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Mental Skills Program

Next Level Athletics offers a variety of mental skill training programs and services for athletes, coaches and parents designed to augment each individual’s experience of sport performance.
We provide performance enhancement services via presentations, workshops, classes, and consultation to athletic populations in the Denver and surrounding areas.  Our professional staff is credentialed by state licensing boards and/or former / current athletes, most of whom have competed in college, with a demonstrated passion for sport and a strong desire to help athletes and teams achieve their goals.
We offer a series of programs that are designed to educate athletes, coaches, and parents regarding how mental skills can enhance performance. Specifically, our programs.
Teach athletes how to excel at using mental skills.
Instruct coaches how to develop mental skills and mental toughness in their athletes.
Inform parents how to cultivate the development of mental skill and excellence in their children.

Sample Workshop / Mental Skill Topics:
·         Goal Setting
·         Managing Emotions
·         Thought Control
·         Imagery / Visualization
·         Increasing Motivation
·         Maintaining Confidence
·         Handling Performance Pressure
·         Mental Preparation For Competition
·         Developing Mental Toughness         
·         Team Building        
·         Excellence in Sport Parenting


SPARQ has quickly become the standard in testing and training protocols across the country.  Used to help athletes of all ages discover where they rank, SPARQ has developed a rating system that is specific to each sport and gives you a rating that can compare you across the country to other athletes in your sport. At Impact Sports Performance you can get an official SPARQ Rating as we are SPARQ Certified Trainers.  Along with your rating you will have the ability to create your own Locker Room page where you can upload stats, photos, videos and more.  Visit them at www.sparqtraining.com.

Study shows physical and mental health benefits of sports participation in adolescents
22. September 2010 08:48
First study to show physical and mental health benefits of sports participation in 12- to 14-year-old adolescents
Taking part in sports is good all round for young teens: physically, socially, and mentally, according to a new study by Dr. Keith Zullig and Rebecca White from West Virginia University in the US. Their research shows that middle-school teenagers who are physically active and play on sports teams are more satisfied with their life and feel healthier. Zullig and White’s paper is published online in Springer’s journal Applied Research in Quality of Life.
Although the benefits of physical activity are well documented among teenagers, middle school children are an understudied population in adolescent physical activity research. The authors explored the relationship between physical activity (including sports participation), life satisfaction and self-rated health concurrently, for the first time, among 245 middle school students in grades 7 and 8. The 12- to 14-year-old boys and girls were asked to fill in questionnaires assessing their physical activity levels, their overall satisfaction with life and asking them to describe their own health.
In boys, participation in vigorous activity had no effect on either life satisfaction or self-rated health. In girls, those who had taken part in vigorous activity in the last week were significantly more satisfied with their life compared to girls who had not, but participation in vigorous activity had no effect on their self-rated health.
Playing on a sports team was linked to higher life satisfaction in both boys and girls. In addition, boys were five times more likely, and girls 30 times more likely, to describe their health as fair/poor when they were not playing on a sports team.
The authors conclude: “Our study demonstrates the benefits of youth sports participation on self-rated health and life satisfaction among young youth at a critical juncture in adolescent development. Our findings suggest that sports team participation may enhance school connectedness, social support and bonding among friends and teammates.”
SOURCE West Virginia University



Basketball is a wonderful active sport that keeps kids engaged and moving. There are so many benefits to playing basketball for kids of all ages. Basketball is a fun team sport that teaches kids to work together and play off of each others skills. By learning basketball your child will gain confidence and athletic ability that playing sport can foster.
Kids who play basketball learn how to be more assertive. This is especially good for girls. In basketball you have to steal the ball from the other team. The only way to do that is get in and grab it. Often this is a hard skill for girls to learn as many girls are not encouraged to be assertive when they are younger.
Basketball season runs through the winter months, so it is a great sport for kids to get involved with to stay active when it is cold outside. Often kids spend the winter locked indoors watching television and playing video games. Since basketball is an active sport it can keep kids in shape and having fun all through the winter.
Playing basketball relies heavily on team skills. The kids have to work together and look for other teammates to help them out. Getting a basket will often take the entire teams effort. Some teammates will be blocking the other team from trying to get the ball. Others will try and get close to the net and be open if a chance comes to make a shot. Whoever has the ball has to be aware of their teammates and where they are in the play. Basketball teams tend to foster deeper friendships between players because they start to develop a level of trust with each other on the court.
Joining a basketball team requires kids to learn about commitments. Because teams rely on each other so much it is imperative that kids make all their practices and are ready to go on time. They learn about time management and the value of keeping promises.
Team sports like basketball are most effective when there is positive reinforcement. The best coaches will encourage the kids when they are doing a good job and give them constructive advice when they make a mistake. A great coach can really instill confidence in the players, which will make them stronger in other areas of their lives.
When your child is on a basketball team, this can translate into fun family activities as well. Taking your child down to the park to shoot some hoops together can be a fun way for the family to spend some time out of the house. Keeping it fun and light will show your child that you are interested in what they are interested in and want to be a part of it.
There are so many benefits to the game of basketball, especially for kids. When your kids are involved with youth sports they tend to stay out of trouble, do better in school and stay healthy and in shape.


Classes begin with a warm up which may include jumping rope, footwork drills or shadowboxing. During class, students work on combinations drills on the heavy bag, speed bag, training dummy, double end bag and maze ball. Other exercises may also include head movement drills, counter punching drills, parrying, footwork drills and focus mitts. Classes usually end with stretching, conditioning or questions about the science taught during that lesson.

Boxing History & Origin

Archaeological and documented evidence suggests boxing had existed in the Mediterranean since around 1500 BC, when boxing was documented in ancient Egypt and Greece. 

First accepted as an Olympic sport in 688 BC, participants trained on punching bags. Fighters wore leather straps over their hands, wrists, and sometimes breast, to protect them from injury. The straps left their fingers free.

Eventually, fist fighting became so popular that even aristocrats started fighting, but the practice was eventually banned by the Caesar Augustus. In 500 A.D., the sport was banned altogether by christian Theodoric the Great.

After decades the art of Boxing re-emerged in Asia and Europe, and over the centuries it continued to evolve as a sport and grow in popularity. In 1743, a London based organization implemented official rules to protect the safety of the contestants. In 1867 lightweight, middleweight and heavyweight divisions were first used and rules were modified resembling the rules of today.

With the gradual acceptance of formalized rules, two distinct branches of boxing emerged; Professional Boxing and Olympic Boxing.

Olympic Boxing

Olympic (or Amateur) boxing has a point scoring system rather than physical damage or knockouts. Bouts comprise of four or three two-minute rounds, with a one-minute interval between rounds.

Competitors wear protective headgear and gloves with a white strip across the knuckle. A punch is considered a scoring punch only when the boxers connect with the white portion of the gloves. Each punch that lands on the head or torso is awarded a point if it is awarded by three judges within 1 second of each other, otherwise no point is awarded. A boxing referee monitors the fight to ensure that competitors use only legal blows. Referees also ensure that the boxers use only legal holding tactics (clinching) to prevent the opponent from swinging. 

Referees will stop the bout if a boxer is seriously injured, if one boxer is significantly dominating the other or if the score is severely imbalanced.


Benefits of Football: Why Playing Football is good for You

We cannot deny the fact that football is one of the most popular sports in the world. In fact, in this country, you will hardly know anyone who does not love or know about this game. This sport has transcended from just being a game to being a part of the American culture and heritage.
One of the probable reasons for football’s popularity is the fact that it has a wide variety of benefits. Playing football offers different kinds of advantages in terms of physical health, mental well-being, meeting new people, and so many more.
For you to get to know more about the top benefits one can get from playing this well-loved sport, here are some of them:
Physical health
Because football is a contact sport that is highly physical in nature, it is obvious that playing this sport will endow you with various physical health benefits. Some of the important physical skills that you will develop and acquire from playing this game regularly are speed, balance, strength, agility, stamina, quickness, and endurance.
Children who play football at a young age grow up to be athletic and physically able adults compared to those who did not have any experience in playing this or any other sport. These physical skills come in handy with everyday life as they can use this to play other sports or have an edge on their career of choice.
Aside from that, those who play football have fewer risks of acquiring health problems such as osteoporosis, heart ailments, hypertension and circulatory disorders. This is because football is a very good form of physical exercise that can prevent these diseases.
Mental well-being
Football has positive effects not only on a person’s physical health but also on his mental well-being. Those who play football regularly are proved to be less prone to succumb to depression, probably because the adrenaline rush they get from playing this game is enough to keep their moods up.
Positive values
Football also teaches many life lessons and positive values that can be of great use for life in general. One of these is open communication. Because football is a team sport, it requires proper communication among the team players for them to have a better chance to achieve victory.
In addition, this sport also teaches players the value of sportsmanship, how to be a humble winner and a gracious loser. In this sport, people learn how not to boast about their victory, and what to do to accept defeat. Footballers learn to take responsibility for their loss and not to blame external factors for this.
Determination, responsibility, and patience are other positive virtues that one can learn from this sport. All these positive values translate well into real life as the person learns how to handle problems and challenges in everyday situations properly.
Friendships and bonds
It is also through playing football that you will be able to meet lifelong friends and form lasting friendships that you will surely treasure. Your teammates are the ones whom you spend a lot of your time with and eventually, you will come to know them and be close friends with them to the point that you will feel like they are family.
The people you would meet during football games aside from your teammates such as your coach and the supporters of your team would also become some of the closest friends you will ever get to have.
For some people, football is merely a dangerous and rough contact sport. But those who know the real value of this sport look at it in a different manner. After all, that danger can be lessened with proper protective gear such as wearing of NFL helmets and strict adherence to the rules of the game. But the advantages of this sport can never be overlooked no matter what.


Wrestling has been popular throughout recorded history. Origins of the sport can be traced back 15,000 years to cave drawings in France. Early Egyptian and Babylonian reliefs depict wrestlers using most of the holds known to the present-day sport. In ancient Greece, wrestling occupied a prominent place in legend and literature; wrestling competition, brutal in many aspects, was the supreme contest of the Olympic Games. The ancient Romans borrowed heavily from Greek wrestling, but eliminated much of its brutality. During the Middle Ages wrestling remained popular and enjoyed the patronage of many royal houses, including those of France, Japan, and England.
Early American settlers brought a strong wrestling tradition with them from England. The colonists also found wrestling quite popular among the Native Americans. Amateur wrestling flourished throughout the early years of the nation, and served as a popular activity at country fairs, holiday celebrations, and in military exercises. Of the early American styles, only the catch-as-catch-can style survives, and it has evolved into the modern form of collegiate wrestling.
The first organized national wrestling tournament was held in New York City in 1888, while the first wrestling competition in the modern Olympic Games was held in 1904 in Saint Louis, Missouri. FILA was founded in 1912 in Antwerp, Belgium. The first NCAA Wrestling Championships were also held in 1912 in Ames, Iowa. USA Wrestling became the national governing body of amateur wrestling in 1983, and conducts competitions for all age levels.


Volleyball’s beginnings occurred at a YMCA in the USA in 1895, it was a combination of basketball, baseball, tennis and handball. Volleyball was introduced into the 1964 Tokyo Olympic Games. The Australian Olympic record stands at one Bronze (1996) and one Gold (2000) both in women’s beach volleyball.

Why Play Volleyball?

Participation in volleyball provides people with a special opportunity to enhance physical health while learning the value of teamwork, composure, and perseverance. Volleyball is a great game for building character. Individuals who learn how to play and excel in volleyball can also develop habits and attitudes which will help them succeed in other areas of life. Volleyball players learn the value of teamwork because success and teamwork in volleyball are inseparable. Volleyball is open to any one to play, it is a fun game and easy to learn. It consists of serving, setting, hitting, blocking and individual defense.