July 24, 2008
Bradenton, FLa-On the basketball court, rising senior Mara Freshour goes after what she wants, whether it’s that coveted rebound, the perfect pass or that ever-so-needed three-pointer from the corner. She’s an aggressive player who is a member of a recruiting class that has the chance to be the first in FSU history to participate in the NCAA Tournament all four years. Her desire for excellence is just as obvious in the classroom. A three-time ACC Honor Roll member and two-time member of the ACC All-Academic Team, Freshour goes after what she wants academically and she usually gets it. So when Freshour was told she needed an internship in order to graduate next spring, she set her sights on the IMG Sports Academy.
Located in Bradenton, Fla., IMG is not only an academy that coaches and prepares youth athletes, it is also a practice facility that many professional athletes use to train. Spread over 300 acres in Florida, athletes from over 80 countries travel to IMG to step up their game. With over 15 different academies in Florida, IMG Sports Academy caters to many different professional and amateur athletes.
“IMG offers multiple sports and works with every age group,” Freshour said. “Summer time is mostly camps, but they can stay the entire summer if they like or as little as a week. The kids that come in the fall stay the whole school year and they have three options of schools that they can attend. The one on campus is the University of Miami and the other two are private high schools. A lot of pro’s come and train here so you see them walking around on campus quite frequently.”
Freshour was first introduced to IMG’s level of greatness last fall when two consultants from the Academy came to work with the Seminoles to help with mental conditioning and a program called GameOn. Later in the school year, the Seminoles traveled to IMG Sports Academy to use its practice facility and Freshour landed her internship. A sports management major, Freshour is earning school credit with the internship. Although there is no cash allowance, IMG is paying for her living and meal arrangements.
“No day is the same,” Freshour said. “I have to be ready to be anywhere and help out with any athlete or session. It can be as complex as dealing with financial databases or as simple as recording an athlete or making phone calls. No matter what the task is, I am always learning something new and gaining hands on experience.”
Having been with IMG for just over a month, Freshour is adjusting well to a new city, the campus and overall environment. Freshour has yet to decide what career path she will take but feels that IMG Sports Academy is definitely a possibility. She hopes that with this internship, she will gain real-world work experience, learn office dynamics, build connections and resources and narrow down career choices.
“The resources and connections that I am making down here are priceless,” Freshour said.