Cordero Tanner, Founder & Executive Director
Graduate Student, Masters in Sports Administration & Alumni (’14, M.P.H. Public Health)
Launched March 2020
Only 30 percent of youth coaches have received any type of formal training. Outside of mandated background checks there are no standardized coaching requirements and very few resources for coaches to receive training to do their jobs.
Athleaders 360 is a leadership development organization that uses social justice frameworks to give coaches tools to holistically develop their players. Athleaders 360 is grounded in theories of holistic youth development and recognizes that coaches need to be trained in social justice competencies in order to effectively lead this generation of young athletes. We have developed educational resources, leadership development programs, and advocacy for coaching standards to better support coaches.
Athleaders 360 provides curriculum and professional development direct to consumers through our programming marketed to schools, sports organizations and coaches.
Schools, Sports Organizations, Sports Coaches
RISE, Positive Coach Alliance, National Alliance for Youth Sports
USE OF FUNDS
50% Program/Curriculum Development
Why did you launch your company?
I have always had a strong passion for sports. I remember in 5th grade declaring myself as the assistant coach to the girls’ basketball team and even buying a whistle. I got my first real chance to coach when in college I served as a volunteer coach for a 4th grade boys basketball team. Since then, I have coached in some capacity every year working with kids of all ages. My WHY was never just about coaches–it’s always been the athletes. Coaches often say, “they don’t care about what you know until they know that you care.” So, it was during the car rides home–especially with my older players–where I realized that athletes needed more from their coaches. Our discussions would often veer into conversations on poverty, racism, sexism, and toxic masculinity as we discussed things that were happening in their lives as well as sports headlines about athletes behaving badly. It was clear that while these kids felt immense pressure to be model citizens, but they were not equipped to do so. My conversations gave them guidance and assurance. I began to think about how to give more kids access to the kind of coaching experience I was providing and Athleaders 360° was born.
How has your company pivoted from its initial launch?
COVID-19 completely changed the structure of Athleaders 360°. Our original implementation strategy involved the use of in-person cohorts of high school athletes. The pandemic hit right as we were about to launch to the public and forced us to rethink all our programming and its methods. While many organizations floundered in this moment, we have flourished. By going virtual we increased the number of athletes, as well as expanded to include age ranges that were not originally in our mission. In addition, created a successful podcast called Wassup Nephew! which allows us to model our work for more people. More importantly, this shift also showed us that while athletes are still the heart of the program, our approach of going directly to athletes was wrong. Athletes spend more time with coaches than their teachers and parents. We realized that while we do it for athletes but do it through coaches.
What does entrepreneurship mean to you?
Entrepreneurship is the freedom to make a difference, impact the world and have an amplified voice for myself and my community.
Have you always been entrepreneurial?
I have always had a strong passion for sports. I remember in 5th grade declaring myself as the assistant coach to the girls’ basketball team and even buying a whistle. I got my first real chance to coach when in college I served as a volunteer coach for a 4th grade boys basketball team.
How has your formal education/experiences at Georgia State played a role in your becoming an entrepreneur?
My time at Georgia State has been amazing, the programs here prepare students to be change agents in their communities. In 2013, I decided to pursue a Master’s in Public Health at Georgia State University so that I could explore how sports can be used to alleviate some of the greatest public health issues of our time. I am currently pursuing a second master’s degree in Sport Administration, so that I can learn all aspects of sports from top to bottom. I’m also using my time in the program towards the development of a pedagogical toolkit for coaches to use with young athletes.
What is the most challenging aspect of entrepreneurship?
The most challenging aspect of entrepreneurship is the loneliness. I do not know any other social entrepreneurs. As a first-generation college graduate, I am traveling in unchartered and unfamiliar waters. My family and community are very supportive of me and my vision, but not having any peers to lean on has still been pretty lonely. Being my own accountability partner is very challenging.
What advice can you offer to entrepreneurs?
Always remember your “why.” Entrepreneurship can be hard and overwhelming, when you encounter these challenges remember why you started this journey in the first place.
Share a fun fact about yourself that most people don’t know.
I bake a really good strawberry cheesecake!