Dear reader, I had been wanting to write this article for several weeks to explain my entire experience in Barcelona . A trip, in principle it was going to be 5 days but in the end it practically became a 15-day day, making certain sacrifices but at the same time compensating me through my development and work confidence in a world, which I still am. knowing tennis inside .
It was an unexpected trip, in recent years I stopped marking or planning anything in advance, it makes no sense to want to control what we cannot control, we can only manage our emotions and instantaneous situations, the rest is to harm our health.
Returning to the unexpected trip, a week before, I received a whatsapp from a semi-professional player that I met at the Queens’ Club during my two-year period working there, on whatsapp he invited me to come to Barcelona and be present at his trainings, which I accepted with the sole ambition of learning, listening to other professionals and knowing a little more about this new world for me, without thinking about collateral benefits, just watching, growing more in all areas and drawing my own conclusions.
Every trip to the unknown always scares me, but not because of the fear of the unknown, since on a personal level I am at a level that I never thought would arrive, but because of the management that I should do about my phobia , outside of my zone of comfort, without the empathy of anyone or the possible understanding of anyone, only me, my loneliness and my phobia. Not knowing so much about that, I was just looking for a place that would allow me to start and end the day in the same way, full of harmony, peace, tranquility and love with myself, through an agency, where I can get a discount, I closed a hotel in the Barcelona itself (internally not very convinced), after a few minutes they called me, telling me that the parking would be 24 euros per day, that it was not closed with them even in case I wanted to cancel the reservation, it was still on time, so I canceled it .
Then, I kept looking for the same, as it usually happens, when you change search times during the day itself or on different days, when you have managed to leave the control aside, something appears that did not appear before for reasons that could never be explained, that’s how it appeared a hotel, not far from Barcelona , that included everything I wanted internally and at a reasonable price, so I ended up in a Hotel in Sant Cugat del Vallés , a privileged place, close to RTVE , the CAR (high performance center) and other clubs tennis courts around, but above all surrounded by a very quiet mountainous and urban setting.
In Barcelona I would not waste my time or do traditional tourism, free time alone whenever feasible, but the main thing was to see tennis and all possible people within tennis. Above all, to be as flexible and available as priority number 1 towards the Queen’s boy in helping him in whatever way he could with the permission of his coach, but mainly to learn everything that was to contribute both personally and at work, that is, the importance of observing more to watch.
This Catalan experience also allowed me to visit different clubs and academies in the area, from those belonging to Sant Cugat del Vallés , with respect to the CAR I was left with the desire to cross the door and visit it, passing by the Valdolleix tennis club ( BTT academy is there) , tennis club Sabadell , club Castelldefels tennis, tennis club La Pineda, and to places named Tennis Club La Salut , Real Tenis Barcelona (Only the Godo , so touch me back to see him in his normal days), Laietá tennis club , David Lloyd Turó club, the Sanchez Casal Academy , the Sergi Bruguera Academy and finally the Ebron Valley facilities of the Catalan Tennis Federation .
There is one very clear thing that stands out, not only for those visited but for all those who left me without visiting, in some cases such as the area where clubs such as Real tenis Barcelona, Laietá, David Lloyd Turó are located , this is also the Real Club Polo , and some more, all in just a circle of 2 or 3 km, is that Barcelona, its surroundings and considered that without exaggerating Catalonia in general, in terms of number and quality of existing tennis facilities is frightening, but tennis is played because either you don’t like it or you don’t want to, what I’m talking about is nothing new for people in the tennis community.
As a Madrileño that I am, to be honest, no matter how much the vast majority of people dislike them, there is one thing that must be recognized loud and clear, Madrid and its surroundings are light years away from Barcelona and its surroundings, due to geographical location and structure. of expansion, while one is surrounded by mountains, beach, vegetation, with rectangular growth, with great comfort when driving and crossing it from one place to another, all this generates a feeling of relief, better air to breathe, as well such as the ease of finding a natural loophole to disconnect from the daily workday and feeling every day as if you were on vacation, in that London also has a similar air, if we add tennis to all thisWell, there is a good Catalan cream ready to taste.
Dear reader, another important point, I would say that the main one, already within all those clubs, academies, some with more names than others, is the motivational status , quality, desire of the monitors-trainers-managers-bosses, their consequent influence on the development, structure and communication of the aforementioned club or academy. Having good facilities is very good, if they even have a name or tennis figure to take advantage of to sell it is also very good, all that attracts people to play tennis, it may or may not be worth the cost to pay to go there, but what is it worth? have very good facilities if there are too many cracks in the work structure affecting the most defenseless?
But what is inadmissible, at least for me are the following points:
1. Motivation of the professional , without differentiating the position they hold , I only motivate myself in that or with that, the one that interests me, then I do a great marketing, and how beautiful I have sold myself, and even others already without any motivation and tired of the yellow ball.
2. The technique of professionals , some with risk of injury to their students.
3. The lack of emotional and movement freedom , its damage both in the creative and motivational part by the institution or club towards its professionals, and the final damage, which is none other than the student.
4. The sensation of lack of clearer and cleaner communication between those who rule in those institutions, clubs, … etc … who directs them and those who more contact are then with the people (players) affecting the coordination , and generating the next point, the four.
5. People , in this case players-players, whatever their level, whether they are more skilled or less skilled at tennis, should not be treated as ignorant and unconscious cattle both by themselves due to their age and by parents Either full of illusions of getting rich at the expense of their children or two very busy but with money that are sent there to be trained, forgetting the most important training of a human being in the first and most important phases of his life, which it will mark a large part of your life.
6. Sixth and last point, the psychological-emotional reading about the person (boy-girl player in front of you) , especially there was a case, where I was able to observe him on the track, later later in the dining room-cafeteria area. Dear reader, allow me to explain the case without pointing out anyone, basically because I know that there was nothing on purpose or malicious intent, it is more just the lack of psychological-emotional knowledge . I did not analyze, I just observed, and it took me back to my childhood, which made me feel very identified.
The case I am referring to is a child from an American region, “a priori” not one of the safest, since I have never been there, which I cannot and should not speak of an unknown place for me, parents of different cultures, with many hours of work. The child of no more than 8-10 years, came for just a week. A child with a non-existent self-esteem, insecure, with many deficiencies within the internal areas of a human being, and full of fears, something that each one usually expresses in their own way, is seen. What? and because?.
It is better not to waste time asking questions, and to learn to observe, in this case it was expressed with silly laughter, a priori reluctance, apathy, something that seems done on purpose, however it is the opposite, not easy to handle, He also expressed it when the professional went to make affectionate gestures, a touch on the head or a simple carantoña, always with very good intention on the part of the professional, however the boy avoided throwing himself a couple of meters back, or covering himself with his hand, thinking that they are going to do some kind of damage.
Various daily situations like these, together with external situations in their country of origin, school and especially the family environment, only help to destroy even more the self-esteem and the psychological-emotional state of the child. Apart from the situation on the track, the parents talking with the professional, to see how the child’s evolution was going and see the possibilities of progress, all in primary conversations, regardless of the child’s condition.
Then later, when I observed him in the cafeteria, while I was taking my menu of the day with myself, to see the boy cross a couple of times, with a lost look, introverted, after all a branch of insecurity, lonely, with His way of holding the backpack, displaced, where no adult is capable of realizing what they have in front of them, I felt helpless, because I had neither power nor authority to help or say anything. It would come for a week only, but a week with a great positive impact can change or at least better orient the inner life and its direction of the person in question, or vice versa if the impact is linear.
This example is the most intense of the many that I appreciated within the Catalan cream, very soon I will deal with Psychology in tennis , what is really there and what is it sells smoke (of course from a personal opinion of mine, never absolute), because there is a very important part that is Psychology of life. The only thing that I do know, that humans keep the initial part, the superficial relationship, the collegiality, the good vibes, the reputation, the feeling of belonging, but we forget about the most important layer, the inner layer and its entire form of transmission through different bodily and communicative gestures.
From this experience and tasting of the Catalan cream , I take several things, summarized as follows and some that should affect the tennis world:
One of the things that I learned even more, open and clean listening is essential in a learning process, just being willing to listen to what interests you and staying with the good feeling of a good hit hitting ten bad ones, is one of the most misleading interpretations that one can make of oneself, being the great injured oneself, which if it ends up leading to a work habit of a long time ago, not nipped in the bud, by whom or by whom it should be cut, will create a difficult total involvement of dedication and motivation of help from your entire work team, remembering that quantity is not equal to quality .
It is true that the Catalan cream gave me the opportunity to share it with different people, in some cases the occasional long and deep chat, meet people I have not yet met, listen to them and learn something about each of their personalities. I also cannot deny it, because if I did not lie to myself, the feeling was bittersweet in many moments, due to the elusiveness of the people, the greater lack of involvement and affection, because long ago I learned the following phrase, “the lack of time no excuse for not doing something, if you really want to take time out of where it does not exist to do it, even if it is 5 minutes “. So that lack of kindness and lack of response from others on a human level I cannot understand, although I do respect it of course.
The last point that I take, knowing very well what it means to be an entrepreneur, to be a good boss, to know how to take a ship to port in a healthy way , from my own life experience both from Madrid and from London, the boss, the manager, the coordinator, … etc … whatever you want to call it, be it from a club, a federation, an academy, … etc … it is very easy to pass in front of the different departments or dependencies of these places, believe you know how it works Everything, however, if you do not spend a reasonable time within the department chosen for that day, that is, to be in the hot spot, to be soaking in garlic, no matter how much you say that if you know how your club, academy, federation, … ..in the bottom you will have an idea, real knowledge of how it works no.
You know, for me at least, it is not worth saying, if I runions with some and with others, I spend every day there, … etc., you have to be there, in the specific department, not only in the office, hours and seeing what is the operation, the sensations and the emotions of the people who are in that department, in the case of tennis, monitors, boys, girls of all ages, young people and adults, of all ages too and all of them loaded with the tag of “possible players”. If there is no real implication, of not just going through there, but of being there, looking, observing and listening from the human side and not from the ego, it will never be possible to advance towards a coherent, healthy and higher level work, to fully appreciate the existing deficiencies and all the necessary tools to use to improve the conditions of work and all the development that that would imply.
To finish, I do not regret having lived the experience of the Catalan cream , having given me the 650 km trip with its corresponding hours, even with a somewhat busier lap, having spent many hours in solitude, moments of feeling that you You hit a wall without the possibility of moving it, with a feeling of emptiness on the part of many, attitudes that you have to respect but that you obviously do not share, miss having been able to train with one or the other with consequence in an advance in learning, even Thus I took a greater personal development and above all much greater security in a field of which I still do not know 100%. Also very deep reflections, especially I am left with these two phrases from two different people:
1. Look that you came a little late to this world (Tennis), even with your phobia you want to continue with the intention of getting into this of being a tennis monitor? (First step). It is in your hands to change the current concepts existing in tennis, what an overwhelming message, I am nobody and I continue to believe in cleaning people.
2. Damn you are very good with emotions, with detecting mistakes, if I had the forehand like my backhand I would catch you as a coach, or I would send you players.
Reflections made by two great professionals towards me, from their psychological-emotional level, I feel very flattered at the same time that they impose, the truth is that only I know that there is behind me, all the work done, suffering and progress to be in the internal state in which I am and we could all be, in my case living with a phobia day and night, already in a lesser intensity but that will never disappear.
Tennis is a simple game , only possible between people around so that there is a game, that implies an infinite number of situations, with their emotions in tow and all the amount of information that this implies, which is important to have the ability to detect them before they a habit start. But at least within a poor level, to get a change, you have to be on the garlic, know that it is cooked, because from above, without going down, no matter how much you go ahead, change is impossible or rather evolution, without forgetting that not all have yet reached the level to detect certain psychological-emotional aspects , present in a silent way.
Let’s start by dedicating time to be able to really observe and listen, at least so, whatever your level, you can start by putting the first brick of a good base or knowing how to detect the defective brick within a ready-made base.
Faithfully with affection,
A lover & respectful of the values and spirits of whatever sport but specially The hidden on tennis .