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Player's Diary at IMG: Darnell King

By Nashville SC, 02/05/19, 10:00AM EST


Monday recap

While Nashville SC is at IMG Academy, will feature a “Player’s Diary from IMG” with an entry recapping each day from a different player. The entry will publish each morning.

The first entry is from defender and Florida native Darnell King. IMG Academy is an hour from where King went to High School at Gaither HS in Tampa.

My roommate is Daniel Rios, Mi Hermano. He is helping expand my Hispanic vocabulary. Gracias! (I know you don’t have to tell me, I’m good at it!)

Daniel and I wake up, speak a little, do the hygiene stuff (you know, teeth, face, etc.), then walk out to training. On our 7-minute walk to grab some breakfast, he plays his Reggaeton all the way to the cafeteria. Mind you, it’s 6:45 a.m. in the morning. I’m sure the neighbors loved it. Haha. 

We walk into the cafeteria, and it felt like I was back in college seeing all the kids doing their daily routine. IMG Academy is much different from when I played games here as a kid. There were only four fields when I played here, so it has changed drastically. Now, it’s like college before college. 

After breakfast, it’s off to the locker room. I was DJ’ing this morning so it’s important that you wake the guys up but don’t annoy them at the same time. Don’t worry “DJ D-Money” has it on lock! Only good vibes.

I had to get us hyped for one of my most favorite parts of training: RONDOS!!! (5v2) Getting in the grid with the boys is the best way to start practice. It gets us buzzing for the session, all smiles and jokes. You don’t want to be the guy in the middle before it’s time to warm up or you will hear from the rest of us, haha. 

At the start of training, we warm up and then break up into our offensive and defensive groups. Today, we worked on some footwork and defensive posture and then moved on to 2v2’s. From there, we moved in to attacking together, but stayed structured and mindful of our shape. It was a good morning session.

It was nice getting back to my sunny Florida. Nothing against the Music City, but you know this is my hometown. I haven’t had summer yet in Nashville, so I guess I will hold my tongue until then. BUT STILL!

We then had a little break after lunch, and it was back out for second session at 2 p.m. We worked on playing out of the back. I am still learning connections with the boys, but it is definitely starting to gel. From there, we did a little fitness, then had a gym session after that. Once again, IMG has come a long way. State of the art facility, and it’s awesome to see everyone on the same page. 

Overall, the BEST part of my day besides being on the pitch playing footy was when I stepped out of the gym and looked west to see the sun setting and giving the sky an orange-blueish color before it went black. My wife and I loved coming to the beach for sunsets and seeing this when we lived here, so it brought back nice memories.

Now just finishing dinner about to head back to the villa and teach these boys how to play some cards. I’ve got to teach the young ones life lessons.

Have a good day everyone! 

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