Jimmy Carson has a passion for soccer, one that was shared by his late business partner Chris McGrath.
They opened the Sogility soccer training facility in Westfield at 16462 Southpark Dr. in 2019. The Fishers facility opened in Nov. 29, 2021 at 8766 E. 96th St.
“We were planning and prepping and doing everything we need to do to open up in Fishers and Chris got sick,” Carson said. “I poured myself into making it happen and thinking about all the things it could be.”
McGrath, a Noblesville resident who was the Guerin Catholic High School boys soccer coach, died Nov. 17, 2021, following approximately 45 days on a ventilator.
“From that moment forward, I said we were just going to try to live out Chris’ vision and provide as many children as we can with the opportunity to grow the game,” Carson said. “Obviously, technical development and being better at soccer is a good thing. But I think we are doing more than that. I think we are helping to develop confidence. We see them grow and mature.
“It’s great to see how they carry themselves in the door after a few months of training. They feel empowered.”
The name Sogility is derived from a combination of soccer and agility.
“The root of everything we do is soccer-based,” Carson said. “We have other athletes who benefit from athletic development, but our main goal is working with soccer athletes.”
McGrath founded Sogility in early 2019, and then Carson joined that summer. He began working with McGrath on the Sogility concept after the facility was open. Carson said McGrath, a business attorney, had more experience with the business side while his experience was in training and coaching.
“I had that soccer itch and wanted to do this full time and pour myself into what is my real passion,” said Carson, who lives in Westfield near Sogility. “My family helped start some of the leagues when my grandfather moved to this country from Scotland in 1967. Fifty-four years later, I’m still trying to better the game and help players get better.”
Carson, 41, said he is proud of what the business has grown into from a standpoint of what it provides to youth players and even professional players who train at the facility in the offseason.
“Our goal is to grow the love of the game and give kids a soccer community to call home and play and get their extra training in,” Carson said. “The world has changed a great deal over time. Kids can’t just be kids and go play by themselves in the park. Having a soccer community where they can feel safe and parents can feel their kids having a place to play is what we’re all about.”
Carson said he wants to expand into other communities to provide more opportunities for player development.
“We use technology as a tool for player development, so we find some of the best equipment around the world,” Carson said. “We bring that here so a player can use the same equipment as (Lionel) Messi was using in Barcelona. We all know technology is such a big part of children’s lives in these days. They are not likely to go into the backyard and just work on skills, kick balls off the fence. So now we have technology as a tool to gain their attention and their desire and passion to change.”
Carson and his wife, Amy, who also works at Sogility, played soccer at the University of Indianapolis. Carson played soccer at Lawrence North High School.
“I grew up directly across from the Fishers facility, so it’s been kind of cool to come home,” Carson said. “There are a lot of kids I went to high school with that have kids that are training, and I’m training their kids. It’s kind of come full circle.”
Jimmy Carson said through trial and error, Sogility has found the types of technology that work best for soccer training.
“We feel we landed on the sweet spot and offer six different types of training for players,” Carson said. “It’s pretty unique, and what parents enjoy is, they don’t have to go to six different places.”
The facility offers speed, strength and agility coaching, technical training and neuro-fitness training
Carson said Sogility partners with iFast, which stands for Indianapolis fitness and sports training, to help development.
Techtouch, which is 1-on-1 training with a certified Sogility trainer, is also offered. Sessions focus on the first touch with a purpose, turning, combination play, receiving balls out of the air and accurate passing.
There are members skills classes for small groups, and individual sessions focused on attacking skills. TOCA, a training method to improve touch, means in Spanish soccer to play fast.
“The (ITSZ ICONO) rings help me to check my shoulders, and the TOCAs (Techtouch training machines) are good because you can work on your touch and controlling the ball,” said Garet McCoy, a 12-year-old Camel soccer player. “I really like iFast because you can work your legs, core, and everything so you can be stronger on the field.”