Scholarships counselor takes step to widen his reach |

Scholarships counselor takes step to widen his reach

John Seelmeyer

Chuck Lovitt is pretty darned good at helping young athletes position themselves to win college scholarships.

But like other professionals who sell nothing but their time, Lovitt discovered quickly that the revenue growth of his Reno-based Play Up Athletics is limited by the number of hours in his day.

And the challenge is all the greater when clients’ days are filled with school, practice and the many demands of teenage life.

Lovitt’s answer: Development of a set of audio CDs and workbook that delivers his technique to a wider audience — an audience that doesn’t need face-to-face counseling time.

Play Up Athletics LLC this month launched the $198 program, “The Athletic Edge: The Complete Guide to College Athletic Recruitment,” with a strong press release push on national platforms.

The release marks a critical turning point in Lovitt’s second career.

During a 24-year career with the Reno Police Department, he often worked as a trainer. In his off hours, he also worked as a trainer with Guardian Quest, a Reno-based leadership and organizational development firm.

Play Up Athletics, however, has its roots in a more prosaic setting:

Lovitt’s daughter played on a youth softball team. The team’s coaches, who mostly wanted to coach, asked Lovitt about four years ago if he would take on job of helping the teens find their way to college athletic scholarships.

“I talked to hundreds of people,” says Lovitt, who’d been a very average high school athlete himself. “I talked to everyone who would talk to me.”

He learned enough to have success linking softball players to scholarships. Word spread among parents who began searching him out for advice, and Lovitt figured he had the makings of a business.

In 2011, he organized Play Up Athletics — it’s been entirely self-funded and based in his Reno home — and began counseling high school athletes.

His step-by-step approach combines several elements.

First, Play It Up Athletics helps young athletes make some realistic decisions about their collegiate athletic futures. Not every basketball player is destined for the University of Kentucky. Maybe a smaller school in the Midwest would be a good fit?

The program also demands that teens commit themselves to development of the intangibles — a strong work ethic, for instance — that collegiate coaches desire in recruits.

And when those steps are in place, Lovitt teaches an aggressive self-marketing campaign.

“Choose where you want to go to school rather than wait to be chosen,” he says. “You’ve got to aggressively go after what you want.”

The company’s competition, he says, comes largely from often-expensive recruiting services that seldom take the athlete’s desires into account.

His answer to the competition: Out of the 15 softball players with who he originally worked, all 15 today are happy in college.