Uncle Toni Reveals Rafael Nadal’s Secret to Success That Young Players Should Learn From

Published 10/21/2021, 10:19 AM EDT
Toni Nadal and Rafa


Rafael Nadal and Toni Nadal had a long coaching partnership from 1990 to 2017. Under his uncle’s direction, Rafael Nadal attained the greatest heights of his career on the men’s circuit. In a recent interview, Toni Nadal revealed the true character of the 20-time Grand Slam champion. The format of the interview was unique as people of different age groups and genders asked Toni questions.

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Toni also talked about how a player’s mental strength and endurance directly affect their character. He proved his point by using the example of Rafael Nadal’s will of controlling the ball.

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Uncle Toni speaks about Rafael Nadal’s will

Rafael Nadal’s uncle was asked a bunch of intriguing questions. One of the questions which came up was,” To what extent does character help manage difficulties?” 

To this, Uncle Toni used Rafa’s example and replied, “For example, one of the things I said to Rafael was that it is very difficult to control the ball if you are not able to control your will. In the end, if you are not able to control your will, which is part of the character, it is very difficult for you to control the ball. I understand that character is what we should pay more attention to in the formation of young people.”

Furthermore, he quoted, “I believe that in life, one has to learn to conjugate the verb endure: I hold on, you hold on.” It’s clear to see that Rafael’s steely determination and resolute focus were coached to him from a young age by Toni. The Spaniard is known for exceptional grit and his never-say-die attitude, or in other words, his endurance.

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Toni Nadal also talked about mental strength

Subsequently, the former coach of Rafael Nadal emphasized the importance of mental strength with character. He also said that the mental strength and character of a player are interconnected.

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In his words, he quoted, “I always understood that character would be what would make us succeed, even more that the drive or the reverse. In the end, what makes the difference is mental strength, and that is in character. It is in this basic formation of the people.”

(All quotes translated using YouTube auto-translate)

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Toni Nadal undoubtedly had a key part in Nadal’s stellar career as he began working with Rafa from a young age. Rafael Nadal is currently recovering from his left-foot injury but is optimistic on his participation in the 2022 season.

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Atri Bhatt

397 articles

Atri Bhatt is a Tennis author at EssentiallySports. He is pursuing his Master's degree in Sports Management from Deakin University, Australia. In addition to critically analysing the game, he also plays tennis professionally.

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