Toni Nadal, the coach and uncle of World No. 2 Rafael Nadal, says he asked Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer and Dutch footballl great Johan Cruyff why they were so good at their sports and both of them attributed the same to having a good coach in their younger days
Toni Nadal on asking Roger Federer and Johan Cruyff why they were so good in their sports
Toni Nadal recently had an online session with Colombian tennis fans and in excerpts published on the Match Tenis website, Toni Nadal highlighted the importance of having a good coach during the early years for an athlete.
"I always want to listen and learn from the best. So one day I asked Federer: Why are you so good? And he replied, "I was lucky to have a great coach when I was little. I had the opportunity to ask the same of Johan Cruyff.
And he told me. "I was always very good," he said with great humility, "but the key is that I had a very good coach who taught me a type of game with players older than me, and when I played with those my age he demanded that I apply it."
Toni Nadal also says that he would never tell a youngster that he would not make it as a professional because no one can ever be certain and that it is important for everyone to pursue a dream. "I would never tell a parent that their child is not going to become a professional.
First, because I don't know. I don't know if a boy will be very good or not. Being realistic is important, but having dreams (goals) is what sets us apart from the rest of the animal world. I'm not the one to take away the dream of any player and any parent.
I'm a realist, of course, and not everyone makes it to the elite, but I think that as long as the dream is maintained, there will always be some opportunity. If you lose your dream, you lose your life." Toni Nadal has played an instrumental role in the career of 19-time Grand Slam champion Rafael Nadal.
He worked with Rafa right from his younger days and coached him till early 2017, coaching him to 16 Grand Slam titles. He now trains students at the Rafa Nadal Academy in Spain. (Photo from Rafa Nadal Academy by Movistar Twitter account)