Next Level Sports

Testimonials

As much as we'd like to gloat about how great the Next Level Flag Football program is, we actually prefer that members of our community do it for us!

All joking aside, some heartfelt 'thanks' and thoughts from members of the Next Level Family:

************************************************************************************************************************************************************

My own coaching career started in 1980 as a high school freshman as assistant coach for Rod's 4th grade basketball team at Notre Dame Elementary. I later served as the tennis coach at Santa Clara University for many years and I have worked extensively with the Positive Coaching Alliance. More recently, I have officially and unofficially coached all of my siblings' kids in their numerous athletic endeavors. 

Patrick, I do not list all of this information to establish my bona fides as an athlete, coach, fan or uncle. Rather, I share my extensive experience because I enjoyed several of Johnny games this season - both at Serra and CSM - and I am so impressed by what I witnessed in your flag football league. Without compromising the intensity, energy and competitiveness of the sport, the teams demonstrated sportsmanship, fair play and balanced participation. From a distance, it appears to me that you have captured the appropriate ethos of youth sports better than any league I have ever witnessed. 

Though a big fan, I never played organized football. I never realized how the cadence of play actually allows for balanced participation from all the kids:

The boys played both offense and defense. 
- The "stars" were not allowed to dominate the action at the expense of the other children's experience. 
- There really seemed to be cooperation between opposing coaches to create a great athletic experience for the boys. (This was a relief to me as Rod's opposing coach, Josh Rowell, is a good friend I play basketball with...and I didn't want to see those two competitive dads going at it!).
 
After years of watching parents and coaches getting carried away at young kids' soccer, football, basketball, lacrosse games, watching your league's games has been so refreshing. These boys are 6- and 7-year-olds who just enjoyed a great season with their new buddies! They competed hard, they improved a lot, they had fun. That's what they should remember. You and your staff have created those memories.

Thanks,
Sean
************************************************************************************************************************************************************

 Patrick,
 I wanted to give you some info on our high school coach Mitchell Allan. He is going to be a Sr. at SRV and is the starting linebacker. Since day one of Next Level he has been incredible with the kids. We have had team dinners with all the families and players, he has a friend of his take action photos of the kids during the games and even has a parent film our games. It is exciting to see all of our 4th grade Cardinal players look up to him and get excited for Sundays!! The kids also can't wait for the high school season to start to they can go watch Mitchell play.  Hopefully all the other teams are having as great of an experience as we are..

Thanks again,
Bobby


************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Patrick,
Thanks for your vision and creating this league. I have often said that the younger kids get so much exposure to the other sports (soccer, baseball, basketball, even rugby) and are not learning about football until they are a bit older. I love that our 8 year old is drawing x's and o's. I also appreciate your thoughtfulness as well in getting all the kids the ball, it builds confidence and self-esteem that they all NEED.
 
Cheers from a Mom who loves football!

************************************************************************************************************************************************************

Great league tons of fun. I have coached my so for 3 years. He always says he wants ME to be his coach. These last 2 weeks as a parent assistant coach and watching what Kevin our high School head offensive coach is doing has been amazing. My son Bradley said the last two weeks of football have been the most fun EVER and he loves it.  We have played previously in another league twice a year for 2 seasons a year that is 16 games a year for 3 years and only lost 4 games. I am seeing we spent too much time on JUST WINNING!!  The Next Level is GREAT!!

************************************************************************************************************************************************************

"As we have discussed, I am a big fan of the Next Level Flag Football Program, which I believe strikes the right balance between competition and fun.  Coach Walsh did something on Sunday in my son's game that epitomizes why this is the case.  Let me set the stage,  my son's team was trailing at halftime 47-0 and they were obviously discouraged.  They got the ball at the beginning of the 2nd half and went on a little drive, and were on about the 5 yard line.  On 4th down, my son caught a short pass, made a move towards the endzone, and while he and the ball were in the endzone, his flag was pulled by an opposing player who had both feet out of the endzone.  This is not a touchdown under the Next Level rules (despite what my son.may think), and the referee correctly called it as such. 
 
However, Coach Walsh, who was at the other end of our field and obviously knew the score, blew his whistle and signaled TD and then ran to my son, gave him a high-5 and a hug.  Obviously, this made my son feel great (he now thinks he is going to be starting opposite Crabtree for the Niners next year), but gave a huge boost to the rest of the team.  They ended up scoring several more times in the 2nd half, probably played their best half of football all year, and made the game moderately competitive. 
 
In my view of the world, the primary purpose of youth sports is to teach kids how to compete, one aspect of which is to give your best effort at all times no matter the score or the odds.  What Coach Walsh did reinforced this idea to a great extent, and despite the loss they actually felt very good about the game."

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

"Hi Coach Walsh,

My son played Next Level Flag Football this year for the first time. He was in the 3rd Grade Division. What an amazing experience he had, THANK YOU! He of course loved winning the Next Level Championship Game but what he loved more was playing and being a part of this team. What an amazing Coach, boys and families. It was a great fit for him. Your opening day locker room speech was perfect. What a great message for the boys!

My son has always been such a shy/nervous, “at first” kind of boy. His lack of self confidence, in the past, could stop him dead in his tracks. As he is getting older and continues to branch out he is leaning to manage his fears and continue to grow from them. He was hesitant the first practice but managed his way in after a few minutes. Coach Dom was amazing with my son and so very welcoming as were all the kids and families. He made friends on this team that he has already hung out with post season and we are now planning summer camps with. You will for sure be seeing us up at Next Level this summer.  

 This was just a long way of letting you know what an amazing experience we had watching our son and ALL the kids on the field. You have put together a wonderful program and it is run so smoothly. I love that is not only football fun but also a chance for the boys to learn from the Serra Player, Coach Dom, and all the other students. It gives the boys someone to look up to and something to strive towards. I use to watch my brother on the football field at Serra so it was fun to be there again!

Until next season!

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

"Before the chaos of the end of the season, and hopefully to have a positive email land in your inbox we wanted to write and thank you for another incredible year of next level flag football.  We were thoroughly impressed last year with how well run, organized and thoughtful the program was in in its FIRST year.  Better than some sports programs that have been around for many years.  And this year was no different!

I love that you continue to strive to teach our children positive behavior, good attitudes, the love of the game (vs. just winning!), team playing, and just having plain old fun!  I think a key element of your program is having the student coaches.  It hopefully helps remove the parent coaches one step and provides a perspective to our children that they can't get anywhere else.  And, to play on the Serra football field where my boys have watched many a game...what more can we ask for?

Again, thank you for the behind the scenes countless hours you both have put into the program and for your Sunday hours on the field and constant presence, especially in your "off season",  Coach Walsh.  It has been a wonderful season once again.  My boys love it and look forward to it every Sunday.

Now go Buckeyes and go Bulldogs!

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

"Hi Coach Walsh-
 
I wanted to thank you for giving my son a great introduction to flag football today. He is in the Kindergarten division and had so much fun! I talked to all of the other Kindergarten parents from the Carey School who have kids participating and everyone was really impressed by the program. The boys were so excited to play on the field they watch through the fence everyday :) 
 
Thank you for your hard work in putting this together and introducing our kids to football in such a positive way. It's going to be an amazing experience for them!

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

My son Thomas plays in the 5th Grade Division, and I wanted you to know how neat it was for him when you singled him out after the game for his touchdown run and even lifted him up on your shoulder.  You would have thought he won the Super Bowl he was so happy!  I really appreciate the positive reinforcement.  We love the NL program. 

Many thanks!

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

"Thanks for a great season.  My son played for the Baylor Bears and, despite our struggles, absolutely fell in love with football this season.  I appreciate the fact that you keep score, don’t have a mercy rule, post the standings and only give one trophy.  That’s how it works in the real world and your approach is refreshing after all the soft youth leagues the kids play in these days.  The Bears learned the hard way this year but the win yesterday was very sweet for the boys and they’ll be ready to go next season.  SON's NAME will be thrilled beyond belief about the mention you gave the team in the blog."

*******************************************************************************************************************************************************************************************

"We have had 110% great experiences with NL.  From summer camps (I meant to send an email about Josh's coach last summer - he made Josh feel confident about football on so many levels) to the Winter League (amazing coaches - especially the Serra student coach! -- and teammates).  We are thrilled to have an opportunity for Josh to play flag vs. tackle.  

Thanks for giving him this opportunity!"