Jennifer Lesea-Ames, Fitwise Training, Sports, The Story ExchangeYour Name: Jennifer Lesea-Ames

Business Name: Fitwise Training, Inc. DBA Youth Soccer Training, a children’s soccer training service

Type of Business: Fitness Education

Business Location: Boulder, Colorado, United States

Twitter   @YouthSoccerApps

Reason for starting
In the midst of a children’s obesity epidemic in the U.S., youth soccer is the fastest growing sport in the U.S., with over 5 million registered players. Alternatively, youth soccer has one of the highest injury incidence rates, specifically concussions. We wanted to create a high quality coaching video mobile app that helps kids stay phyiscally active and healthy as well as helping to reduce the risk of injury while increasing sports performance. For those that do not have a mobile device, we have DVD’s with the same content for sale on Amazon.

How do you define success?
We have an amazing coaching mobile app featuring one of the greatest American soccer players, U.S Soccer and USL Hall of Fame member, Marcelo Balboa. In the short term, success means market penetration and increasing our customer base. We need to be profitable in order to continue to develop products that can impact children’s lives in a positive, healthy manner. Beyond the numbers, success means delivering outstanding customer service, to where we exceed our customer’s expectations. Last but not least, success means paying it forward, being able to give back to our community in a way such that there are no barriers for sports participation for kids. (One of our favorite non-profits is AmericaSCORES: teaching inter-city kids literacy through writing poems and healthy lifestyle habits through playing soccer).

Biggest Success
To date, our biggest success has been product development. We were fortunate that Marcelo lives in Colorado and was very excited to collaborate on this project with us. The videos of him teaching the soccer skills and conditioning were professionally produced, in HD and with three camera angles. The interactive features of the iTunes App include a checklist of tips, being able to “favorite” the videos, and a GPS feature to be able to find a soccer field or park nearby. While live coaching is the best, this is an affordable and portable solution for youth soccer parents and coaches.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it?
Our top challenge is marketing: being able to let people know this app exists and that its worthwhile to download. Currently we are improving our website to create an affiliate program to where youth soccer clubs or teams can sign up and a percentage of sales from their team will go back to the team for funding uniforms, scholarship programs, etc. This will create a “win-win” value proposition for our future customers.

Who is your most important role model?
My father, Ron Lesea. He was a brilliant power electronics engineer and entrepreneur, and he had many success and failures in his lifetime. What I learned from him is that success has many layers beyond sales and income. One must be tenacious, but always act with integrity. Sometimes previous “failures” can lead to big successes in the future. He was living proof of a true entrepreneur.