The First Leg of Our Startup Journey
It was my high school football coach, Harry Lumley, on the other line. “Rob, I think there might be something you’d be interested in.” – Harry said. “There is a coach from Texas named Doug that has done some incredible work. He put together a football learning program for players on his team and coaching staff. I’m flying down to Dallas to meet with him and check it out. We’ll need someone technical to get this online, and the first person I thought of was you. You should call him.”
I have a tremendous admiration for Harry. As do many of the athletes that he has coached over the past 40 some odd years. Harry is what I refer to as old-school. His coaching style, attitude and success on the field are directly related to how much respect he earns from his players, peers and fellow coaches. He truly epitomizes the word integrity. Our teams traditionally are neither the biggest, fastest nor most talented, but we are one of Canada’s most successful high school football programs because we have an unrelenting will to win, not just for ourselves, but for each other.
After talking with Doug several times, and then meeting him in person, we knew that his idea had legs. The potential upside for this opportunity was quite significant. Doug realized that his insatiable desire to be a better coach, may have helped open the door for an incredible market opportunity for all athletes.
So, Doug, Harry and I made a commitment to each other as co-founders to build a business that we would all be proud of. Athlete Builder (www.athletebuilder.com) was born. Our simple idea was to help young athletes not only improve their skills, but also become better people. Our mission was clear, to bring inspiration, education and innovation to athletes everywhere in the world.
The first chapter
We have a long way to go, and we’ve only just started. There is nothing more rewarding and beautiful than progress. It’s the uncertainty, the challenge and the willingness to put it all on the line that draws a lot of people to climb mountains. This also applies to a lot of other challenges in life, whether it’s trying to make it as a professional athlete, starting a family, going to grad school or taking all of your cash and assets and starting a business. It is tremendously tough building something from nothing, but with greater sacrifice comes a much greater reward. I’m just tremendously proud to be a part of something as special as Athlete Builder.
I am tremendously thankful to be doing what I love and I’m excited to see what the future holds. As my dad always said, a good life is when you smile often, dream big, laugh a lot, and realize how blessed you are for what you have.
We will continue our journey building something that we are all passionate about and proud to be a part of.