Mentorship - Always at the forefront of our programs - mentorship is the foundational element within Next Level from which we build upon. Throughout our programs, our unique philosophy to enable and encourage high school and college student athletes to mentor the youth participants in our programs set us apart. Today, Next Level Sports Foundation employees over 1100+ high school and college student athletes who coach, mentor and oversee our youth participants in Next Level Flag Football and Next Level Basketball.
By focusing on them - our efforts can be measurable and quantifiable. All NLSF programs start and end with a 'Kid's First' perspective. If we hold ourselves accountable to creating a rich environment that focuses on these young participants first and foremost - we will not deviate from our mission and our goals.
Participating in sporting activities are more fun with friends! So why not encourage more overall participation by allowing friends to play with friends? Even further, we aim to provide an environment where new friendships can be formed and bonds can be established within a community. For many, lifelong friendships developed from those early years of playing sports together. At both levels, if we can encourage our youth to participate in an environment where friendships are abound - their participation and enjoyment will rise!
All kids deserve an opportunity. An opportunity to learn, to be educated, to play, to have fun, to cry, to laugh, to fall down and pick themselves back up. A driving mission of Next Level Sports Foundation is to provide youth with an opportunity to be active by playing sports in their community. Many of life's lessons are learn through sport - we can enable these teachings by simply providing an opportunity where one may not have existed before.
A community is much more then a social group! A community can teach, educate, mentor and hold it's members accountable. A vibrant and supportive community will inspire it's members thus creating an even richer and more deeply connected community. We are fortunate to have a platform which allows a community to develop 'connective tissue' and thus enriching it's cohesion. Through this cohesion, the vibrance of a community comes out for all to partake and benefit from.
Focus can be translated and applied many different ways within the NLSF structure. We keenly focus on the state and inclusion of the team yet we ask our participants to be focused and direct with their approach. At a more holistic level, we ask all of our volunteers, mentors, staff and coaches to apply focus on the individual. We have a saying at Next Level in that 'not everyone is created equal'. By focusing on our individuals within the context of our goals, we can achieve a higher level of impact. This is our ambition.
Without guidance, one may drift and wander. At the heart of each of our Next Level programs are great men and women who provide guidance and support to their community members. Through these men and women, participants can benefit from structure, organization, responsibility and accountability. They help provide the stewardship in tough and difficult times - lessons and understanding through both accomplishments and failures.
"Individual commitment to a group effort? That is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work." - Vince Lombardi
Winning and losing are prevalent in everything humans do. Why is it that we place such a value on 'winning' or 'losing' of a game for our young athletes these days? Playing sports should be fun and not measured by the W/L column. Let's focus on teamwork and the benefit of individual commitment to something greater then one's self. Where we can implement this viewpoint, great things can be achieved and special memories created.
Simply including a child in some activity is not nearly enough. Along the way, support and encouragement are vital. How many times have you heard a child ask 'did you see my catch/run/basket'? It is the continuation of support along the way that can provide the comfort and recognition that a child needs and deserves. NLSF and our structure seek to provide levels of support through our mentorship and guidance. In all aspects of our program, we need to answer that question with 'yes, I saw that and it was INCREDIBLE!'
We aim to support our youth, not just by providing them have a place to be dropped off.