Toni Nadal: "I was worried that fame and money would affect Rafael´s career" via http://www.elmundo.es/vida-sana/bienestar/2016/03/21/56ebf6c946163f4b448b458c.html
"When we started to travel, Rafael was so little and my responsibility went b)eyond tennis but as he grew older, our familiar relationship took second place.
"During a tournament, in San Juan de Luz (France), Rafael was 16 and he went to have dinner with my friend. The following day he said to me that they ate mariscada (shellfish stew) and I replied that he was not old enough to have it and that the correct thing was to eat an hamburger. He had already signed important enough contracts with sports brands and he could afford it. I was worried that fame and money would affect his career and because of this I wanted him to behave like a normal boy."
Toni has three sons none of whom are not jealous of their cousin: "My sons are grateful to their cousin. Thanks to him, they have had the opportunity to go to US Open, Australia and Wimbledon, among other tournaments. For sure at the beginning I travelled a lot but now I alternate with Francis Roig and stay away from home for only 180 days. There were years where I stayed more time away from home. The most important thing is to have the luck to do what I like," said Toni, who"s accompanied Rafa in all tournaments in the last seven months.
What aspect of Rafa"s career has Toni helped develop the most? "As a coach, I consider character more important than improving technique. I think people who succeed in life are the ones who have perseverance. And it"s what I wanted to inculcate in Rafa from the beginning. My goal was to teach him to be always willing to face adversity and overcome it.
"I always pushed Rafa to try his best even in the worst conditions. I coached my nephew for tennis, but I would have done the same if I had to prepare him for any activity in life."
What"s Toni"s share in Rafa"s wins and losses: "When he usually won they said that I was a good coach. Now that he does not do so well, I"m the reason why Rafa loses (laughs). It"s that I believe to be having the luck to coach a good player."
If you teach a kid how to play forehand, can you teach the same kid to have will too? "For sure. I have always believed that a big problem of the current education system is that you teach kids things you can find on Google and you forget what"s fundamental: teaching themhow to work on their emotional intelligence and to dominate their will. That"s what I tried to do with Rafa. Being human means to being set in one"s ways. If you teach them to work every day without being demoralized or without inventing excuses, you end up considering this as something normal in the life."
Finding an excuse is the most simple thing: " I prefer to accept errors because if you get used to justifying your errors, you restrict your personal growth."
One of his most preferred phrases is "Withstand, Rafa." Why? "You can train everything, mind and body. Since he was very little, Rafael had a very difficult mental predisposition to improve, and he worked on resistence." Have they ever argued in public without getting noticed? "I remember only once in Madrid. Rafael was going through a complicated period. The match was going well but Rafa was starting to get confused and I told him: "Be careful now." He was like "Do not tell me anything because you make me get tense." At that moment I turned around, crossed my arms and didn"t return to follow him. In the locker room, he understood I was nervous and he believed my reaction was exaggerated. I replied that I had told him what I believed too, and if he did not like that I supported him he did not have to be disrespectful. Probably I did exaggerate but If I had allowed it, then anything could have happened. I have seen coaches who, after an argument, have abandoned the court and taken a fight home. To me, if it happened, I would be ashamed for one week."
Asked if Rafa will be a happy man once he will end his career, Toni said: "He will be a totally happy person because he likes so many things: he likes playing golf, going fishing, staying with friends and his family. His life is not only about tennis."