NextGen to Kick Off Friday at IMG
New youth initiative focused on total player development













Wednesday, September 18, 2013

TAMPA, Fla. - The Next Generation Series will make its debut Friday at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida when 11 boys and girls teams from some of the top clubs in the southeast gather to participate in professional-level training, testing and education. 

Inspired by the consistent message from youth coaches seeking a fresh development initiative geared for younger players, NextGen focuses on the U12 and U14 age groups and strives to develop the complete elite youth soccer player through a defined regimen of training, competition, testing, and evaluation. NextGen is a partnership between USL and IMG Academy.

Participants at NextGen’s kickoff event will not only compete on the field, they will take part in IMG’s world-renowned i360 Athlete Evaluation program and classroom instruction regarding athlete body management, nutrition and mental conditioning. Coaches and parents will also participate in classroom education sessions designed to place the focus on development and reverse results-based trends.

“No other current youth initiative places the focus so acutely on development while providing players in the U12 to U14 age groups with the knowledge base needed to become elite players,” USL Youth Leagues Executive Director Jason Arnold said. “The players are introduced to the principles and habits that will allow them to achieve their full potential, while coaches and parents learn about the priorities that are needed for that potential to be realized.”

Clubs taking part in this ground-floor kickoff event for NextGen include Celtic FC Florida, Houston Dynamo of Tampa, Jacksonville Youth Soccer Club, Knoxville Soccer Academy, and the VSI Pinellas Flames. Texas-based NextGen clubs Austin Texans Soccer Club, Samba Football Club and SA United Soccer Club will join in for NextGen’s final inaugural-season event in April.

Participants will undergo i360 Testing Friday morning, followed by classroom education sessions and technical training. Games kick off Saturday morning, followed by additional classroom sessions and technical/tactical on-field training sessions. The event concludes on Sunday with final games and a coaches’ roundtable session. 

The world’s largest and most advanced multi-sport training and education complex, IMG Academy hosts myriad soccer team training camps each year and has recently welcomed clubs such as the Seattle Sounders, the Chicago Fire, D.C. United, the Columbus Crew, Sweden’s Malmö FF, as well as the U.S. Women’s National Team preparing for the London Olympic Games and the Antigua & Barbuda Men’s National Team preparing for World Cup qualifying.



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