What do Russell Wilson, Julie Foudy, Brandi Chastain, & Ben Sherwood, the former co-chairman of Disney/ABC, have in common? They are all parents of athletes who dream of making youth sports fun again. One athlete, one family, one team at a time.
A fairly sizeable goal, but these prominent athletes, along with CEO Sherwood and CPO Reed Shaffner, have a pretty good idea of where to start, leveling the playing field with just a few simple swipes. Their new App, MOJO, launched this week. The best way to describe it, a coach-in-a-box.
MOJO targets volunteer coaches who are instructing kids between the ages of 4 and 13, a sweet spot in life when moms and dads are primarily the coaches and before the age when 70% of kids drop out. It’s not necessarily for the seasoned vets, but for the thousands of us who check that “COACH” box on our kids’ forms only to feel completely overwhelmed from that moment forward. It’s designed for two types of parents: those who might be intimidated by the prospect of getting involved and those who have jumped in and now want to improve.
I gave it a quick test drive, and I have to say, it’s a game-changer. It’s easy to sign up, simple to navigate, and has truly helpful information. It plans your practice from top to bottom. You input the age group your coaching, their skill level, and how long your practice runs. The best part, the videos show you exactly how to do the drills. It even has a chart listing what’s needed for each practice, for example, ten cones and 6 pennies, and you can add your own notes as you go. As someone who would spend WAY too long on practice plans, this is a dream come true. MOJO has the potential to be especially valuable for female coaches who are greatly underrepresented in youth sports. There is also great content to accompany the App, just about every topic a coach needs for a successful season, including an article I wrote about why I started Ilovetowatchyouplay.com.
We spoke to founders Sherwood and Shaffner about their own youth sports experiences that led them to create MOJO, why big-name athletes want to be involved, and what they would change about youth sports if they had a magic wand.