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U.S. Soccer + SPARQ Player Development Summit Underway at Nike International Headquarters

U.S. Soccer + SPARQ Player Development Summit
Nike International Headquarters; Beaverton, Ore.
April 20, 2011

PLAYER DEVELOPMENT SUMMIT KICKS OFF AT NIKE HEADQUARTERS: More than 150 of the top youth leaders in the U.S. Soccer community, including coaches and technical directors from clubs in U.S. Soccer’s Development Academy, have converged on Nike’s International Headquarters in Beaverton, Ore., to discuss the next phase of thinking in player development in the United States. During the Summit, which opened on Tuesday night and goes through Thursday, U.S. Soccer will unveil a new player development curriculum, outline the key concepts and continue to emphasize the importance of quality training in the development of players. Watch Studio 90 News from Nike Headquarters

DAN COYLE PROVIDES “TALENT CODE” INSIGHT: Dan Coyle, the New York Times bestselling author of “The Talent Code” opened the Summit on Tuesday night as the keynote speaker. In his talk, Coyle discussed the development of expertise and the fostering of an environment for excellence. caught up with him after his speech to find out a bit more about his research. Watch Coyle speak | Read Q&A

CLAUDIO REYNA TO PRESENT CURRICULUM ON WEDNESDAY: U.S. Soccer Youth Technical Director Claudio Reyna will present the new coaching curriculum on Wednesday. The curriculum concentrates on improving young players by creating more organized, age-appropriate training sessions, developing coaching practices and creating an environment that is fun for the players. The entire coaching curriculum will be made available for download Thursday, April 21, on

FOCUS ON THE YOUNGER PLAYERS: Before the curriculum is unveiled, spoke with Reyna and other U.S. Soccer youth coaches to find out the thought process behind creating the new curriculum. The coaches talked about the most important elements they believe will help improve the youngest players and improve soccer development in the United States.

SEEING IT ON THE FIELD: After the new curriculum is introduced by Reyna on Wednesday, the education will continue on the field. Fitness coach Paco de Miguel, considered the right hand man of Rafa Benitez, will demonstrate how to create a professional training plan and apply it on the training field. Brian McBride will provide insight into his experiences and discuss how functional training influenced his development and made him a better player.

SPARQ TO SHOWCASE ITS TRAINING PHILOSOPHY: On Thursday, SPARQ will display the latest methods in functional performance training, a practice critical to maximizing athletic potential in youth soccer players. SPARQ, Nike’s performance division and U.S. Soccer’s partner in performance and assessment, will reveal findings from SPARQ Testing of Development Academy and U.S. Youth National Team players, and provide coaches with an overview on how to effectively integrate physical conditioning work into their technical and tactical training programs. SPARQ Performance Director Paul Winsper will outline SPARQ’s training philosophy and methodology, while others from his team will share information derived from the athlete assessment that SPARQ and U.S. Soccer have been partnering on since 2008.

FOLLOW THE SUMMIT ON TWITTER: will provide coverage of all the summit's activities, and you can follow along in real time via Twitter @ussoccer_ynt and join in the conversation with the hashtag #USSF_Summit.