In a recent interview, Toni Nadal commented on Rafael's professionalism and dedication in tennis. The 57-year-old said something very meaningful about Nadal's commitment starting to speak on the mindset they have in their Academy.
"It was a good idea to be involved in tennis through his academy when he finishes his career', said Toni at last year's Bastad Open. "We work with many young guys and it's not easy to work with people who want to become professionals.
Not impossible, but not easy. In life, there are many ways to go up and I know what I have done. When I trained with Rafael, I asked him two things: passion and intensity. Treating every day as the most important day, treating every practice as the most important practice.
For us, in contrary of many players, playing Wimbledon or Bastad was the same thing. I always told Rafael to put a lot of attention and passion on every shot and practice. This is the difference between Rafael and other players."
Toni also praised Rafael for all the successes he got during his career: "Rafael's success was never because of me. Our common goal was to get to the highest, and I never understood my job and things in general without a final goal.
This is what I told Rafael when I saw he had chances and abilities. When he was seven years old, I told my brother (Sebastian, Rafael's father) that Rafael would have been Spanish No. 1. But that was not a goal. If he did not make it, it would have not been a failure.
Not trying would have been a failure. I think you need to have short term goals and it's like a business, you have to set reachable goals and, as you go on, renew them. The goal was not to win Wimbledon, Roland Garros or become No.
1. The goal was to improve. By improving, we would achieve success. You need to have a starting point first, not just knowing where you start but where you want to go. I always said that we are not good enough. If you tell the player he is very good, then something bad can happen.
Many years ago a girl that I trained asked me: "Why do I make mistakes?" And I told her: "You misses because you do not know""