Youth sports is an enormous market, which hot business idea could help join it.
Kids’ sports–from baseball and soccer to basketball and volleyball–are hot, and entrepreneurs jumping in to the sports education field are scoring big. With so many parents attempting to help their kids excel within their sport of preference, there’s a big market ready to fork out good money to teach young superstars-to-be. Just ask Ivan and Sherri Shulman, 44 and 46, respectively, who founded The Sports House in Houston. The all-inclusive sports training company boasts two facilities with camps, clinics and daily sports classes. It even hosts parties.
"[There’s] something about sports I learned in the past," says Sherri. "A plumber will spend the same sum of money as a cosmetic surgeon to create [his or her] kid better." They’re spending so much, actually, that 2006 sales for The Sports House are projected going to $1 million.
Engaging in the marketplace takes skill, notes Sally S. Johnson, executive director of the National Council of Youth Sports in Stuart, Florida. She’s noticed a rise in sports interest over the board–especially in organized youth sports–and suggests startup youth-sports trainers get training. NCYS offers administrative courses for youth-sports professionals, as the American Sport Education Program offers specialized coaching training along with a great many other online tools for coaches.
Getting StartedReady to jump into kids" sports education with your personal business? Consider the next before starting out:
- Get the requisite training. If you would like to start out educating youngsters about sports, you need to be a master at it yourself. You need to be amply trained in your sport of preference, and in the event that you lack coaching experience, prepare yourself to bring someone in who includes a background in it. Also consider sports management training and sports administrative courses, notes Sally S. Johnson, executive director of the National Council of Youth Sports in Stuart, Florida: "That kind of education is imperative."
- Assemble an excellent team. In the event that you plan to open a whole training facility, ensure that your entire staff is top-notch–like Ivan and Sherri Shulman, 44 and 46, respectively, did with their business, The Sports House in Houston. Be sure to conduct criminal record checks on employees, as they will be dealing with children, suggests Johnson.
- Select a welcoming location. If you would like parents to fall off their kids at your facility, you should make it as inviting as possible. Select a safe neighborhood and make certain every floor, window, wall and device is shining clean, notes Ivan Shulman. Those little touches of comfort and community make parents wanting to return again and again for year-round activities.
- Put health and safety first. Sports and physical education are fraught with risks, which means you need to bone through to your safety and medical training. "They don’t really need to discover how to handle dislocations so much because they have to know the emergency medical response," says Johnson. Also keep in mind insurance: After researching the sort of insurance he’d need, Ivan Shulman found an agent who specialized in youth and batting cage businesses.
- Treat every kid just like the next superstar. Keep it positive as you encourage kids within their particular sport. "Every parent thinks their kid may be the absolute best on the globe," says Sherri Shulman. Your treatment of both children and their parents ought to be over-the-top enthusiastic and encouraging, making every client feel very special. Why? Because it’s about building self-confidence–not just in sports, however in life.