Entrepreneurship for Teens Who Love Sports
In a way, athletes are natural entrepreneurs. They’ve got that competitive spirit, that drive, and that hustle all entrepreneurs need. They know what it’s like to commit so they can excel. And, let’s face it: they like being rewarded for hard work.
Successful athletes listen to their coaches and know how to process feedback. They’re not going to be divas about trying something new so they can do better. Entrepreneurs, too, know how to ask for, receive, and process feedback. From beta testers to customer reviews, entrepreneurs can take it.
One of the defining traits of world class athletes is self-discipline. They train hard, maintain a strict diet, and never give up. They also know the importance of rest and recouperation. Successful entrepreneurs also need that kind of discipline if they want to make it past the launch stage and grow a business.
Ready to take your love of sports to the next level? Here are some ideas to get you started!
This is probably the quickest and easiest way to turn your athleticism into entrepreneurship. Varsity or elite athletes in nearly any sport can offer their services as a private coach for:
- Kids who think they want to try a sport but aren’t ready to sign up for a season
- Kids and tweens who need extra help
- Kids who want to keep practicing during the off season
- Adults who haven’t done a certain sport in a while and want to ease back in
To be successful at private coaching, you’ll need solid people skills and a lot of patience. Kids trying something new might prove challenging. Adults heading back into a sport after several years might be grumpy. Make sure you understand your sport well enough to not only excel at it but to explain the mechanics and basic techniques.
SUMMER CAMP COUNSELOR
Even if you’re too young to get a job as a head counselor, most day camps need all the help they can get. Some day camps offer a little bit of everything: art, sports, games, swimming, and tech. Other camps specialize in one thing or another. That includes sports. You’ve got your multi-sport camps that might do soccer one week and basketball the next. And finally, there are super-specialized camps that spend all summer focused on a single sport.
Whatever your preference, chances are there’s a camp near you where you can work for a few weeks. What could be better than spending an entire summer doing a sport you love and getting paid for it?
BLOGGING AND PODCASTING
Not all teens want to work with kids, and that’s fine. Finding your entrepreneurial path through sports doesn’t have to mean teaching little kids how to shoot hoops or swing a tennis racket.
If you’re really good at a sport, chances are someone out there wants to hear you talk about it. Go beyond recapping your latest game or match:
- What popular tv shows and movies get wrong about your sport
- Lists of the best athletes in your sport
- Interviewing coaches and pros
- New trends and technologies in your sport
- Favorite ways to train
Whatever gets you excited about your sport, we promise there is an audience of people who share your enthusiasm.
Gather some teammates or friends and set up games designed to raise money for charity. From a one-off basketball game where anyone from town is invited to play, to a full 18 rounds of golf, use your connections to create an event people will love. Don’t be afraid to get a little bit absurd, like asking recent alumni who are home for the Holidays to play against current seniors. Or teachers versus students!
COLLECT AND SELL USED EQUIPMENT
Kids and teenagers grow. That’s just a fact of life. If your old uniform or equipment no longer fits but is still in fairly good condition, consider selling it. You can even start a business collecting this stuff and selling it cheap. Not every family can afford a brand-new lacrosse stick. And sometimes parents aren’t willing to invest in all new gear for a sport their kid hasn’t tried yet and might not stick with. This is especially true for more niche or specialized sports, like fencing.
Not only is this a fun and easy way to make money, it’s eco-friendly!
Whether you play on a team or compete in individual style events, sports can teach you a lot you need to know about entrepreneurship. You already know the importance of proper training to avoid injuries. In entrepreneurship, this translates to good planning and self-care. You can’t beat your personal record in track if you haven’t had a good night’s sleep, right. And you can’t be a top teen CEO if you’re too tired to focus.
You already know what failure feels like and you know that failure is not forever. The only true way to fail is to quit, right? The same is true for entrepreneurship.
You know that you get out of your sport what you put into it. Don’t want to show up for practice? That’s going to cost you on game day. In business, the people who grow into natural leaders are the ones who show up, pay attention, and do the work.
Besides all the things that competing in sports and entrepreneurship have in common, there’s one more reason why you have an advantage: physical movement is wonderful for your brain, body, and spirit. Movement helps fill your blood with oxygen-rich red blood cells. You will focus better, sleep better, and generally feel stronger and healthier when you participate in regular movement.
Whatever sport you do, be proud of yourself and don’t be afraid to use it to become a world-class young entrepreneur!
Find out more about the Kantner Foundation, including our college scholarships for young entrepreneurs in Florida, by clicking here. We look forward to your application!