it to the USA!
I observed a lot of attack-type drills. Moving up and finishing!!!
The ASC bus in action!
This was the Saturday bus picking us up at our ASC bustopin Castedellfells. That is our friend Mir getting on the bus. The Monday-Friday bus is much larger. The bus would pick us up each day at 7:05am about three blocks from where we were lodging. My son would return by bus at about 8:30pm Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, and Friday. On Wednesday, home about 3:30pm unless there was a tourney (which meant getting home late), and then Saturday home by 1pm or so. Sunday was sight-seeing day!!!
Club de Andres Gimeno!!!
Dad plays tennis too and hung out at Club de Andres Gimenoin Castedellfels. I joined as a socio (member) for about 120 Euros for one month of tennis. It was awesome!!! Met a lot of nice folks and the 20 red clay courts were fantastic. Good workout gym too. Be prepared to speak Spanish. It’s a real neighborhood club and speaking Spanish or Catalan is a big help. If you go, please be respectful of their rules and ways of doing things. By the way, the better players come in the late afternoon! There is padeltoo!