Mentoring Young Student-Athletes

Alana Folen
Wednesday - August 10, 2011
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Holly Saito. Photo courtesy Holly Saito

Holly Saito, president of Full Potential Sports Hawaii LLC, is changing the lives of young athletes one at a time by offering a personal mentoring program created to help them achieve their maximum athletic potential, while mastering important life skills along the way.

“My business is a little different from most basketball clinics,” Saito explains. “We not only work with the athlete, but we also work closely with parents in designing their child’s program, appropriate payment plan and encourage feedback on the effectiveness of the designed program. We also send progress reports to parents and athletes as often as requested, and ongoing evaluations and feedback enable us to modify programs as needed to obtain the best results for the athlete.”

Saito says this entrepreneurial idea came to her years ago while in high school at St. Andrew’s Priory, where she was an award-winning varsity basketball player. She later fine-tuned her business plan while in college at Pacific University and Portland State University, where she earned her degree in social science.

“I have always loved sports, especially basketball. My dad, coaches and many other supportive influences in my life have helped me come up with the idea to mentor kids one-on-one in basketball,” Saito explains. “I want this to be an enjoyable experience for everyone. Sports should be fun not everyone turns out to be NBA or WNBA stars, so we should work hard, be the best we can be.”

Currently, Full Potential Sports Hawaii caters primarily to elementary and middle school athletes attending private schools, including Iolani, Punahou, Hawaii Baptist Academy and Assets. Saito works to mentor these student-athletes physically, mentally and emotionally, focusing on specific areas and building up a student’s individual athletic and life skills, selfconfidence, self-motivation, quick thinking, team mindset, a positive attitude and more.

“I want these young athletes to love what they do,” she says. “I hope to make a positive difference in their lives. I not only want to improve their performance in basketball, but I want to show them the importance of sports off the court.

“To me, there’s no better feeling than seeing a smile and hearing laughs on young kids’ faces,” Saito adds. “It is really a rewarding feeling to be helping such smart, talented, motivated and inspiring young student athletes in Hawaii. Watching my athletes work hard and work smart during every session makes me feel so proud.”

For more information on Full Potential Sports Hawaii LLC, visit


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