National Video Games Examiner Patrick Hickey Jr. chats with former MLB player and UP17 app co-founder Joe Mahoney, who discusses his software which allows kids that play baseball or softball to submit videos of their performances to former professional baseball players and coaches in order to be coached and evaluated. Former Atlanta Braves star Dale Murphy and other former MLB veterans the likes of Paul LoDuca, Charlie Hayes, Matt Wise and Desi Relaford are also involved with the project as well and all have the same desire- to help kids play better.
For more information on the app, click here.
Hickey Jr.: What inspired the creation of the app?
Joe Mahoney: UP17 was created out of a love of Baseball. Co-creators David Schultz and myself sought to connect youth players with former MLB pros.David and I had a vision to create a technology platform that combines both a service (coaching) and an experience (interactions with a real MLB Pro). They knew that such a platform was technologically possible, but no one had created it.
Hickey Jr.: How does it work?
Mahoney: After recording and submitting video via the UP17 app, each player is expertly matched by the UP17 team to a ProCoach based on the type of instruction needed. Within a few days a lesson package is returned to the player including 6-8 minutes of video analysis with telestration and voiceover, UP17 drills, personal notes and a digital Certificate of Authenticity.
Hickey Jr.: How much does it cost?
Mahoney: A complete lesson package from an UP17 ProCoach can cost $65 – $75 depending upon how many are purchased. UP17 offers League and Team discounts for multiple lesson packages as well.
Hickey Jr.: How did you get so many MLB players to participate?
Mahoney: UP17 has a special relationship with the MLB Players Alumni Association, which has played a critical role in identifying and recruiting our ProCoaches.
Hickey Jr.: How do they interact?
Mahoney: Each UP17 ProCoach accesses our proprietary software, enabling them to give instruction from anywhere. Once a ProCoach reviews a player’s video, they begin the coaching process by telestrating the video and recording their coaching commentary. The ProCoach also selects UP17 drills for each of the youth ballplayers and provides written notes that summarize their coaching tips.
Hickey Jr.: Is there one player who stands out the most?
Mahoney: Not necessarily. We’ve compiled an impressive roster of ProCoaches and they are all experts in the field. Two-time National League MVP, Dale Murphy is our spokesperson and is more than just the face of UP17. Dale is a passionate about sharing his love for the game and, as such, is actively involved in the business.
Hickey Jr.: Who do you think will enjoy this product the most?
Mahoney: We’ve been pleasantly surprised at who’s using UP17. We get a lot of kids and their parents – which was expected, but we are also seeing college players use the application as well as adult league players.
Hickey Jr.: What’s next?
Mahoney: We have an exciting roadmap including a number of enhancements planned for 2016. We expect to add additional coaching options as well as additional ways to facilitate connections between young players and our ProCoaches.