We had the good fortune of connecting with Patrick Williams and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Patrick, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
There are many driving forces behind starting my own youth sports leagues. The first was to attempt to bring equity into the youth sports arena by making my sport program accessible to families who may not otherwise be able to access such programs. For example, in my business model, I offer a number of scholarships for children that can’t afford to pay the registration. Secondly, I grew up in a small-town in Northern California in a tumultuous environment and football was my saving grace. In football I found security, validity, family, and the self-worth needed to continue to maintain motivation and hope for the future. I hope that children and youth that come into my sports league with anxieties or troubles can channel these emotions on the field. Lastly, the flag football leagues I own are non contact which was decided intentionally to curtail the reports of concussions from traditional football. In my youth sports leagues value is placed on the child learning the skills of the sport without the unnecessary wear and tear in their bodies.
What should our readers know about your business?
At Blue Chip Youth Sports we offer many different types of sports leagues for the community youth. From NFL Flag Football to Jr. NBA Basketball, we have the sporting experience that you and your youth athlete are looking for. Our bread and butter is our NFL Flag Leagues, with our longest running league being NFL Flag Pasadena. We are fully backed by the NFL, NFL Flag, USA Football, and Fuel Up to Play 60, while also having partnerships with Dick’s Sporting Goods, Adidas, GameBreaker Helmets, WinIt Training, and the Los Angeles Rams. We have multiple locations throughout the Los Angeles area while also offering multiple sports to choose from. Our NFL Flag leagues run four seasons a year, are co-ed, and are made up of 5 different divisions with ages from 4-17 years old. We keep individual and team stats for the players and teams on a weekly basis. Our leagues are also some of the few official NFL Flag leagues within Southern California. All of our players wear official NFL team apparel as well. We also have multiple travel football teams who compete in travel ball tournaments throughout the country. Additionally, Blue Chip Youth Sports also hosts its own national tournaments like the Cali Classic Tournament Tour and the NFL Flag Turkey Bowl Classic. I am most proud of the fact that we have created a small town community feel within a large metropolitan area. Our leagues are family oriented as it seems that everyone knows each other and are there for the same purpose: To have fun and watch kids play sports! My journey has not been easy! I moved from Northern California 20-years ago with a backpack, $400 dollars, and at one point experienced homelessness by sleeping on the streets of South LA. I worked dead-end jobs that didn’t promote change and weren’t fulfilling. I really felt lost as to the direction I wanted to take professionally. Then, when my oldest son was 5-years-old, in looking for sports programs for him I found that most programs lacked foundation and true sportsmanship. It then hit me that I could bring better youth sports programs into the communities of LA County. So I decided to quit my dead-end job and dedicated tons of time and my savings into making Blue Chip Youth Sports a reality. A takeaway I want the world to know about Blue Chip Youth Sports is that we strive to help steer youth in becoming the best version of themselves on and off the field. We are committed to instilling in our youth athletes the virtues of Sportsmanship, Teamwork, Discipline, Respect, Leadership, Honesty, Integrity, Loyalty, Trust, and Commitment. In addition, we will instill in our youth athletes the challenge of competition, the joy of victory, the reality of defeat, the importance of commitment, and the spirit of family and community. We believe that these values and virtues are important to each youth athlete’s growth on the field, while also helping them become active members of our community and society. We achieve this by teaching them on the field by making mentoring available or off the field through our volunteer program and/or paid work experience.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
I am in my element when I am outdoors in nature. I highly recommend any of the Southern California beaches to enjoy the sea breeze. If you are looking for iconic cultural places to visit, stop by Olvera Street and lunch at Casa La Golondrina Mexican Cafe and make sure to order the Mole Enchiladas. Across the street you can visit Union Station and enjoy the beautiful architecture and maybe dine at Philippe’s The Original to enjoy a French Dip sandwich.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to acknowledge foremost my wife, Bibi, who shared the same ambition, drive and dreams that I do. Without her support I wouldn’t have been able to quit my job 6-years ago and dedicate full-time to developing and expanding my business. Next, my sons, Jax and Achilles, who keep me young in this process. In addition, I want to thank my Blue Chip Youth Sports crew (you know who you are) who support me every weekend in every aspect of game-day logistics. Lastly, I am grateful to all the families that support the business by registering their kids and taking it a step further by sharing out and recommending us to friends and family, to the dads who become coaches and assistant coaches, and to the kids that bring the game to life.