With an eye towards improving the state of the beautiful game in Northern California, COPA Innovation Laboratories and NorCal Premier Soccer announced a multi-year collaboration this week that will see COPA become the “Official Sports Science Partner of NorCal Premier Soccer.”
In addition to several other benefits, the partnership will allow NorCal’s Player Development Program athletes to utilize COPA’s high-tech, state-of-the-art facility, COPA Soccer Training Center in Walnut Creek, to optimize performance and track data to help players achieve their athletic goals and help coaches learn more about their athletes and training methods, as well as providing opportunities for all NorCal clubs to take advantage of COPA’s best in class sports science facilities.
“This strategic collaboration between COPA and NorCal Premier brings together two organizations committed to excellence in our respective areas of expertise. We are extremely enthusiastic to have an organization of NorCal Premier’s high caliber and broad regional market coverage to join us in embracing the rapidly developing environment of assessment-based soccer training,” said Mark Hall, the founder and Chief Executive Officer of COPA Innovation Laboratories. “NorCal is one of the most preeminent youth soccer leagues in the country and the stellar leadership at the organization has been guiding competitive soccer organization and player development in the region for decades. COPA is honored to support NorCal’s commitment to further strengthen and advance player development through the application of the latest sports science and technology-based initiatives offered at COPA Soccer Training Center.”
Added NorCal Premier Soccer President Benjamin Ziemer: “We are very excited to begin our partnership with COPA, we believe a greater focus on Sports Science will benefit clubs in the player development process at all levels. The COPA leadership, staff knowledge, professionalism, world-class facility, player training, and assessment opportunities will provide us a unique opportunity to assist those clubs, coaches, and players seeking to improve in this area. We cannot wait to bring our PDP players, PDP staff, and wider membership into this facility to utilize the fantastic technology within the facility to better assist these players in reaching their goals in soccer.”
COPA’s Walnut Creek complex is one of the largest and most technologically advanced private indoor soccer training facilities in the United States at 100,000 square feet and features multiple indoor soccer fields and futsal courts as well as high-level video and analytics equipment that can deliver quantitative data in real-time to players and coaches. NorCal’s agreement with COPA will see this facility become the home for aspects of NorCal’s elite Player Development Program, referred to as “NorCal PDP powered by COPA,” allowing each player to undergo athlete profiling twice a year for the purpose of player benchmarking and development tracking.
In addition, COPA will serve as the host for NorCal’s Annual General Meeting and become ground zero for several other regular NorCal events including coach, club, and referee education events as well as club meetings. “NorCal Premier is in a relentless pursuit of elevating the soccer landscape in Northern California. This partnership will enhance player and coach development while opening up new opportunities for players that fall through the cracks of player identification,” said COPA Walnut Creek facility manager Charlie Campbell. “COPA Soccer Training Center is honored to provide unparalleled access for NorCal Premier players, coaches, and clubs to leverage COPA STC’s world-class training and assessment technology that is only found at the world’s top clubs.”
COPA Innovation Laboratories is engaged in research, development, manufacturing, sales, service, and support of new athletic training tools and devices with an emphasis on equipment that can support data analytics and a quantitative approach to skills development in sports generally and in the company’s own COPA Soccer Training Center located in Walnut Creek, CA. COPA STC opened in January 2020 as a membership-based comprehensive soccer facility bringing together advanced soccer training tools, technologies, and training methodologies. Mind, body, and skills are assessed and measured in a quantitative fashion, with real-time results available for review by the parent, player, coach, and trainer. An indoor turf field and futsal courts are used to support the core training regimens, with competitive play opportunities through indoor soccer leagues, futsal leagues, and small-sided team play.
A California Nonprofit Benefit Corporation, NorCal Premier Soccer is the leading organization for developing players, clubs, coaches, and referees in the passionate soccer region that is Northern California. Through a membership of 250 different clubs, covering more than 80,000 competitive youth players, NorCal Premier Soccer provides an unmatched level of quality programs, assisting the development of the overall soccer structure in Northern California, including year-round competition, NorCal State Cup, a free Player Development Program, and a heavily-subsidized coach, referee, and club education program.
NorCal Premier Soccer’s Player Development Program is a free-of-cost initiative where the most talented and promising players from Northern California gather multiple times each month to train and play in a high-performance environment that better simulates the next level of their soccer careers. In addition, the teams often compete against academy squads from professional clubs and attend international youth tournaments. In 2017, NorCal’s Girls PDP State Team captured the prestigious Gothia Puma Trophy at the Gothia Cup in Sweden, while the Boys PDP State Team won the U18 B bracket of the tournament the following year.
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