We had the good fortune of connecting with Kiley Eskridge-Franz and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kiley, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I have a true passion for coaching fast pitch softball and was presented with an opportunity to run my own organization – an opportunity I could not pass up on. Helping impact young athletes is probably the most rewarding feeling ever, however youth sports is becoming more and more “watered down”. So, I wanted to do something “different” in the organized youth sports world. I had this dream of creating this business that would make this more than just the sport and treat it more so like a college prep program. I knew it would take work and be a “grind” and was ready for that challenge and decided to call my organization, Grind Time Sports.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Grind Time Sports is a youth sports program that is treated more so like a college prep program. Currently we have active softball and baseball teams that range from the ages of 8 years old to 18 years old. All of our head coaches have played either college sports or some sort of professional sport. None of the head coaches have kids in the program and run solely on the passion we possess. We have a built in team movement specialist who works with all of the athletes once a week on speed, agility, hand-eye coordination, weight lifting, and form. In just 9 months, we have a combined total of 16 championship appearances in tournaments and 11 first place tournament wins. We are growing all around within the business and the community and are excited for the continued growth!
I, along with my talented coaches, have committed our lives to these sports. As children, teens, and young adults, we have played in the shoes our athletes are currently in and have been exactly where these athletes want to go. Has it been easy to build what we have? Absolutely not, however, it has been worth it. Being a younger female in a predominantly male ran industry, there are constant set backs, doubts, negativity, etc. Parents, other coaches, umpires, tournament directors – they all doubt my knowledge about the game and running a business. These kids, though, are what inspire me to keep going. Watching their growth as all around individuals is the biggest reward. This job is VERY thankless, but all successes – big and small – all make every moment worth it.
Grind Time Sports, LLC was created for the athletes that love the grind. They love the commitment, the sweat, the pain, the rewards, the family, the celebrations. They know what it takes to be a standout athlete. They know that you must grind behind closed doors and keep grinding when those doors are open. There is only one speed, one time. It’s Grind Time. Period.
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.
Living in Arizona, the East Valley more specifically, is great! I am originally from Orange County, CA, so I have pretty high standards when it comes to goo eats and fun things to do on a budget. I love going to Canyon Lake. It is really inexpensive to rent a pontoon boat for the day and you get to not only be in the water but also enjoy the beautiful nature of Phoenix. We also love hanging out in Downtown Mesa and Downtown Gilbert. Both growing area with incredible food options and entertainment as well. Downtown Mesa is a little more low-key and is known for the arts. They bring in lot of local artists and vendors from time to time and have unique places to eat. One of my favorites is Tacos Chiwas. Seriously, they have some of the best Mexican food around. We also love eating at Worth Take Away. They have fresh sandwiches sides, all for low calorie and healthy options. When we head into Gilbert, we love eating at Culinary drop out and enjoying live music there. We also really enjoy eating at the Porch in Gilbert. The atmosphere is amazing and the food and drinks are just as good! Sunday Funday in the East Valley is a real thing! There are so many great brunch options with mimosa flights, coffee flights, great food, and corn hole or giant jenga for entertainment.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shoutout to the players, families, and coaches who have instilled their trust in me and have helped make this dream become a reality. Without them, there would be no Grind Time Sports. I would also like to shoutout my fiancé who helped push me to make this next step in my life all while providing constant support, both on and off the field. To you all, thank you, from the bottom of my heart.
Instagram: grindtimesportsllc and/or grindtimesoftball
Facebook: Grind Time Sports, LLC
Kellen Roberson Erin Martens