Barb Smith found her passion in empowering young women when she was a women’s basketball coach for 30 years. Through the experience she witnessed student athletes who loved their college experience and others who were just surviving. Currently out of coaching, Barb wanted to use her experience to find a way to assist female student athletes in finding the right home when choosing to play college sports. She decided to start her own business, Find My Team, to partner with female student athletes and empower them through the college recruiting process. Find My Team launched its
website on September 28, 2020.
The Small Business Development Center (SBDC) of McLean County at Illinois Wesleyan University has been involved from the idea stage. Barb ran into a friend at a local event two years ago who advised her to go to the SBDC. That is where she received help on business planning, marketing, financial planning, and later hired one of the SBDC interns onto her team. Barb says that she “cannot thank the SBDC enough for staying with Find My Team while they made adjustments, and for being a strong advocate and encourager.”
At the moment, the college transfer rate is at an all-time high. Barb is looking to change this statistic through Find My Team. Student athletes take an assessment to become self-aware about what they are looking for in a school. From there athletes can be paired with a personal coach or simply use the website as a resource. Find My Team is not an agent, but a passenger and guide on the ride of the athlete’s recruiting journey. Everything throughout the process goes through the student athlete. Barb has coaches from all over the country to help guide her clients, as well as utilizing student athletes’ feedback throughout the whole process. As the business continues to grow, it will have more tools to use on the website. Now, they are focused on bringing student athletes to the website to learn as much as they can about the recruiting process.
As it stands, only 4% of media coverage goes to women’s sports even though these athletes are extremely talented. Barb has built a community of former players, coaches, parents, and others to support women in sports. Barb emphasized, “if anyone knows of any athletes who need guidance in the college recruiting process, go to www.FindMyTeam.com and contact us. Sign up for a free session to talk about the recruiting coaching packages or just email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.”
Following your dreams can take you in a lot of different directions. One of those paths might be taking the chance to start your own business because you are so passionate about your mission. For help getting your business off the ground, connect with the SBDC via email: email@example.com.