Next Generation Series News Release
Friday, September 20, 2013
BRADENTON, Fla. – The inaugural edition of the Next Generation Series began at the world-class facilities of IMG Academy on Friday, with 11 top-class teams from across the southeast participating in a new player-development initiative aimed at the U14 and U12 age groups.
Under the watch of USL National Technical Director Peter Mellor, players went through an opening day of testing and classroom sessions, receiving technical instruction, working through a battery of tests, and taking in information about nutrition and mental conditioning from the IMG Academy instructors on hand.
“Not only does it give the players themselves - even though they’re young - an idea of what they should be thinking about doing to help develop themselves, but I think also for the parents and coaches that are in attendance with those teams,” Mellor said.
Also included in the opening day’s curriculum was a seminar for the numerous parents in attendance, which included the same information imparted to the players and coaches earlier in the day, and examples of how they could be a strong part of the support system that will allow players to flourish as they continue their development in the youth ranks with clubs such as Celtic FC Florida, the Knoxville Soccer Academy and Jacksonville Youth Soccer.
The weekend will continue with scrimmages between the teams in attendance that are focused on player development, with each team set to play two scrimmages of three 30-minute periods on Saturday and Sunday, and more classroom and training sessions that will set players on the path to a well-rounded view of the game.
“This type of environment, and the opportunity to listen and learn something new that they probably haven’t dealt with, can turn on the light for them,” Mellor said. “Suddenly they become more devoted, and more connected to the game in their training and their play.”