College Coaching vs. The Sports Training Business

In 2002, I made the transition from being a college strength coach to opening a private training facility called Total Performance Training Center in Wixom, MI.  I had been a college coach for six years, and loved it.  But, there are certainly negatives to coaching in college, especially in the situation I found myself in.

I get a lot of question about which one is better or right for a particular person, so I figured I might as well lay out some of the differences in a short video.

To give you some background, from 1996-2002 I was coaching at the University of Detroit Mercy, where we had quite a bit of athletic success.  It was mainly a basketball school, and our basketball team had enjoyed back to back appearances, and 1st round wins, in the NCAA Tournament as  well as a Final Four appearance in the NIT.  We had won numerous conference championships in sports like baseball, soccer, golf, tennis and track.  I had helped several track & field athletes qualify for the NCAA National Championships and several of our basketball players ended up enjoying successful professional careers.

It was a great ride.

There was also a moment when I realized I was too wrapped up in it.  I wanted to win more than many of the athletes, and my self-worth was based on the performance of a bunch of 18-22 year olds who didn’t always care as much as I did.

There was also a huge lack of funds, and I knew I was at the top of the pay scale, which was really low.  For several reasons, I didn’t want to move, so my options were limited.

I knew it was time to make a change.  I had always had an entrepreneurial spirit, so running a business actually sounded really exciting to me.  I did a TON of research.  It took me a couple of years, attending numerous seminars, hiring a consultant, writing multiple business plans, looking into various real estate opportunities and staying up late trying to figure out how it was all going to work.

To make a long story short, I finally met the owners of one of the largest sports complexes in the world, and they wanted me to help them open and operate a training center under their roof.  I thought I was going to be an owner, but boy am I glad I wasn’t.

Looking back, I made every mistake in the book, and I had this company to support me through it.

That was 11 years ago, and it has been another great ride.  I have a terrific facility, an amazing staff and I get to run a thriving business.  Even more importantly, I still have a life, didn’t go bankrupt, and I’m still love going into work every single day.

I loved being a college coach and I love running a business.

I hope this video helps you figure out which direction is right for you.


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2 Responses to College Coaching vs. The Sports Training Business

  1. Eric Bach December 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm #

    Awesome stuff Jim. Thanks!


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