Without him, the careers of Roger Federer, Stan Wawrinka and Marc Rosset would certainly not have been the same. As a renowned fitness trainer, Pierre Paganini has been shaping the bodies of the best Swiss tennis players for decades. He was a guest of the “3. Half” by Couleur 3 to go behind the scenes of top-class sport.
“He was the one who made me fall in love with the fitness side because it was really what I couldn’t stand at all in the beginning. I wanted to play tennis when there was no ball, that sucks. He made me change my mind and I owe him a lot“. These remarks were made by Roger Federer to explain the place that Pierre Paganini had in his career.
This meaning is further supported by Stan Wawrinka: “it is the person who only walks from the physical side. But all of that is there, and for that, it’s someone very important in the entourage. Thanks to him. I was able to have the career that I did and I will always be very grateful to him for everything he has done“.
What does the main prospect think? “The simple fact that I’ve worked with these players for a long time means they trusted me. And the best compliment is still confidence. It is a sign that the human relationship has worked“. Often considered a friend by his charges, he has followed them since adolescence, which obviously creates strong bonds, but can also make professional collaborations more complex.
“I was lucky enough to know Rodg as well as Stan did when they were fourteen or fifteen. In the beginning you can ask certain things. One can speak of a work philosophy. And at this moment, what counts most is mutual respect. If you can build on that, then friendship can grow because it’s more healthy.‘ he explained to the Color 3 mic.
A world of its own
Pierre Paganini came to tennis late, having been more involved in athletics and football, and discovered a fairly codified universe. “I realized early on that I wasn’t really part of the family because I wasn’t walking around with a tennis racket every day just pretending to be in the shop.
His job is very different: “I am a fitness trainer. I’m not someone to tell you how to play tennis. But if you don’t have the legs to walk to the ball, he’s going to miss you. That’s pretty much the dialogue I was trying to convey in the beginning“, he explains.
Physical preparation is related to coordination, you use one versus the other. Especially in tennis, the physique is at the service of the game
The fitness trainer used his experience from other sports to develop exercises specific to tennis and its movements to improve the player’s coordination: “Physical preparation is related to coordination, you use one versus the other. Especially in tennis, the physique is at the service of the game“.
His two current protégés work differently in training. An exciting challenge for Pierre Paganini: “When you have a player like Roger Federer who has a particular creativity, it means you have to work a lot between intensity and complexity. And when you have a player like Stan Wawrinka who has the structure, the will, the discipline and the ability to stick to things, you know that the things that go in will never come out. He will keep her within him, he will take her with him. He will defend himself not to lose his composure and that will take him forward“.
Fantin Moreno, web adaptation Bastien Trottet
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