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Shane Battier’s 4 Key Themes For Championship Teams

Best Practices, Company News, Press, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Archived image of Shane Battier with the LeagueApps Hoops team.

Archived image of Shane Battier with the LeagueApps Hoops team.

The LeagueApps team was recently lucky enough to receive some words of wisdom from two-time NBA Champion and LeagueApps investor Shane Battier at our latest OTAs.

During this time, Mr. Battier spoke of 4 key themes for individuals to build teams. Then, the team incorporates these 4 themes to win championships.

“If you can capture these 4 things, you will win a championship,” he said.

That championship can come in the form of the board room, the office, a garage in which you start your youth sports business, the playing field or in the locker room. Here are Shane Battier’s 4 key themes to build championship teams.

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How LeagueApps OTA 11.0 Team Meetings Will Make Us A Better Teammate to You

Best Practices, Company News, Dugout, FastPitch, FC, Hoops, Lax, LeagueApps Team

LeagueApps OTA 11.0

We use the term “OTAs” a lot around the LeagueApps offices. We use it on our blog a lot as well. The NFL refers to the OTAs as preseason activities. One way to describe them here is to call the OTAs our team meetings or team building activities.

Last week, LeagueApps concluded these sessions for the 11th time. Throughout the three-and-a-half day sessions, the term 11.0 was thrown around a lot. It’s what will make LeagueApps, including our partners and sports organizers everywhere, and our team and any new team members, the best teammate you can possibly have.

Why 110?

LeagueApps is committed to our partners. Not only that, but we are dedicated to helping our partners getting set up with the tools they need to grow their programs. We know that when a partner commits to LeagueApps, we commit to helping their community organize sports forever. In short, we commit to Partnerships Forever.

To do that, we need a company culture that gives 110%. We expect 110% results. Anyone who joins our team will need to be 110%. Our partners expect 110% forever.

Simply put, being 110 means being a true SportsDog forever.

Our 110 Speakers

To hit our 110 goals, we had to have 110 guests and speakers.

LeagueApps investor and former NFL player Dhani Jones fired off our team meetings. His career took him from tackling on the playing field to now creating television opportunities after spur-of-the-moment meetings on planes. Mr. Jones is a true 101 Student of the Game.

We learned about the Results driven mentality and attitude that propels Geno Auriemma and the UConn women’s basketball team to new heights each and every day. They recently won their record breaking 91st straight game thanks to each player’s dedication to 110% each and everyday they step on the court.

We were honored to host some of our Difference Making partners for a special Partner Panel. Jimmy Vlahakis, President of Trilogy Lacrosse, taught us what goes into creating excellent event experiences for participants, players, and parents. Island Garden’s Executive Director Jim Fox drove home the importance of investing in 110 people.

Bobby Downing delivered insight into the economic advantages of community social leagues like Delaware Sports Leagues and how every sports organizer, from youth to adult, should embrace the idea of “Play Forever.”

We learned more unique and creative ways to implement our tools and features from T3’s Julia Braun, as well as best youth sports business practices from Mitch Storch of Hoop Heaven.

Barry Wacksman and Tom Gordon of R/GA charged us with an even deeper focus into who we are as a team and what LeagueApps means in this integrated world. R/GA is considered one of the top digital agencies in the world, working with such companies as Nike and Samsung. They shared how their Openness was able to arm leading companies with a mission, an idea that our partners have embraced for their sports programs.

Finally, NBA Champion and Investor Shane Battier shared how any team can capture a championship through contribution, certainty, connection, and significance.

110 Celebrations

OTAs is also a good time to celebrate our 110 team.

Much like an award ceremony for a sports team at the end of the year, we had a chance to throw our own event. We celebrated eight individuals that stood out and best represented our SportsDog values to our team, and more importantly, to our partners.

The real star of the night was our Master of Ceremonies, Mr. Joe Gangone. Our very own Joe launched the award festivities with a heartfelt poem that displayed all of the Passion that we have when we suit up every day.

Ironically, it was his birthday as well. And we loved celebrating with him!

110 Forever

We want to form lifelong partnerships. We are a company that is predicated on team, not acquisitions. We are a team that is focused on service to partners, not customers. We are forming relationships that will last a lifetime. 

Partners Forever. Team Forever. Play Forever.


JOIN OUR 110 TEAM TODAY!

LaxCon 2017: This Is Where You Had To Be

Company News, Lax, Press, Sports Community
Credit: Inside Lacrosse

Credit: Inside Lacrosse

What a difference a year makes for the US Lacrosse Convention.

Last year, the crowds were forced away by an untimely blizzard that covered the streets of Baltimore. This year, crowds were lined out the door of the Baltimore Convention Center. Simply put, if you were in the business of lacrosse, you had to be here.

This year’s event featured a lot of the same products and most of the same technologies. There was a drastic increase in the amount of facility business that catered to coaches and other program directors.

But perhaps the biggest takeaway for our LeagueApps lax team was the sheer amount of people at this year’s event.

“This was my first LaxCon I was able to attend in three years,” Ned Crotty said. “I was almost shocked to see how much the sport has grown.”

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The World Baseball Coaches Convention Confirms That The Game Is Changing

Company News, Dugout, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Tyler Wood at Mohegan Sun

The LeagueApps dugout team spent this weekend at the Mohegan Sun World Baseball and Softball Coaches Convention this weekend. After their time in Connecticut, as well as our time at the American Baseball Coaches Convention, it was clear that the game of baseball is rapidly changing.

From the age of the coaches (hint: they’re getting younger) to the number of wearable technologies (hint: they’re everywhere), youth baseball is no longer your grandfather’s, or even your father’s game.

“The one thing that stood out was that most of these coaches are getting younger,” Baseball Partnerships Consultant Michael Block said.

Baseball Consultant Alex Wolf agreed. “It’s getting quite clear that as the game becomes more reliant on technology, a new breed is bringing in 2017 with some fresh ideas.”

One of these fresh ideas that is starting to catch steam is the idea of selling apparel or merchandise through a program’s storefront rather than through a vendor. The idea of third-party selling is dwindling fast as more and more clubs, leagues, camps, and clinics take advantage of eCommerce through their own websites and markets.

In terms of baseball business,Extra Innings is finding new ways to franchise baseball facilities in a unique market.

The weekend was dominated by technology, however. Some of these advances were created to help the medical field, while others were instituted to help market the game to a younger audience.

ShoulderSphere is an exercise device that strengthens rotator cuff muscles in a simultaneous and multi-directional manner. The idea is to combat the most common form of rotator cuff injury that occurs in youth baseball players: degeneration. It’s the first and only device of its kind.

The products and wearable technology of Right View Pro remain among the most in-demand products in the game.

One company that is really changing the game is Motus, a world leader in advanced biomechanical analysis. They combine wearable technology with ground-breaking 3D movement and performance analytics software to help athletes, trainers, and coaches prevent injury and improve performance.

LeagueApps is an official partner of the Motus Prospect Baseball Academy.

Tyler Wood, former professional pitcher and current LeagueApps Partnership Development Representative noticed the drastic increase of different games and technologies that are geared toward attracting a younger audience.

“A lot of these companies like Sklz or Axe Bat are creating new software and games to speed the game up and keep kids interested. That could mean a new tee or a game put in place in which kids start with two strikes so they have to swing. Either way, this shows that the sport is almost re-inventing the wheel in a lot of areas,” he said.

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The Top 3 Reasons You Need To Register for FundPlay’s Ballin For Charity Right Now

Best Practices, Company News, LeagueApps In Action, LeagueApps Team, Press, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Ballin For Charity

LeagueApps is happy to announce the tip-off of the second annual 3-on-3 FundPlay initiative, Ballin’ for Charity. The event will be hosted on Saturday, March 25th by our partners at Basketball City.

Like last year’s event, each team will be required to play for a charity of their choice. Proceeds will go towards Positive Coaching Alliance and allocating software grants through FundPlay for underserved communities in need.

This year’s event will consist of two divisions- competitive and recreational. The winner of the competitive division will receive a $1,500 donation to the charity of their choice. The recreational division winner will receive $1,000.

The event was able to raise over $10,000 last year in proceeds! Here are three reasons why now is the best time to sign up for the fasting growing charity basketball tournament in the city.

REGISTER YOUR TEAM FOR BALLIN’ FOR CHARITY TODAY

 

Join A Network That Includes New York’s Leaders In The Tech and Startup Industry

Each team is guaranteed three games in their respective division. During pool play and any teams that don’t make the playoffs, there will be plenty of other games and events going on, thanks to our friends from NYC Social. Who doesn’t love dodgeball or cornhole?

Last year, Ballin’ for Charity had over 400 of New York City’s leading entrepreneurs and innovators attended. Over $20 billion in business was represented. Check out last year’s participants here.

The lounge at Basketball City will be serving refreshments and March Madness games will be playing in the background. This is one of the easiest ways to get in front of hundreds of the industry’s leaders.

Choose The Charity You Want To Play For

One of the perks of FundPlay’s Ballin’ for Charity is that YOU are empowered to play for the charity of your choice. Most of us at LeagueApps understand the power of sport and all the positive impacts they have had on us as well as our partners.

Because we firmly believe in the power of sport, LeagueApps will be playing for PCA. We support their motto of “Better Athletes, Better People” and trust in their mission to transform the culture of youth sports so that youth athletes can have a positive, character-building experience.

By playing in Ballin’ for Charity, you have the power to make a difference by playing for a charity of your choice. Here, you can see some of the charities that others have played for in the past.

The Early Bird Registration Deadline Is Fast Approaching

Let’s face it. This event is too hard to pass up. It’s not a matter of if Ballin’ for Charity will fill up, but when it will. The easiest way to secure your spot is to sign up now.

By signing up your team right now, you can save also big using our early bird discount. Take advantage of the entry for teams starting at $400 per team. Prices will go up after February 1st. Hurry though, as the early bird discount is only available for a limited time.


SIGN UP TODAY TO RECEIVE THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

 

 

How 3 Entrepreneurs Convinced an NBA Star to Invest in LeagueApps

Company News, Hoops, Press, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Credit: Wikimedia/Keith Allison

Credit: Wikimedia/Keith Allison

Shane Battier And Why He Started With LeagueApps

This story appears in both the January 2017 edition of Entrepreneur magazine and online at entrepreneur.com. You can read the full article here.

In February 2015, Shane Battier attended a dinner for sports-tech companies, hosted by the professional development company Gerson Lehrman Group. He especially loved meeting Jeremy Goldberg, the president of LeagueApps, which makes tools to manage youth sports leagues. The two bonded over how poorly run those leagues are — Battier has two kids, so he knows — and they kept in touch after.

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MLL All Star Ned Crotty Wants to Host a Clinic For Your Lacrosse Program

Company News, Lax, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Credit: Sarah Michaels / Pretty Instant

Credit: Sarah Michaels / Pretty Instant

It’s not every day that one of the top lacrosse players in the world offers to host a free clinic at your lacrosse program’s location. But that’s just want LeagueApps Director of Lacrosse Ned Crotty wants to do.

Starting today, you can enter for a chance to have Ned Crotty host an official one day clinic for your participants. That means that one of the game’s superstars will fly out to your location, teach your players his skills and recruiting tips, and set aside time for photo-ops and questions. And it’s all free.

The contest runs through January 22nd to coincide with this year’s US Lacrosse Convention. The winner will be announced on Thursday, January 26th.

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The 3 Reasons The American Baseball Coaches Association Convention Proves Your Program Will Change In 2017

Best Practices, Company News, Dugout, FastPitch, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Photo Credit: ABCA

Photo Credit: ABCA

Since 1945, the American Baseball Coaches Association has held meetings every year with the NCAA with the idea that college baseball needed organization and direction. What started as a 29 man convention has spawned to an 8,000 member association spanning 20 countries.

This year’s convention was held in Anaheim, California from January 5th-8th. More than 4,500 coaches and 300 exhibiting companies made the 73rd annual ABCA Convention the largest ever on the West Coast.

LeagueApps was lucky enough to be a part of the annual tradition this year as CEO Brian Litvack and Director of Enterprise Sales Rohit Kohli were on site with some off the game’s industry leaders.

As the game continues to evolve, different aspects of the youth baseball industry are also changing. It’s important to recognize some of the trends happening in the game. Here are the three reasons the ABCA Convention proved the game and your baseball program will change in 2017.


Technology Is Taking Over

It’s clear now more than ever that technology is changing every part of the game. Everything from tracking a pitcher’s release to gauging bat speed or torque is being monitored. Companies like Diamond Kinetics and HitTrax are paving the way for coaches and directors to analyze all details of a player’s swing.

“The baseball world has completely changed,” Rohit said. “Without a doubt, Diamond Kinetics and HitTrax were the biggest draws at the event. Everything revolves around tracking efficiencies for recruiting more so than ever.”

With all this technology and data, kids are able to receive their scores faster. They are then able to assess how they stack up with everyone else. Tweaks such as lowering their hands on the bat or raising their release on the mound are now easier than ever before.

“It’s almost like these companies are gamifying baseball for the kids,” Rohit said. “Like a video game, kids get instant results and make changes right then and there to get better.”

The 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Recruited To Play College Baseball


Programs Are Getting More Specialized

From pitching camps in Texas to hitting instructors in New York to catching schools in California, there seems to be no shortage of specialized training. And the market seems to be expanding.

Across the country, facilities are being built for this very reason. Having a field is no longer necessary. Instead, program directors and organizers can use technology to open a camp focused on players’ bat speed.

LeagueApps partners from Ohio, Sports Force Parks, is one example of facilities built on specialization. Located near Cedar Point Amusement Park, they specialize in hosting tournaments for all skill levels. However, they maximize their growth through a niche market in youth sports tourism. By marketing one special asset of what they offer, Sports Force Parks has grown from hosting tournaments into one of the premier players in the youth baseball industry.

Custom Gloves at the ABCA

It’s not just programs or facilities that are specializing. Equipment is being altered every day to optimize a certain part of a player’s game. There’s a science behind how specialized hats can help prevent concussions. Gloves are being built everyday to conform to a player’s tendencies at shortstop or centerfield.

With the addition of technology and improving software, these evolutions are leading to more and more specialized players. The result is personalized pitching coaches and clinics for infielders on turning double plays.

As long as kids want to be the best and play for the best, there will always be a market for specialized camps.

Baseball Organizers Cannot Miss These Conventions

The biggest and most important takeaway is also perhaps the most simple. You have to go to these youth baseball related events.

Aside from the possibility of meeting Tommy Lasorda or Bobby Valentine, conventions and events like the ABCA allow for not only an excellent opportunity for other youth baseball leaders to network, but the potential to grow your program through a 3 or 4 day event is enormous.

That fact is not lost on Rohit.

“All the big name sponsors are here,” he said. “Every organization is here to capitalize on how to grow their youth baseball business in 2017.”

Big names like Rawlings, Easton, and EvoShield, to name a few, have a heavy presence at these events. Just as college teams are looking for partnerships with these baseball goliaths, youth clubs and teams are finding more ways than ever to get sponsorships.

With over 4,500 college coaches and recruiters at the event, baseball directors and organizers are keen on getting the inside track on how to get their players recruited for college.

“Being on site just gives these program directors a competitive advantage in understanding what college coaches are looking for. Sure, the opportunity for sponsorships and technological advances are here. But the real advantage is in knowing how to get your kids recruited,” said Rohit.

If a baseball director is looking to grow their program in 2017, start by attending these events.


Going to to the Mohegan Sun Convention? Sign up to win a FREE customized Fungo Bat!

The Jr. NBA Wants To Give Your Youth Basketball Program A $1,000 Under Armour Gift Card

Company News, Hoops, Press, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Jr. NBA Program of the Month

If your youth basketball program is focused on growing the game of basketball through sportsmanship, fundamentals, and team work, then you deserve free marketing and Under Armour apparel and equipment for it. Now you actually can, thanks to a new initiative launched by the Jr. NBA to recognize dedicated organizers like you.

The Program of the Month presented by Under Armour will reward you and your basketball program with a $1,000 Under Armour gift card, a live workshop for coaches, parents, or league administrators from our friends at the Positive Coaching Alliance, and will be featured on the Jr. NBA’s social media platforms and website.

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How A Hall of Famer Is Delivering Great Experiences To His Youth Baseball Programs

Best Practices, Dugout, FastPitch, FC, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Via CoachUp Inc/coachup.com

Via CoachUp Inc/coachup.com

January 2017 Partner SportsDog Award: Dirt Dawg Sports

SportsDog Value: Grit

Award Winner: Alex Santiago

Previous Winner: Team Esface Basketball

Alex Santiago’s baseball resume is quite long.

  • Catcher of the 1982 Puerto Rico Big League Team World Champions
  • 18 years in the Puerto Rico Semi Pro Baseball League
  • Three Puerto Rican Semi-Pro Championships (1989-’91)
  • Eight All Star Selections
  • Manager, Puerto Rico National Big League Team
  • Manager of the Year, 2009
  • Silver Medal w/Women’s National Team in 2009 Pan-American Baseball Tournament
  • Inducted to Carolina (his hometown) Hall of Fame of Sports in 2013
  • Inducted to Puerto Rico Semi-Pro Baseball League Hall of Fame in 2009
  • Oldest Son of Former Red Sox Great Jose Santiago

Since 2012, Alex has been manager, instructor, and trainer of Dirt Dawgs Sports. He also serves as the program’s Information Officer.

Based out of Canton, Massachusetts, Dirt Dawg Sports is a premier baseball and softball training facility offering year-round indoor and outdoor top-notch professional baseball and softball instruction. Their mission is to work with all players to instill, cultivate, and nurture the love and passion that they have for the game.

“Dirt Dawgs is like a family,” Alex said. “You’re not just another customer. You’re treated like family. We are an all year round facility so you’re always welcome. We offer soccer, softball, we sponsor a cricket team. So everyone is welcome.”

Alex moved from Puerto Rico to the Boston area four years ago. He has been involved with all levels of baseball since he was eight years old. He even began his managerial career at the age of twelve while he was playing on the Puerto Rican teams.

He also comes from a great baseball family.

“I don’t like to brag about it, but if I don’t mention it my father will be mad. I am the oldest son of former Red Sox pitcher Jose Santiago, who pitched the first game of the World Series versus St Louis Cardinals’ Bob Gibson and lost 2-1 that game. The only run for the Red Sox was a homerun he hit over the Green Monster.”

In 2012, he took advantage of the opportunity to continue a career in baseball at the youth level. What started as a trainer and coaching position evolved into taking over duties as the program’s information officer.

“We were doing a lot of things manually. And almost everything was done separately. So, I tried to consolidate everything.”

Holiday Champions 2017 Coupal and his 16 Gold

A photo posted by Dirt Dawg Sports (@dirtdawgsports) on

With his background as a website designer and a “lit bit of programming,” Alex gave a lot of his time to install account packages such as QuickBooks and analyze several Excel spreadsheets.

“When I ran into LeagueApps and saw the product for the first time, I was really, really satisfied. It eliminated so much manual stuff we were doing like a lot of paperwork, a lot of forms, and spreadsheets,” he said.

“We weren’t even collecting any payments online.” All registrations were done on paper.

Within two months, all of the Dirt Dawgs’ 21 club teams were conducting 100% of their transactions online. His efforts to deliver the best service possible to his clients and the Dirt Dawgs family is just but one reason why he is held in such high regard.

Discover the  technology that helps power the Dirt Dawgs’ 21 club teams by seeing a free demo.

It’s with that grit, determination, effort, and hard work that Alex is able to deliver amazing experiences to his program’s players, parents, and members.

“Alex is the best! Not only does he spend his time training young baseball players, but he is always looking for new ways to take advantage of all the features offered. He even answered my call and got in front of a computer with me while he was on his vacation,” Launch Manager Stephanie Vera said.

He believes in having an open line of communication with all of his players and members of the Dirt Dawg family. Parents around the Boston area flock to Alex and the Dirt Dawgs so that their kids will become better players and more importantly, better people.

Alex lives by the advice he gives to all sports organizers and anyone who has a drive to succeed in their youth sports business.

“You have to comply on what you offer to your clients.”

Thanks to Alex’s grit and determination, he and the amazing staff of Dirt Dawg Sports are geared for a wildly successful 2017 of delivering excellent service and experiences to their clients.

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