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The Enigma of Toni Nadal

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  • johnyandell
    started a topic The Enigma of Toni Nadal

    The Enigma of Toni Nadal

    Let's discuss Chris Lewit;s latest, "The Enigma of Toni Nadal"

  • sportsplex
    replied
    Chris,
    Loved the article. Glad you have the passion to find the little nuggets in tennis that make tennis fanatics love tennis more! Whether you like a person you are reading about or not, its the content that makes the article. Well done.

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    I doubt it will make any difference Toni leaving at this stage in Nadal's career. I have no doubt however that Toni was a huge asset during Nadal's formative years and well into his twenties. The only criticism made of Toni here was it seemed to take a long time for Nadal to adapt and become a better player on hard courts. Whether that was more down to Nadal's game style than Toni's knowledge of court positioning and hard court tactics is open to debate in my view.

    But like all coaches he has probably served his time and usefulness. There comes a time when working with the same player day in and day out that you simply stop 'seeing' things anymore. No coach is immune to this. I also think the player can only take so much of the same regime and philosophy. It's good to have a change, for both player and coach, and neither party should take it personally.

    Leave a comment:


  • jschaff
    replied
    Fed made it pretty good without Tony Roche. Maybe he could have done better, but I think he was much happier. Rafa probably didn't have the cohones to tell Toni to beat it. Now it will work out for him. Rafa may develop a more rounded game and not be forced to go through the torture that Toni required from him to "be" the best. And in the end, being able to manage yourself always is better than having someone else constantly on your butt to do something. Rafa gets a BIG GOLD STAR for putting up with that all these years.
    (still a Federer fan first)

    Leave a comment:


  • gzhpcu
    replied
    Just read that Toni told the press but forgot to tell Rafa about his quitting....

    Leave a comment:


  • hockeyscout
    replied
    Interesting, I read that two days ago and thought the exact thing. I immediately accertained - "What a great promo for the Nadal group." I kind of thought Tennis Player was being used to market their new business. Just like that Little Nate guy who was talking about motivation and how he learned to win at Evert Academy (who has never produced a winner). The first thing I thought about that guy when I looked at his photo was he was a dick. He'd get eaten alive in hockey - MMA coaching. Where did that guy run and hide to by the way?

    Anyways, I disgress ...

    We've all heard the Uncle Toni stories, as don_budge alludes to above.

    Obviously if he yelled at one of my daughter, called either of them papa's boy or fired a ball at her, he'd get a racket up his ass and a ball through his teeth (my kids fight back, and stand up for themselves). He'd likely say she is unruly, and a problem child, and I'd say she is her own woman. Rafa was obviously easily swayed and manipulated (he wrote that in his book), and that worked very well with him? But, how would this coach deal with a kid or a player with don_budge's personality who had a mind of their own and strong convictions? Maybe they were purposeful in what they did? Who knows.

    I was thinking while I was on my 20 mile run today -- maybe after twenty five years of coaching this man has evolved, and this is what he believes from years of experience?

    Perhaps we should not judge him on years 1 to 5 when Rafa was 7 to 12?

    Maybe he has come to his Hallelujah moment in life?

    I am five years into it now, and I am sure after I have been at it thirty years I will have something to share that doesn't jive with what I believe in now?

    A lot can change over the course of time. We're all learning. Perhaps, this is where he is at now.

    It would be interesting to observe the guy, and see if he is on the courts at 5 am each day (first one on, and last one off).

    PS:

    You know, after reading don_budge's post I think I changed my mind now for the third time in two days. I better run 30 miles to sort it out.










    Last edited by hockeyscout; 03-07-2017, 01:52 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • don_budge
    replied
    Originally posted by stotty View Post
    A great article.

    Toni Nadal reminds me a little of the late Lennart Bergelin. Bergelin was also private and slightly unapproachable. Bergelin was always very "there" if you understand what I mean. Toni is always very "there" also. Most coaches don't have that sort of presence. I think it is born out of being very connected to a player and all the matches they play, plus being significant characters themselves, which projects itself somehow.

    Mark Papas and I had an email conversation some years ago about what qualities would make an ideal coach for a young, developing player. We both agreed that person would be an uncle. Providing that uncle had first-rate tennis coaching ability, then being an uncle would be the best candidate imaginable. An uncle is close, but has more distance than a father for those difficult moments. An uncle can be totally trusted and there are no doubts concerning genuine motives and intent.

    The only part of the article and statement by Toni that didn't resonate was this:

    "When I first got on tour, there were players with flaws--now everyone can do everything!"

    Players cannot do "everything" in a truly accomplished sense. Forecourt skills have plummeted over the years, and there is no denying this however much a person reveres the modern game. Players have become slightly more skilled at mopping up easy volleys than they were a few years ago. But when it comes to volleys below the net, no one seems to have anything like the skills others have had in the past. None of the players today have really good net skills compared to players of previous generations. I am surprised Toni made that comment since he's no spring chicken and must have witnessed good net players many times over.

    But a great article. I really enjoyed it.
    Very interesting post. Not being much of a Nadal fan...it was truly a stretch to find any interest in the article. The one point that stuck out was the one that Stotty references.

    "When I first got on tour, there were players with flaws--now everyone can do everything!"

    I thought to myself...you cannot be serious. Personally I don't think much of Rafael Nadal's game and I think even less of Toni Nadal. I remember the story a few years back about the Nadal serve fiasco. Toni was sort of standing around...butting in. Interfering with the process overall. I wonder...actually I don't really wonder...but does he really know anything about tennis? Who cares.

    Everyone can do everything? What parallel universe is he living in? As a student of the game I am horrified how the game has been dumbed down and more specifically how much it has been dumbed down in the "Nadal Era".

    Another thing about this guy's creed and philosophy that gives me some fuel to take issue with is the words Humility, Respect, Patience and Tolerance. I believe that his nephew has a lot of issues with regards to words like this. The humility that he showed accepting the runner-up trophy at the Australian Open when he was hogging the microphone with his fake humility holding off Roger from giving his victory thoughts. The runner up is only supposed to say thanks for the trophy and give credit to the winner. Nadal botched this badly. Respect? The ultimate disrespect was the way he handled the match point when he questioned or rather challenged a call that was obviously correct and robbed Federer of his well earned spontaneous moment of victory. He robbed Federer of that moment. Patience...as in waiting for the guy to finally serve the damned ball after the toweling and the rest of the nonsense.

    Nah...when it comes to coaches I won't be consulting Uncle Toni any time soon nor will I be sending any players to his camp. Not that he gives a crap about what I am doing...of course not. Respect? Yeah...one more thing. How about the dress code of tennis that Nadal almost single handedly made a mockery of...the clamdiggers and the sleeveless shirts.

    Sorry...I see too much in the way of hypocritical nonsense in this tandem act. I think Uncle Toni is going to have to accept a lot of the responsibility for the behavior of the "protege". I can't stand Nadal and I don't see any reason to like the Uncle any more. But I can understand why Stotty came up with the "Uncle Approach to Coaching".

    Leave a comment:


  • gzhpcu
    replied
    Do you think Rafa can make it without Uncle Toni?

    Leave a comment:


  • chrislewit
    replied
    Thanks everyone. Happy to answer any questions posted here Sincerely, Chris

    Leave a comment:


  • klacr
    replied
    Classy. I like Toni more than Rafa.

    Kyle LaCroix USPTA
    Boca Raton

    Leave a comment:


  • stotty
    replied
    A great article.

    Toni Nadal reminds me a little of the late Lennart Bergelin. Bergelin was also private and slightly unapproachable. Bergelin was always very "there" if you understand what I mean. Toni is always very "there" also. Most coaches don't have that sort of presence. I think it is born out of being very connected to a player and all the matches they play, plus being significant characters themselves, which projects itself somehow.

    Mark Papas and I had an email conversation some years ago about what qualities would make an ideal coach for a young, developing player. We both agreed that person would be an uncle. Providing that uncle had first-rate tennis coaching ability, then being an uncle would be the best candidate imaginable. An uncle is close, but has more distance than a father for those difficult moments. An uncle can be totally trusted and there are no doubts concerning genuine motives and intent.

    The only part of the article and statement by Toni that didn't resonate was this:
    "When I first got on tour, there were players with flaws--now everyone can do everything!"
    .
    Players cannot do "everything" in a truly accomplished sense. Forecourt skills have plummeted over the years, and there is no denying this however much a person reveres the modern game. Players have become slightly more skilled at mopping up easy volleys than they were a few years ago. But when it comes to volleys below the net, no one seems to have anything like the skills others have had in the past. None of the players today have really good net skills compared to players of previous generations. I am surprised Toni made that comment since he's no spring chicken and must have witnessed good net players many times over.

    But a great article. I really enjoyed it.
    Last edited by stotty; 03-06-2017, 02:05 PM.

    Leave a comment:


  • gzhpcu
    replied
    Good article. I like his positive attutude. Respect and humility. Should be taught more. In our club, I have seen youngsters act like stars because they have won some little tournament. Adoring parents, vicariously enjoying their victories, do not help either. Ambitious parents, watching every match, getting angry when their kids lose. He concludes with better to be a good person than a good player.

    Leave a comment:

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