Rafa Nadal attended the start of the 2022/23 academic year at the Alfonso X Rafa Nadal Sports University, a unique university proposal that will bring together the Spanish tennis player’s working model, in line with his values and his sporting and academic methodology.
During the event, Nadal had a chat with numerous students, to whom he addressed some of the guidelines for his work and success.
“To achieve professional success you need to work hard every day,” said Rafa. “I don’t understand how to achieve success without a lot of effort behind it.
“This basic principle is what I have tried to do throughout my sporting career: to get up every morning with the aim of improving and learning.
“The key is not to stop having the motivation to be better.”
The Spanish tennis player, winner of 22 Grand Slams, stressed the importance of teamwork.
“To learn you must have the support of colleagues and professionals, surround yourself with the best possible team,” he added.
“If you surround yourself with the right people and you have the determination to work hard every day to achieve your goals, your goals are easier to achieve.”
The tennis player, who now trains with Calos Moya, also stressed the importance of physical care and physiotherapy.
“For professional athletes, having a good medical team behind you is everything,” said Nadal.
“In the end, we live with injuries on a daily basis, with pushing our bodies to the limit, and without having the right people by your side to help you with recovery, prevention or preparation, it is impossible to get ahead.
“I have had my physio since 2006, he is my shadow. In the last 15 years he has been the person who has spent the most hours with me, he is an important part of my life.”
On the management of success and failure, Nadal gave some solid advice.
“You have to treat successes and defeats naturally. It’s easy to say, but sometimes it’s difficult to manage,” he said.
“Tennis is a sport of losers, we lose every week. Every week that we compete, only one of us ends up winning the tournament, all the rest of us lose.
“This is managed naturally, defeat and success are part of everyday life in general. The way we deal with these two states is a personal thing.”