Each week Ubersense showcases a coach or athlete of the Ubersense community who we think our users and everyone else would like to meet. This week, we’re talking with Brody Welte, who, after some time in Hawaii, returned to the mainland and created Stand Up Fitness: a paddleboard company in Florida. Brody has expanded and rerouted his business into PaddleFit, a SUP fitness and certification company which has taken the country by storm with its fun outdoor fitness!
Be sure to check out PaddleFit’s website to learn more about this great venture: http://www.paddlefitpro.com/
1. I read that you had a life changing job in the beautiful outdoors in Hawaii. Can you tell us a bit about that time in your life? Did you find the inspiration that led you to craft the idea of fun paddle board fitness?
I have always been motivated by opportunities instead of money. So my decisions are based on taking advantage of any opportunity that comes along. So I had the opportunity to relocate to Hawaii for a job. My title was “Island Host” and my duties were to show guests what the island of Kauai had to offer. This included hiking, mountain biking, zip lining and stand up paddling (SUP). So Hawaii is where I learned to SUP. I can still remember my first time and it was both challenging and exciting and that was when the light bulb came on and where the idea of PaddleFit was born. To basically combine outdoor fitness with SUP.
2. How does PaddleFit help athletes and coaches keep the “fun” in fitness?
Less than 5% of all our clients are professional athletes so the other 95% are with us because that want to get healthy and enjoy the process. So the best part about SUP is that it is inherently fun. So our main focus is to teach people the fundamentals of paddling and to keep them safe so that they can enjoy all aspects of SUP and using SUP to fulfill their health and fitness goals. While teaching people the fundamentals does not sound like fun, it is amazing how it helps gives our clients confidence to be able to go and explore and break down barriers to achieve their goals. We pass this philosophy on to our coaches through our educational program.
3. You’ve managed to expand PaddleFit from Florida to California, Canada, and beyond! What makes PaddleFit such a unique, successful program?
The first thing is how we at PaddleFit define success, it is not about money, it is not about how big we can get. Success to us comes down to one simple question that we ask ourselves on a moment by moment basis. Are we positively impacting those people that we come into contact with? For us at PaddleFit corporate this means how we train and interact with the coaches that are coming into our system. And this gets passed on to them so that the real winner is the clients. When you truly care about those that you come into contact with, it becomes infectious and our coaches are passing this on. So our growth is directly tied to how much we care about the client. We understand that the only way that we have a job is if we make sure that every client has the best experience that we can provide.
4. What are your goals for the future? More expansion?
Great questions. I sometimes get in trouble because my mind always seems to be 3 to 5 years down the road. I am always thinking about the future and how we can become better. The first thing that we are doing is expanding into other countries. We already have trips planned to Central America, Australia and New Zealand and we will move into Europe for 2015 and soon after South America. Also in the works is a kids program. It is very important as an industry that we take care of the kids. We need to keep the sport accessible, fun and safe for the kids so that they grow up and become ambassadors for the sport. I have been working on the kids program for a while and we are hopeful to launch it in the next 12 months. After that we are working on a performance program that has been in the works for a couple of years and will continue to be refined. We are working with the top professional athletes in our sport right now at PaddleFit corporate in San Diego but we want to pass this info on to our coaches through our performance program.
5. On your blog, you say that, at PaddleFit, you are “coaches not instructors.” This seems like something that is rather unique to PaddleFit — can you expand upon that statement?
This is your best question and I believe that this sets us apart from all of the other companies out there. In my mind I have negative images of an instructor, it is either someone who is condescending towards me, focused more on themselves, treats me like a number or someone who just barks out instruction. However, when I think of a coach I have an images of someone who challenges me but is also concerned about my overall wellbeing. So we instill in our coaches that we need to care about the overall wellbeing of our clients. A wise person once told me that your clients don’t care how much you know, they want to know how much you care. This is our vision of a coach and we live by that philosophy.
6. It is amazing to see that you and your 900+ certified coaches incorporate Ubersense into PaddleFit. How do you accomplish this?
Right now we use Ubersense with our level 2 and 3 coaches. In level 3 we have them download the app and walk through using the video analysis app. We use them as examples to show how it works and we started to catalogue all of our coaches so that we can track their progress. This gives them the opportunity to see it in action and be able to use Ubersense with their clients. Once again our motivation is to provide the best experience possible to the end user, our clients.
7. Do you have any tips for other coaches when it comes to using video analysis in sports?
Yes I do. Two things. 1st is that the the video analysis should reinforce and confirm the information that you have already shown your client. If you are discussing new info with your clients through video analysis, it will become confusing and will lose some of its impact. We use video analysis to put into pictures the items that we worked on in person and to give them “homework” that we discussed so they can refer back to it. The second thing is that the video analysis doesn’t replace good coaching or should not take the place of good client relations. I see too many “coaches” just want to send clients a workout or a standard training program with the main focus being on residual revenue. I understand the importance of residual revenue but it shouldn’t take the place or diminish good client care. So again, make sure that your video analysis has a specific purpose and the main goal is to make your client better.
We at Ubersense would like to thank Brody and those at PaddleFit for generously giving their valuable time and expertise. We’re excited to see more and more PaddleFit videos on the app!