Rafael Nadal's academy caused many injuries because they encourage a lot of training & 'little rest,' claims rising star Ariana Geerlings
18-year-old Spanish player Ariana Geerlings, who recently cut ties with the Rafa Nadal tennis academy, has caused quite a stir with her recent comments about the policies of the organization.
According to Geerlings, the academy relies on the same philosophy as the 22-time Grand Slam champion - a lot of training and little rest - which is causing injuries to students. The Spaniard further claimed that, as no one has Nadal's physique, this approach of the club is impossible to get used to for many players.
"They try to rely a lot on their career," Geerlings said in a recent interview with Punto de Break. "They train for many hours, and Toni (Nadal) is very present. He trained me a lot. They take the same philosophy as Rafa, a lot of training and little rest, totally focused on the track."
"That caused many injuries, because no one has Rafa's physique. Many of us couldn't keep up with the pace of training five hours a day and not having rest days," she added.
At the same time, however, the World No. 752 said she was glad about the experience she had at the Rafa Nadal Academy. She thanked them for the support they gave her from her first day and for helping her with her studies as well.
"Very cool, it is an incredible experience, they supported me from the first day. Maybe I left when I was very young, you move away from your parents and that is hard, although it was good for me to mature and realize the sacrifice that this career entails.
"They also made it easier for me in my studies; at home, it would have been different," Geerlings said.
"I understand that it is an academy, and there are many people" - Ariana Geerlings on the Rafa Nadal Academy
In Ariana Geerling's opinion, students at the Rafa Nadal Academy would be better served if the organization tailored their approach to each student, analyzing and understanding them better. At the same time, the Spaniard admitted that that is no easy task, considering the sheer number of students who are there to train.
"As far as I know and as far as I saw, everyone trained the same amount of hours. Obviously, if you were very tired, they let you rest someday. I think what they need is to specify more about each player, analyze and understand them more, decide what is best for each profile.
"But hey, I understand that it is an Academy, and there are many people, you cannot define a plan for each person," Geerlings said.