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Sunday, 31Jan10


R-E-S-T Day


My passion and primary focus is on Functional Development!  ~  Coach Donald & the philosophy behind Nxt Level Performance

The reason for this is that optimum athletic development is just being the most functional person that you can be.  So it doesn’t matter if you’re a 6 year old soccer player, a Division I Softball player, or a retired grandma.  The better your body functions, the better athlete you’ll be, and the better you will perform in sport or life. In our adult program we concentrate on functional competence.

              This in no way means that the above examples would have “cookie-cutter” programs, it means that we identify the things that are limiting physical performance and remove them.  This always starts assessing a persons movement pattern and particular testing to gather baseline information.  We do this to prove that the program you  follow is improving your basic human movement skills.  If it’s not, it’s the wrong thing for you.  Testing, correcting, and re-testing assures results.  Anything else is guesswork. At NLP we don’t use the Sparq method, or the Parisi system, we use what works for us at NLP is teaching our kids basic biomotor skills using  High Intensity Interval Training coupled with speed, agility & quickness (SAQ) training.

              Although I have worked with people who’s backgrounds range from college sports athletes to post-surgical geriatrics, my passion and primary focus is on Youth Athletic Development.  In this writitng my focus will be on the young athlete. My hope is that the information presented on this website will help people think beyond just strength and conditioning for children.  Children are not just short adults.


              Putting an  8 year old that happens to play baseball on your favorite professional baseball players strength and conditioning workout is far removed from what that child needs.  Why, because the only way that  kid won’t be stronger, faster, and have more endurance when he or she turns 9 is if we as coaches mess them up.  Coordination will ultimately determine athletic success (at least from a physical standpoint).  It’s not that strength and conditioning isn’t important, it’s that it’s happening as a natural part of the growth process, so why put so much emphasis on something you don’t need to.  Most non-contact injuries occur during deceleration (force absorption) not acceleration (force generation).  So, if a child doesn’t land from a jump properly, then just making them stronger actually increases the risk of injury.  If they jump higher, they just land harder wrong.  Unfortunately, in almost any school weight room you will see kids being told to “squat more and deeper” with no emphasis on squatting properly.  Our kids are getting better and better at generating force and getting injured worse and more often.  Too much emphasis is placed on bio mechanical indicators and not enough on quality of movement.  Testing has become it’s own sport.  What does it matter how much a 9th grader benches?  They’ll do more next year.  But if you spend more time and effort with a kid improving their bench press than ensuring they have a properly functioning shoulder you’re contributing to the problem.  A child is unlikely to enjoy and become better at a sport if they’re sitting on the bench with an injury that could have been avoided through proper training. At Nxt Level Performance we emphasize on proper movement mechanics before they are allowed to touch an external load i.e.; weights, kettlebells etc.

                I don’t mean to give the impression that strength and conditioning aren’t important, they are.  But the unfortunate result of the wrong application is decreased athletic performance and injury.  Strength and conditioning is the cherry on top.  If the proper movement foundation is laid, strength makes everything better.  If it’s not, then it’s like putting a bigger engine in a car with a misaligned front end.  It’s just makes the crash more violent.  Moving well should always come first.

                 Now, if you’re a parent reading this, the most important thing to accept is that prodigies are born and not made.  If you’re child didn’t pick some outstanding parents they’re unlikely to become the next Michelle Wei, or Lebron James.  However, with proper training they can be the best athlete they’re capable of.  We approach this with age appropriate drills that focus on the critical and sensitive time periods for skill development.  This includes proper movement skills that improve performance and reduce injury, all aspects of coordination, reaction times, and strength development.



These are just two of many teams that train at our facility. Our boy’s team.


Our girl’s team. All of our teams work very hard and are realizing the results of  functional training. We are very proud of them at Nxt Level Performance.

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