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IMG Academy: The Training Center of Choice for Top NFL Players
Boasting state-of-the-art sporting facilities and technologies, IMG Academy has established itself as one of the premier athletic training centers in the world. What originated as an elite tennis academy in 1978 now consists of over 500 acres dedicated to providing its student trainees the tools and resources to succeed athletically, personally, professionally, and ultimately, in life. Located in Bradenton, Florida, IMG Academy’s sprawling campus consists of well-maintained fields, a brand new Multi-Sports Complex, the Gatorade Sports Science Institute, and dormitories to house visiting athletes. With such a stellar industry reputation and world class facilities, it has attracted its share of prominent professional athletes, including some of the most prolific players in the NFL.
Cam Newton Trains During League Turmoil
From simply a physical perspective, Caroline Panthers quarterback and Heisman winner Cam Newton is utterly remarkable. He stands at an imposing 6’5 feet, weighs 250 pounds, and yet possesses incredible speed and elusiveness that makes him very difficult for opposing defenses to contain. During 2011’s brief NFL lockout, Newton wasn’t able to attend team practices or mini-camps, so he spent time training at IMG Academy with Chris Weinke, IMG Madden Football Academy’s director and past Heisman winner. Weinke simulated the rigors of NFL-caliber training sessions by ensuring Newton adhered to a strict, daily schedule of drills, exercises, and classroom study. Once the lockout was resolved, Newton returned to his team facilities, and went on to win the 2011 NFL Rookie of the Year Award for his gaudy passing and running numbers.
With Draft Fast Approaching, Russell Wilson Preps
The annual NFL Scouting Combine is a week-long event dedicated to intensive prospect evaluation by coaches, scouts, and general managers representing all 32 NFL teams. To prepare for its series of mental and physical examinations, current Seattle Seahawks duel-threat quarterback Russell Wilson spent six weeks honing and enhancing his abilities at IMG Academy. Working closely with Weinke, Wilson focused on improving his footwork and throwing mechanics in the hopes of increasing his draft stock and overall value. Wilson was selected 75th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft and his productive rookie year garnered him the 2012 NFL Rookie of the Year Award.
Luke Keuchly Boosts Draft Stock
IMG Academy has served as the training facility of choice for NFL players on the defensive side of the ball as well. Caroline Panthers linebacker Luke Keuchly also used its facilities and Weinke’s expertise to prepare for the NFL Scouting Combine, aiming to improve his overall speed and strength. His hard work paid off, as he was selected 9th overall in the 2012 NFL Draft and is viewed as one of the most promising young linebackers in the league.
Dunta Robinson Spends Offseason Improving
Unlike the aforementioned players who attended IMG Academy as prospects hoping to boost their draft stock, current Kansas City Chiefs’ cornerback Dunta Robinson decided to spend part of his 2009 offseason improving every facet of his game in order to get a leg up on his competition. He participated in grueling daily workouts and drills, determined to enhance his pass coverage abilities and athleticism. A year later, following a stellar defensive season, Robinson signed a lucrative contract with the Atlanta Falcons.
Every year, hundreds of athletes flock to IMG Academy to take advantage of their cutting edge facilities, unparalleled resources, and personnel expertise. While every athlete is different, it’s impossible to deny the success enjoyed by those who’ve trained there. IMG Academy will continue to serve as one of the premier training facilities for student athletes, prospects, and professionals.