Dear COPA Community Member,
I want to express just how grateful I am that you have supported COPA as we take a new direction in the development of soccer players of all ages and skills. My vision from the very beginning was to create the country’s most advanced soccer training facility, which was at least as good, if not better, than any operated by a professional team in the world, yet accessible and affordable to the general public. We would continue to adopt the latest cutting-edge technology designed to allow us to objectively track player performance and skills development. Over time, we would develop a database of deeply relevant information that would allow us to benchmark player performance among peer groups, and then analyze differing practice methodologies to objectively assess their usefulness through observing differing results across datasets. This soccer training center would also be a key sports training tenant within our larger Shadelands SportsMall facility and help drive synergies and collaborations with the many other excellent tenants, including the Ultimate Fieldhouse and Encore Gymnastics.
This was the vision, and we really put our heart into the effort… Then just as we opened our doors, BOOM, the pandemic crashed down on us. It has been a very challenging two and a half years since the December 2019 opening of COPA Soccer Training Center. In addition to the growing pains of any new business, we have faced unique challenges that have slowed our progress, such as delays in the construction of the skills.lab Arena. The promise of COPA as the center for Comprehensive and Objective Performance Assessments has not been realized as fast as we had hoped.
Nevertheless, we have been working hard to accomplish our vision, and we have obtained improved momentum over the last several months as our new $5 million skills.lab Arena has come online, masks have come off, and new software for day-to-day operations has been developed and is currently in beta testing (soon to be rolled out). We are now conducting full Soccer Assessments for NorCal Premier’s Player Development Program, certain professional teams, and many collegiate teams on an invitation-only basis. This allows us to systematically build our database for benchmarking purposes and work out the bugs in our assessment protocols and operations. Soon we will announce a shift in our offerings, to finally embrace true “Assessment-Based Training” programs. This milestone will allow us to provide players with objective facts on their skills performance. We will then use these facts to compare how well their skills have improved, their average scores within their peer groups, and their best scores on the leader boards. Finally, when we have enough data, we will be able to analyze which training regimens are making a real difference. Eventually, I even foresee that the software “brains” of many of our training devices will eventually become artificially intelligent, operating dynamically in real-time to the skills of the player, allowing for truly personalized training regimens, and expanding skills more rapidly than most would consider possible.
We are confident that this work will usher in a whole new era in personal development around the sport of soccer. We thank you for sticking with us as we tackle these developmental challenges and joining us in breaking new ground in objective player performance training. I hope to see you soon at COPA Soccer Training Center.
Mark D. Hall
Owner and Founder of COPA Innovation Laboratories, parent company to COPA Soccer Training Center

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