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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, 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

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.”

(more…)

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.

(more…)

Major League Lacrosse Star Ned Crotty On Why Playing Multiple Sports Will Help You Get Recruited

Best Practices, Lax, LeagueApps Team, Sports Community
Credit: Sarah Michaels / Pretty Instant

Credit: Sarah Michaels / Pretty Instant

This Post Written By Rochester Rattlers Attacker And LeagueApps Director of Lacrosse Ned Crotty

“Play multiple sports.” Something almost all youth athletes are told, often times directly from college coaches themselves, and yet most players and parents today ignore the advice. Coaches aren’t just wasting their breath—the advice is based on a common thread among almost all great lacrosse players.

In short, playing multiple sports makes you a better athlete, and ultimately a better lacrosse player. But it’s more than that. Whatever the sport is you’re choosing to play, care about it, work really hard at it, and don’t look at it as a secondary sport.

The key is not trying to do it all at once. These days, athletes play other sports to stay in shape for lacrosse, but if you’re not focused on the sport at hand, are you really going to get better? Is it going to make you a better athlete?

One of the great things about lacrosse is that there are so many similarities with other sports – basketball, football, soccer, hockey, etc. As a professional athlete, coach, and someone with several years of experience in the sports industry, I’ve often attributed my success in lacrosse to my years playing hockey. In hockey, you have to constantly play with your head up, make quick decisions and develop soft hands – all critical skills to my development as an athlete, and I wouldn’t have become the versatile player I am today without those experiences.

Want to talk to Ned about your lacrosse program? You can! He is opening up his calendar for lacrosse organizers like you. Learn more.

Are college coaches speaking out of both sides of their mouth when they say this? Arguably, yes. Coaches say that they want multi-sport athletes, yet they’re recruiting at events year round, causing players and parents to anxiously assume that they’re going to miss out on that one opportunity to be noticed if they skip a recruiting event or two.

Ironically, that couldn’t be further from the truth. And I’ve heard this first hand from coaches. In fact, you’d be surprised how many coaches like getting an email from a player saying they’re unable to make a recruiting event because they have a HS football game. It’s actually a good sign about a player, and shows commitment.

Another pro tip: In that same email, attach a highlight of your football season up to that point. While it may feel strange, coaches love watching their recruits play other sports.ften times, it can give them a better idea of the player’s athleticism and instincts.

There’s a saying that “you recruit what you can’t teach,” and the truth is you can’t teach athletic instincts. Back when I was going through the recruiting process, schools that were recruiting me for lacrosse used to come and watch me play hockey. I remember one coach in particular telling me he liked watching the recruits who played hockey because he could quickly figure out whether or not they were tough. “You can’t hide in the boards” he said.

 

Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

Credit: Jim Rogash / Getty Images

My love for lacrosse is undeniable – but I think it’s important for young lacrosse players to know the consequences of limiting their athletics to only one sport. If lacrosse is your only focus, you’re missing out on the chance to become the best player that you can be.

Adding another sport to the mix will not only make you a better athlete and lacrosse player, it will also help you appreciate the game even more. It’s healthy to take a step away from the game for a little bit, similar to how it’s important for adults to take vacations away from their jobs. If anything, it will allow you to miss the sport and have more appreciation for your next time on the field holding a stick.

And remember, college lacrosse coaches get excited about well-rounded athletes. They would even tell you to engage in different sports while you can, because come college enrollment time, they’ll want lacrosse to be your sole focus.

Read professional baseball player Tyler Wood’s 5 tips on recruiting.

ebookblog

 

How to Start, Scale, and Grow a Youth Sports Training Program [video]

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

Former Johns Hopkins University, National Lacrosse League, and current Major League Lacrosse player Mike “Pop” Poppleton is the founder of All-American Faceoff (AAFO). Founded in 2015, the goal of AAFO is not only to teach athletes how to dominate at the faceoff X, but to instill skills that will help the players succeed in the classroom and in life.

AAFO has scaled up tremendously over the last year, growing from one specialized training program, to a now bi-coastal enterprise that is looking to focus on different aspects of lacrosse training.  Currently, Pop is looking for quality draw and goalie coaches/directors.

Pop was in town recently for the Paul Rabil Foundation fundraising event in NYC and decided to kick it with a few of his friends and partners at LeagueApps.

In fact, when he walked into the LeagueApps office last week, he made himself right at home! You’ll see that he enjoyed some of our funky hats laying around the office…

ebookblog

We were lucky enough to be able to pick Pop’s brain a little bit and get some advice for other youth sports entrepreneurs and organizers. There’s really no one better to give sound advice to sports organizers on starting a youth training program, especially for a niche or specific role program.

In part one above, Pop gives some great tips on starting a niche or specific youth training program, the importance of technology, scaling, and properly using social media to expand a training program’s reach.

In part two below, watch what drove Pop to start AAFO, some of the challenges he faced, and why he says “sixth graders in Tennessee” could beat him.

MLL To Host All Star Shootout With ADVNC Lacrosse Using LeagueApps

Lax, Press, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

ADVNC MLL All Star Shootout

Major League Lacrosse (MLL), the premier outdoor professional lacrosse league, announced on Wednesday the 2017 MLL All-Star Game will be played in Sacramento, CA. The state of California will host the MLL All-Star Game for the second straight year after the 2016 contest was held in Fullerton.

“The sport of lacrosse is growing tremendously in Northern California,” MLL Commissioner David Gross said in a statement. “And this is another opportunity for MLL to showcase the best players in the world in front of passionate lacrosse fans.”

One person who offers a unique perspective on California lacrosse is former MLL All-Star Chris Rotelli. Raised in Rhode Island, Rotelli won the Tewaaraton Award at the University of Virginia and went on to play eight seasons in MLL. One of the stops he made as a pro was the Bay Area, when the San Francisco Dragons selected him in the Expansion Draft before the 2006 season.

Rotelli never left California and now heads a lacrosse training program there called ADVNC Lacrosse, which is working in conjunction with MLL to present a two-day youth lacrosse tournament around the All-Star Game.

ADVNC Lacrosse is a partner of LeagueApps.

All-Star Game Weekend will include a two-day youth lacrosse tournament in conjunction with ADVNC Lacrosse at Cherry Island Sports Complex. Day one of the tournament will include a skills competition for youth participants and the MLL Skills Competition.

Participants will meet and get instruction from the MLL All-Stars. They’ll also receive a ticket to the MLL All-Star Game and Skills Competition on July 7th and 8th in Sacramento.

The entire ADVNC-MLL All Star Shootout will be powered by LeagueApps sports management software.

“[Senior Account Manager] Dan [Kolomatis] is the man! We really appreciate his help in getting us set up so quickly so that this can be successful,” Club Director Drew Virk said.

You can register for the event here.

 

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