This morning I had my last training with Global Tennis Team (globaltennisteam.com). It’s a smallish academy in Mallorca, five clay courts and I had a good time training there this week. I also really enjoyed watching the juniors train. It’s completely different from anything I see in the US, though I haven’t seen a lot of academies. The juniors are really hard working and are moving constantly and also rallying with each other. The feeding that is done is hand feeding from close range with lots and lots of movement involved, and very specific on the movement and technique. The juniors all seem to listen well and try hard.
After we finished training, Pat Delaney (a college friend who is here in Mallorca this week) and I went touring a bit. We first went to Santa Maria, a small town about 20 minutes from the academy with sleepy, narrow streets, a couple of churches and lots of restaurants given the overall quietness of the village. We had a very pleasant lunch in what seemed to be a very Spanish restaurant (the grilled calamari was great). It had the smallest gas station I think I’ve ever seen.
There was some interesting wiring going on in this building!
The streets were pretty empty on a Saturday afternoon…it was warm and siesta time I think.
After lunch we decided to try and find the Rafa Nadal academy in Manacor on the east end of the island. We got close (which involved driving down a warren of very narrow streets) and then stopped and asked directions…and after a few wrong turns found the academy. We tried driving in and were told it was private…so we parked, found the museum (which only opened on Monday) and after that, we walked in the entrance where we were rebuffed earlier…only to immediately see an instructor from Global who was watching several of the juniors from Global who were in finals. The 10 and under boys were really amazing players. They used the whole court, moved great and kept the rallies going in the very windy conditions quite well. The academy is huge. There are live in quarters, a school and scads of blue and green hard courts. There were clay courts nearby but the tournament was on hard courts.
The museum had Rafa’s big trophies from Slams and Masters 1000 and the Davis Cup.
In addition to a lot of courts, there was a soccer field and I saw signs for a swimming area too. Overlooking the center court are the apartments for the players and families.
Tomorrow afternoon I am off to Barcelona for a tournament. It’s an odd one…matches start at 6pm and end around midnight each evening. I play my first match Wednesday night.