Toni was posed questions from the audience which he responded to in Spanish and then they were translated for us. This is the only way I could write so quickly!
Is there anything you did with Rafa at the age of 4 or 5 years of age that is linked to what you do with him now?
The first thing I do in tennis and in life is to do everything very simple. All sports are very simple. All sports a game and some coaches make it difficult. A very simple system. Play points. If he make a mistake on the forehand, we practise the forehand, if he make a mistake on the backhand, we practise the backhand. For me it is very important that the player understands the game. The game is not the same if you have the luck to have a player like Rafael or Roger. See what the attitude of the player is and from there .. Apply the basic principles of tennis: Hit the ball when it is rising. Understand the pathway the player has to make.
What skills did Rafa get from playing football that he has now has taken to tennis?
Playing different sports when you're young is good. Football has helped his footwork.
Is it true that Rafa was a right handed player and you changed him?
No. When he started, he played both sides with both hands and soccer with his left foot. I am not very clever so i think he must be left-handed too. But he is right handed. And now the only thing he can do with his left is play tennis. Everything else right handed - brushing his teeth, playing golf etc.
Has every tennis session been delivered with full intensity from a young age?
For me it was always important to work with a lot of intensity. Rafa has always been an intense person. A player who is complicated. He is not sure if he has the ability, the skill. So he wasn't sure if he had coordination or not. In football he didn't look good but he could do good things with the ball. When he played tennis he always did strange things. So i believe it is important for rafa maybe. For Roger it is different.
Were you tough on Rafa mentally when he was young?
I was a hard coach mentally. Not always a coach of giving good news. I wanted to let him know he was not always the best player so he always had something to work for.
When did he go to one hand and was it guided by you?
Until he was ten years old, he played two hands on both sides and then the change. If we trained for two hours we would practise for twenty mins one hand. After four years he could do one hand.
How did you keep him so humble?
Rafa is not very humble. He is just the same as you. The only difference is that Rafa is number two in the world but you are not there yet