written by: Zanne Lamb-Hunt
Adam Bradley is proud and eager to share that he was born and raised in Maryland. “I’m a Maryland guy through and through. I think Maryland is the best state in the country. Everything about it – Old Bay, crabs, the water..”
He grew up in Montgomery County where he attended Watkins Mill HS. He and his wife moved to Frederick County about ten years ago and purchased a home.
They are the proud parents of Georgia, a toddler who is “absolutely incredible. We absolutely love loving on her, being with her and having her in our world.”
Adam enjoys the simple things. He still maintains his friendships from his high school days with daily text chats. He likes watching sporting games with his buddies, hanging out with his family and golfing.
He also likes working on his businesses. “I find a lot of rest in my business. I don’t need to get rest outside of it or escape from it.”
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Making His Entrepreneurial Move With Hardwood Hustle
About six years ago, Adam started an online sports network in the Frederick area with three of his buddies. It originated in a friend’s basement. “We covered the Redskins and called ourselves The Ball Hogs.” The name was perfect as it was suitable for covering a variety of sports.
After a three and a half year run, it culminated with the signing of a deal with Ted Leonsis of the Wizards and the Capitals. “We became a part of his platform which was such a cool thing!”
Adam had the opportunity to meet and interview a lot of people, including one of the top strength and conditioning coaches in the country at the time — Alan Stein. That spotlight interview led to a friendship.
Equipped with a radio studio in Gaithersburg, Adam prompted Alan to produce a podcast for his loyal followers. That was the start of a successful show centered around coaches. The Hardwood Hustle opened the door to a network of coaches.
The passion was ignited. Adam fell in love with the coaching elements and dynamics. “Being able to impact people and change people. Pour into people and be influential over them.”
Invitations came in for Adam to be a guest motivational speaker at schools, businesses and local events. After speaking at Watkins Mill, the school’s coach approached him with the request to return on a regular schedule to inspire the football team.
Lead ‘Em Up Was Born!
The weekly meetings with the team forced Adam to come up with material. He observed the players and turned their weaknesses into content for the following weeks.
“I was documenting everything I did for the entire season. Before you know it, I had a 12-week lesson plan that proved to be impactful according to the coaches and the players in the program!”
Inquiries soon came in from other schools. Adam realized that if the local schools needed what he had to offer, so did other schools. And, while he can’t be everywhere to engage and motivate every team in every school, his online program can be distributed outward!
The Biggest Entrepreneurial Challenge For Adam
“Getting coaches to buy into committing to leadership development, being intentional with it and trusting the process — not deterring from it because you’re not seeing the results you want right away.”
Adam continues, “Often times, when you’re going through the process, it’s being received with a lack of action. So many coaches are under pressure to perform in the here and the now. We need them to have results now. A lot of coaches aren’t willing to go through that process.
“Every coach in America will tell you how important it is. Leadership development is accumulative. It does not happen overnight. For the math majors out there, it’s an aggregation of marginal gain. Little bit by little bit by little bit. Then you’ll see it.”
What Advice Would Adam Give Himself If He Could Start Over?
“Shut down distractions quicker. Sometimes you get caught up in stuff that really doesn’t matter. You spend a lot of mental energy. Maybe it’s thinking about a small topic within the business and putting so much extra thought that’s not needed into it.
“At the end of the day, you’ve got to ask yourself if what I’m doing or worried about or thinking about right now is setting me up for success and moving me forward or is it a distraction that’s holding me back. We need to get through this resolution quicker.
“I can be indecisive at times because I’m trying to over-analyze it. Sometimes I just need to go! I just need to move! I’ve got to focus on the goal and keep moving forward and shut down the distractions.”
Confirmation That Adam Is Making A Difference Is Captured On Voicemail
Adam recalls last winter when he was working with the basketball program at Walt Whitman. There was an interpersonal conflict going on within the team that had the potential to disrupt the dynamics.
He got a 3-way call from a couple of the players late one evening and they were looking for some guidance on how to resolve the issue. He didn’t pick up the phone but he has preserved their conversation with each other on his voice mail. There was a lot of significance in the fact that they made the decision to reach out to him.
“It’s showing me that I’m connecting with the players at the level that I want to. It shows the growth and maturity within the players that we’re trying to work towards. Respond to a situation rather than react to a situation.”
Adam Recommends One Of His Favorite Apps — Word Swag!
“Word Swag is an incredible graphic creator. We use it a lot. It gives you so much flexibility.”
He adds, “It really makes it look like you’re a graphic designer that has worked and spent so much time in Photoshop and Illustrator but you’re able to do it right there on your phone. It’s a really powerful tool.”
A Book Recommendation, Too!
Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi
“It’s really powerful to me. It’s a book on relationships, networking…growing relationships.”
Are you a coach? Ready to build a dynamic team? Reach out to Adam today to learn more about incorporating Lead ‘Em Up into your school’s sports programs. Give your team players a positive experience!
Contents Provided by Frederick Advice Givers Podcast Episode #073: Eric Verdi Interviews Adam Bradley