I have tried it both ways, by being an independent goalkeeper coach and being part of an organization such as just-for-keepers. And to be honest, if you know what you’re doing you need to have your own identity and remain your own boss. I worked side by side with just-for-keepers for nearly a year. It has some good goalkeeper gloves at reasonable prices, but the administration was way too laid back and in some cases unresponsive or very slow in it’s actions to fix issues or all kinds, to the point where to get a price change on an item took literally weeks.
This is how it went…
Since I stated my own Goalkeeper Academy all my students have joined through word of mouth, satisfied parents that tell other keeper-parents about the goalkeeper school that I have set up and that ads another link in my chain. So, every single academy student that works with me did not find me on the just-for-keepers website or social media pages, none of the 50+ goalkeepers came through them. So basically none of my students knew who just- for -keepers was until they joined my academy.
A good thing that I did receive was a huge discount on their goalkeeper gloves, the turnaround was zero profit, I would resell them at cost price or give the gloves away. I could have made a very slim profit but I preferred not to. So regarding the just- for -keepers goalkeeper gloves, I never made a profit “never”.
I had two goalkeeper camps under the their name, it was advertised on their specific camp website, however at the first camp (28 campers) only 3 signups were people that found my camp through their website. At the second camp 36 campers and only 4 found the camp through the just-for-keepers website.
It dawned on me that I had worked about two months to get each of these camps together, the time spent was never ending, just to see that besides 3 or 4 campers everyone else at the camp were my students, or found out about the camp through my website and social media pages. Just-for-keeper took 50% of the profits and the profit on the GK gloves. So, I did all the work and brought in 90% of the campers and I get a smaller cut than the franchiser?
I have an independent camp, my branded camp happening this week, it is sponsored by Soccer Innovations, we will expose their brand at the camp and they will supply the camp shirts and soccer balls. They’re donating also specific goalkeeper equipment. There is no cash involved, Soccer Innovations wants nothing back, so it is zero cost. I have 38 campers signed up to this next camp. It is the largest “Record Breaking” goalkeeper camp in the state of Florida and by camp day I’m sure that we’ll be more than 40-45 campers all of them organic through “MY” optimized website, social media pages or word of mouth. The same numbers if not more than when I was under just- for -keepers.
The learning experience here was that if you are good at what you do, if you don’t rip off the parents with huge fees, if you know how to do Search Engine Optimization and know your way around social media, you don’t need a secondary brand to bring students to the field, because they really wont bring in what you’re expecting, if not any at all.
Youth Club Soccer & Your own Academy
Can they co-exist? Totally! I’m reading total nonsense about the fact you’ll be better off under a franchising rather than being a part of a youth soccer organization, there is nothing true about that in any form or shape whatsoever! I run my academy on a Friday in one town and a Wednesday in another, I give private lessons on a Monday and I’m the Goalkeeper Academy Director at a competitive youth soccer club with training sessions on a Tuesday and a Thursday. Monday through Friday in the afternoons it is all soccer!
Franchisers always claim that being a goalkeeper coach at a youth soccer club is not the right thing to do, because you’re not your own boss. Let me tell you this: If you’re a goalkeeper coach at a soccer club and the DOC or board members are ragging at you, telling you what to do and how to coach and you wont do anything to make them respect you, then it’s your fault, you are a weak person and you deserve to be pushed around and get eventually fired!
If you’re an experienced GK coach, you will lay the grounds at your youth soccer club as well and in my experience, you’ll make more through the club and on your own than you will ever make using a franchiser to help you find the keepers.
Being a part of Just- for -keepers was a learning experience, an eye opener, in most a waste of time and a large loss in profits. However I come out of all this sloppiness as a stronger person, my academy is even more solid after this negative experience. I have learnt to make the steps I should have taken years ago. I have recently cut deals with soccer equipment giants and I am in the process of putting my own goalkeeper gloves into production and for sale on the major sports/soccer websites.
Another eye opener I gained in this was never to trust them that are smooth talkers and like to makes huge promises.
Fellow goalkeeper coaches, trust me when I say: Do your own thing and be your own boss!
Constitution of United States of America 1789 (rev. 1992)
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.