BRADENTON, Fla. (Feb. 22, 2010) – Pairing 30-plus years of athletic training experience with the expertise of a longtime professional player and coach, IMG Academies will offer boys’ and girls’ lacrosse players a select opportunity for total improvement with the launching of the IMG Lacrosse Academy.
Led by Kevin Finneran, an eight-time world champion with 20-plus years of playing and coaching experience at every level from youth to professional, the IMG Lacrosse Academy will begin with a Spring Break camp (March 28-April 3) and continue with weekly, multi-week and summer-long camps during various dates in the rest of the year. IMG Academies plans to establish the nation’s first full-time lacrosse residency program for the 2010-2011 school year.
“With lacrosse’s explosive growth as a youth sport, we felt that it deserves the same concentrated focus on athletic development that our other academy sports receive,” said Sam Zussman, managing director of IMG Academies and senior vice president of IMG Worldwide. “By combining our proven on- and off-field training methodology and world-class facilities with Kevin’s experience, athletes will leave as better, faster, stronger and more confident lacrosse players.”
According to multiple studies, lacrosse represents the fastest-growing youth sport over the last 10 years, increasing by more than 500 percent to nearly 250,000 participants since 1999. The IMG Lacrosse Academy will incorporate individual drills into training (shooting, passing, stick protection and goaltending, for example), but also teach facets of the game that will help translate to team success, like match strategy, correct positioning, effective communication, and offensive and defensive formations.
IMG Lacrosse Academy athletes will also have access to the same eight IMG Performance Institute disciplines – physical conditioning, mental conditioning, communication, nutrition, vision training, college advantage, life skills and athletic regeneration – utilized by some of the world’s top athletes and teams to provide an all-encompassing training program. The Academy will add a girls’ lacrosse director by April.
“IMG Academies embodies athletic improvement and personal development,” said Finneran. “With the popularity of lacrosse now expanding from coast to coast, the launching of a lacrosse program backed by IMG Academies’ years of athletic training experience will only help propel the game to new heights by offering players a dedicated venue for their progression.”
The IMG Lacrosse Academy launching follows a deal between IMG Academies and the National High School Coaches Association that will bring official high school national championships to the Academy starting in summer 2010, including 10-on-10 lacrosse from Aug. 19-21.
Quotes of support
“All of MLL is excited for the opening of the IMG Lacrosse Academy, as it will help foster the growth of the game due to IMG Academies’ reputation as a first-class operation. The Academy could not have made a better choice than hiring Kevin Finneran to direct the program. Besides being a world-class player and champion at every level, Kevin is a true ambassador of the sport who commands the respect of the entire lacrosse community.” – David Gross, Major League Lacrosse commissioner
“The fact that IMG Academies is offering lacrosse along with ‘traditional’ sports shows how much lacrosse has grown. We are excited about the possibilities that the IMG Lacrosse Academy will provide for player development and the sport’s expansion.” – George Daniel, National Lacrosse League commissioner
“Having IMG Academies add lacrosse to its existing selection of sports is an exciting advancement to our sport. If the Academy can do for lacrosse what they have been doing for years in other sports and with the proven results they have achieved, then the lifelong dreams and goals of a lacrosse player is limitless.” – Graham D’Alvia, U.S. Indoor Lacrosse and Team USA president/general manager
About IMG Academies
IMG Academies is the world’s foremost destination for athletic, academic and personal development. Over the span of 30-plus years, the Academy’s advanced training methods have helped countless youth, adult, collegiate and professional athletes improve in sport and life by providing an energetic and inspiring atmosphere on a 350-acre campus. Consisting of the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy, IMG Leadbetter Golf Academy, IMG Performance Institute, and IMG Baseball, IMG Basketball and IMG Soccer academies, the Bradenton, Fla.-based Academy attracts more than 12,000 dedicated athletes from approximately 80 countries every year. Through specialized training, expert coaching and customizable programs for all ages and ability levels, IMG Academies offers the ultimate preparation for life in and out of the athletic arena. Find more info at www.imgacademies.com.