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Next Level Academy opens up new facility after 2019 tornado destroys previous one

Published: Nov. 28, 2021 at 12:22 AM CST
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ALEXANDRIA, La. (KALB) - For the last 10 years, Next Level has been training the next generation of athletes all across Central Louisiana.

The company specializes in simplifying the techniques used by pitchers and hitters to be able to get the most production out of their performance.

“We’re helping kids have success,” said Next Level owner Jeremy Johnson. “It could be at any age. They want to spend time and chase being better, because they know they can be better.”

The athletic training company has been the one helping others over the last decade, but back in 2019, it was them who needed help after an EF3 tornado completely destroyed their facility.

Below is an image of what the inside of the facility looked like after the tornado.

Aftermath of Next Level facility following 2019 EF3 tornado that came through Alexandria.
Aftermath of Next Level facility following 2019 EF3 tornado that came through Alexandria.(Jeremy Johnson, Next Level)

“We lost the building and lost the ability to do what we had created,” said Johnson. “We had what we thought we needed to help our community and run our business the way that it needed to run, and we lost it. We spent 2019 with all this time, effort and planning and then the thing blew up.”

However, as quickly as things looked bad, the business quickly returned to serving the community by helping the athletes. They operated from temporary locations until they finished their new 11,000 square foot facility located inside the Alexandria Mall.

Their rebuild can be described just like their teaching methods, getting results efficiently and effectively.

“The time element is very short because you hear a lot that it takes 10 thousand hours, but it can happen immediately,” said Johnson. “To get a youth player, who’s not having success, and then the kid comes in here, and all of a sudden, he’s hitting a home run, well that may spark that kid’s interests where he now wants to invest more.”

Next Level has worked with ballplayers stretching from t-ball all the way to professionals, even helping some of them reach their dreams of playing at the next level. One of the most well-known local athletes they helped is former ASH and LSU standout, Matthew Beck.

The athletic training company offers multi-use indoor tunnels, private and group lessons, membership package discounts and clinics.

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