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I always give Daniel credit for training my son in tennis, which is how we met, but there is much more to the story than that.
We met through the suggestion of another tennis professional, 4400 miles away from Miami, in one of those amazing “moments” in Life – when a casual conversation provides the groundwork for one of Life’s greatest blessings.
My son and I were in Buenos Aires, Argentina on vacation in 2000. As Felipe hit on one of the courts, Daniel Garcia, the former coach of Argentina’s Davis Cup team, stopped by to watch. We started to speak about my son’s tennis and he asked who trained him in Miami. I explained that we were “in between” coaches and looking for the right coach for the “next level”.
“I’m not sure if this is nearby for you,” he said, “but here is the name and phone number of a great coach: Daniel Spatz, who trains juniors in Miami.” It turned out that Daniel lived three blocks from my house! And the rest, is wonderful history.
Although I give him credit for helping my son develop solid character and become a great tennis player as well, my gratitude for Daniel extends way past that – to the inspiration he has provided in my life as well.
Tennis got lucky the day Daniel Spatz decided to make it his life long passion.
His resume includes developing some very well-known, world-class players (and he really worked with them in their formative years – not just walked by them on a court somewhere). However, it is my opinion that those star players are not what makes Daniel unique, they are simply the natural result of coming into contact with someone so passionate, so learned and so unstoppable.
Daniel is a tennis evangelist. His passion for the sport is unparalleled. That level of passion is hard to relate to in a world where fans are fickle and attention spans are brief. We are used to those who teach tennis being young men and women who are making some money between stages in life – maybe after playing in college or on tour and before getting into business. Daniel bears no resemblance to journeymen like that. To understand Daniel, you need a reference point like one of the great artists or craftsmen of centuries past – men and women who devoted themselves completely to the pursuit of their craft. Daniel is on a quest – a mission – to learn and train and give away what burns brightest inside of him. It’s powerful stuff to be around – and it is SO inspiring.
Over the last few years, Daniel and I have collaborated on his website (www.SpatzTennis.com) and his YouTube Video Channel (www.YouTube.com/SpatzTennis). If you love tennis, watch a few of his videos – you’ll see exactly what I mean within minutes. His love for what he does is palpable immediately – and the depth of his knowledge about his subject matter is unrivaled – in both Spanish and English!
What does the future hold for my good friend Daniel? That’s an exciting question – as all of that passion and talent will always find a new chapters for expression. A few things are for sure, however: champions will continue to be formed and contagious passion for the sport will continue to spread. And Daniel Spatz will continue to inspire me with his passionate pursuit of excellence in his craft.
Andrew Giambarba, Miami Florida – 2012