The APP has demonstrated its dedication to the advancement of professional pickleball by introducing the first-ever APP Next Gen National Team. This team comprises 12 talented and ambitious pickleball players aged 16 to 23.
The selection process for the APP Next Gen National Team took into account several factors, such as current rankings and ratings, tournament achievements, results from the APP Next Gen Series, head-to-head match outcomes, and overall potential for growth.
As part of their membership, team members will have the opportunity to participate in training camps, receive valuable coaching and mentoring, undergo testing and evaluation, and even travel internationally to compete in the 2023 English Open, powered by the APP. The APP Next Gen Series serves as a platform for aspiring pickleball professionals in the 16-23 age range, providing them with an avenue to enhance their skills and pursue their dreams in the sport.
The lucky 12 are:
|Jack Foster (Vero Beach, FL)||Emily Ackerman (Thousand Oaks, CA)|
|Spencer Lanier (Newberg, OR)||Riley Bohnert (Louisville, KY)|
|Richard Livornese (Ringoes, NJ)||Alia Brown (Alpharetta, GA)|
|Cameron Luhring (Parkersburg, IA)||Ava Kalist (Chambersburg, PA)|
|Jack Munro (Buda, TX)||Alli Phillips (Hyde Park, UT)|
|Kaden Seward (Joplin, MO)||Ivy Tschetter (White Bear Lake, MN)|
Ken Herrmann, the Founder of APP and a former member of the USTA National Player Development coaching staff between 1994 and 1999, has been appointed as the Director of the team. His extensive experience and expertise make him an ideal choice for guiding the young talents towards their professional aspirations.
Joining him as Head Coaches for the 2023 team are Chad Edwards and Adam Stone, both renowned figures in the pickleball world. Edwards, a former collegiate coach, and the current APP Tour broadcaster, brings his wealth of knowledge and coaching skills to nurture the team members. Stone is a former top-ten APP pro, and adds valuable insights from his successful playing career to help shape the team’s performance.
With such an accomplished leadership team, the APP Next Gen National Team is well-positioned to provide exceptional coaching and guidance to aspiring pickleball professionals, facilitating their growth and development in the sport.
A Pathway Of Success
“My vision for the APP has always been to create a pathway of success for each player, regardless of one’s level of play,” Herrmann said. “From amateurs to professionals, all players have personal goals they are hoping to achieve – it has been a privilege to provide a platform that enables each player’s growth towards achieving their goals.
“The APP Next Gen National Team creates a development pathway for players ages 16-23 who are establishing themselves on the professional scene. With a specific year-long player development program that consists of training camps, video analysis, on-site coaching at APP Tour stops, and gaining international experience (including the 2023 English Open Powered by The APP), it is the APP’s strong intent to continue this pathway of success for those selected this year and create motivation for younger players coming up the ranks.”
To ensure optimal readiness for upcoming events, members of the APP Next Gen National Team will undergo three camps throughout 2023. These camps will be strategically held at significant locations, including the US Open in Naples, FL, the USA Pickleball Nationals in the fall of 2023, and a summer camp in Utah.
Tests And Evaluations
During these camps, team members will be subjected to a series of tests and evaluations to assess their individual strengths as well as areas for physical and athletic enhancements.
Selection to the APP Next Gen National Team grants players a one-year membership, with the possibility of extending it for a second year based on a comprehensive year-end player review. This review process takes into account various factors, such as performance and progress, enabling the team to make informed decisions about team composition and continued support for the players.
By providing these carefully designed camps and a thorough evaluation process, the APP Next Gen National Team aims to empower its members to excel in their pickleball careers and maximize their potential for success.
“As pickleball continues to grow globally, the importance of competing internationally is huge,” Herrmann added. “Taking all 12 members of the APP Next Gen National Team with the coaching staff to this summer’s English Open will provide a great teaching experience when traveling abroad. Competing against international opponents on foreign soil will be an incredible learning experience for these aspiring professionals.”
The APP Next Gen Series
In 2021, the APP introduced the APP Next Gen Series, a platform dedicated to nurturing aspiring professional pickleball players. This series features prize-money tournaments accompanied by educational seminars, aimed at providing mentorship to all participants interested in pursuing a career in the sport. To enhance accessibility and reach, the APP partnered with the highly successful Chicken N Pickle establishments across the United States to host these tournaments.
Building upon the success of the series, the 2023 schedule includes three additional APP Next Gen events, strategically scheduled in San Antonio in February, Kansas City in July, and Dallas in November. These tournaments serve as key milestones within the circuit, offering valuable opportunities for players to showcase their skills and receive guidance.
Expanding on the foundation laid by the APP Next Gen Series, the APP Next Gen National Team takes mentoring and training to the next level. With a primary focus on fostering growth, the APP is committed to investing in the development program. This commitment goes beyond financial support, as ongoing mentorship is provided to ensure a solid foundation for the success of the team members.
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