Even Michael Jordan had a coach. Tom Brady has a coach. Serena and Venus have a coach. Anyone who performs at their peak, more than likely has benefited from coaching along the way.
For our team at Next Level to help you show up in the world as your best self we had to address some issues and solve a few problems.
Fitness is free. YOU are the investment!
A competitive athlete his entire life, “Derz” played football at both the Air Force Academy and Texas A&M – Commerce. He fell in love with fitness in college while working in the offseason at the Academy. He was fortunate enough to initially develop his knowledge from Allen Hedrick, M.A., CSCS*D, the head strength and conditioning coach at both the Olympic Training Center and the Air Force Academy.
He continued his education at Texas A&M – Commerce under Dr. Ken Alford, PhD. In 2006, Mycal graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Human Performance, Kinesiology. Upon the completion of his collegiate career, his focus was shifted to bodybuilding where he placed in the top five of each competition, winning two classes along the way. As an Officer of Marines, he spent time developing remedial fitness programs for the Marines in various units boosting performance in annual Physical Fitness Tests by more than 25%. In 2009 and 2011 he developed offseason strength and conditioning programs for the Gila Ridge High School Football team, helping them reach the 2011 Arizona State Playoffs for the first time in school history. This programing helped a number of players move on to play at the college level. Mycal now regularly competes locally and regionally in CrossFit competitions.
With a Master’s of Science in Exercise and Wellness (Arizona State), backed by Bachelor’s of Science in Health and Human Performance (TAMU-Commerce), Mycal has dedicated his life to applying his education to fitness and performance training. According to his peers and clients, Mycal is one of the best performance coaches in Arizona.
Almost 6 years ago Sam was told by a doctor that he was on the verge of liver failure and that if he continued to live life the way he has been he would be facing some serious health complications. Shortly after this wake up call, Sam discovered Crossfit. Being instantly drawn to Olympic lifting and gymnastics movements he knew he wanted to get more involved. He took the next few years developing competency in Olympic lifting, gymnastics, and other fundamental CrossFit movements/skills.
He credits CrossFit for his relentless pursuit of “Raising The Standard” as we like to say at Next Level. This pursuit stretched beyond fitness into his every day life and made him passionate to help others on their journeys.
Although Sam enjoys coaching all levels of athletes, he loves working with people who are recovering from an injury. This comes from his long background in massage therapy and sports massage.
Joanna grew up in athletics, with gymnastics being her sport of choice. After about 9 years in the sport she was a cheerleader for a couple years, then was stuck searching for what to do next. She began coaching gymnastics and found a CrossFit box nearby. She appreciates the variety of CrossFit and the challenge it brings, whether it be learning a new skill or pushing yourself to be better.
She earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise and Wellness from ASU, and during this time coached CrossFit for 4 years. She left her box to continue pursuing her business of being a Fascial Stretch Specialist at Stretch for Strength, and Instructor at Stretch to Win. After taking a year and a half off of coaching she decided to step back in the training space and get her CrossFit Level 2 certification.
She is excited to bring her flexibility and training background to Next Level. She strives to help people gain flexibility, strength, confidence, and achieve new goals.
Filippo started playing football at twelve years old. After playing his first game, Filippo was hooked on sports and competing. It became a dream to play football in college and in the NFL. Once getting to college Filippo was able to stay on the football team for two years but never got to play a down due to his constant battle with back injuries.
It took a year after leaving the team to discover CrossFit in his last year of college. CrossFit had reignited the spark and drive to compete. Filippo has taken it upon himself to not let his back injuries hold him back (pun intended). Dedicated to searching for all the ways fitness can improve his back, Filippo decided to get his L1 in 2019 to be able to help others work past whatever obstacles they face
Filippo is a big believer in staying positive no matter what life throws at him. He has made it his personal mission to show others that they have the strength to get to where they want to be no matter the challenges and brings this mentality into the gym every day.
As a lifelong athlete, Matt has a passion for all things health and fitness. He grew up playing baseball, basketball, and football, and ultimately went on to play Division I baseball at Santa Clara University. After suffering a major shoulder injury in his final season, Matt decided to hang up the cleats and search for a new competitive outlet.
While living in Austin, TX, he decided to try out CrossFit at CrossFit Jääkarhu, and was hooked from day one. He loves the challenge, competition, and team atmosphere that CrossFit provides, and got his CF-OL1 shortly after moving to Phoenix in 2021. As a coach and trainer, he is focused on helping others strengthen their physical and mental health, and believes that exercise is one of the best mediums for spreading positivity.
In combination with CrossFit, Matt is passionate about weightlifting and sports performance, and is excited to bring his athletic background to the Next Level team.