If I asked Kristyn Sandberg for advice after I took batting practice with her, she probably would have said I should stick to writing. I will take that imagined advice and write about Sandberg...and the advice she gives through GearSay.
Sandberg is just one of the many athletes on GearSay available to give advice to athletes of all ages and levels. In my main area of interest of softball, Sandberg is joined by other star players, including Megan Wiggins, Emily Crane, Danielle Lawrie, Erika Piancastelli, and Mandie Perez, all of whom have experienced major success in college, pro leagues, and internationally.
GearSay is much more than athletes giving personal advice, however (although there are plenty of athletes on GearSay). GearSay is the ultimate destination for athletes of all ages and levels to find resources to improve their skills and health.
GearSay was founded by Jeff Stein. When training for a triathlon, Stein sought every avenue to help his preparation. While he did the best he could and all worked out, the lack of a centralized resource center was frustrating. Thus the idea of GearSay emerged.
Stein developed GearSay as a source of personalized advice from pro athletes, fitness and training apps, products, videos, articles, and more. Originally GearSay was a side project, but it has grown into a thriving business.
Stein told me, “Our focus is on making it easier for people who love fitness and recreation to discover and connect with trusted resources to get better and to lead healthy lives. We're building GearSay around the inherent trustworthiness of elite athletes because elite athletes make daily decisions for themselves that are important to performance and healthy lifestyles. We want users to be able to learn FROM elite athletes, rather than just about them.”
In addition to the limitless virtual library of information, GearSay allows you to send videos of yourself in action to the athletes for their advice for a nominal fee. While the athletes have different prices, they are all very reasonable considering what you get. Other sites charge much more for athletes to merely give a greeting. The video advice GearSay athletes give is much more impactful than a 15-second shout out.
Already boasting a roster of more than 70 athletes, GearSay continues to grow with more athletes joining every week. Softball brought me to GearSay, but virtually every sport is represented, including swimming, MMA, lacrosse, bowling, and too many more to list. If a sport doesn't have an athlete available for advice, there are plenty of other resources available. While I listed the women softball players, GearSay has plenty of men athletes and is aimed at all athletes in all sports.
There are literally thousands of articles and videos on the site. Just for fun and research purposes, I looked for something very specific about bocce, another of my passions. I found more than a dozen articles on that one aspect of bocce.
I asked Stein for future GearSay plans, other than expanding the already extensive resource center. “As you can see from the site, we've built an advice platform, which gives our users a way to get video feedback on questions of form, performance, or anything else, and we'll continue to make that platform more robust in the way that users can interact with the elite athletes. We are also building out the elite athlete lockers, which are individual content platforms for elite athletes to showcase their original content (e.g., training videos, product reviews) as well as their favorite products. We'll be adding a shopping section soon that makes it easy for our users to see what elite athletes use what products and to buy them.”
Having covered women's softball for many years, I have seen the six softball players on GearSay many times. I know how much they give back to the sport in an effort to continue growing softball. I have seen them give advice to so many youngsters at the ballpark. That's all great, but it is limited. GearSay eliminates any limitations by making the athletes available to everyone.
While the six softball players and the other athletes on GearSay are some of the greatest, there is always room for more. On that topic, Stein stated, “We would welcome any of your readers who are elite athletes to join us on the platform as we are continuously growing our athlete roster. As state and NCAA rules allow college athletes to monetize their profiles, we'll be bringing on college athletes as well.”
The future of GearSay is as limitless as its resource virtual catalog. I only wish GearSay was around 35 years ago when I embarked on my rec league softball career. Even now, I am quite sure Sandberg, Wiggins, Perez, Piancastelli, Lawrie, or Crane could help me work out a few kinks from my swing. I might be sending them videos come springtime.
For more info, check out GearSay.com. Also, follow Sandberg and the rest of the elite athletes on their social media pages.
Kristyen Sandberg and me in Rosemont, IL-Summer 2019.