We're spreading a little cheer before Thanksgiving tomorrow by interviewing one of the nicest people you'll ever meet -- Mookie Nelson. Mookie is the newest member of the CoachUp Team, but it honestly feels like he's been here forever. Whether it's sports, games, food, or whatever else, you'll always in for an interesting conversation with Mookie.
So, without waiting any longer, enjoy our interview with Mookie and have a wonderful and happy Thanksgiving! :)
CU: Mookie! What's up, my man? Let's start by telling us a little bit about yourself!
My real name is Claude, but all of my closest friends know me as Mookie. I grew up in Cambridge, MA, went to college at Loyola University in New Orleans and received my BA in International Business. I enjoy all types of music such as Motown, Reggae, and House to name a few, but I’m a true Hip-Hop head at heart. I’m mellow and a personable individual who is all about spreading good vibes.
CU: What’s your position at CoachUp and how long have you been here?
I’m part of the Customer Experience team and I’ve been here for a couple of weeks now.
CU: What drove you to join CoachUp? Why?
The opportunity of connecting passionate athletes with one of life’s most invaluable educators -- coaches. Growing up in the city, sports were my outlet. Since high school, my passions have revolved around sports and the welfare of others. The friendships that I built and the lessons that I learned have stayed with me, even after all this time.
When I first visited CoachUp, I was immediately overtaken by the positive atmosphere and having the opportunity to work with selfless individuals who take pride in their service seemed like an obvious choice for me. I remember learning as an athlete how valuable coaches were outside the realm of sports for me. To this day, I am grateful for the love and guidance of my coaches. There are a significant amount of young athletes in the world who only need that extra push to take their game to the next level. I get to be part of that process, which is an incredible feeling.
CU: What’s your experience with sports? This includes playing, spectating, coaching, or anything else you might want to share.
The first sport that I ever played was basketball, I enjoyed that and still do to this day. Notorious for injuries, I have to continuously remind myself that I am not competing for an NBA championship. I remember when I was a kid, on the weekends, me and my next door neighbor would wake up early and have 1-on-1 tournaments at a local playground. I won’t front, I dominated. I played all throughout high school and even for a prep school one year. My freshman year of college, I shifted gears. I sadly lost some of my passion for basketball and decided to run track. My events included the 100x, 200x, 400x and the 4x4.
CU: What can people find you doing in your free time?
That depends on New England’s unpredictable weather, unfortunately. I like to switch it up as much as the seasons do. In the spring, I’m still defrosting from the winter, but I love nature walks, mixed in alongside a little golf. During the summer, you can find me at the beach, traveling around the country, or tossing a frisbee at a local park. However, I've picked up skiing -- and this upcoming season, I am going to learn how to snowboard, so stay tuned for updates. I’m real big on family so I spend as much time with them as I can.
CU: What’s your favorite sports memory, played or experienced?
Probably would have to say the one time I made it into The Boston Globe
for hitting a walk-off home run in high school in the first round of the playoffs. I remember the headline was "Nelson, Cambridge are walk-off winners."
Even better, the opening paragraph read: “A walk-off home run? By the No. 9 batter? A batter who had already struck out twice? A batter who had never hit a home run in his high school career?”
Yeah, that was me. At that time, I couldn’t envision the end of the game unfolding like that either. That’s what I appreciate the most about baseball though: the outcome of your last at-bat doesn't matter, it only takes one pitch, one opportunity to have an impact. Even today, that article sticks with me due to that opening paragraph.
CU: What’s one thing about you that not a lot of people know?
Well, the first time that I learned how to ride a bike was with a girl’s bike and the tires were flat. I remember riding up and down the sidewalk in my neighborhood, frustrated that I couldn’t stay balanced. While practicing, I came across the woman who watched me at daycare, her name was Ms. Bee and she was amazed at the sight. She wasn't amazed at my flashy, pink bike, but of how passionate I was to learn how to ride. So for those who don’t have access to training wheels, try taking out a little air in the tires and ride on the frames. Might not be the best option, but if it's your only option, stay hungry and focused -- you might be surprised with the results.
CU: Who in the office would you want by your side in a 2-on-2 basketball game + why?
The CX team recently had a pickup basketball game and my boy Mike Weisman balled out. He showed a lot of hustle and grit out on the hardwood. He must of had double digit rebounds and a handful of assists . At the end of the game I know that this dude left everything on the court and I can respect that in any ball player.
We're so excited to have Mookie on our squad now! So, if you have a moment, tweet at him, send him a message, or congratulate him the next time you call our support team! Happy Thanksgiving to our whole CoachUp network -- our coaches, athletes, and parents are all family members to us, so take a day off from training to spend time with those most important to you!
See you on the other side! :)