Paying it forward: UM student builds marketplace to connect athletes with K-12 students

By Riley Kaminer

Lacrosse has had a major impact on Maurice Manswell’s life. “Lacrosse has provided a place for me to forget about everything else that’s going on and just have fun,” he told Refresh Miami

“I’ve made so many connections and had so many experiences through lacrosse,” Manswell continued. Those experiences included being drafted to IMG Academy in Bradenton before playing college lacrosse at Lynn University in Boca Raton. Manswell has since transferred to the University of Miami, where he is a junior.

Lacrosse has also brought Manswell some economic opportunities. For years, he has coached the next generation of athletes: K to 12 students. One day in the locker room, he was telling his fellow athletes about his training business. “They started asking for some clients too,” said Manswell.

That was the beginning of the road that has led Manswell to launch coaching marketplace WeTrain this July. The app enables college and pro athletes to connect with the parents of K-12 students looking for one-on-one sports coaching. The platform is also open to adults looking for lessons, but it is primarily focused on students.

The platform is free for parents and costs trainers $8 per month when they pay annually. The company takes a 5-10% service fee on transactions. Trainers can decide what they charge, up to a maximum of $100 per hour. These service fees provide athletes with a background check as well as a Calendly-esque scheduling system built right in.

Maurice Manswell, founder of WeTrain

“It’s great training kids because you also build a lifelong bond,” explained Manswell. “Then they can give this experience back full circle once they’re in college.”

This model has already gained some traction in the market, with the platform reaching 100 downloads and 22,000 social media views in the first five days. WeTrain, which has four full-time employees, has been primarily bootstrapped up to this point, in addition to a friends and family round.

You can find any sport you want on WeTrain. Thanks to Manswell’s network, the platform currently has a significant amount of lacrosse talent. But on WeTrain you can find everything from football and basketball to chess and curling. Never one to miss a trend, they even offer pickleball coaching. “Pickleball is starting to take over,” Manswell shared. “It’s wild, but we’re psyched! People are loving it.”

The sessions themselves revolve around the needs of each particular student. But Manswell said that students can expect a mix of drills, conditioning… and fun time, of course.

Manswell, who started working on WeTrain in August 2021, expressed his excitement about the company’s future prospects. “We hope to elevate sports throughout the world. We want to get to a point where we’re working with every country and university. We aspire to become the number one platform for sports training for youth and people that are looking to get trained.”

As for balancing the entrepreneurial grind and his schoolwork, Manswell is leaning into the chaos. “Once you start a company, there’s no going back – you’re either going to embrace it or your not.”

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Riley Kaminer