Dr. Phillips resident, former Braves player connects aspiring, pro athletes

Dr. Phillips resident and former major leaguer James Parr’s company, PRO4MER, connects aspiring athletes with the pros.


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  • | 3:18 p.m. July 26, 2016
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DR. PHILLIPS  For an aspiring athlete, quality coaching and sports lessons can be crucial to his or her progress and performance. 

This was something Dr. Phillips resident and retired Atlanta Braves pitcher James Parr knew to be true — so he did something about it. Earlier this year he founded and launched PRO4MER, a platform that streamlines the process of connecting parents and young athletes with current and former pro athletes for private sports lessons and guidance.

Through PRO4MER, both parties can connect, communicate, book those lessons and process payment. Having played in the major leagues previously, Parr got to know many of the professional players and noticed that some of them wanted to find a way to market themselves for lessons. 

Parr, the 131st overall pick in the 2004 Major League Baseball draft by the Braves, made his Major League debut in 2008.

PRO4MER stems from as far back as 2010, when Parr ended up having Tommy John surgery, a graft procedure that replaces an injured elbow ligament with a tendon taken from another part of the body. 

“I was becoming a bit disconnected from the game, and I would’ve loved to just stay involved with doing lessons for kids while I was going through the whole rehab process,” Parr said.

During the recovery process, he took notice of how big of an asset the other pros he was working with were to the game of baseball and it sparked an idea.

“Most of them have been actively giving lessons and wanting to do so but not knowing how to let people know they’re available,” Parr said. “As a young kid, I would have loved to have been able to work with a major leaguer — or someone who was just drafted — and I know my parents would have paid for it for me.”

Parents and aspiring athletes can visit PRO4MER’s website, select their sport and type in their ZIP code or city to find professional athletes offering lessons in their area. Each athlete’s profile has facts about his or her background and location and prices of lessons. Each first lesson is guaranteed, and if the client isn’t happy, PRO4MER will refund the cost.

Currently, PRO4MER’s focus is on athletes and lessons located in Florida — and on baseball. Parr said he hopes to have its services expand nationwide. In July alone, Parr said PRO4MER has processed between 50 and 60 lessons. 

Professional athletes interested in being listed on the platform can create a free profile in less than 10 minutes, and there are no monthly charges. PRO4MER takes a small percentage of the profit from each lesson given.

Prices range depending on market and prominence of the professional athlete, but Parr said in Orlando, about a dollar per minute is about average. Some athletes who currently endorse and work with PRO4MER include Matt Moore, of the Tampa Bay Rays, and Rafael Palmeiro, of the Baltimore Orioles, along with some first-round draft picks.

Parr’s ultimate vision for PRO4MER is that parents of the next generation of athletes are able to learn from the top 1% of ath- letes and that they not only would improve in sports but also build character.

“There’s nobody better prepared to teach the game than those who have played it at the highest level,” he said. “(We have) a lot of guys with credible experience, and I think that’s one of the things — the talent, knowledge and experience from real-life experience.” 

 

Contact Danielle Hendrix at [email protected]

 

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