Willie Ford’s sister Julia is a ski racer who competed in the 2014 winter Olympic Games. Prior to the games, she got a double-edged offer to join the U.S. Ski Team. It would allow her to work, train, and compete with some of the best ski racers in the world. But it cost $18,000—money she did not have at that time as a young ski racer.
“I just wanted to make sure there are no more Julia Fords in the world,” entrepreneur Willie Ford said in a phone interview.
Thus came Givego.
Willie Ford helped build helmet company POC before selling it to Black Diamond Equipment. Ford left his managing director position at POC in 2018 to start and build Givego, which serves to provide easy sports coaching for virtually anyone. The company launched in May 2020 and has been rapidly growing ever since.
“Unless you’re the upper 1% of any particular sport, hobby, or passion,” Ford said, “You’re not really making that much money. But a lot of these people are right below that level of international exposure. They have incredibly loyal and interested local followings. It’s our obligation to give them the mechanisms to connect with their following, enhance their brand, and help them monetize the little slivers of time throughout their day.”
Givego is a mobile app that’s strict on its value of being easy. It seeks to be easy and efficient for both the user seeking coaching and the coaches themselves. It has some of the best professionals in the world for each given athletic discipline, like Alex Ferreira (ski), Julian Carr (ski), Matt Baird (golf), Aaron Olson (golf), Austin Keen (wake surf), and many, many more.
Here’s how it works:
- Upload your video: Simply upload 20 seconds of video. Choose your best video so that Givego’s experts can provide their best coaching.
- Tell Givego what you’re working on: Give Givego’s experts some background on what it is exactly you’re working on. The more detailed you are, the more pointed the coaching.
- Receive slow-motion video analysis back from a pro—quickly: Through Givego’s proprietary Expert Interface, you’ll receive slow motion video analysis, of your video, with voice-over, drawing, and full annotation. All in the palm of your hand.
Givego has two plan options: “Basic,” which is free, and “Gold,” a paid subscription for $99/year or $12.99 monthly. As you may expect, the “Gold” subscription has added perks and benefits such as immediate access to 12 coaching sessions, a 20% discount on sessions, priority sessions, exclusive access to partner deals, and more.
My personal experience with Givego
Because I was curious about Givego—and because I’m a skier who seeks to improve his skills on two planks each winter—I decided I’d try it out. I love throwing myself off cliffs into powder, but I have an issue with cliffs about 20-feet-tall or greater. When I start trying cliffs this size or bigger, I bail halfway through the air, flailing like a fish and crashing, often to my side or with an awkward backslap. So I uploaded a video of myself jumping off a cliff at Monarch Mountain in Colorado this past winter—one I did not land because I got off-axis, bailing right before I was able to stick the landing.
Pro skier and big-cliff-hucking guru Julian Carr coached my video. The clip I uploaded wasn’t more than 10 seconds long. The coached clip Carr sent back was 45-seconds long and was voiced-over with his advice on how to improve my cliff-jumping skills.
He gave me positive feedback on how I took off the cliff with confidence and speed, and the value of having a soft landing. Then he told me my “stepping stone” towards improvement would be to find a cliff of a similar caliber, but with a much wider, much more open landing. Not one that’s in the middle of a thick forest, like the one I was attempting. Trees have a huge impact on the mental aspect of sending a large cliff, I learned from Carr, and when practicing something out of my comfort zone, I’ll want a bomber, sure landing with soft snow that’s free of any potential obstacles—like big scary trees.
From what I saw, Givego is fast. I uploaded a video and in less than 24 hours I had a video sent back with in-depth analysis from one of the best skiers on the planet. I would never expect to meet up with a skier like Carr in less than a day’s notice, and here he was giving me feedback on how to up my cliff-jumping game.
Currently, Givego has coaching available for over 10 sports, from wakeboarding to disc golf. But it’s growing—and fast. Ford said that they will expand into more and more sports as they continue to grow. Ford wants to use Givego to “empower the world to learn.”
According to a study that Ford heard about recently on the radio, 70% of people are looking forward to learning something new after COVID. If they could learn something in a way that limits exposure to a virus—like in a virtual way—that would only be a plus. Givego could be that way.
To learn more, visit: www.givego.io or download Givego from the App Store to receive your free session.
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