Coach Gabriel Roffe joins the Upper Hand Pod to talk about his work as CEO of Great Sports Inc. Great Sports aspires to be an outstanding athletic organization that provides a high-quality experience to every athlete. Roffe offers after school sports programs such as basketball, soccer and flag football to various schools in the Miami area - as well as personal training.
You can read an overview of the interview with Gabriel Roffe or listen to the podcast below for the full interview.
Q: What is the vision and mission behind Great Sports Inc & how did you get started?
A: I got started in 2012 with coaching in general. I used to volunteer coach for a Optimist Club here in Miami. I coached basketball and one of our parents on that team, she's a teacher... And that's kind of how this all started, after the season was over she suggested to me “hey have you ever thought about starting a program at a school?” and back then I didn't even know that that was a possibility. So she set up a meeting with myself and her principal, and the principal loved the idea of having a sports program at the school… And that was the first school that we started at...
Q: Tell us a little about what you're working on at the moment?
A: Well right now we have summer right around the corner so we're setting up for when the school year closes in June. We have several programs going on in the summer beginning with our Golf Camp, which is a full-time camp that starts in July. And then we also are an outsourced program for other camps, where they contract us to come in once or twice, or maybe 3 times per week, for an hour, to provide their kids with our training...
Q: Tell us a story about one of your proudest moments in your coaching career?
A: I have little moments where I'll just kind of sit back and just, whether we are at a game or a practice, I'll take it all in, so to say. But one of my proudest specific moments was last season after our soccer season we made it all the way to the championship, we did lose, but the kids and the parents were so grateful. They gave me this big card and they all signed it, and put kind words in there, and that was a really proud moment of mine.
Q: Tell us a story about some of the challenges you faced in your coaching/athletic career and how you overcame them, or maybe you still are?
A: There's a challenge every day, that's how I look at it. you have to embrace the challenges, and you have to embrace the obstacles. what I'm trying to do now as the CEO is, I'm trying to maintain everything we have established, and make sure we're providing quality and our programs don't become watered down. so doing that and then also trying to expand, that's probably the biggest day-to-day challenge...
Q: What do you think has been the key to your success that other coaches could learn from?
A: To be honest with you, the number one key to success in anything that you're doing is passion. Genuine passion and loving what you do. Like I said at the beginning, I started doing this voluntarily, so I loved it from the get-go. And as long as you have that, that's pretty much all you need, passion and focus. And if you have those two things you're going to deliver quality and everything else will fall into place.
Q: What wisdom have you picked up over your years of working in the sport industry?
A: I think the biggest thing that I've picked up is patience. especially working with kids, when you're kind of the leader of the program you want everything to be perfect, and you want everything to be spot-on 100 percent of the time and you just have to realize that kids are going to make mistakes just like adults are going to make mistakes and you just have to practice patience…
Q: How do you work to alter your approach based on the athlete you’re working with and their individual personality?
A: ...Everybody has a different way of learning, and it's our job as leaders and coaches, to adjust to every individual’s way of learning and way of being. And that just goes to the relationships too, knowing your players and having that patients, having that work ethic to kind of be able to customize your coaching approach to all of your players.
Q: How do you think technology is changing the way you work and coach?
A: Technology is a game-changer, especially for entrepreneurs. In my opinion were living in an era right now where it's the easiest to become an entrepreneur to start your own business. We have technology at our fingertips. So technology is huge for us...