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Meet Mark Ebbing of Amazing Athletes of Broward & Palm Beach Counties in Boca Raton, Coral Springs, Coconut Creek

Today we’d like to introduce you to Mark Ebbing.

Mark, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Mark grew up in Tampa, FL as an active child. He played on the little league soccer and baseball teams, learning the fundamentals of an active lifestyle. He later joined the Boy Scouts of America and continued his active lifestyle as a senior patrol leader, leading his troop on summer camps, hikes along the Appalachian Trail, SeaBase and a National Jamboree. He worked hard and earned the rank of Eagle Scout. Mark went on to graduate from the University of Florida with a degree in Travel & Tourism.

Mark comes from a retail background as an Assistant General Manager with the Gap where he focused on driving sales thru interactions with customers while motivating and encouraging his sales associates to emulate such behaviors for 14 years. He runs his business with a high level of customer service knowing that by delighting customers creates loyalty. He has maintained his active life style and ran the Miami Marathon in 2008. Mark balances himself by eating healthy and exercising regularly.

Mark got involved with Amazing Athletes to help to teach young children like his niece and nephews the healthy options available thru sports. The Amazing Athletes curriculum teaches children the basic fundamentals and mechanics of nine different sports while focusing on motor skill development. He has a passion for children and their development. He wanted a new challenge and the Amazing Athlete program is something that he can use to contribute to the long term success of children around South Florida.

Looking back on my decision to leave a great job to start my own business was the scariest leap of faith ever. Having been in this business for 5 years and watching the children progress with me, some of which have been with me since day 1, is the most rewarding aspect of this job. I hear countless stories from parents who tell me how much my program is impacting their children’s live. My favorite is when parents tell me of how their children go home and play Coach Mark by having mom and dad stand on paper plates (like my placement spots) and then reenacting class. It is great to hear stories like that!

When starting this business in June 2013 with a staff consisting of me, myself and I, have built it to now have 33 schools where we offer my program. I now have a Business Development Manager who assists me with a lot of the day to day operations of the business but focuses on bringing in new schools to offer classes in. My immediate goal is to hire a 6th and 7th coach so that, I can stop assigning myself to coaching classes each week that will allow me to circulate to see all schools and my coaches in action to provide them the feedback to deliver the best possible class to all enrolled students. I truly love what I do and can’t wait for the next phase of my business to kick off.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Finding the right coach to hire to lead classes with the same passion and enthusiasm as I have. This is definitely a part time job, providing great supplemental income.

Working for the Gap for 14 years, gave me the knowledge of how to delight and retain customers thru amazing customer engagement. However, I did get used to all of the departments that took care of the payroll processing, creating of new time and attendance forms each month, hiring, payment processing… now if there is something that I want don’t, I had go do it myself. This has been a long road with many long hours and time devoted to this but in the end all of the hard work is going back to me rewarding me for the hard work required to make this happen.

One thing I learned very quickly was CONSISTENCY. Parents, teachers and my students need to have the same level of classes held each week on the same day off the week. In the beginning, when I would get sick, I had no problems calling out and rescheduling the class. It was not until a parent pointed this out to me that I truly understood the importance of being consistent.

Please tell us about Amazing Athletes of Broward & Palm Beach Counties.
At Amazing Athletes, we empower children by using sports as a catalyst to engage their inner strengths and abilities so they can confidently pursue an active lifestyle through each stage of development.

Based on a building block system, each of our Amazing Athletes programs take the time to carefully instruct each child at his or her own pace, breaking down and teaching the fundamentals of nine different sports: basketball, football, soccer, volleyball, hockey, lacrosse, golf, tennis and baseball.

Our unique programs help to develop key motor skills and instill the values and advantages of structured active play for healthy habits and benefits that can last a lifetime. Active children demonstrate better focus, energy, emotional control, social awareness and more. All of our Amazing Athletes programs are taught in group settings, allowing our coaches to incorporate lessons on teamwork, sportsmanship and self-confidence.

Most importantly, we teach each child at his or her own pace, helping them to meet, master, and exceed their motor development milestones and personal goals. By encouraging each child on an individual level, our athletes gain the confidence and personal insight to encourage a love of fitness that can stretch through adolescence and adulthood.

Glen, an international business major and Janee, a Doctor of Chiropractic, always knew they wanted to start their own business and soon after their marriage they opened their own chiropractic office. But, after having their first child, Ethan, they found themselves drawn to the early childhood industry. Fusing their love of sports with their passion for early-education, the original Amazing Athletes program was launched in 11 preschools across Orange County in Southern California. The classes made an immediate impact and growth was tremendous for the couple. Soon, they were approached by an individual asking if they would consider franchising the program in order to reach even more children.

While franchising was not their original goal, the opportunity to reach children across the nation wasn’t one Glen and Janee could pass up. In 2006, the company brought in its first franchised provider. Today, there are more than 100 providers across 26 states. Both Glen and Janee continue to play an active role in Amazing Athletes and as the company continues to grow, their goal of enhancing every child’s early learning experience through meaningful physical activity continues to become a reality.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Getting a new big boy bike at 5 years old and so excited to ride it, I had my mom help me up onto the banana boat seat, with me barely reaching the ground and I rode it down the drive way, across the street and right into the mailbox. A dozen stitches or so later, I got home and wanted to give it another try. Mom was there for me and I would not give up on what I wanted to accomplish.

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