Rafael Nadal’s coach Toni Nadal has spoken about the importance of the dynamic between the coach and the player. In a recent interview, Toni Nadal talks about coaching Roger Federer and much more including how the training methods should be customized to suit the needs of every individual.
Toni claims that his method of coaching is different for different players while also claiming to know the different qualities that a successful coach must inherently posses.
‘The first one is the enthusiasm. You need to have it, it has to be the main thing: enthusiasm for what you do, to improve as much as possible. If you don’t have it, you cannot do well. For a coach it’s important also to be understanding and smart emotionally. You need to know what to say always trying to send a positive message. Then there are many ways to get to Rome. There isn’t only one method nor an only way to coach. I always say that if I coached Roger Federer instead of Rafael Nadal, I would have done it in a different way,’ he said.
‘When I started to work with Rafael, the first thing I did was to analyze his characteristics and apply a training plan that suited him. With others, the method would have been different. Does it depend by the player? Yes it does of course, and you have also to observe. World changes and tennis evolves. What I was saying to Rafael 25 years ago, now it would not be 100% worth. Nowadays you need to evolve depending on how tennis does.’
If you get used to listen only good things, it never seems real. When people say you that you are very good, probably they are telling without believing. And if you see all bad nothing goes well. Giving always candies is not good because then people gives themselves a bad image. You don’t need to be amazing, and you have don’t need to be a disaster.’
Toni also spoke of how it was to coach his nephew, Rafael Nadal.
‘It helps you. To be honest you should take in consideration some things. The first one: the fact of being with him since you were a kid. The second one: I never hid anything with him, and it allowed me to be able to say always what I thought. And having this difference of age allowed me to be authoritative. Today it would be very difficult instead of the past where you always respected older people and professors. As for Rafa, he didn’t do anything wrong because he received education.’
Speaking how Rafa’s passion for tennis was born, Toni finally said: ‘It was all very natural. I coached in a tennis club at Manacor. I think he hadn’t turned three yet when one day he came with his father in a club, I gave him a couple of balls and I saw that he had a good co-ordination.’