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A Pro Scout’s 3 Smart Technologies For Your Travel Team This Summer

Dugout, FastPitch, Sports Community
Credit: SportTechie.com

Credit: SportTechie.com

Smart sport technology is not just for the big leaguers anymore. From wearables to apps, there’s no denying that technology is an integral part of the travel and club team experience.

Aside from the obvious benefits of enhancing player and coach performance, technology is also key to preventing injury, especially to young pitchers. But with so many options out there, where should you start in picking the right tech for your team?

Paul Cusick is the Director of Baseball Partnerships at LeagueApps. He’s also a former scout with the Houston Astros and knows a thing or two about what professional and amateur teams are leveraging technology.

Below are three recommendations of Paul’s to get you started with your smart technology search this summer.
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LeagueApps Is Giving Away 2 Free Tickets For You To See The MLB Team of Your Choice

Company News, Dugout, Sports Community

LeagueApps Opening Day Giveaway

LeagueApps wants to give back to sports organizers this Opening Day.

For the length of one week, the LeagueApps Dugout team will be hosting a contest for a pair of League Baseball tickets (up to $100). The contest ends on Sunday, April 9th at 11:59pm.

The drawing will take place on Monday, April 10th and the winner will be notified via email or phone. To enter you have to be a sports organizer for a club, league, tournament, or other youth sports program.

To enter, all you have to do is submit your info on this page.  You can also click on the Dugout image below. Only sports organizers are eligible to win.

Be sure to read about our 2017 MLB Season expert picks and bold predictions.

 

2 Free Tickets

2017 MLB Season Preview: Bold Predictions From LeagueApps Dugout Technology Experts

Dugout, LeagueApps Team, Sports Community
Photo Credit: Getty Images (via Sporting News)

Photo Credit: Getty Images (via Sporting News)

What happens when technology experts that love the game of baseball make season predictions? With Opening Day literally hours away, our LeagueApps Dugout experts wanted to share with all the baseball organizers just how much they know and love the game as well.

The expert panel consisted of Baseball Partnership Consultants Michael Block and Jeff Snyder.

Here are the bold predictions for 2017 from our LeagueApps Dugout technology experts.

(more…)

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.

The Sports Science Behind Hitting a Softball Versus Hitting a Baseball

Dugout, FastPitch, Sports Community

Anyone who has played on the diamond before has heard or even said that hitting a baseball is the hardest thing to do in sports. Well, John Brenkus and the Sport Science crew just may think that hitting a softball is harder, and they have the evidence that shows it.

Studying the movement and physiology of Danielle Lawrie, Sport Science compares a 70 mph fastball to a 90 mph baseball pitch. On average, a baseball is released approximately 55 feet from home plate, resulting in a reaction time of .44 seconds for the hitter. By comparison, a 70 mph softball, released from an average distance of 37 feet from the plate, will result in 0.35 seconds of reaction time for the batter.

In other words, a softball batter has 20% less time to react to a pitch than a baseball batter.

Furthermore, gravity works in baseball players’ favors, as baseball pitches must follow a downward trajectory. This gives hitters the opportunity to adjust by dropping their hands.

A softball pitch, by contrast, is almost always rising after exiting from pitcher’s release. This means that hitters have to fight gravity and in less time.

We’re gonna agree with technology of the Sport Science team and say that hitting a softball is harder than hitting a baseball.

See also Jennie Finch strike out Major League All-Star Albert Pujols.

Video Basics For Your Program: The 5 Day Email Course

 

A Drone Took Video of New Sports Force Parks and It Looks Awesome

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

What could be better than a day at the ballpark? Well, how about tacking on another day at one of the country’s best amusement parks right next door?

From baseball and softball to soccer and lacrosse, Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center offers teams and their families a tournament experience packed with sports, thrills, and outdoor activities. Located just minutes from Cedar Point Amusement Park, Sports Force Parks at Cedar Point Sports Center provides a competitive, safe, and fun tournament experience for teams of all skill levels.

The 5 C’s To Hosting a Great Tournament

LeagueApps is the official sports management technology partner of Sports Force Parks.

As construction is winding down on their beautiful new facilities, Cleveland based aerial photography and videography company Aerial Agents, helped create a unique, interactive map of the park, allowing visitors to truly explore the area.

We’re as excited as Sports Force Parks for a busy 2017 tournament season!

Video Basics For Your Program: The 5 Day Email  Course
 

 

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, 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

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!

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