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The Next Level by Garrin Clark
Book Review by Bill Mills - Jan 2005


Most of the time when paintball players want to improve their game they focus on the gear – getting the latest, hottest, flashiest paintgun, sure that if they beg borrow or steal the extra money for that super-gat, that they are going to be on the winner’s podium at the next World Cup.  While this tactic rarely works, it does fuel the rapidly growing paintball industry.  The Next Level by Garrin Clark is a guide to improving the game by improving the player.  It focuses on agility and mental training specific to paintball.

With a career as an actor, model and personal trainer (some may recognize him from some national Coleman TV ads) Garrin Clark has also had a paintball career as a winning paintball player.  On the Brimstone Smoke roster, Clark has brought home trophies from the International Amateur Open, and Chicago Open, and competed in amateur and pro/am ten man competitions, division one X-Ball and pro NPPL 7-man events.  In The Next Level, Clark targets five key areas for athletic improvement – quick sprinting, agility, flexibility, fast reflexes, and hand-eye coordination.   

The book’s first section, Basic Training, covers stretching, to be used both pre-game, and before some of the other exercises.  Additionally, it deals with warm-ups and cool downs.  These are critical steps to making sure the body is ready for a good workout at maximum performance, with a minimum risk of injury.

The next section is Strength and Power Training.  “If you could imagine a five-course meal, strength and power training would be the meat and potatoes portion of improving your athleticism,” says Clark.  Various training techniques are covered, including the use of free weights, weight machines, and the use of resistance equipment like parachutes and surgical tubing.

The chapter on workout scheduling provides an overview of how to set up a regular training schedule that builds on previous day’s workouts without overloading from the start.  The final chapter – The Next Level talks about mental preparation – visualization, and getting into the mental zone needed for peak performance.

The Next Level is a 93 page paperback book, available through bookstores, paintball dealers, or direct from the publisher at


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