Play it Forward: Recapping Episode Four with Pro Skills Basketball’s Logan Kosmalski and Brendan Winters
We launched Play It Forward to highlight leading youth and local sports leaders across the country. This week, we’re glad to introduce you to two of the industry’s finest: Pro Skills Basketball’s Logan Kosmalski and Brendan Winters, who shared their tips for supercharging growth with our host Gary Belsky at our NextUp Conference this fall.
Kosmalski and Winters met as Davidson College Wildcats, and founded Pro Skills while playing together professionally in Germany. They explain that they chose the name “Pro Skills” because they wanted to teach kids the skills that they had learned throughout their careers as they ascended to the professional ranks.
Click here to access the full episode, and scroll down to read some of the main takeaways from the interview.
Tip #1: Sweat Equity, And Lots Of It
Kosmalski and Winters turned an early setback into an opportunity for growth. After failing to attract enough players for their first camp, they realized they needed to invest more time in marketing and networking. Kosmalski described their approach in simple terms: “we did everything we could think of.” Attending AAU games allowed them to network with players, coaches and parents, and they revved up their traditional marketing methods all the way down to yard signs and placing flyers on car windshields. As Kosmalski remarked later in the episode, “Our mission with the company has always centered around self-improvement.”
Tip #2: Public-Facing Professionalization
Parents and players quickly form opinions about youth organizations based upon a handful of factors. One of those key factors is how well a club or team communicates. Winters believes clear and consistent communication is something any forward-thinking organization needs to invest in properly. For them, that meant utilizing technology to connect with their members in real time, and paying attention to small but important things like the consistency of their email design. Balancing substance and style can be tricky, but it remains a major differentiator between average and elite organizations.
Tip #3: An Eye For Talent
A mistake that growing youth organizations often make is that they overvalue sports experience when bringing on coaches. Kosmalski describes Pro Skills Basketball’s talent acquisition wishlist in the following way:
“I think our focus in the last couple of years has switched to a mindset of finding the best people possible,” Winters added. “Then we can train them on the basketball side.” Broadening your talent criteria beyond playing and coaching experience is one way to elevate your organization’s ceiling.
Pro Skills Basketball began as a week-long camp in Lake Norman, NC and has since expanded to eight states and 13 separate cities. If you’d like to learn more about their rapid growth over the past decade, click here for the full podcast recording.