We had the good fortune of connecting with Jason Hirsh and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jason, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
FAST originally started in 2013 as a baseball only training facility focused on what we saw as a lack of arm care programs amongst youth athletes in the Denver area. Since then, FAST has grown to encompass so much more. The baseball side of the business has grown into an industry leading, data driven, pitching and hitting development success, working with youth, high school, college and professional athletes. In 2017, as the business continued to grow the vision of having a one-stop-shop for all things player development was realized when we brought in a strength and conditioning element. Our strength coaches bring decades of experience with athletes of all ages and encompass a multitude of sport disciples from lacrosse, hockey, football and track athletes to winter sport alpine and downhill clients. Finally in 2020, we added the final piece to the puzzle in bringing on board a physical therapy and rehabilitation component. FAST truly is a one-stop-shop for athletes of all ages, from youth to weekend warriors.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
After being drafted in the 2nd round by the Houston Astros in 2003, I played 10 years of professional baseball, culminating with a. trip to the 2007 world series with the Colorado Rockies. After my playing career ended, I was lost with what to do next in my life. I have a degree in Multimedia from Cal Lutheran University but the deeper I got into pursuing that career the more I realized it would take me just as long to catch up the industry as it did to get my degree in the first place. When a friend asked if I would teach his son some pitching lessons, a lightbulb went off in my head. The cleverly named Jason Hirsh Pitching Academy was born and that is where this journey started.
Being a baseball player, my knowledge of the business world was slim and the most challenging part of being a small business owner was navigating through all the red tape of trying to legitimize my business. Unfortunately there isn’t a handbook for new business owners on what steps you need to take and the city wasn’t much help either. I was on my own. Understanding of how licenses, taxes, leases and the underpinnings of business work became a challenge and I am eternally grateful to all the people that I was able to consult with over the years to help me navigate these stormy seas.
As I have grown older, wiser and more experienced, Ive learned how to budget, plan ahead, make tough decisions and realize that the business gets paid before I do. I am motivated by our students and staff who love coming to our facility night in, night out, yearning for more knowledge and experience that will ultimately, hopefully, carry them to a professional career like I had. It is my responsibility to them to keep my business going, no matter what it takes.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
When friends and family come to town I try and show them the best of what Colorado has to offer. More often that not, that means a trip to the mountains to hike any number of the beautiful trails and see what real mountains look like. Sometimes that means a trip to our local rivers where we can throw a fly to feeding trout and feel the excitement of a fish on the line. If they are more city type people, a trip to Coors field to take in a Rockies game is always a good time and if the right band is in town, the Grizzly Rose is never short on a good time.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My business partners Joel Raether and John Cole have been an incredible inspiration to me. Im a baseball player, not a business man. Over the last 3-4 years, they have helped learn how to run a successful business, interact with and bring in new clients and have fun while doing it. I also want to shoutout to all the people I have consulted with over the years, especially my friends in the finance world who have helped guide me through a difficult and confusing regulations and rules to help me legitimize my business.