Protege Athletes/Coaches Making Headlines
Star Athletes Go Online to Teach
Scottsdale, Arizona -- March 6, 2008 -- When it comes to helping young athletes fulfill their potential, Ron Shaffer doesn’t pretend to have all the answers. But he knows the people who do, and he’s making them available to anyone with access to a computer or a mobile device.
Shaffer is president of Protégé Sports, a recently formed company based in Scottsdale that is connecting professional athletes with coaches, parents and young athletes seeking to sharpen their skills and raise the level of their game.
Can’t figure out how to push your basketball skills to the next level? Perhaps spending a few minutes with Phoenix Suns guard Steve Nash might help. Want to learn how to hit a curveball? How about some tips from former California Angels outfielder Tim Salmon.
These are just two of the many top-tier athletes that can be reached anytime, anywhere through Protégé Sports' website, www.protegesports.com
“Our goal is to provide a single location where young players or anyone else involved in youth sports can get instruction from the pros or talk with each other to share ideas,” said Shaffer. “Anyone can search the Internet and find sports tips, but only Protégé Sports offers a combination of expert drills, private lessons and community sharing that's available whenever its convenient for you. We’re providing a social network that's a combination of MySpace, iTunes and online learning, but for sports.”
Protégé’s interactive website makes it possible for a player, coach or parent to download any of the more than 2,000 drills and instructional videos featuring sports stars. Protégé plans to eventually provide over 10,000 videos for baseball, basketball, football, golf, soccer, tennis and more.
In addition to Nash and Salmon, Protégé’s roster of more than 50 star athletes includes WNBA star Katie Smith, NBA Hall of Famer Bob Lanier, golfer Peter Kostis and tennis great Jimmy Connors.
To get started, a person creates a username and password at Protégé’s website. The cost to join is free, but the cost of downloading a video can range from 99 cents to $5, depending upon the length of the instructional drill.
More personalized service is also available. For instance, a baseball player can upload a video of his swing, and one of the pros will analyze the action and create a custom video with advice on how to improve. The private lesson includes lines, arrows and side-by-side stop-action frames to show where hands and feet should be during specific moves. Most of these custom videos run 10 to 15 minutes and cost about $75.
“You really are learning from the pros,” said Kevin Young, former first baseman for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Protégé’s baseball director who is helping to line up major leaguers as instructors.
Former St. Louis Cardinals and San Francisco Giants catcher Mike Matheny, a four-time Gold Glove winner, is another instructor. He decided to participate because of the opportunity to share what he learned during his 13-year big-league career.
“I’ve had some of the best coaches on the planet, and to keep that knowledge to myself would be a crime,” said Metheny.
In addition to the drills and instructional help, Protégé also provides sports-specific communities where users have the capability to blog, invite friends, schedule games and organize teams. And all of these services are available by using a computer or a mobile device.
"We're really at the forefront of modern athletics," Shaffer says. "And more importantly, we're providing professional coaching that is available and affordable. That's a tough combination to beat, no matter what sport you play."
Media Contact: Jim DeLorenzo
posted : 12-Mar-08