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Tuesday, January 24, 2023

US Sports Football: Next Levels Formula For Speed


  • Author Brian C Powers

Maximizing speed potential can make a mediocre player good, and a good player great. This is one of the most highly sought after athletic qualities and for good reason. Philadelphia Eagles Football GIF by NFL - Find & Share on GIPHY 

Speed is one of the most devastating weapons an athlete can posses on the field, court, or ice. We have had tremendous success developing speed in our athletes by implementing the following formula.

  1. Develop relative body strength to a high level

  2. Mastering the basics of proper running mechanics

  3. Improving the body's Rate of Force development

  4. Attaining appropriate body composition levels.

  5. Structure your speed sessions appropriately

Now let's take a closer look at each variable of our speed formula.

Develop relative body strength to a high level

Being strong relative to your body weight is the foundation for almost every athletic quality. This will improve every aspect of your game, especially your first step and 10-15 yd acceleration. The more force you are capable of putting into the ground the faster you are going to move. A good starting point for lower body relative strength is a squat or dead lift between 1.5 to 2.0 x body weight for males, and 1.25 to 1.5 x body weight for females. More often than not, we see a steady improvement on speed tests as our athletes approach these numbers.

Mastering the basics of proper running mechanics

Weight training alone will not be enough for most athletes. Being proficient in proper running mechanics will enable the athlete to apply their strength in the most efficient manner as they put force into the ground. The more proficient you become the more your strength transfers to the field. That being said, most team sport athletes don't have to be a mirror image of Usain Bolt to maximize their speed potential. I have never seen Usain change directions, contact a competitor, or have a stick or ball in his hand. Put the majority of your focus on mastering the basics and you will be surprised how far it will take you.

Improving the body's Rate of Force development

Once a foundation of relative strength and proper running mechanics has been established, it is important to train the body to wake up its sprinting muscles by recruiting the appropriate motor units quickly. The faster you can recruit a group of muscles the faster you will accelerate, jump, and change directions. This can be accomplished with a variety of exercises and drills including: Olympic lifts, box jumps, position specific plyometrics, and exercises done in the "power range."

Attaining appropriate body composition levels.

To be blunt, fat people are not fast people. By attaining the appropriate body fat percentage you won't waste the force you are putting into the ground by dragging around any extra baggage. It would be the same concept as a NASCAR team going to great lengths to put together the best car in the world, then lining up at the starting line with a Uhaul trailer attached to it. Just be sure to attain your body composition goals through appropriate nutritional strategies and energy system work. One of the worst things an athlete can do to improve speed is to drop body fat by doing excessive, slow paced, cardio.

Structure your speed sessions appropriately

One of the most common mistakes athletes make is confusing speed work with conditioning work. When developing speed you are trying to teach your body to run at 100% of its capability. This is not possible if the athlete is not completely recovered between sprints. At Next Level we generally stick to a 1:12 to 1:30 work to rest ratio during speed workouts. So if your sprint takes 5 seconds to complete, be sure to rest 60 to 150 seconds.

Hopefully these tips will help you maximize your speed development. By implementing the formula above, Next Level athletes routinely drop.02 seconds off their 40 time in one off-season. (more for females!) How much better would your game be if you improved from a 4.8 second 40 to a 4.6? If you are a local athlete who is interested in participating in one of our speed development programs, contact us at 303-237-3390.

Best of luck in your training endeavors.

  • Brian Powers

In 2001, Brian studied and interned under the world renown strength coach Charles Poliquin, as well as local NFL combine preparation specialist, Jim Warren. In 2002, Brian founded Next Level Performance and put his education and experience into practice, producing two collegiate All-Americans in the first year of operation. Next Levels website can be found at

Today's Devotional: We Can Walk Away, But He Never Will


Walking Away From God

Our heavenly Father will always lovingly and joyfully welcome repentant wanderers. From Intouch Ministries

Luke 15:20-32

When we insist on going our own way, God will let us—much like the father in the Parable of the Prodigal Son. Our heavenly Father will not force us to remain with Him. So, what happens if we move outside of God’s plan? 

Our fellowship with the Father is significantly affected. The prodigal son was no longer in close contact with his dad; their relationship was not as important to him as it once had been. If we wander from the Lord, we will also experience a disconnect with our heavenly Father. 

Our resources—time, talent, and treasure—are wasted. The wayward son squandered his money on frivolous things and ended up worse off than the laborers at his father’s house. In the same way, God gives us spiritual gifts, resources, and guidance to build His kingdom, but pursuing our own plan wastes what He has given us. 

Our deepest needs go unmet. Chasing after dreams that don’t align with God’s will lead to discontent. Only in Christ can we find true fulfillment. 

Poor choices have consequences, but they need not dictate our future. Our heavenly Father never gives up on his children. He will welcome us with great joy and love when we turn back to Him.

Bible in One Year: Exodus 25-27

US Sports Affiliate Partner Spotlight: Dr. Berg

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Monday, January 23, 2023

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Sunday, January 22, 2023

Partner Spotlight: Beyond Retro

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Thursday, January 19, 2023

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Wednesday, January 18, 2023

Bowie State U Update Lady Bulldogs Roll On ECSU

 Defensive Effort Leads Bulldogs Over Elizabeth City State, 55-44


ELIZABETH CITY, N.C. --The Bowie State women's basketball team kept Elizabeth City State to just 29.8 percent shooting from the field on the way to a 55-44 victory over the Vikings on the road Wednesday.

The Bulldogs (8-8, 4-3 CIAA) had two players score in double figures, led by freshman Mia Smith (Clarksburg, MD), who had 12 points. Junior Robyn Howard (Temple Hills, MD) tacked on 11 points and two steals and redshirt sophomore Katerra Myers (Burtonsville, MD) added eight points, seven rebounds and two steals.

Bowie State's defense held Elizabeth City State (10-6, 4-4 CIAA) to only 29.8 percent shooting from the field, including 29.4 percent from beyond the arc.

How It Happened

After jumping out to a 9-5 advantage, BSU went on a 9-0 run with 5:06 left in the first quarter, culminating in a bucket from Smith, to increase its lead to 18-5. The Bulldogs then lost some of that lead, but still entered the quarter break with an 18-7 advantage. Bowie State relied on its three-point shooting in the period, knocking down three shots to account for nine of its 18 points.

The Bulldogs maintained their lead in the game's second frame and entered halftime with a 23-21 edge. Bowie State forced four ECSU turnovers in the period and turned them into four points.

The Lady Vikings then took a 35-33 lead following intermission before BSU went on an 8-0 run, punctuated by a basket from graduate senior Jazmyne Scott (Brooklyn, MD), to grab a 41-35 lead with 23 seconds to go in the third. Before the third period was over, the Bulldogs added one point to that lead and entered the fourth stanza with a 43-36 edge. Bowie State took advantage of seven Elizabeth City State's turnovers in the quarter, scoring five points off of takeaways.

Bowie State kept widening that lead, expanding it to 46-38 before going on a 5-0 run, finished off by sophomore Anii Harris' (Ellicott City, MD) jumper, to grow the lead to 51-38 with 6:14 to go in the contest. The Lady Vikings narrowed the margin somewhat before the game was over, but the Bulldogs still cruised the rest of the way for the 55-44 win. Bowie State took advantage of its opportunities in the post, scoring six of its 12 points in the paint.

Game Notes

» The Bulldogs held the Lady Vikings to only 29.8 percent shooting from the field.
» Bowie State's defense forced 25 turnovers.
» Smith led the Bulldogs with a game-high 12 points.
» Bowie State got seven rebounds from both Myers and Scott.

Up Next
Bowie State will host Virginia Union on Saturday, Jan. 21 at 12 noon from A.C. Jordan Arena.

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Howard University Update: Odom Grabs Fifth MEAC Rookie of the Week Award

 Howard’s Odom Grabs Fifth MEAC Rookie of the Week Award

Freshman standout guides Bison to a perfect 2-0 weekend

(Photo Credit – Howard Athletics Media Relations)


NORFOLK, Va. (January 17, 2023) – The Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference (MEAC) revealed its men’s basketball weekly accolades where Howard University freshman standout Shy Odom (Chestnut Hill, Mass.) grabbed his fifth league Rookie of the Week award. The announcement came Tuesday afternoon.


Over the weekend, Odom averaged 11.5 points and 5.0 rebounds while guiding the Bison to a pair of victories at Norfolk State (Jan. 14) and versus Morehouse (Jan. 16).


He produced 15 points and seven boards in the road win at Norfolk State. In the annual MLK Day Classic against the Maroon Tigers, Odom registered eight points and three rebounds in the victory.


Since being inserted into the starting lineup, the Massachusetts native has reached double figures in scoring five times while leading HU to a 6-2 mark during that span.


Sophomore D.C. natives, guards Marcus Dockery and Elijah Hawkins earned honorable mention.


Morgan State senior guard Isaiah Burke was named MEAC Player of the Week while fellow classmate Malik Miller of Morgan State took home the league’s Defensive Player of the Week.


To view this week’s weekly honors, please click here.


Howard returns to conference play Saturday (Jan. 21) when it hosts Morgan State at 4 p.m. in Burr.

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Monday, January 16, 2023

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Sunday, January 15, 2023

Today's Devotional: Reunited And It Feels So Good!

 Reflection: Together Again

Because of Jesus, believers look forward to an eternal home with the Father in paradise.

To get the most out of this devotion, set aside time to read the scriptures referenced throughout. From InTouch Ministries

We might think of Eden as the infamous place of mankind’s ultimate failure. But what happened there didn’t just ruin humanity’s track record—it also severed our relationship with God. Before Adam and Eve sinned by eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil (Genesis 2:15-17), they existed in perfect union with the Lord. They walked with Him freely, unhindered in their ability to receive His love and love Him in return (Genesis 1:26-31). That’s hard to picture, isn’t it?

Imagine the grief they experienced in leaving their first home, as God expelled them from the garden and sealed its entrance. The gates of that earthly paradise closed forever. The thought of it would be unbearable if it weren’t for what God did— He so wanted to be with us that He sent His only Son to die on the cross and rescue us from sin and death. Jesus Himself became the door to paradise, restoring our relationship with the Father for all eternity.

Think about it

• Read Isaiah 43:1-7. According to this passage, why does God want to be in relationship with you?

Bible in One Year: Genesis 49-50