What have I been doing the past year and a half?

Jordan Leonard and Andrew Zessar at Techstars London

Hello, friends, family, colleagues, acquaintances, and anyone out there who wants to know. This is a summary of the past 18 months of my professional life.

On September 10, 2022, my friend Jordan Leonard and I caught a whiff of something.

We had been toying around with a business idea in the youth sports world that would encourage kids and young adults to be more active, especially because the youth sports world had taken so much damage from Covid. So many programs, teams, clubs, camps, etc. had closed up shop, but we knew there was crazy demand for youth sports nationally. It was just that the supply of youth sports programming was low.

Jordan coaches a middle school basketball team at St. Alphonsus Academy & Center for the Arts in Chicago, and one day we were chatting about his team. He had mentioned that the athletic director at St. Alphonsus was desperately looking for volleyball coaches, as well as coaches for several other sports. I’m sure this didn’t actually happen, but for the sake of a compelling story, let’s say we both looked at each other and went “Let’s find that coach!”

The long story short is that we tapped our own network as well as scoured the internet (forums and job pages) for 3 qualified middle school volleyball coaches. We spoke with each of them on the phone, received references, and then passed those 3 candidates onto the athletic director. On September 10, 2022, we received our first check in the mail after the AD successfully hired one of those coaches. I remember thinking to myself, it’s 2022, and I guess the boys are starting a youth sports coach recruiting firm.

That AD connected us with a handful of other Chicago private school ADs, and they all had similar problems in finding coaches. A little over a year went by, and we had helped over 350 youth sports coaches find jobs across over 80 different programs.

In December 2023, we launched CoachCorner.io where coaches can make profiles, get CC-verified, and teams/ADs can post jobs as well as search all of the qualified coaches in their area. There is 0 cost to coaches for using our platform or working with us.

Last month, we were accepted to the Techstars London startup accelerator, where we are given funding and mentorship over a 3-month immersive program. We are working from London until mid-June.

In 2022, we were successful in discovering that there is excessive demand to grow youth sports. In 2023, we were successful in discovering that helping programs find coaches is a great way to help grow youth sports. In 2024, our new challenge is discovering a way to get the word out to youth sports coaches that CoachCorner can and will help you find a position doing what you love doing.

Please reach out if you want to learn more about CoachCorner and our journey towards being the biggest catalyst in helping youth sports coaches and programs be the best they can be.

#youthsports #coaching #jobs #basketballjobs #soccerjobs #youthbasketball #youthsoccer

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