GRAND RAPIDS — Just a few short years ago, Jason Mejeur was in the Holland Civic Center watching a Holland Chrisitan freshman basketball game dreaming up a coaching-related business idea with his assistant coach
But today, Mejeur, who was the head varsity coach for the Maroons starting in 2013, has made that dream a reality. He started MaxOne back in 2016 and left coaching to pursue it full-time just one year later. The company is based on the concept of virtual coaching.
“Watching my high school athletes spend six hours a day with their eyes on their phone,” Mejeur said. “[it made me] realize that if I wanted to inspire them to become better basketball players then I had to show up there.”
The company grew linearly, gaining a few new clients each year, but the growth wasn’t anything overwhelming. That all changed in 2020 when the COVID-19 pandemic hit.
Mejeur and his team were thinking that maybe they were coming out too soon with their virtual coaching platform. But once COVID made it impossible for teams to meet in person, high school and travel coaches from all over were reaching out to start using MaxOne with their teams.
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“It felt like we were a little too early like the masses weren’t quite ready for this,” Mejeur said. “Then the phone lines started lighting up and the leads started coming in and the first conversation was always ‘hey, we’ve been meaning to do this, we know it’s the future, but now we have to do it.”
Even though the world has gone back to normal to some extent, they don’t anticipate the need for virtual coaching to go away anytime soon. He said that just like the rest of the world, the sports industry is moving into a hybrid model now. Even when coaches aren’t hosting practice, they can upload skills training or workout plans to MaxOne for their teams to follow.
The idea has caught the eye of some heavy hitters in the sports world too. MaxOne just wrapped up a round of Series A financing and they netted $3.5 million. One of the big names that put money into the company was Phoenix Suns point guard Chris Paul, who runs a basketball training facility in North Carolina, CP3 Academy.
“As we ran CP3 Academy through the pandemic, we were running 5-6 different tools to stay in touch with our athletes and help them train from home,” says CJ Paul, Director of CP3 Academy and Manager CP3 Investment Group said in a release. “When we saw MaxOne we were floored with how comprehensive the platform was and knew that not only did we need it, but that 1000’s of other organizations will need it as they transform into the new normal of hybrid training – both in-person and at home in combination.”
The platform, which works across all sports, isn’t just focused on a single coach-to-team model. It’s also looking into giving training access to individuals who want to better themselves. Paul, in addition to getting his academy teams hooked in with MaxOne, also has a separate plan that demonstrates tips for basketball workouts that anybody can do.
Mejeur is looking to do more of that in the future with other athletes across sports like football, soccer and more. That’s a big aspect to what he was thinking up in the Civic Center just a few years ago. Now, he’s making it possible for student-athletes to get better, regardless of where they live or the coaching they have access to nearby.
“We want to give every kid access to elite training programs regardless of zip code or income bracket,” Mejeur said. “Our robust content library, partnerships with leading sensor and motion capture companies, and simple to use content delivery platform are making MaxOne the center of gravity for data aggregation and training in youth sports.”
—Contact Assistant Sports Editor Will Kennedy at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter @ByWillKennedy and Facebook @Holland Sentinel Sports.