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Meet Andrew Hyson of Playball Superstars in North County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Andrew Hyson.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Married for 21 years and the proud Father of two boys and one daddy’s girl, I was born in the Commonwealth of Dominica located within the Caribbean. My family moved to Canada when I was 8, and I lived in Canada for over 25 years, this is where I was raised, and educated and received my Bachelor of Arts and teaching credentials. Having relocated to San Diego California with my family, we have been running the Playball franchise since 2006.

A teacher by profession, I have taught in the public and the private sector, from 1st grade to 12th grade. My experience includes teaching all core subjects in elementary school, and English, History, Civics and PE in high school. My experience as a teacher made for a natural transition from the educational system in instructing and operating the Playball Superstars franchise.

Now ages, 22, 20 and 14, my three children have all grown up helping with the family business and have played an intricate role in its success. While my middle son is a junior at Stern Business School in New York, my eldest is a full-time coach and works regularly with me. Even my daughter offers her assistance in the highly demanded private birthday parties and seasonal camps our franchise offers.

Anyone who knows me can testify of my love for children and genuine concern for their healthy growth and development. I strongly feel that Playball Superstars is an essential tool that allows me to accomplish my life’s calling while preparing for our future generation to become well rounded and high functioning adults within our society.

To me, I am simply doing what I love, with the people I love, for children that love the program and parents that want the best for their children. It’s a win-win for everyone.

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?
Twelve years ago, I never thought that I would make it as far as I have with my franchise. I often tell people how important the book Rich Dad Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki is to me, but truthfully that was the extent of my business knowledge.

When I started with Playball Superstars I had no idea how to run a business, let alone how to be successful at it. The first few years were challenging because I had to teach myself everything I needed to know about running a business and learn it on the go. Until Playball Superstars came into my life, I had always been a clock-in-clock-out employee.

After getting my Teachers Certificate in Canada, I struggled to land a full-time teaching position. For a few years, I was only able to secure short-term assignments as a substitute teacher. When my family and I moved to California, my certification became obsolete and any plans I had of becoming a full-time teacher here needed serious reconsideration.

It seemed that life was forcing me to pursue a new career path and to reevaluate how I could utilize my strengths and skills unconventionally. As fate would have it, I stumbled across Playball USA after answering a Craigslist’s posting for a coaching position. As soon as I saw a class in session, something inside of me was stirred, and I knew Playball was for me, I just knew that I was gifted to do this!

To this day San Diego’s area manager and I joke about how immediately began grilling her on how I could become a franchise owner when all she was looking for was a coach.

The mix of sports and teaching children came easily to me. My gift to bring the joy and enthusiasm out of kids was a natural fit. My classes were structured and fun, and soon more students wanted to be a part of the program. When I finally got my franchise, I remember how nervous I used to get when I would go into Poway and cold call potential schools.

As a black male who has faced racism and discrimination his whole life, I was intimidated not knowing how I would be received walking into these unfamiliar schools trying to sell a program I was barely familiar with. At times I would even find myself paralyzed with fear, but in those moments I would cling to a scripture from the Bible that says, “I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.”

There’s also a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that continues to encourage me: “No one can make you feel inferior without your consent.” These uplifting words helped me face those cold calls with confidence, but nevertheless, doubts often filled my head and I would have to persevere in the face of fear.

I was confident in my teaching abilities and my experience not only as a competitive athlete but also as a high school basketball coach, yet I was uncertain if that would translate to coaching preschoolers. Until Playball Superstars I never had to sell anything other than myself in situations such as interviews for teaching positions, so I wasn’t sure I’d be able to successfully market a program that was so new to me.

To my surprise, the majority of the schools were quite eager to hear about the program. With the assistance of our Area Manager and Playball’s well-resourced materials, I was able to book free promo classes in six schools within two days. I distinctly remember walking into one of my first schools and talking with the school’s director, Jennifer.

Just minutes into our conversation she enthusiastically said: “That sounds great, sports is the only enrichment we don’t have yet, how soon can we start?” Playball Superstars is still successfully running in this school in North County as well as eight other schools that we started in over twelve years ago. Our business now operates in a total of twelve schools across San Diego and continues to grow, operating at nearly full capacity.

Notably, the classes have become so successful, many schools have employed Playball Superstars so they can ensure every child enrolled at their school has the opportunity to take advantage of what the program offers. Over the years, the best part about Playball is the relationships we have fostered with the administration, staff, and families at the schools. We have come a long way and I am excited to see what the future holds.

Alright – so let’s talk business. Tell us about Playball Superstars – what should we know?
Playball has proven itself in 8 countries over the past 30 years and is recognized as a unique and invaluable sports coaching program, with hundreds of thousands of children benefiting from a foundation in sport. Playball offers a variety of sport and movement programs for boys and girls.

All of the programs are taught in a fun-filled, energetic and positive environment and for the last 30 years, children from all over the world have enjoyed the positive impact that Playball has had in their lives. We are not just another ball program. We use the medium of sports to improve motor development, increase concentration, build muscle tone, improve hand-eye and foot-eye coordination, and improve balance along with countless life skills.

At Playball children learn persistence, courage, responsibility, teamwork, self-worth, and numerous other attributes. Playball motivates children to participate in sports and sparks an interest in physical activity. At Playball we are partners in education. We believe that success leads to confidence and more success!

Research has proven that children between the ages of two and eight (known as foundation phase) who develop the key movement skills and experience the joy of competitive sports, will participate in physical activity and enjoy the many benefits that an active lifestyle provides for the rest of their lives!

We’ve had many incredible testimonies over the years, but this one is one of my favorites “We found out in May of this year that Michael had an autism spectrum disorder “Asperger Syndrome”. Fortunately, he is pretty High Functioning, and we found that through your efforts and Playball he does not have as much difficulty with gross motor skills that these children usually do.”

We offer six different Playball programs lasting one year each. These are age-specific according to the cognitive, emotional/social and motor development milestones of each age group. In each program, your child’s developmental, emotional and physical needs are met. Each program has as one of its primary objectives to teach sport and movement, and to teach it properly.

Playball is Fun & exciting! The lessons include an impressive fun component that ensures that children are never bored. Playball is Age-Specific! Each program caters to one age group and covers an extensive range of sports skills. Playball is Current! Each program is constantly reviewed to ensure that your child develops at the right pace.

Playball is Progressive! Our programs progress from honing simple movement abilities, to introducing fundamental skills. The Playball Superstars franchise is represented in twelve schools and either an enrichment program was in the parents have an option to pick and pay or as a PE program where the school pays hourly for the entire class to participate. We also offer holiday and summer camps that go from 9:00 am to 12:30 pm.

At camp, students don’t only participate in sports activities, but it is well structured with craft, lunchtime, and playground time. We’ve had a 100% success rating with our Playball birthday parties. I have done over 300 Playball birthday parties, and we absolutely have a 100% satisfaction rating. The kids love it because they get to do the fun games in front of parents and grandparents, and sometimes with cousins. And parents love it because they get to see all the fun the kids are having and it tires them out for a nice nap after.

We do a lot of the same activities we do at school. But we stay away from the individual skill activities and do more fun group activities. This is what one parent said about their sons Playball birthday party, “Thank you so much for the fabulous birthday party. He and all his friends had a great time. We will definitely recommend you to other parents. Loved your energy and the program”

Is there a characteristic or quality that you feel is essential to success?
Besides the professionalism, the name Playball comes with, the superior curriculum, and the incredible support it offers their franchise owners to ensure they are fully equipped to be successful.

I would have to say the qualities I most attribute to my personal success is confidence in my skills and gifting as an athlete and an educator, the faith that if I keep learning beyond my present knowledge base, I will continue to grow and flourish, and most importantly my willingness to push myself beyond present fears and do necessary things even if I have to do them afraid.

Of course, the support of my family and community has played a vital role, as well as the revelation that what I do is a worthwhile crusade. As I continue to market schools, my once timid trepidation has been replaced with the bold conviction that the program I offer is undoubtedly equipping the next generation with the life-skills necessary to prepare them for the world rapidly moving and changing around them.

With all humility, I genuinely believe that any school that invites Playball Superstars into their existing programming is feeding into the success of not only their school but into the future generation. I believe this conviction and the passion translates to the school directors and once they get to witness the reality of the program’s benefits, success breeds success.

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