Meet the 2024 UPLIFT Sports Business Competition Finalists

At Upper Hand, we are continuously inspired by the stories of resilience and strength of individuals and teams in the sports training industry. That’s why we announced the inaugural UPLIFT Sports Business Competition to celebrate these change-makers and heroes. 

We are so excited to announce to you this years’ finalists!

Take a moment to read a little more about each finalist, or click the links within each to read their full story. Then, cast your vote to help us determine which of these deserving candidates will receive a business makeover. Voting closes on May 15!

Meet the 2024 UPLIFT Sports Business Competition Finalists

Dermall Woods, Flash Action Sports Performance

Dermall “Flash” Woods, founder and coach of Flash Action Sports Performance/ Body by Flash, grew up in a crime-ridden, economically disadvantaged Memphis neighborhood with his mother. Football became Dermall’s outlet to escape the pressure he faced at home, and he quickly found a passion for success and a drive to prove doubters wrong. After competing collegiately and in minor leagues, he made his way to Indianapolis to start his business, Body by Flash. Today, Dermall trains athletes of all sports in strength, speed, agility, and life skills. He also offers extensive training for his staff, internship programs for college students, and business mentorship for employees who plan to start a facility someday.

Laura Rogers, Top-Notch Training

Laura Rogers created Top-Notch Training with a different approach to sports performance training. Rather than focusing solely on the physical aspects of training, Laura teaches clients of all ages the value of mental wellness and taking care of your body. Laura has built her business from the ground up, hauling thousands of pounds of equipment and ensuring a safe facility for her clients. After facing a life-altering knee injury, Laura continues to give each athlete 100%, modifying each program to the athlete. Laura ensures that everyone who trains with her feels cared for and is challenged at the exact level they need. As one of her clients put it, “Every kid needs a coach Laura in their life.”

Lilith Puckett, Missouri Volleyball Academy

Lilith Puckett, guided by her faith and mission to create a diverse community, founded Missouri Volleyball Academy (MOVA) in 2013. MOVA is a place where young athletes are taught comprehensive volleyball skills and coached in life skills. Each athlete is expected to give 100% every day, as their trust in themselves and each other flourishes. Lilith has maintained the family atmosphere she started with, with the support from coaches, athletes, and parents around her. Granted the AVCA Diversity Award last year, Lilith hopes for MOVA’s growth to continue and for it to be a place where any young athlete feels encouraged in the sport, safe, and loved.

Help us select this year's UPLIFT Sports Business Competition Winner

Voting is open now through May 15, 2024. Take a moment to read through each story, and cast your vote for who you believe deserves to be awarded the winner of this year’s UPLIFT Sports Business Competition. And, stay tuned as we announce this year’s winner!

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