The more you do something the better you become at it is a pretty common phrase that can be applied to most situations and abilities in life. Amanda Zager, who spent the first two years of high school at Staples, is going to test the athletic extent of that theory this fall when she embarks on an unusual adventure.

Zager will spend her junior and senior years at IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida playing soccer. Her dream is to play in college, and she hopes this avenue will provide a more direct route than the traditional one.

The school at IMG Academy was founded in 1999 and most of their varsity programs are new and nationally ranked. Their facilities are some of the best in the country; tuition is $70,800 for a student that boards there and participates in athletics, according to their website.

“I’m excited for the experience because I’m going to be around a bunch of people who passionate, and top quality coaches,” Zager said. “I feel like I fit in with the soccer community here.”

Zager, a striker, was on Staples’ junior varsity team last fall, but struggled to get on the field and make an impact. Her next season was in the spring with her club team, Connecticut FC, but she suffered a concussion in the second game and missed the entire season.

Back to full health in the summer, Zager accompanied her younger brother to IMG to patriciate in a camp. The coaches there saw her play and asked if she would be interested in attending the school.

“I wanted to get used to playing all the time,” Zager said. “A person from IMG came up to me and said they were very interested. At first I wasn’t interested; I looked into it and realized this could be an amazing opportunity.”

The program involves training several hours per day in the fall with tours to follow across the world in the winter and spring.

The program has a nutritionist who helps keep its athletes in top shape. Zager added she’s looking forward to traveling across the country and to Europe to develop her game.

Zager will join former Westporter Louis Colosimo at the academy. Colosimo is also a junior at the program and is a quarterback on the football team.

Colosimo — a former standout in the Westport PAL program — made the move down to the Florida with his family after his freshman year at Staples. With his parents owning a home 30 minutes away from the school, the transition was less stark for Colosimo.

Like Zager, Colosimo was interested in the program after attending a summer camp there. His came in eighth grade while on a family vacation, and quickly fell in love with the facilities.

“Everything was impressive,” Colosimo said. “The facilities are phenomenal and competition is great. The normal high school football experience is different boarding school, but here we’re playing against great competition.”

After moving to IMG for his sophomore year, Colosimo played for the junior varsity team. He had eight touchdowns and one interception in four games as he got his feet wet against some of the stronger programs in the country.

“He’s very cerebral and smart,” said IMG quarterbacks coach Adam Behrens. “He understands what he’s supposed to do, he’s very coachable and it doesn’t take long for him to fix something. He’s not a loud guy, but he’s a leader and when he speaks everyone listens.”

Football camps were first held at IMG in 2010. The program began in 2013 and has quickly attracted some of the best players from across the country.

Colosimo is the backup quarterback behind Shea Patterson, the No. 1 high school recruit in the country who is committed to the University of Mississippi. Colosimo — who is looking to land with an Ivy League or small FBS school — believes the experience training with Patterson is invaluable.

“It’s really good getting to learn from Patterson; to see what he does on and off the field,” Colosimo said. “He’s a great quarterback and a student of the game. One of the main reasons for coming to IMG is the exposure.”