Skill development at the early stages of a young soccer player’s career is the key to success. Whether it be a specific club’s academy teaching or a developmental training expositions, teams are looking to create their own future stars from the ground up. The US Youth Soccer National League is training its young athletes in a completely new way so that these soccer players can envision and achieve long-term success. Through a partnership with Fusionetics, a human performance company, players from U14 through U18 teams will have access to real-time evaluations of their movement efficiency, which is a reflection of flexibility, strength, stability, and body control; poor movement quality can be due to muscle strength and flexibility imbalances that ultimately can increase risk factors for injury and decrease an athlete’s performance potential. Fusionetics is currently being used by more than nearly 60 professional and college teams across multiple sports and provides each player with evaluations designed to improve athleticism and ensure their health over time.
While competing in the National League Fall Showcase in North Carolina, each of the 160 National League teams will have the opportunity to take part in the evaluations. “The National League is excited to have Fusionetics on-site in North Carolina to give the players this opportunity to evaluate how their body movement affects athleticism and what can be adjusted to decrease the potential of injury,” National League commissioner Paul Luchowski said. Fusionetics will be able to test a large amount of players in a short amount of time given that each evaluation takes less than 90 seconds to complete. During the evaluations, players will be asked to demonstrate a series of body weight movements including squats and single-leg squats during which time motion of their feet and ankles, knees, hips, back, and upper body is observed and that the Fusionetics program will analyze in real-time. They will be given a score and a status level based on their movement quality as well as an individualized program to improve what was found during the evaluation. The recommended programs are accessible to each athlete through the Fusionetics app in the hopes they implement the flexibility, strength and exercising methods on their own as well as with their coaches. “It is our hope that identifying these movement imbalances and providing a solution to help improve them will allow the young athletes get more out of their training to become better soccer players while also minimizing risk factors for injury,” said Tony Ambler-Wright, a Senior Practitioner with Fusionetics. Ambler-Wright believes that if they can help the athlete create more awareness around movement, an athlete’s hard work won’t go to waste.
“Many of these athletes are college-bound soccer players, so this quick evaluation will help to keep them at their peak athletic performance and in good health,” said Luchowski. The league’s relationship with Fusionetics is a good place to start and provides a path for the youngest soccer stars to help grow the game in the United States. The National League Showcase will take place in Wilson, North Carolina on Dec. 3-6 for girls and Dec. 10-13 for boys. For more information on the US Youth Soccer and the National League, you can visit their website.