The History of the CrocBox
"If at first the idea is not absurd, then there is no hope for it." Einstein said that. By no means, do I consider myself in Einstein’s ballpark, but the quote holds true. Not all ideas change the world, some just a teeny bit off of it, and that’s ok.
My mother throughout my entire 46 years would tell me to, "Pay Attention." Not to school or even to her, but to the world around me. I would nod and smile, then go on about my day. It wasn’t until a few years ago that it actually made sense. She is a huge fan of an Indian philosopher named Krishnamurti. If you never heard of him or read his stuff, give it a try. But I warn you, get a good night sleep, grab a gallon of coffee and strap in. This is some serious stuff. Even the simple quotes you have to read a few times to sink in. Kind of like reading Shakespeare, good but slightly drawn out. Let me boil it down for you, everything is connected, everything is in harmony...except you. Your job, according to "K" is to get with the program, relax, accept, but most of all, pay attention.
So, for the past few years, I have honestly tried to pay attention. The only problem with that is the constant noise of life. All the senses are bombarded every second with the monotony of middle age, middle class life. Kids, bills, health, job, mowing the lawn...ad nauseum. But every now and then, I think of Mom, and try to pay attention, and every now and then, it works.
Two years ago, I was in a profession that I had become to regret. I was miserable. Always tired, crabby, stressed out. The only hobby I had was golf. I was never awesome, but I had fun playing and it was a four-hour timeout from my life. I would play twice a week and I would try to practice as often I could.
I had a golf net that I purchased from Amazon, would set it up in the yard with the little rubber mat, and I would relieve stress with 10-20 balls. Slamming them into this net. It worked as advertised, hit the balls, collect the balls, hit the balls... In the beginning, I would set it up and take it down after each practice session. Then the lies set in. "I'm gonna practice again tomorrow, I'll leave I up overnight", turned into me mowing around it, picking it up after a storm. Finally, the weather had its way and one day, a five iron shot cleared the neighbor’s car. No Good! So, time for a new net, but here comes Mom again. Pay attention. There had to be a better way.
What were my issues, my actual issues, not the rationalizing nonsense I tell myself. I am lazy. Not a sloth like, sitting on the couch lazy, but a procrastinating lazy. I know I'm not the lone ranger here, but at least I can admit it. I needed a way to take myself out of the equation for golf practice. I don’t go to the range as often as I should, but $6.00 adds up for a bucket 3 times a week.
I don’t put the net up (or down) as often as I'd like, because quite frankly, its annoying. None of them go up and down in 5 minutes like advertised. My wife hates practice nets and has no problem letting me know that they are an eyesore. Now, lets add to the mix, a small soccer goal, a baseball tee with a string on it and a sketchy looking archery net strung between two trees. If you're a parent, you can visualize this, cover of Home & Garden it is not. I admit that in the summer, my back yard had a "lived in" sort of look. Early Spring and Fall? Beautiful, just don’t look behind the garage at the mess of tangled poles and netting. There had to be a better way. Pay attention.
The next few days were a blur, drawing, scheming and dreaming. I knew it would work, but how on earth does one start something like this?
I contacted a couple of close buddies and we pondered the future of our golf net over some beers and excited what-ifs. Finally, we got some scrap wood, old flagsticks and old fishing net. Built a rudimentary box and buried it. The first swing with a seven iron actually worked, came right back to me. The driver on the other hand, smoked through the net and landed in some neighbors yard some 250 yards away. Oops.
Over the course of the next few months, an engineer was hired, metal fabricators were contacted and the design was tweaked on a daily basis. After what seemed like 20 prototypes, we finally had the winner.
Next stop, China. Well, not actually, but Alibaba and emails to Chinese manufactures. The Chinese are very eager and surprisingly easy to work with. But, after months of research and discussions with what other merchants had experienced with China, we found that yes, their prototypes would be spot on, but on a shipment of 2000 units, you will see plenty of flaws.
We decided not to risk it and the idea of having "Made in the U.S." appealed to us. Sure, it will cost more to produce, but we knew the quality would be second to none and it felt good to do the right thing.
The idea was born in America so; it should be made here too. Naïve? Perhaps. But renewing American manufacturing has sacrifices, and we were willing to do our small part & R&D was a fascinating aspect for the project.
We hit everything into our net: Soccer, baseball, softball, field hockey, lacrosse, football... You name it. We even ordered an archery net to shoot into. Every sport worked, using one ball, (not arrows), Our kids were using the net constantly.
Golf was the original idea, but it became so much more. We replaced all the clutter in our yards with one piece of equipment. A piece of equipment with no maintenance, virtually invisible when not in use. I mow over it, ignore it, till I need it.
introducing the CrocBox to the World
Fast forward a year and a half. We leased a small warehouse, ordered our parts and began assembling. Taking great care with each box like it was being shown to the greatest golfer of all time.
Well here we are. Proud to introduce the CrocBox to the world. Check out the videos and see how much easier the CrocBox will make your sporting life so much more satisfying.