From Youth Sports to College Athletics: The Journey of Top Tier Lessons! | Chicago North Shore Moms

courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Flashback to 15 years ago. Cara Bognar was a young swimmer in South Carolina and the oldest of five kids. Unlike her friends, her dream wasn’t to become an astronaut or meet the coolest singers; it was to become a college swimmer. She was starstruck by the older athletes who returned to her swim club in the summer and dreamt about the day that she would become just like them.

courtesy of Illinois Athletics

Today, Cara is graduating from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign having achieved her dream and finishing 4 years as a D1 swimmer. While proud of what she has accomplished she has never lost sight of what it felt like growing up, knowing what an impact college players can make on children and teens.

2 years ago, she founded a company, Top Tier Lessons, to bring high quality and accessible private lessons to the next generation of sports players with a twist: all of the coaches are current college players. She founded this as she felt that all children deserve more than just a coach, they deserve role models and mentors that meet them where they are and help them grow both on and off the fields.

Cara states, “Everything we do at Top Tier Lessons is to provide the experience that we would have loved to have playing sports growing up. Nothing is more important than empowering children to learn and grow their confidence in themselves through sports and seeing incredible improvement in their skills along the way.”



And current parents who work with Top Tier Lessons feel the same way. One parent spoke about her experience with basketball coaching saying, “First, I have to say that our coach is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G! She did such a great job with my son and, in just one hour, she helped him gain confidence in himself and he enjoyed his session so much. It also makes me happy that he can meet young athletes and adults that he can look up to.”

Top Tier Lessons is now in Evanston and the surrounding areas with coaching available all 7 days of the week across soccer, basketball, baseball, tennis, lacrosse and softball with more sports coming soon. Learn more about their offerings at

*This article is brought to you by Chicago North Shore Moms trusted partner, Top Tier Lessons. Thank you!

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