Chris Kidd, Financial Coach and Contributor on the Price of Business on Business Talk 1110 AM KTEK (on Bloomberg’s home in Houston) recently interviewed Jordan Fliegel, founder and CEO of the private coaching company, CoachUp. CoachUp is a leader in private sports coaching, and connects athletes of all ages and skill levels to qualified coaches in their area.
How has free agency changed sports?
As a result of free agency, athletes tend to bounce from one team to another with much greater frequency than in the “old days” when it was common for a player to stay with a team for his entire career. In addition, teams now make trades based on the value of contracts, which they often value higher than the actual skill and potential of the player. Good players at a bargain “price” are better for a team that a very good player at a high price. Teams want to create as much freedom as possible in their cap space to allow for opportunities to do “big game” hunting in the free agency periods. This is especially true in basketball, where one star player like Lebron James or Carmelo Anthony, can so dramatically change the fortune of the team both in terms of wins and losses, and ticket and merchandize sales.
What are some of the pros and cons of free agency?
Con: Players bounce around more frequently. Tim Duncan and the Spurs are an unfortunate rare exception to how modern teams are put together. It also unfairly hurts low-market teams, or teams in undesirable locations, as players now have far more control in deciding where, and with whom, they would like to play. Pro: it makes for interesting off-season media coverage.
With salary caps and other player contracts, signing a free agent is a lot more complex than just agreeing to a dollar amount. What are some things that the average fan may not know about the process?
Most fans do not fully appreciate the “value” of a players contract. Given the number of years, and the total amount of money that Is guaranteed against the salary cap, a really bad player with a huge contract that is about to expire can be an extremely valuable asset in a trade. For instance, a team could trade a really good prospect with a very low contact plus a large expiring contract of a poorly performing athlete, for a great player with a large contract. This trade would not have been possible without the expiring large contract of the poorly-preforming player, as the trade partner would otherwise not have been able to clear enough cap space to make the trade.
There was a lot of focus around LeBron James and who he would sign with. I found it interesting that he only signed a 20year contract with Cleveland, and Dwayne Wade also signed a 2 year contract with Miami. The two also met at LeBron’s home the day before his announcement. Do you think they may have something up their sleeves in a couple years?
I think they have a good relationship and would welcome an opportunity to play together again, but I highly doubt there is a plan for Wade to move to Cleveland in 2 years. James will extend his contract with Cleveland, so it’s not going to end up being just a 2 year deal. I imagine he will finish his career in Cleveland.
You have a lot of coaches who work with CoachUp who are former pro players. Have they shared their thoughts on the free agency process with you?
We have over 50 former NBA players on CoachUp, but no we don’t talk about free agency. We talk about how to help kids train and the value of one-on-one coaching and the workouts that these former players do with young players in their area.
What levels of athletes does CoachUp work with and how can someone find a coach in their area?
Our coaches work with athletes of all ages, in all sports. We have over 12,000 private coaches across the country in all major cities, from basketball and soccer to tennis and fitness, and everything in-between. To find a great private coach to work with you or your child, just go to CoachUp.com, enter where you live and what type of training you are looking for, and we take care of the rest. It’s a really cool experience. We will ask you a series of questions to better understand your needs, and then recommend our top 3 coaches to best fit your needs. You can do this all online on CoachUp.com, or give us a call at 888-680-4750 and our Customer Care team will be happy to help match you up with the perfect coach.