KickBuds connects athletes

Photo courtesy of Arman Patel

Junior Arman Patel hard at work creating and updating his start-up website business which connects young athletes with private coaches on varsity high school teams. Visit the site at

Charlie Bickel, staff writer

When junior Arman Patel saw the income inequality in high school sports, he decided to find a way to help the issue. Patel created a website called KickBuds to connect young athletes with high school student coaches to provide cheaper coaching.

Patel said he used his business knowledge and his newfound interest in income equality with athletics to link younger athletes with varsity athletes to create KickBuds.

“KickBuds is a one-on-one cyber coaching marketplace that connects children ages 8 to 15 with top varsity student-athletes,” Patel said. “We work to give every athlete access to private coaching at an affordable rate.”

Better equipment, coaching, and nutrition are a few of the factors where affluent athletes have a leg up on their lower-income counterparts, Patel said. As a high school athlete himself, Patel saw some of these factors at play during competitions.

“I played on [South’s] golf team for two years, and I’ve realized the low-income schools seem to place last,” Patel said. “Money is becoming a huge factor in the performance in high school athletics.”

The hiring of part-time high school coaches helps limit the costs of private lessons for young student athletes seeking KickBuds’ coaching, junior Logan Kim, head of KickBuds’  basketball department, explained.

“[The coaches] enjoy the flexibility in the hours they work,” Kim said. “KickBuds’ mission is to offer all athletes an equal chance in youth [sports], so we only [have] part-time [coaches].”

Patel has faced pitfalls along the way in creating and marketing his website, but he has worked to overcome these challenges.

“The biggest challenge is marketing to such a niche audience,” Patel said. “[Our audience is] people who are from sixth to eighth grade that are interested in [sports] and attending some North Shore schools.”

While balancing schoolwork with his business is tricky, there are benefits to being a student-entrepreneur, Patel said.

“KickBuds is a great thing to run during school,” Patel said. “I can spread the word and recruit coaches while I’m at school.”

With a strong belief that private coaching should be available to everyone, Patel and his team are more than happy to embrace the slow and steady process of running a business.

“I spend a lot of time [running KickBuds] on the weekends but it’s worth it,” Patel said. “[I am] working with kids and it’s a strong mission.”