Tuesday, May 7, 2019

Next Level Skills + Carpenter's Square Mentoring Program Launch

Written by Octavio Parral

One of Next Level's Players with Mentor Jeffrey Shelton

Next Level Skills began from the ground up as a mentoring initiative. Coach Pope believed in his calling to provide young gentlemen an opportunity to create successful future lives.  

With mentoring as the backbone of his mission, Coach Pope and other mentors have created an important mentoring program. All of the 2019 graduates have been paired with a mentor for six months. The goal: to provide mentoring and advice for future careers and to  begin career planning. 


Some of our Mentors and Mentees

Each athlete will have the opportunity to work with professionals from different careers of the athletes’ interest. They will have conversations, listen to key tips for a successful career, and job shadow their mentor. 

Next Level gives a huge shoutout to the nine mentor professionals! 

     Jefferey Shelton          Owner of Get Fit on the Go
     Drew Freeman            Exec. Director at Franklin YMCA
     Steven Earwood         Owner of Earwood Fitness
     Anthony Moore           Owner of Nash Co.
     Richy Ivey                   Owner of Highly Favored Studios 
     Todd Heifner               COO of Nashville Sports Council 
     Scott Brown                Director of Ops of 4Patriots 
     Lelan Statom              On Air Meteorologist for Channel 5
     Tyler Lusk                   Co - Owner of Woolworth on 5th

The young athletes are on their way to a bright future. Even more than learning about their career interest, they will learn about character building, loving to learn,  strong values, and falling in love with the grind.

-Next Level Skills

Next Level Skills Spring Break Training Camp

Written by Octavio Parral | @octavio_parral

Some of the boys with Coach Pope after a group discussion

14 young players participated in Next Level’s first ever spring break training camp. The players participated in a week long camp of training in basketball, education, personal health, and college prep. 
Each day consisted of discussions about self-confidence, the hardships of college, and what to expect at the next level. A 30-minute film session of college basketball followed the group discussions. It was important to break down different components of the college game to prepare the athletes’ mindsets on how to play. The topics discussed during the film sessions were implemented in the training sessions and scrimmaging. 
A very exciting part of camp took place with guest speakers from a variety of different backgrounds in the basketball community. 

Kyle Capps, Mike Hunter, & Errick McCollum talking to the boys about the college process

Monday had two college coaches: Kyle Capps of Sienna Heights University and Mike Hunter of Shawnee State University. Their message talked about the life of a college athlete, the recruiting process, success after basketball, and ways to improve their games. Errick McCollum, a former teammate of Coach Pope and a professional overseas in Russia, ended with an important message about basketball and what it takes to succeed at the professional level. 
Wednesday’s session focused on career planning and the keys to success for careers after college. Carl Steen (owner of 3rdGen Fitness), Dalton Shelter (commentator of Michigan State basketball and football), Kieth Judkins (owner of Fade Away Barber Shop), and Brennan McMurray (financial advisor of UBS Financial) came and provided advice on decisions for a future after college. 

Career Planning Discussion

On Thursday Jefferey Shelton, owner of Get Fit on the Go, put the athletes through a fitness workout for agility and strength. His message emphasized the importance of fitness and physical health for college and life after college. 

After a training session with Jeffrey Shelton

The camp ended Friday with two police officers from the Metro Nashville Police Department. They spoke about the common and legal issues athletes face in college. Elder Randy Paterson mentored the athletes about making important decisions that will make an impact for their futures. 
What an exciting and informational camp! The athletes improved their games, and more importantly, their maturity and decision-making for college and future careers. Next Level wants to give a big shout-out to Carpenter’s Square for sponsoring the camp with lunch and workout gear. Thanks to Subway, Olive Garden, and Donatos pizza for providing discounts on lunch. And of course, thanks to all the people involved who made this camp successful.

-Next Level Skills