Many of us can relate to reminiscing over our “glory days” on the field.
Today, there are over 46.5 million children (aged six to 17) participating in youth sports who are creating memories of their own. This week, I had the chance to interview a former professional athlete-turned-entrepreneur who is striving to level the playing field for youth sports.
Tyrre Burks, Founder and CEO of Player’s Health, decided it was time for a change, having sustained many serious injuries in his youth and professional football careers.
Burks recalled, “Toward the end of my professional football career, I was on crutches from an injury in which I tore my hamstring from my tibia. At that point, I had a season full of injuries; I thought, ‘how can I make this better for young athletes so they can avoid these injuries and health issues for the duration of their athletic careers?’”
Burks has a passion for giving youth athletes access to resources that will help better manage their health to continue living healthy, pain-free lives while also pursuing athletics.
In addition to the Player Health’s assessment technology, Burks’ vision for his company is to help bridge the gap between most collegiate or professional athletes and youth sports that have but a fraction of resources available to them for health and safety measures. Player’s Health provides a health assessment solution designed specifically to address this need in the industry.
Player’s Health’s “circle of care” is a digital risk management platform dedicated to assessing and providing guidance on the best care practices for the overall health and well-being of young athletes. This includes background checks, injury protocols, rehab assignments, training session monitoring, and anonymous abuse or misconduct reporting.
Additionally, Player’s Health now has over 400 sports organizations that make up over 500,000 athletes which has played a huge role in securing partnerships with companies such as TeamSnap, US Club Soccer, and Sports Engine. Player’s Health has become exponentially more popular in youth sports as a result of major partnership deals with highly influential companies. Player’s Health works with insurance brokers and charges implementation fees to the sports organizations that choose to adopt their platform.
So, where did it all begin? Team Interval (which would later become Player’s Health) started as tool to improve communication within a team. “My initial idea for Player’s Health came to me back when I was playing professional football. I was battling some injuries which required me to spend a lot of time with our team trainers. One day, I was sitting in the sauna recovering from my injury, I checked my phone to find out my coach was not happy that I missed out on something. Which is when I learned that my time spent at the rehab center never got communicated properly. That was the moment that I begin thinking of a better way to improve the communication process for teams to avoid situations like mine.” said Burks.
Player’s Health was founded in July of 2015 and has since grown its full-time team to 12. The founder’s original vision was to improve organization and communication within athletic teams. It wasn’t long after that founder Burks decided he could do more. He began to develop risk management software that could provide risk and compliance services to help youth sports organizations monitor and report injuries and abuse, establish protocols to mitigate any associated risks and improve the overall health and safety of athletes.
So, how does one use Player’s Health? To start, an organization purchases Player’s Health. Next, parents simply fill out basic health information in their child athlete’s profile just as they would when they first register their child for sports (i.e. does your child have asthma, diabetes, nut allergy, etc.). Next, parents include a plan of action for the coach if their child’s health conditions provoke an emergency situation. Additionally, parents may at any time add past or ongoing injuries to their athlete’s user profile, which are accessible to the coaches. This lowers the chance of injuries not being properly communicated and limits the risk and liability associated for all parties involved.
When asked for the most crucial advice he could give me as an inspiring entrepreneur, Burks said, “Humility is key starting out. You can’t be afraid to make a mistake, but you have to own up to it.” Additionally, Burks went on to relate entrepreneurship in terms of athletics – an area we both live and breathe.
“As an athlete, we both hate making mistakes. But, if you aren’t making mistakes, you aren’t doing enough to put yourself in a position to get better and level up.”
Burks added that there was nothing looking back that he would have done differently. Every mistake, experience, and tough time shaped him and his business to be better overall. However, he did open up about the challenges that he had to overcome since starting his company.
“The biggest challenge I had to conquer was self-doubt. When you start a company, you psych yourself out and question whether you have what it takes. Starting a business is intimidating but you have to stay positive and outwork the internal intimidation.”
The future looks bright for Player’s Health, whose goal is to be the largest sports insurance company globally. Burks also hinted at new partnership deals that will be announced later this month. He also stated that Player’s Health would be updating its user interface within their app and implementing features that were suggested by customers.
For more information about Player’s Health please visit: https://playershealth.com/>
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