Entrepreneur Creates a Tool Connecting Athletes with Private Coaches

It's always important to have a coach. Whether in business, sports or life, a coach can help us reach our full potential. For Jordan Fliegel, the co-founder of CoachUP, a service that connects athletes with private coaches, they understand that coaching “is the secret to reaching the next level in sports and life.” With coaches around the country and training sessions taking place every day, CoachUP is the “nation's leading private coaching company.”

Hearpreneur had the opportunity to speak with Jordan about his business, his experience and advice he has for entrepreneurs and business owners.

Why did you start your business?

As a youth basketball player, I was fortunate to stumble upon a basketball coach at summer camp who became my private coach, and fundamentally altered the course of my life. Not only did I advance from being an average player to a collegiate, and then professional player, but I gained tremendous confidence on and off the court, and learned the value of dedication to a worthy pursuit and the love of hard work. I later became a private coach to have that same impact on youth basketball players in my hometown, and realized that it was really hard to market my service, manage my clients, and provide them with feedback. I had no insurance, no tools, and was running my business from my mobile phone but had no app to track everything. With some friends, I founded CoachUp to help private coaches and personal trainers grow their business — doing what they love for a living — and to help all athletes reach their full potential. I fundamentally believe that private coaching is the best way to improve, and that the benefits of a great coach extend beyond athletics to all aspects of a person's life.

How did you come up with your business name?

I came up with a list of 20 names that I liked, with CoachUp as my favorite. On a car ride from Boston up to Maine with my best friend, I started at the bottom of the list and started making calls to the domain owners. Once we got to New Hampshire I had exhausted the first 10 calls without getting anywhere, and decided to boldly call the #1 name on my wish list. Someone answered the phone, said I could have the domain if I sent her a check that week, and we pulled over at the first opportunity and dropped a check in the mailbox. Some things are meant to be, and I think it was a sign that CoachUp needed to exist.

What advice would you give to entrepreneurs thinking of starting a business?

Prepare yourself for the most amazing, rewarding, and challenging experience of your life. Keep an open mind and be self aware of who you are, what your strengths and weaknesses are, and build a great team to complement you in areas where you are weak. Be humble and keep moving forward. Stay true to your mission. You will make a thousand mistakes — just make sure you learn from them and stay positive. Its truly a marathon, and a life-altering experience. There really is no amount of preparation that will truly prepare you for all the decisions you will encounter, so make a commitment to do it, and do everything you can to learn as quickly as you can.

What are some of your success stories?

We've built a tremendously talented team successfully raised 2 rounds of venture funding from incredible investors, won numerous startup challenges and awards, and have received great press. But our best success stories are the work that our coaches have done with athletes around the country. We have hundreds of athletes who, through CoachUp, have made the team, become a starter, developed confidence, earned a scholarship, lost weight, completed marathons, and have through skill development, increased their enjoyment of playing their sport. We've helped athletes of all levels to reach the next level and we've helped the best private coaches in the country build their dream business working with local athletes– our success as a company is defined by these stories.

What is your experience and how has that helped your business?

I've had experience as a professional basketball player and basketball private coach. I've experienced both pain as an athlete not being as good as I had the potential to be, and then later as a private coach, wanting to work with athletes but not knowing how to connect with them. CoachUp exists to help athletes and coaches do what they do best. I later earned an MBA, and worked at a venture-backed online marketplace, so I had a solid base of relevant experience to draw from when founding CoachUp. As the first CoachUp coach, I am so proud of our community of talented coaches, and the national movement we have created together.

If you had a crystal ball, where would you see your business in the next 5 years?

Over the next 5 years CoachUp will grow the industry of private coaching, and spread awareness to all athletes across the county.  Whatever your goal is — to make the team, become a contributor, earn a scholarship, turn pro — or even just to lose weight, get in great shape, learn to dance, or run a marathon — there are extremely talented private coaches in your city who want to help you. Private coaching works — it's the best way to improve.  Our job is connect athletes with the perfect private coach, and makes sure that they have an amazing experience. We are really in the business of changing lives, and I'm excited to achieve that result for thousands of athletes over the next 5 years.


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