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How to Inspire Your Coaches and Parents to Drive Renewed Participation

Best Practices, Company News, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

4 Key Benefits Of A PCA Training Workshop

According to a poll from the National Alliance for Youth Sports, around 70 percent of kids in the United States stop playing organized sports by the age of 13 because “it’s just not fun anymore.”

The Positive Coaching Alliance works with schools and youth leagues to create better experiences and more engagement for kids in sport. (PCA) develops BETTER ATHLETES, BETTER PEOPLE through resources for youth and high school sports coaches, parents, administrators, and student-athletes. LeagueApps believes so strongly in the PCA mission that we’re supporting them in our second annual Ballin’ for Charity tournament.

Be a part of making sports happen by signing up for the second annual Ballin’ for Charity 3-on-3 basketball tournament.

The PCA resources include over 1,000 free audio-video and printable tips and tools at the PCA resources library. PCA trainers and coaches also host over 3,500 live workshops around the country each year.

The LeagueApps team took three separate PCA training workshops recently:

  •  COACHING FOR WINNING AND LIFE LESSONS: Establishes PCA’s premise that youth and high school sports entail the goal of winning and the more important goal of teaching life lessons through sports. Each attendee learns how to Coach for Mastery of Sport (Not Just the Scoreboard); Fill Emotional Tanks; and Honor the Game.

 

  • CULTURE, PRACTICES, AND GAMES: Further illustrates how coaches use PCA principles to build a team culture that players and their parents buy into, thus leading to life lessons and improved athletic performance in practices and games.

 

  • DEVELOPING COMPETITORS: Views the Double-Goal Coach model through the lens of high school sports, including such topics as social pressure, hazing, and the role of high school coaches and athletes as standard-bearers in their communities.

We consider ourselves sports organizers at LeagueApps, like our partners. This training workshop allowed us to collect further direct feedback and put ourselves in the shoes of our partners. It’s part of what we call “dogfooding,” or practicing what we preach.  

“It was good to take a step back from our day-to-day and think about the actual experience that sport has on kids,” Nick Sutedjo said.  “There are so many issues that organizers have to tackle and teaching kids, parents, and coaches the way to compete is key to positive youth sports experiences.”

Here are four key benefits of a PCA training workshop that can help organizers deliver positive youth experience and lower that 70% drop out rate.

PCA Training Workshop

The 20 Year Shift of Youth Sports

The biggest change to affect youth sports in the past twenty years is a shift toward consumerism. Factors like sport specialization, an increase in scholarship numbers, and growth in viewership at the collegiate level have really tipped the balance toward an all-consuming type of experience.

With this consumerism comes high costs for parents, yielding high expectations to have a return on those investments. Now there’s a larger demand in playing time and scholarship offers, to name a few.

This consumerism is part of the reason of why there can be a disconnect between an athlete’s wishes and his or her parents’ goals.

What Youth Athletes Want Most From Sports

In a 2014 GW Study, 9 out of 10 kids said having fun is the main reason they participate in sports. When asked to consider what is fun, they listed 81 characteristics of fun, and winning (#48) barely finished inside the top fifty.

“Kids want a great experience with their friends, the ability to get better and advance, and an environment that matches their taste through technology,” Cam Goldberg said.

Memories are what sports are most about, not win-loss records. By delivering a rewarding experience to your athletes, you can deliver a memorable sports experience, making it easier for a player to want to come back next season or event. Start with creating a rewarding environment.

Credit: Aspen Institute Project Play

Credit: Aspen Institute Project Play

Creating Rewarding Environments for All Levels of Athletes

Sport serves as a form of informal education, so it is critical to understand that coaches who will work with kids are trained properly. This will ensure that your program’s mission is carried out.

A meaningful and rewarding experience means that an athlete feels connected to teammates and coaches, believes that he or she can improve, and proudly acts with integrity when doing the right thing.

Melanie Rose thinks this learning process can start by teaching kids at an early age about the importance of mental participation in sports.

“Many youth sports coaches today are failing to teach kids the mental part of participating in sports. Sports are 90% mental; however, coaches and parents alike are so quick to critique an athlete’s mental toughness or mindset, when that is something that was never taught, developed, or coached,’ she said.

Start With The FAMILY Approach

PCA suggests the FAMILY approach in helping parents create memorable experiences for their kids.

“A lot of this starts with positive coaching feedback from parents. Promote or incentivize activities where parents don’t yell during the game and instead write down on a notecard positive things they see happening,” Greg Cuccinello said.  

Ammad Sheikh agreed. “It’s all about positive reinforcement for the kid. You want to make sure everyone in the organization is aligned to ‘Forget About Me I Love You.’”

Be a part of the LeagueApps mission to make sports happen. Register for the second annual Ballin’ for Charity 3-on-3 basketball tournament today and continue to deliver rewarding experiences.

What Mike Klinzing of Head Start Can Teach You About Your Basketball Program

Best Practices, Hoops, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Head Start Basketball

Grow Your Program By Focusing On Your Community

Head Start Basketball is a youth basketball organization that has been teaching the fundamentals of the game through camps, individual skill training, and online training videos in the greater Cleveland area since 1993. It was founded by Mike Klinzing.

They have approximately 1,000 plus players, boys and girls, that participate in their camps and training each year. These programs feature fundamental learning stations where players are taught the skills of the game, contests to test the skills learned, and the chance to play small sided games to maximize touches and player development.

LeagueApps is the official technology partner of Head Start Basketball.

Head Start was recently named the Jr. NBA Program of the Month for November for the work being done both on and off the court. In addition to being highlighted on the Jr. NBA website, Head Start was rewarded with a $1,000 gift card from Under Armour.

We had a chance to speak with Mike recently about the Jr. NBA as well as some other initiatives that Head Start has spearheaded. He had some great insight and tips into how other basketball directors can grow their basketball programs.

On Founding Head Start Basketball

A year after graduating from Kent State, Mike had the idea of running camps specifically for elementary school kids near his hometown of Strongsville, Ohio. There were seven elementary schools at the time.

“It started as a neighborhood thing. I’d run a camp at each elementary school for a total of three hours a day. Then it grew to high school as well after a year or two,” he said.

Mike claims there was not much ambition in starting a youth basketball business other than giving back. In fact, he started his camps at a time when there was a lot of competition in the market. That was one of the main challenges he faced in the early years.

“I got a head start in learning the game correctly, so I felt it was my duty to give back to the community where I grew up. From a business standpoint, I was sort of okay being stuck in the status quo,” he said.

Mike sees a big shift in the marketplace today. As youth basketball gets more and more competitive in travel ball and AAU leagues, there’s a definite opening for camp and program directors like Mike to give every kid a quality opportunity to play the game.

Not only is that growing his sports business, but it’s staying true to his mission of making great experiences for kids on the basketball court.

On Delivering Great Experiences to Members

As Mike’s camps grew and more and more kids registered with Head Start, he noticed larger amount of parents were interested in what the kids could be doing when not at organized practices. That’s when the idea of a video training plan came up.

“For some time, I had a blog to give parents valuable content so that more traffic would be sent to our website,” he said. “The idea of creating a series of videos to help parents, and even coaches, sort of spurned from the blog.”

What followed was the Daily Dozen, a series of 60 drills for kids to use over a 90-day span. The reward was that parents and players trusted Mike even when they weren’t currently registered one of his camps. When registration started back up again, the camps filled up in no time.

Faith, a parent located in Strongsville, recommends Mike’s combined style of online and in-person training so beneficial and unique, she now has multi kids in his programs.

“My children really enjoy the Head Start Basketball Camps and look forward to attending each summer.  Their basketball skills and sportsmanship have greatly improved with the help of Mike and his staff,” she said.

The Jr. NBA recently released a curriculum that is absolutely free to any coach or organizer to help them with practice plans, drills, and other basketball organized activity. A unique way to use the curriculum would be to watch the videos and grab some inspiration on how to make your own training videos to improve the user experience for your program.

“There’s no excuse not to use the Jr. NBA Curriculum,” Mike said.

 

On Being Named the Jr. NBA Program of the Month

Shortly after the Jr. NBA launched their Program of the Month initiative, Mike filled out a form that was emailed to him through the Jr. NBA newsletter. He figured it was worth a shot to win so he didn’t mind taking the hour to answer all the questions.

The Jr. NBA followed up with a questionnaire that took him about 20 minutes to fill out. By December, Mike was notified that Head Start was named the winner for the month of November.

“For less than 90 minutes of work, I got a ton of great, free press and a $1,000 gift card. I highly recommend the process to any organization.”

His relationship with the Jr. NBA has also opened up other opportunities with another leading youth basketball, the Positive Coaching Alliance. Mike and Head Start Basketball will play an integral part in helping shape PCA Cleveland, as official Jr. NBA Programs of the Month get to experience free PCA workshops to help train youth coaches.

As a USA Basketball Youth Development Certified Coach, Mike sees the benefit and similarities of all three organizations. “It’s great to be associated with all three of these organizations. They all teach correctly and they all teach sportsmanship,” he said.”

Head Start Basketball plans to use the Under Armour gift card to provide athletic apparel and equipment to kids in need through one of their giving initiatives and to purchase new basketballs to replace some of the older balls currently in use.

On Being True To A Mission That’s About More Than Basketball

Cleveland’s youth basketball players aren’t the only ones that benefit from Head Start Basketball. The surrounding community benefits in numerous ways as well with his “Train for Life” program that provides opportunities for athletes to get involved with service projects.

Every Christmas, they participate in a holiday giving event in which every year they sponsor families at a local Pro Sports Performance. This past Christmas was the fourth year of the event. Twenty-one families were sponsored with over $25,000 worth of gifts. Over 250 athletes and individuals participated.

“It was so great. Basketball and softball players, wrestlers, elementary, middle, high school students were all in attendance.”

Head Start also has a partnership with Ohio Guidestone, which is an organization that serves children and families on different community-based services, including mental health services, foster care, and residential care. With Head Start’s help, the charity event was able to host a baby shower for nine expectant mothers.

“It’s what I’m most proud of. When people get done doing something with us, they walk away feeling they get their money’s worth.”

On Working With LeagueApps

Mike partnered with LeagueApps to get deeper reporting and immediate access to help with data collection.

“I was doing payments through PayPal but the site couldn’t collect data. I had to hand type data into an Excel sheet. This has been the biggest and best thing. Now I get the information immediately.”

The transition to a new sports management platform has been seamless for Mike, his current customers, and his users.

“That’s been the case completely. I’ve not had one issue with people registering, money not showing up, refunds. It’s all been seamless,” he said.

Before, Mike was okay in the status quo. But now, his youth basketball business is seeking expansion.

“At this point, we’re really looking to expand and grow. We’re in a great spot now.”

Video Basics For Your Program: The 5 Day Email Course

The Three Part Recruiting Formula Your Travel Baseball Team Needs To Follow

Best Practices, Dugout, FastPitch, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps
Credit: Southern Athletics

Credit: Southern Athletics

John Hinson of Southern Athletics 3 Tips On Getting Commitment Offers

Southern Athletics Baseball, located in Hendersonville, North Carolina, is a three-fold baseball organization that includes camps, clinics, and club teams. Their mission is to use their experience and knowledge to accelerate the development and exposure of players in order to garner success on the largest platforms in the country. That stands solid with their three pillars: development, exposure, and recruiting.

And they are absolutely crushing the recruiting pillar.

As of March, every single player of their class of 2017 has committed to play at the college level. Twenty five percent of those players signed commitments to schools that are in the ACC or SEC. Eight players of the 2018 class have also committed, of which nearly 40% will be playing in those mega conferences. Their focus is to have them all signed by the end of the year.

We reached out to John Hinson, President of Southern Athletics and partner of LeagueApps. Aside from leading Southern Athletics (SA) Baseball club and its tournaments, he is also launching Palmetto Sports Academy in Greenville, South Carolina.

John grew up in Asheville, played baseball at ACC powerhouse Clemson University, and for a couple years played in the Houston Astros farm system. We asked him what the secret sauce is to recruiting.

“The secret sauce, if there was any, is for the travel guys who are engaged in this recruiting process to be genuine,” he said. Here is three part formula John says can make you genuine on the recruiting trail.

Do It For The Right Reasons

College coaches are easily able to figure out a guy’s intentions and what their motivations might be. John has made it a point to surround himself with like-minded people on his staff that share the Southern Athletics mission who truly want their players to reach the next level, on and off the field.

“The difference between the guys that do this really well and the guys that sort of peak out and then they’re gone in two years, are that the first batch of guys are doing it for all the right reasons.”

Meaning club directors that are in it for their egos and nothing else won’t forge relationships with college coaches longer than two years. Make your travel club about something more than just baseball by adopting a mission.

Be a Great Communicator

We preach all the time about the importance of communication for baseball and softball programs. It’s true that instant and constant communication from a club or tournament director is important for day-to-day operations, but the same can be send to help reach your recruiting goals as well.

One unique way John is able to communicate SA’s recruiting goals is through a blog. Craig Collins, Vice President of SA, maintains a blog that provides parents, players, and any member with tips and best practices that help relieve some of the stress around the recruiting process.

“The important thing is to communicate a lot. Stay positive with the parents, even if that means it might be difficult for you to say,” he said.

But communication doesn’t have to be a one way street of you speaking with your players and their parents. Communicate with other people in your industry, especially those you have forged relationships with.

Discover the power of instant communication tools by speaking with a baseball expert today.

Don’t Be Afraid to Get Fulfillment

College coaches will work with any club director that is genuine. But to really forge a relationship with a college, according to John, you have to truly get fulfillment out of getting seeing your guys commit.

“What I mean is they don’t mind calling a division two or three school and saying, ‘listen, I’m here to help your program. Are you looking for a pitcher two classes from now?’”

Even if you don’t have any players that can help them out, John recommends you scout your next tournament, and if you see a potential fit, give that college coach a shout. In the long run, that relationship will be stronger and soon you will have a new college pipeline where there was none before.

For more recruiting advice, read former Padres player Tyler Wood’s take on what he wished he’d known when getting recruited for college.

Learn The Basics Of Video Marketing With The Free LeagueApps Email Course

Best Practices, Company News, Dugout, FastPitch, FC, Hoops, Lax, Press, Rec, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Video Basics for Your Sports Program

Get Tips On How to Use Video to Grow and Market Your Sports Program Sent Straight To Your Inbox

You know the easiest way to sell your programs and brand is through video. After all, in 2017, online video will account for 74% of all online traffic. But you just don’t know where to start. Or maybe your current videos aren’t pushing the needle the way you want your program to grow.

LeagueApps wants to help you and your sports business grow. That’s why we created a free, 5-day email crash course on the basic fundamentals of video marketing. In this free email course, you’ll receive best practices on recording on a budget, where to start, how to share your awesome content, and even how to read some of those numbers to gauge how successful your latest masterpiece did.

This course is great for club directors who are looking for an extra push in recruiting, volunteers on the little league board, or tournament administrators planning the next great event.

How It Works

Simply sign up for the email course. You can click on the link here or you can click on the image at the bottom. The first lesson will be sent straight to your inbox the next day.

You’ll receive a new lesson each day for the next five days. In each lesson you’ll also see examples of how some of the leaders in the sports industry are using video to reach their goals.

In some of the lessons, you’ll be given additional homework, should you feel extra ambitious. After five days, you’ll be well on your way to delivering awesome video right to your target audience, members, parents, or other programs! Whatever your goals are, you’ll be able to achieve them.

Video content is the easiest way to consume information and help expand your program’s reach. Get started today by signing up below. We’re excited to help you grow your program through juicy video. Enjoy!

Video Basics For Your Program: The 5 Day Email Course

 

 

The 5 C’s To Hosting A Great Tournament

Best Practices, Dugout, FastPitch, Hoops, Lax, Sports Community
Credit: The Tournament Guy Blog

Credit: The Tournament Guy Blog

This was written by Aaron Jaworowski and first appeared in the Tournament Guy blog. You can read the full article here.

There are five important things that determine if a tournament is a success. This is an open discussion from a youth baseball coach. Here are my five C’s of a great tournament.

COMPLEX

One key to a great tournament experience is the complex or fields you are playing on. Is it fan friendly? If it is a high school event, is there a quad used for enhanced recruiting? Are games played on college fields? Younger kids like turf and cool dugouts. Parents want good, free, and safe parking. We like concession stands with simple, great quality, and fair priced food. I don’t want a steak, but I do want a good tasty hot dog in between games. How is the lighting? Are there batting cages and warm up areas? These are all BIG factors that can play a BIG role in a running a nice event.

COMMUNICATION

Important!!! Coaches are typically leaders by trait and are great communicators. They want to know brackets, game times, directions, format, and tournament policies as far in advance as they can so they can communicate with their families. All questions should be answered in advance of the event in a positive and clear tone. Consider using one of many tournament software companies that can assist in brackets and director-coach communication (Tourney Machine, LeagueApps, and Got Soccer are great choices). Preparation is key and this will greatly reduce the stress of directors during tournament week.

Last point on communication: OVER COMMUNICATE

Need help with communication for your next tournament? See our communication tools in action by scheduling a call now

CREDIBILITY

Your online presence matters. This without a doubt will change the perspective of your company. The dollars you invest online will return to you 10 fold. Credibility is earned through positive customer experiences and it becomes gold if you can communicate it online. Get the market to trust your product. Share your stories and highlights, promote your brand. Online content wins. Here are a few brands we like in the social media space:

Baseball Youth

Ripken Baseball

Triple Crown

Pro Tip: Video is King

COST

Coaches want value in their events. They will compare entry fee’s to minimum games played. They don’t want to pay a premium for a 3 game guarantee. They would prefer a late start on opening day if they are traveling to help reduce hotel cost. The cost of playing competitive youth sports is expensive enough and coaches will shop to find quality events at a good value. Consider things when setting your cost such as are baseballs included? Is there a 1, 2, or 3 man umpire crew that becomes a variable? Is there a gate fee or parking fee? Do you offer quantity discounts? Do you offer club discounts? Do you have a stay and play hotel policy? These are all questions that must be evaluated when setting the right price.

COMPETITION

One of the most important aspects of a successful event is the competition level. Teams want close games. Think about how professional leagues set up their franchises. The league is fighting for attention, so they need to create games that are close and suspenseful. This is why you have the worst team draft first every year.

This will take a great amount of effort, but this is part of your quality of product. Directors should be honest and upfront with teams they are attracting and place similar level teams on the same field and the same bracket.

HOW TO EXECUTE THE 5 C’s

Staff is important, and you must invest back into your business. A team is willing to pay if the product is high quality. You cannot do this on your own. Invest into two to three staff members.

See Also: Four Easy Rules For Running a Successful Tournament From a Leading Expert

Why All Sports Organizers Should Celebrate On National Signing Day

Best Practices, Company News, Dugout, FastPitch, FC, Hoops, Lax, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Credit: Carolina Union Volleyball Club Facebook (@carolinauvc)

A Look Into the Class of 2017 Commitments

One of the biggest days of a youth athlete’s career is that day they get to sign a National Letter of Intent or letter of intent. All that hard work, dedication, and commitment finally pays off.

There’s a similar feeling of joy for youth program directors as well. You spend all season creating reels, reaching out to contacts at universities, and analyzing tape of your athletes and now the fruits of your labor are paying off.

Regardless if a youth athlete in your program goes pro or not, the importance of playing college athletics at any level is understated. According to the NCAA, the likelihood of an NCAA athlete earning a college degree is significantly greater than non-athletes. Graduation success rates are 86% in Division I, 71% in Division II and 87% in Division III.

To put it frankly, sending your athletes to college is not just great for your sports program in terms of member retention and boosting registration. It’s also helping young men and women receive a higher education.

In honor of National Signing Day, we’ve compiled a list of graphs, charts, and infographics to examine the class of 2017, according to a survey sent out to LeagueApps partners and other sports programs.

Important Dates to Remember

Since early November, athletes participating in most sports have been eligible to sign an National Letter of Intent, or NLI. See the below chart (Fig. 1) that is directly taken from NationalLetterofIntent.org. You can review the chart here, or click on the image below.

Fig. 1 NLI Important Dates Credit: http://www.nationalletter.org/signingDates/

Fig. 1 NLI Important Dates
Credit: http://www.nationalletter.org/signingDates

Throughout the year, many of our partners and other youth sports programs celebrate their athletes that commit through social media. Channels like Instagram, twitter, and Facebook are great tools to spread the word easily about your athletes’, and your, successes.

Probability of Competing in College Athletics

Considering the small amount of players that compete at the college level, everyone should take a part in celebrating an athlete’s signing of a National Letter of Intent or commitment to advance.

Approximately 8 million athletes participate in organized sports at the high school level. Of those, some 480,000 compete as NCAA athletes. And just a select few within each sport move on to compete at the professional or Olympic level.

The below tables (Fig. 2 and Fig. 3, respectively) show how many high school and NCAA athletes compete in each sport along with an estimate of the percentage of high school athletes going on to compete in the NCAA.

The tables were pulled directly from NCAA research which you can find here. Or click on the images below to expand.

Fig.2 Estimated Probability of Competing in Men's College Athletics Credit: www.ncaa.org

Fig.2 Estimated Probability of Competing in Men’s College Athletics
Credit: www.ncaa.org

 

Fig. 3 Estimated Probability of Competing in Women's College Athletics Credit: www.ncaa.org

Fig. 3 Estimated Probability of Competing in Women’s College Athletics
Credit: www.ncaa.org

It’s important to note that the high school figures account only for participants on high school teams and not those competing exclusively on club teams. This means the true pre-college to NCAA percentages could be lower in some sports, such as ice hockey or tennis. Data for several sports (e.g., rowing, skiing, gymnastics) are not shown due to the low number of high school programs in those sports relative to non-scholastic pre-college participation opportunities.

A Survey of The Class of 2017

We sent out a survey to dozens of our partners and other sports organizers around the country. In it, we asked the youth sports industry leaders to compile a list of how many athletes in their respective programs signed letters of intent and at what level their classes of 2017 will compete it.

This is a shout out to all of our partners and sports organizers everywhere that work tirelessly for their communities. Through their hard work and dedication, they continue to deliver great experiences that will last further at the college level.

We’d like to send  a special thank you to our partners All-In AthleticsLousiana Knights, Edge Lacrosse (Canada), C2C Lacrosse, Team Elevate, and Carolina Union for their participation in this poll and all the organizers in those programs that had a part in helping several student athletes continue to play at the next level.

Below is a compiled list (Fig. 4) of those programs in order, starting with All-In Athletics, from top to bottom, along with the total number of their athletes from the class of 2017 that have committed to the next level.

These numbers are from January 26th, so it is possible,  that more athletes from these programs have committed to the next level. Click on the image below to expand.

Fig 4. List of surveyed partners’ total number of commitments from the class of 2017 (as of 1.26.17)

It must also be noted that the programs that qualified as active partners must have been so on January 26th, 2017.

Read: The 5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Was Getting Recruited

A big thank you also goes out to several programs that answered our survey. We’d like to thank Canada Elite, Warrior Hoops, Three Brothers Basketball, Mighty Hawks, NJ Gators, Valley Storm, Texas Glory Fast Pitch and Capital City United for their participation, as well as the enthusiasm of their staffs in getting several youth athletes committed to the next level.

These numbers are from January 26th, so it is possible, as in the case with Texas Glory Fastpitch, that more athletes from these programs have committed to the next level. Click on the image below to expand.

Fig. 5 List of others surveyed and their total number of commitments from the class of 2017 (as of 1.26.17)

A total of 131 athletes will compete at the next level from our partners’ club teams, 81 of which are male. (Note- Edge Lacrosse will begin female club teams in 2017, in addition to their current training programs.) Of the 131 athletes, 91 will compete at the Division I level of the NCAA starting in 2017.

The below pie chart (Fig. 6) shows the breakdown of the committed NCAA level, by percentage, of those 131 athletes.

Fig. 6 Breakdown by NCAA Level of Surveyed Partners’ Classes of 2017 Commitments

Approximately 53% (27 of 51 total athletes) of all commitments from the non-partner (as of January 26th, 2017) organizations surveyed will play at the Division I level.

The average number of total athletes in Division I is roughly 34%.

Fig. 7 Breakdown by NCAA Level of Surveyed Programs’ Classes of 2017 Commitments

Getting your athletes to college is no small task. Signing Day is a time to celebrate all your hard work, regardless of whatever sport you lead and organize.

Many thanks to all the programs above that took the time to fill out our survey. Feel free to share all this juicy NLI and Signing Day material on your favorite social channel!

ebookblog

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!

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

 

 

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.


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