Team Nation Beginnings
The Conversation that Sparked a Revolutionary Idea
The Team Nation idea started in 2019. Matt and Whitney approached their old friend Chad Lewis with an idea for applying best practices in learning specifically to football. When Chad’s immediate reaction was “I wish I had THAT when I was a player!” They knew there was an immediate opportunity to help players across the country learn how to learn. Chad brought the idea to Steve Young who Steve recognized that the idea was bigger than just football and bigger even than ball sports…
“Leveling the playing field in education is the dream—starting with football.” -Steve Young | NFL Hall of Fame legend & Team Nation Co-founder
It is no secret that football teaches character. An athlete who learns how to learn football will, without necessarily having realized it along the way, learned how to learn anything. Team Nation exists to bring pro-level learning resources to any athlete in the country with the cheapest smartphone. Drawing on his experience as an educator and ed-tech software designer, Matt asked the question – would it be possible for players to arrive for summer camp or practice already knowing X’s and O’s?
If learning could be accomplished remotely, then coaches could reallocate precious practice time to things that can only be done in person – agility, teamwork, execution, speed. After researching available options and speaking with coaches, Matt made several discoveries. Even though cutting-edge tech solutions existed for creating football video libraries and that new products to calculate speed and positioning were coming to market using GPS tracking and accelerometers, no one had synthesized best practices in contemporary education specifically for football. Matt seized the challenge of building an intuitive app which would automatically turn any coaches’ video, playbook, lessons into interactive head-to-head games, saving coaches the effort of hand-building learning modules. At a time when most sports teams still rely on 3-ring binders and in-person team meeting film lectures, this initiative was a no-brainer.
The founders drew up an app that would play like a game but deliver high-quality learning experience in a head-to-head competitive environment.
Team Nation believes in coaches. Each of us was influenced by someone who sacrificed their time to coach one of our teams and who taught us teamwork, hard work, discipline, grit, friendship, and character. Coaches stand as role models and mentors for their athletes, using precious time and often thin resources to make a difference in young lives. Team Nation’s goal is to empower coaches and to extend their reach to help young athletes learn the things that competitive sports teach them better than anything else can.
Creating Team Nation
Forming The Dream Team
Matt realized this technology could revolutionize the way sports is taught at all levels. He and a handful of individuals committed to building the technology we now call Team Nation. The initial Team Nation partners are Chad Lewis (former pro bowl NFL tight end and associate athletic director at BYU), Matt Clayton, and Whitney Clayton (former CEO of Syberjet).
The founding team secured funding in 2020, which paved the way to assembling a larger group of educators, pro players, and seasoned business leaders to join Team Nation for its beta launch and subsequent national rollout.
When the initial founders introduced the beta product to Steve Young (NFL Hall of Fame quarterback), Steve immediately jumped on board, committing to level the playing field in education, starting with football.
Meet the Team
Get to know our office staff and advisors. Each of team member brings unique sports, educational, and business experience to the table.
In The News
Check out Team Nation’s press coverage