ImNext!! was an idea conceived out of a desire to address the biggest concerns I’ve heard from the athletes I coach. “We never get noticed” and “We live in NoWhere Town USA, we can’t get recruited from here”, are common attitudes I come across when discussing with the athletes where they are planning on playing after they graduate. They would list all the athletes they knew of across the state that are getting scholarships to go play somewhere, or being recruited by a number of different universities. Citing a list of reasons why they are better, and deserve the same respect.
In many cases, I found it hard not to agree with their frustrations. I have watched many exceptional athletes pass through our programs, only to land no further than the town they grew up in. Simply from a lack of attention to our school and programs, because we are not on anyone’s “radar”. I’ve spent hundreds, possibly thousands of hours developing individual highlight films for my players to do all I could to put them “out there”. But, I am never able to keep up with the demand for my help, or satisfy the concerns of my athletes.
Then one night I was up late working on a highlight film for one of my football players with the t.v. muted in the background. I sat back to take a break and just so happened to see a commercial that caught my attention. I saw an image of a tired athlete, then an image of a young athlete working as hard as the tired athlete, and it made me think of the “Cam Newton Commercial”. The one with the young boy telling him he is going to become Cam’s mother’s favorite player. Then the concept hit me, ImNext!!, that’s what that means. I decided that if I could create a website where my athletes could be found, and have them build their own social media sites to promote themselves, then I may be able to level the playing field for them a bit. And the theme would be to make the statement, ImNext!!
When I began writing notes I realized I didn’t want to limit this concept to a Sports Only opportunity. I admire many of the students in our school system for their own individual skills and talents. So I made a list of categories, and subcategories, of skills and talents that need to have the same platform and opportunities for recognition. When finished with my list, I realized there is no such thing as a complete list of talents or skills. But, I was satisfied my list did not overlook anyone I knew that could benefit from the opportunity I had to offer.
While developing the idea further with my brother, we came up with the idea to give away free domains to schools. To give each educational institution the opportunity to develop a site that will enable them to bring attention to their diverse group of talented students. And, allow each student to have their “day in the sun” by being featured on the school’s site. No school has to go unnoticed now, they just have to register with ImNext!! to be “put on the map”, and found in our search site. It’s our Mission at ImNext!! to turn every “NoWhere Town USA”, into a “NowHere Town USA”. Just encourage your students that they can’t be the first, but they could be the Next!! Then let’s see who’s really Next!!