How Taylor Richards created the first online training platform for volleyball players
Jan 11, 2023
We chat to Taylor Richards, founder and head coach behind House of Volley, about what it took to craft the world’s first Volleyball Training App and his drive to help volleyball players ultimately transform into more explosive, powerful and confident athletes.
Taylor Richards has surrounded himself with one of the best networks of volleyball extraordinaires–those at the highest level of the sport in the world. After finishing his indoor collegiate career as captain of BYU Men’s Volleyball, he’s shared the sand with some of the world’s best beach players in Southern California and coaches at INSAND under 4X Olympian and Men’s Volleyball Gold Medalist, Reid Priddy. Taking what he’s learned from 12+ years of volleyball and training at some of the highest levels, Taylor and his team have created an online training platform for athletes aspiring to accelerate their career and play at the collegiate level and beyond.
“We are here to learn and get better, the right way. The key to success is constant growth and adaptation and continued learning. The world is changing fast, so are we. Time not to keep up, but to get ahead.”
Continually driven by the need to adapt, improve and ultimately reach the highest level of athletics possible, Taylor went on a mission to discover the skills and training routines adopted by the best of the best in volleyball. Compiling all of this knowledge over two years, the foundation was laid for the app that Taylor had dreamed of throughout his own volleyball career.
We chat to Taylor about what it took to bring the world’s first volleyball training app to life, the importance of growing an online presence and community, and how Fitter has helped him realise his dream of fully designing a beautiful custom app without knowing a line of code.
Hey Taylor! Can you tell us a bit about yourself and your business?
I have always been involved with volleyball since I was a kid. After becoming obsessed with playing at the highest level possible, I started training at an early age and began to do all that I could to get there. I was fortunate enough to have played at the collegiate level for one of the nation’s top programs, BYU Men’s Volleyball. After graduating, my wife and I moved to Southern California so I could pursue professional beach volleyball with aspirations of playing in the Olympics one day. Our business is the first online training platform created specifically for volleyball players who are looking to enhance their performance and play at a higher level. We do this by providing strength training programs and workouts that the top athletes use to get them to where they are.
Our business is the first online training platform created specifically for volleyball players who are looking to enhance their performance and play at a higher level.
Until now, there’s been so much scattered information about training for the sport. I wanted a way to provide high level training that athletes could access to improve their skills, strength and athleticism. In 2020, I compiled everything I could about training at a high level and created a series of workouts, programs and exercises that I currently use and have used to get to the level I’m currently at. Now all I needed was a way to distribute it, so I could help athletes who were in the same position — wondering what the top level athletes were doing to get where they are.
I wanted to provide an easy solution, via a platform, where an athlete could go to a “one-stop shop” and know that the tools provided there would point them in the right direction.
What initially inspired you to go online and build an app?
I started seeing a bunch of online coaches and trainers selling their programs, potentially accessing thousands of people. I have also used apps to help me with my training and realised it was a great way to get structured training and improve, so we wanted to provide that same system, but specifically for volleyball players.
What hurdles or challenges were you facing?
The biggest hurdle we faced was not having any experience in coding nor did we have much capital up front.The software industry can be very expensive so it was difficult finding a platform that didn’t require knowing code, but being able to customise it to almost exactly how I wanted it to look.
We see you have built a social media following on Instagram. How important has an online presence been to your business?
Huge. With our first launch in 2021, every sale came from Instagram alone. The ability to reach an audience across the world with a single post is so unbelievable that most of us take it for granted because it is “normal” nowadays.
What tips can you give for building a following online?
Content content content. The more you post, the more chances you are to be seen across the platforms. Obviously, quality content can help grow faster because users begin to trust you and see the value in which you bring and begin to follow you because of it. Collaborating is also the new way to go. The more you collaborate with other accounts, the more rewarded you will be. These engines want to see your activity levels high and the algorithms reward you for it.
So you’ve launched an app, and it looks amazing! What are your goals and intentions for it?
My intention is to get it in the hands of as many people who would recognise the value as possible. I know the value it has and how great of a resource it can be for someone looking for help, now it is just a matter of doing the right things from the admin side to get it in front of them. We want the sport to grow and I want to help athletes get better. That is my entire intention with this business, helping athletes who want to get to a higher level.We want the sport to grow and I want to help athletes get better. That is my entire intention with this business, helping athletes who want to get to a higher level.
How do you think this app will change or help your business and community?
I know how awesome it is to improve — get stronger, jump higher, etc. and I want to help facilitate that process for athletes to do the same. This is everything I wish I had growing up and all of the tools and resources I needed back in the day.
What do you hope users will gain from using your app?
More knowledge of the game, increased confidence in their performance and a higher level athleticism to take them to the next level.
Do you have tips for those thinking of creating an app?
An idea is worthless no matter how awesome you think it is or how hard or long you think about it. You need to execute actions bringing it to life even if it is completing 1 task a day. 365 tasks after a year goes much further than 0.
What was the planning process like when you decided you were going to create an app?
From previous entrepreneur ventures, I realised I “planned too much” to where nothing got done or ever happened and I wasted a lot of time doing so. To be honest, not much planning was done ahead of time. I just started creating workouts, researching and building the app day after day and soon enough, I had my first draft of an app users could actually download and subscribe to.
What was the hardest or more challenging part along the way?
The mistakes I realised I made after a lot of time being allocated towards it. I wish I knew what I knew now or had the resources I have now 2 years ago. This would’ve changed the trajectory drastically from where we currently are today.
Have you used or were you considering other platforms to build an app or online community?
Yes, Shoutem. That ship has long sailed because I found
. What took my partner and I (working day in and day out together) 1.5 years to build and launch with them, I was able to build (by myself) in 3 months with Movement and the user-experience and interface is 100x better.
What took my partner and I (working day in and day out together) 1.5 years to build and launch with them, I was able to build (by myself) in 3 months with Movement and the user-experience and interface is 100x better.
What do you like most about the Movement app platform, compared to other software you’ve seen or used for a similar purpose?
Everything. Creating and accessing a library I can pull from once something is in there. The user-friendliness on my end building it, but also the user’s end when interacting and using the app. It is very clean and professional looking. The different features such as “start workout”, “mark complete” “finish workouts” “log activity” etc. I also love having a profile where you can save content, view subscription history, schedule etc. It is by far the best platform out there that has all of the features I was looking for.
It is by far the best platform out there that has all of the features I was looking for.
But the best part about it has been the customer service I have received, the continuous partnership in working together by answering questions, me giving feedback and it’s actually received, the continuous updates to make the platform better, etc.
How are you planning to market your app and get it out there?
Social media posts/advertising, referral programs, promo codes, setting up booths at major tournaments, advertisements in gyms, email marketing to clubs and high schools with volleyball programs, flyers/business cards at tournaments.
Feeling inspired to create your own custom app? Whether you’re ready to start creating or you just want to have a play with our clean, no-code app builder, head to our website to see how Movement can help you expand your business and community online.
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