The Story of Backyard Sports, LLC
This entry features a real person who decided that something was missing from his life, so he made a change. Ira Watson, a veteran who resides in Omaha Nebraska took lemons and made lemonade. We've all had a bad day at work, one of those days where you just want to walk away and never comeback. Coach Ira turned his 'bad day' into a new business, Backyard Sports, LLC.
The Q&A with Coach Ira reveals that with a vision, a proper support system and hard work, dreams can become reality. I hope the story of Backyard Sports provides encouragement and proof that everyday, normal people can accomplish big things and live in their purpose!
Q&A with Coach Ira
Q: When did you first think that you needed a change?
A: Honestly, I think it's been brewing for a long time. Probably longer than I realized. There has always been an internal tug at my entrepreneurial strings.
Q: What motivated you to do it, when you did?
A: Funny story. I was being reprimanded for an activity that I had planned for the kids. Of course, the children loved it as well as the parents but it wasn't well received at work. The activity set in place a model that's still in place to encourage the kids to better interact with one another. At the time though, it was frowned upon for one reason or another. After that particular incident I knew then that I had to branch out and put my own ideas into fruition.
Q: How long did it take to go from thought to action or realization?
A: The same day I was reprimanded I went home and began to search online about formation of an LLC. I looked at every business entity and decided which particular set up was ideal for what I wanted to do. Then I began to reach out to friends who had their own businesses, experience, etc. They were an excellent resource of information and encouragement.
Q: How did you overcome the roadblocks if any?
A: The concept of hosting a pickup game is new. People are used to traditional leagues, volunteer coaches, last minute sign ups, etc. We had to educate the public about our way of thinking. It's easier to show them but it took a bit of work getting folks to initially come out and/or register for the games. Once they signed up and saw the expressions on their kid's faces, it was a bit easier.
Q: How important was your support system?
A: A solid support system cannot be underestimated. There are days, moments when even the surest of ideas seems a bit far fetched. Doubt can set in and it's easy to throw your hands up in the air and quit. Trust me, if you do that then someone else will come along and finish what you started. My support system is small, close knit, a select few people who aren't afraid to tell me the truth and only want to see my company succeed.
Q: Why sports?
A: Sports is just a medium that we use to mentor kids. Kids are simple. Listen and even more so, watch them. They tell you what they want to do. Kids just want to run free, jump around, yell and scream, release all of the energy inside of them. What better way to do that than with sports? In our community of military members we find a lot of members who are deployed. Sometimes only one parent is the missing piece for the child to play catch with, to be active with. Through sports, we give that child an opportunity to have fun with those activities again and provide valuable mentorship at the same time.
Q: How much of your childhood experiences played a part in your vision?
A: My childhood was pretty good overall. Growing up in North Carolina we got to enjoy all four seasons and made the most of being outdoors. I remember rushing to do homework so we could go outside and play. I want the kids of this generation to have similar experiences in a safe environment. I also attribute a lot of this to the time I spent with my son when he was younger. That's actually where the concept of Backyard Sports came from. He and I would go outside to play and create games, make our own rules, never focused too much on wins and losses, just the joy that play could bring.
Q: What would you say to those who are afraid to take the next step?
A: I would tell them that it's natural to be a little fearful or to have a small bit of trepidation. Just do your research, your due diligence, and above all believe in yourself. After that, go for it!
Q: How much better is your life now?
A: Life is better in the sense that I get to implement my ideas. Of course they make sense as I've been in the sports field for a few years now. I know what works and can see the need for the activities we present. I tell you this much though, there's nothing like seeing your own vision come to life. It brings a feeling and a reward all its own.
Q: What did you learn in the process?
A: I learned that I bring a lot of value to this industry. I count smiles, fist bumps, and the feeling of appreciation the kids have when they see me out and about in the city as proof. I'm enjoying this journey and touching lives in the process. I think this is what I was "meant to do" as they say.
Q: What's next for you?
A: My goal is to bring Backyard Sports to a place where we can provide sporting activities to kids and families that can't afford to do so. All children want to play, participate, and be appreciated for their contributions. It's important to their development and the need is there probably now more than ever. We'll continue to work towards that goal and cherish each step along the way.
Coach Ira Watson, Owner & Operator
For more information on Coach Ira and Backyard Sports, LLC please visit one of the links below.