Glenbrook South senior starts sports coaching business
A senior at Glenbrook South High School, Arman Patel saw the convergence of two publics he believed needed help.
He saw the parents of young athletes paying big prices for training in their sport.
He saw experienced high school athletes working jobs that satisfied neither the wallet nor the psyche.
Meeting both groups in the middle, in 2020 Patel started a business, MyVarsityCoach.
Initially called KickBuds, which reflected a focus on soccer before he expanded his business to cater to other sports, MyVarsityCoach is "devoted to giving low-income athletes access to private sports coaching at an affordable rate," Patel said.
He's got around 30 athletes available to coach, he said, primarily in soccer, baseball, basketball and football, though coaching is offered in all sports.
His client audience is athletes ages 8 to 15 years old for private lessons. Group lessons also are available.
Parents will sign up their young athletes for one or more sessions at a time. Coaches and parents mutually agree upon the location, typically a park or the athletes' homes.
"It's gone great," Patel said. "There's a lot of traction, and a need for the idea to get coaching from a high school athlete at the school you're attending."
Glenbrook South senior Luca Piekarski, a midfielder on the Glenbrook South boys soccer team, has been a coach in the MyVarsityCoach stable since the spring.
"Prior to this, I already was looking about getting into coaching younger kids. It was always something I wanted to do," Piekarski said.
"When (Patel) reached out to me and asked if it was something I wanted to do, I said, 'Heck, yeah.' I like playing soccer and I like working with younger kids, so this is pretty cool."
When Piekarski starts with a client, he'll get an idea of what areas of their game they want to improve, then introduce specific drills tailored to their goals.
A member of the Galaxy soccer club program out of Naperville, between the drive there and practices, Piekarski said he didn't have time to take a summer job. MyVarsityCoach fit his schedule.
Glenbrook South Titans soccer started with tryouts on Aug. 8, and Piekarski admits the high school team will be a priority. He'll continue working with MyVarsityCoach, but if he's unable to handle an assignment another trainer will be.
"There's never not someone available to do it," Piekarski said. "It's a really cool program and business. It's pretty simple, to be honest, but it's really creative at the same time.
"I feel like when parents and players are looking to be coached privately they're only exposed to high-end, super-expensive coaches. This can help. It's a different tier, where you can get some good coaching but also save a bunch of money."
Patel, who intends to operate his business after he goes to college, said the best way to get more information is to visit the website, www.myvarsitycoach.com, or email MyVarsityCoach@gmail.com.
He added that MyVarsityCoach increases chances toward the ultimate bottom line: "Parents want to have their kid make the team."