Gym Offers Proper Instruction for Kids of All Ages

By Jay Pinsonnault

Hampton Union, February 3, 2012

[The following article is courtesy of the Hampton Union and Seacoast Online.]

Jensen Palmer, 13, of Kingston, left, and North Hampton twins Sky and Finn Caron, right,
do a variation of a push-up using a tire while Colby McCay, 16, of Atkinson, back,
works out on a slide board at Next Level Training in Hampton
[Ioanna Raptis Photo]

Darrin Nicoli was a three-sport athlete at Everett (Mass.) High School and landed a football scholarship to play at the University of Rhode Island.

However, his dreams of playing collegiate football were never realized as he tore his rotator cuff and “messed up” his labrum while working out at the URI campus.

He said he was injured in what he calls a “tiny weight room without any coaches” providing proper instruction.

“It was just like in high school where you wanted to jump on in and impress the other guys,” Nicoli said. “We had the wrong form, there was no proper spotting and I tore my rotator cuff and messed up my labrum. It was horrendous.”

Nicoli later returned to Everett High School, where he was an assistant football coach, working with the quarterbacks and receivers. Not wanting young athletes to get injured, like he did, because of improper lifting and training techniques by well-intentioned but misinformed coaches and trainers, he started The Next Level Sports Training.

Nicoli’s first gym was in Hampstead, but has recently moved to a 48,000-square foot facility in Hampton because he wanted to be in an area where both parents and kids were serious about athletics.

“There is a lot more volume up here and people take their sports seriously up here,” said Nicoli, 44. “That’s the kind of people I was looking to work with.”

Nicoli said the two main things that separate his gym from others are personal attention and that there are absolutely no machines.

“You walk into other gyms, look around and maybe do what somebody else is doing and do body building,” Nicoli said. “We have no machines. We work on balance, core, speed, agility and put a program together to help each individual person improve their game on the field or the court.”

Nicoli said athletes of all ages, as young as 9, come into gym to enhance their status in sports such as football, hockey, lacrosse, baseball, as well as figure skating.

Pat Gillis, of Stratham, has taken his 12-year-old son, Pat, to Nicoli’s facility for the last two months. Gillis’ son plays basketball, baseball and football.

“He is looking to gain strength but wants to get faster too, but I’ve seen a big improvement in his confidence as well,” Gillis said. “He (Nicoli) has the right personality for training these young athletes. He keeps the kids interested and fired up. I’ve been to other types of facilities like this and I was impressed with his setup.”

Nicoli is so confident in his gym and his programs he offers a 100 percent money back guarantee.

“You will see a dramatic difference and gain dramatic results; I guarantee everything we do 100 percent,” Nicoli said. “If people aren’t 100 percent satisfied, they get their money back. I haven’t had to give back any money yet.”

Nicoli also offers a free one-week introductory session to see if his gym is right for athletes.

“Everybody who has come in, has joined,” Nicoli said.

North Hampton 12-year-old twins, Finn, left, and Sky Caron
do core pull-downs at Next Level Training in Hampton.
[Ioanna Raptis Photo]

Jacob Palmer, 15, of Fremont, does walking lunge squats with chains
at Next Level Training in Hampton.
[Ioanna Raptis Photo]

Connor Donigian, 13, does chinups as Noah Fioravante, 12, lifts weights
and Jake Schumaker, 12, waits his turn at Next Level Training in Hampton.
[Ioanna Raptis Photo]

Jake Schumaker, 12, lifts free weights while Noah Fioravante, 12,
spots and Connor Donigian, 13, waits his turn at Next Level Training in Hampton.
All three kids are from Fremont.
[Ioanna Raptis Photo]
[The “Next Level Training” facility is located at 7 Scott Road, Hampton, NH]