"Coach Kyle! Coach Jared! I did it!!”
Imagine a child yelling this from across a busy room full of kids of all ages climbing, jumping and swinging their way through obstacles. The girl is so excited—she simply must tell her coaches what she just accomplished! “Way to go! We knew you could do it,” they holler, grinning from ear to ear, from across the room.
What a positive memory to experience for any child, coach and observer! It’s all in a day’s work for Coach Kyle and Coach Jared, two of the many coaches at Warrior Challenge Arena (WCA), a premier obstacle gym in Broomfield. WCA is “like America Ninja Warrior meets American Gladiator meets Wipeout.” That translates into a fun facility with over 150 challenging obstacles, unique equipment and fun games.
Ninja Warrior Training Classes for ages 3-15 are one of the most popular offerings with classes available throughout the week. In these classes, the coaches guide and support kids as they build on their physical abilities and address their mental obstacles. Kids can explore and challenge themselves while receiving the support of coaches and a team of kids.
WCA’s programs combine intelligence, education, teamwork and athletics in every class! WCA is all about building character and developing F.E.A.R.L.E.S.S. Warriors!
Focus - Concentrate on the objective, not distractions.
Effort - Always give your best. Finish what you start!
Attitude - Respond with a positive attitude in all situations.
Respect - Show respect to yourself and others at all times.
Love - Use your strength, speed & wits to help others.
Enthusiasm - Have fun! Be excited!
Strength - Build your body as well as your mind.
Smarter - Ask if there is a smarter way to conquer an obstacle.
At any given class, these F.E.A.R.L.E.S.S. Warriors can earn challenge wristbands, which signify that a child has mastered certain challenges and is ready for the next level. One of the highlights for the coaches is seeing a kid move up—it’s a big deal! And the coaches make sure to acknowledge not just the kid’s success but also highlight the failures it took to get there. “It’s important for all kids to see that they too can overcome obstacles, so we talk about failures and successes,” said Coach Kyle. “The opposite of success is not failure—it’s quitting. Success comes from many failures. It’s important to recognize these failures and how they resulted in successes.”
The mental component of a challenge is arguably a bigger obstacle than the physical. “As coaches, we encourage kids and give them the steps they need to overcome their challenges,” explains Coach Jared. “We meet a child where they are, which may mean starting with the basics. We give them modifications—without the shame they may feel elsewhere—so they can take a step forward.” All while having FUN, of course!
Coach Jared takes a holistic approach to coaching, as he believes in anything that has people taking steps toward a better version of themselves. With a background in team sports, physical fitness and philosophy, his approach focuses on the whole person. “When people come to accomplish a goal, whether that’s to have fun, be healthy or overcome a fear, it’s a natural fit for me to believe in and encourage others. And there’s just something about the little things—remembering a kid’s name and epic high-fives—where you can just see their agency lift,” said Coach Jared.
As for Coach Kyle, he’s always been into health and nutrition and was big into sports growing up. A former football and baseball player at Northwestern University, winning two Big Ten Championships, Coach Kyle knows what it’s like to work hard and overcome obstacles, and he brings that philosophy to the kids he coaches at WCA. His wife and three kids are usually with him at WCA, so it’s become a family ritual.
Perhaps due to his creativity, athleticism and fun-loving personality, Coach Kyle started a ninja team in 2020 to compete in the Colorado Ninja League. The teams compete once a month at different gyms in the area. Coach Kyle started the team with four kids, which quickly grew to 24, then 39 and now there are 47 athletes from 6 to 50 years old. And just think—with Ninja Warrior possibly being added to the 2028 Summer Olympics, future Olympians could be right here in Broomfield!
WCA also shows love to F.E.A.R.L.E.S.S. Warrior parents with an in-house plug-and-play circuit, so they can get a workout in while their little warriors are doing their thing. Coach Kyle recalls the dad of a recent “Warrior of the Week” who began working out while his son was in class. In conversation, the dad mentioned how he was proud to be a role model for his son. Coach Kyle finishes with, " As a father of three myself, I have seen the positive impact working out with and around my kids has. I know that being an example of healthy living has an imprint on them that they can take into adulthood. I look forward to years when I still have the health and fitness level to teach my grandkids ninja moves! I pray that more parents join us on this holistic wellness journey."