Sam Totterdell Articles
Review of Global Tennis Team Academy, Mallorca
Global Tennis Team Academy, Mallorca
If you want to experience what it takes to become a pro tennis player then head to Global Tennis Team in Mallorca. If you aren’t up for the challenge then stay as far away as possible for your own health. Jofre Porta is the only coach in the world to ever make two world no.1s out of juniors he took on. At Global, you can see why. The beauty of this academy is the fact they don’t only cater for the top players and aspiring pros but they also cater for beginners. However all must have one reason to be there; to train like a pro and give 100% all of the time. Whether you’ll be one or not is irrelevant, everyone will train like one and everyone will be treated equally when it comes to quality of coaching. This academy is second to none and I would never even consider of going anywhere else.
Afiza, Jofre’s wife collected me from the airport late Sunday night and while driving to Global she warned me repeatedly of how tough the road ahead would be, physically and mentally. I took it all on board however there was one issue. The difficulty level was incomprehensible and unimaginable until I experienced it. Even Jofre’s first words to me of “Welcome to hell” didn’t prepare me for it. I was dying after the first session and this continued all through week 1 until I adjusted to the routine. We weren’t allowed sit down during training so the benches were just cruel!
At the academy there were 5 clay courts and 13 players living on site with locals also training. We were divided into different groups to train at different times based on standard. The level of coaching and individual attention was incredible. The highest player to coach ratio I experienced was 3:1 and on average it was 2:1 with many occasions it being 1:1. 1:1 coaching for a club player at a pro academy, this really impressed me. The 10 coaches were the best of the best, many of them being ex players of Jofre’s who competed on tour. Others being the best coaches they could find most with experience of other academies such as Sanchez-Casal or Juan Carlos Ferrero’s Equelite. They all preached that Global was by far the best, but by far the toughest. It seemed like endless basket feeding while on court and very tough basket feeding it was! However it was worth it, the amount of balls being hit along with the technical tweaks made by the coaches meant that by the end of it you could hit the shots perfectly without even thinking about it, the motions were ingrained in you. The coaches are also incredibly strict and Jofre is ever-present. The ethos is to be incredibly tough on court and always demand more but still be friendly off of the court. Make the same mistake twice, run laps. Put in 95% effort and be sent out of training. Put in 50% effort and be sent home. There was no messing here and Jofre was watching when not directly coaching and if he spotted anybody not putting in 100%, all hell broke loose. This academy is the real deal.
Off the court however Jofre was the most humble man I’ve ever met, he drove us to the supermarket, took us out for breakfast for occasions and on not one occasion gave the impression he was better than us. He’d rarely talk about his days of Moya winning the French Open under his leadership or coaching Rafa Nadal. He also cared about every player, talking to them everyday, knowing everyone personally. It was incredible and amazing. He just went about his life as though he was Average Joe. He was far from it though. This modesty is key to the whole academy, none of the players are cocky and all are like a big family. They were very welcoming and accepting to new players regardless of their standard. The discipline and humility was inspirational.
The accommodation and food were very basic but sufficient. All of our meals were nutrient rich and after training everybody just needed fuel.
On our days off, which were to be treasured, Afiza took us out to see beautiful Mallorca. It is the most picturesque place I have ever witnessed, with beaches that looked perfect and mountains with sensational caves.
Everybody was also very independent, a stringing service was provided but many players preferred to do it themselves. We washed and dried our own clothes, thankfully we had a washing machine on site. Everybody woke themselves and nobody would dare be late… ever! When returning from the supermarket for every minute we were late, we got 5 minutes of laps.
The experience of this academy was the most incredible thing I’ve ever witnessed and I couldn’t find an area to fault it. To sum it up, the fitness coach has a Degree and 2 Masters degrees in high performance sport! This academy is the real deal and suitable for everybody willing to work past their limits and it blows its competitors out of the water especially considering it is the cheapest of all its rivals. Nothing more could be asked, an exceptional academy on a beautiful island, run by 2 incredibly caring, kind and amazing people Jofre and Afiza.
To quote Afiza “If you want a tennis holiday, this is the wrong place. If you want to train and give everything, then you’ll thrive here.” Global is the real deal.