Notable as a training ground for Svetlana Kuznetsova, Andy Murray, Ana Ivanovic, Grigor Dmitrov, and others, this well-established academy outside Barcelona essentially focuses on juniors and touring pros; however, it does offer an adult program. There are weekly and weekend options, with from 2 to 4 hours of tennis daily, and the option of one-hour of personal fitness training. Bungalow lodging is available on site, as are a restaurant and bar.
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The Sanchez-Casal Academy has six apartments on campus, overlooking the swimming pool and academy grounds. Each apartment has two bedrooms, a lounge with TV, a refrigerator, and a bathroom with shower. Apartment guests have the option to add-on half or full board in the club restaurant.
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Here's what others have had to say about Emilio Sanchez Academy Barcelona.
"Excellent coaching, friendly, approachable, helpful.
Intense programme, geared to performance and achievement.
Very highly recommended."—P.R., Adv. Int., May 2018
""—M.M., Adv., April 2016
"amazing days with the best tennis & Spoanish gastronomy"—S.B., Adv., April 2016
""—A.M., Int., April 2016
""—P.R., Adv. Int., March 2014
"I was in Barcelona recently and on my last day there I stayed at the Trypp Hotel (a good decent airport hotel), walked the half mile down a dirt road and took a clinic at the Academy. There were only 2 of us plus the pro but it was fun. The desk staff, courts and amenities at the club were excellent.
I think it's a good place to play whilst in Barcelona but I can't comment on the tennis week, although I suspect there are usually only a few adults, as the Academy is centred mostly around the juniors. I also suspect the quality of adult players there are is quite good."—J.G., Adv. Int., October 2011
"I chose this camp both because of the Sanchez-Casal reputation as a training site for pros and because I wanted to visit Barcelona. In a very good way, the experience was not what I'd expected. The program offered (3 levels, I chose "Gold") consisted of 3 hours/day: one in the gym with a trainer (one on one), and 2 on the court, where the usual ratio is apparently 2 instructors/3 students, though when I was there the ratio was 2:2.
The quality of both the gym training (and its relevance to tennis) and of the on-court instruction and drills was amazing. ALL of my strokes, including those we didn't cover, have improved markedly, and I'm now looking for a personal trainer because the experience with Marc at ASC was so good. Also, the techniques I have learned seem likely to prevent future injuries.
The unexpected aspect was the intensity--I never felt pushed by anyone but myself (encouraged, yes; pushed, no), but I was exhausted at the end of 3 hours (despite being in pretty darn good shape). I didn't try any further tennis beyond drills and in-lesson play, preferring to conserve what little energy I had for touring Barcelona.
Massages are available at a very good rate, and there is a very pretty pool area with a poolside bar. On-site food is pretty good, too, and a good value. The instructional and administrative staff all have quite good command of English.
I do not have a child, but my fellow camper did, and I observed children in both individual and group instruction. They looked like they were having a very good time.
Now the downsides: for those expecting water coolers courtside, there are none. Everyone buys water from a vending machine at 1.5 euros for a liter. Tap water (everywhere in the region) is potable but disgusting. The facility is in the area of the Barcelona Airport, and the hotel in which it is recommended you stay (walking distance from the Academy)is not picturesque (though the staff and services are quite good). That said, transportation to Barcelona is easy to come by--20 minutes to downtown by bus, or you can take the shuttle to the airport and go by train.
Now the quirky--the walk to the academy from the hotel takes a pedestrian bridge over a highway and then a stroll down a dirt road beside a rather fetid ditch. There is a farm just past the entrance to the academy, and there are sometimes goats grazing along the road."—C.R., Adv. Int., September 2009