IMG Academies Review
Sports camps are everywhere. From beginner camps to advanced camps, there is good fit for all levels and ages of athletes. But what are the options for the truly elite young athletes? What if your child is a prodigy at a certain sport? There are several avenues to take, but one sports academy sets the bar for elite sports training. The IMG Sports Academy in Bradenton, Florida, caters to those athletes who are training for world class events and careers.
Founded by tennis coach Nick Bollettieri in 1978, Bollettieri was the first person to form a boarding school for young tennis prodigies. The combination of academics and first class tennis instruction, led to parents around the world seeking out the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy to groom their kids into first rate tennis stars.
In 1987, sports marketing company IMG bought the academy, with plans to expand and make it bigger. Six year later in 1993, IMG grew the academy to include baseball, basketball, golf, and soccer. In the years since, swimming, sports medicine, and a wellness spa have been added, making the now 300 acre complex the dominant force in sports boarding academies.
The Pendleton School is college preparatory school located on the IMG Academy grounds, giving the student athletes their education and athletic training all in one central location. For those who don’t go onto immediate professional sports careers after completing their course work, The Pendleton School works closely with top universities for college athletic scholarships. 95% of the Pendleton School graduates go onto to college, with many of the remaining 5% going onto professional sports careers.
Having started as a tennis academy, the alumni of The IMG Academy is a who’s who of tennis pros. Andre Agassi, Pete Sampras, along with Venus and Serena Williams, amongst many others have spent time at the IMG Academy. NBA players Courtney Lee and Tyrus Thomas have also trained at this famed institution.
It’s not all about having to play professionally though. Top college programs have close contact with coaches and administrators at IMG, which give these students a leg up on more traditional high school athletes. The new training equipment and facilities don’t hurt either!
This is an expensive academy to enroll in. However, you are paying for the top of the line training, coaching, and schooling to ensure the best opportunities for your child. This is definitely a unique way to go through high school, but the environment is molded for all students to take away exactly what they put into their studies and training.