Last year, Maddy Dunn, a member of our Customer Partnership team, started a Kipsu Kickball team: Kicksu. Kicksu has been a great way for new or old Kipsuvians to get to know their coworkers outside of work. The Kicksu team has had some great wins and always smiles, even when they lose (mostly because of the happy hour after). We interviewed Coach Maddy Dunn and Assistant Coach Ty Jesinoski on topics from what they love most about Kipsu to how to run a successful kickball team. We also interviewed Kicksu team members on what their favorite part of Kicksu is.
How did you come up with the name Kicksu?
Believe it or not, there was a fierce competition for the name of the team. We ended up with Kicksu because it married our name (Kipsu) with the sport (Kickball). Kipsu + Kickball= Kicksu.... get it?
Why did you decide to start a kickball team?
I love playing team sports and I thought a kickball team would be a great way to get some of our team members out of the office, give them a break from work and give us all an opportunity to play a light-hearted game of kickball together. I loved the idea of creating time to be outside- something I don't do enough- and getting to spend that time with my co-workers outside of our workspace. Our team has grown a lot in the last few years and it gives all of us an opportunity to get to know each other too.
What is your favorite part of being a coach?
For better or worse, I can be very competitive so I get really excited when our team is playing well. I think the part that puts a huge smile on my face is all of the high-fives and support that come from getting a runner home!
How do you keep your team motivated?
I think we are all motivated by the positive energy of the team. I'm so lucky to work with a group of people that are so kind and motivating to each other. Our secret sauce is that we're just having a great time spending time together and we don't take ourselves too seriously. Although, there are definitely moments when we're super motivated by an awesome catch or huge kick.
Favorite happy hour spot after kickball?
Since we only have a few months of beautiful warm weather here in MN, I think we all gravitate to a good patio to soak up every warm night that we can. Ty is right, we do love Psycho Suzi's because who doesn't love a tiki drink, am I right? We also stop by Stanley's now and then so our 4-legged friends can join us on the patio.
What makes the Kicksu team special?
I am lucky enough to say that my co-workers are my friends and that's what makes playing for Kicksu such a good time. I look forward to Mondays because we get to spend time together on the field as a team and that is really special and exciting for me.
Why did you decide to be an assistant coach?
I was voluntold to be the assistant coach! Ha, just kidding. But I agreed to help Maddy out because when the time I started at Kipsu last year was the first week or two of kickball and it really helped me meet others at Kipsu and feel welcomed. I wanted to help Maddy out to share this same experience with others that are new to Kipsu or new to playing kickball. I love playing recreational sports and getting to know co-workers outside of work. I've played baseball and kickball before and know the game well so that helps me "coach" and share knowledge with those that are more unfamiliar.
Favorite part of being an assistant coach?
Being able to get to know co-workers outside of the work setting. We rarely talk about work at kickball which is great while at work on Tuesday's after kickball we always talk about the game at work which creates some fun memories.
Did you play kickball as a kid?
I didn't play organized Kickball as a kid. I played in gym class and at recess! I did play baseball which has similar rules.
How do you keep your team motivated?
Positive attitude and keeping the atmosphere fun and low-key!
Can you tell us about your dog aka the Kicksu mascot?
Louie the Frenchton (75% French Bulldog, 25% Boston Terrier) is our Kicksu mascot. He loves being around people and chewing dirt and grass. This naturally makes the kickball field a great place for him to hang out and cheer his dad and the rest of the Kicksu team on! He often makes a play on foul balls that head his direction so he can feel a part of the team as well. His favorite part about being the Kicksu mascot is greeting everyone as they come back to the bench after getting the other team out or scoring a run!
Kicksu Team Members share their experience with Kicksu:
"I went to my first kickball game on the same day as my first day of work at Kipsu. It was a fantastic way to get to know people at the company and it instantly helped me feel supported and accepted."
- Connor, Engineering
"I love how much fun we all have during kickball! Everyone is hyped and excited for each other when one of us does a good play, but everyone is also super supportive of each other when we mess up. It's the same in the office too, which is a great culture to be apart of."
- Jaime, Customer Partners
"My favorite Kicksu moment was when Cooper ran over the other team's catcher."
- Charlie, Customer Partnership
"Ty, your son Louie is watching! Make him proud! PS: Charlie, I didn't run over her...I ran THROUGH her..."
- Cooper, Customer Success
"Talk about an opportunity to strengthen company culture and team building across all responsibilities and roles."
-Sarah, Customer Success
"Kicksu was a great way to spend Monday nights getting to know co-workers outside of the office. I think Coach Maddy did a great job organizing the team and making sure we all have fun. We may not win every game, but I'm confident that we lead the league in fun."
-Drew, Customer Partnership
Thank you Coach Maddy and Assistant Coach Ty for motivating and rounding up the Kicksu team! Kicksu still has a few games to play and we are excited to finish the season strong! Also, the adorable Kicksu mascot, Louie, has an Instagram account: @louiefrenchton.
Go Kicksu Go!