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The Washington Wizards Are Hosting a Skills and Drills Event For You

Company News, Hoops, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Jr. Wizards Free Clinic

The Junior Wizards are hosting a Skills and Drills event on Sunday, February 26th- and it’s absolutely free. The event takes place before the Washington Wizards host the Utah Jazz.

As an added bonus, all clinic participants and families are eligible for an exclusive discounted ticket offer for the game following the event. The NBA game starts at 5pm after the Skills and Drills event.

The clinic is open to all youth ages 6-14. All skill levels are welcome!

This is a great opportunity for all youth basketball program directors in the DC market. At no cost, you can deliver an amazing experience to your participants and parents, right in the Verizon Center. It’s also a good chance to take advantage of some of the resources the Jr. Wizards have to offer.

Register For The Jr. Wizards Skills and Drills Event Here

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!

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WOLA: Cultivating a Culture That Supports Women In the Sports Tech Industry

Company News, LeagueApps Team, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

This Article Was Written By Launch Team Manager Stephanie Vera

Today marks the 31st anniversary of the annual National Girls & Women in Sports Day, a national observance celebrating the extraordinary achievements of women and girls in sports. To coincide with today’s historic event, LeagueApps is happy to share with everyone some initiatives around the office regarding WOLA, or Women of LeagueApps.

The following is written by Launch Manager Stephanie Vera.

As of March 2016, LeagueApps started a group called WOLA — Women of LeagueApps. The objective of WOLA is to create a safe environment for the women of LeagueApps to feel comfortable, confident and empowered. WOLA aims to grow the diversity at LeagueApps through sharing resources about women in a leadership in sports role.

As you can imagine, a sports technology startup is severely male-dominated. All three industries (sports, technology, and startups) are each predominantly male themselves. LeagueApps is no different. Only 9 out of 50 employees- less than 20%- are women.

“WOLA is an opportunity in our company for female empowerment. We’ve come a long way in terms of gender equality, but there are still gaps, and we happen to be a part of two, sports and technology,” Senior Launch Coach Emily Mumford said

“By creating this safe space in our office we have an opportunity to lift one another up, be encouraging and grow into great women in business. Being a strong woman isn’t easy, but having encouraging role models and mentors is important and WOLA provides that opportunity.”

According to National Center for Women & Information Technology, in 2015 only 25% of professional computing occupations in the U.S. workforce were held by women. Additionally, only 17% of Fortune 500 Chief Information Officer (CIO) positions were held by women in 2015.

LeagueApps is cognizant of these numbers and through supporting WOLA, welcomes guest speakers to speak to the women in the office on topics such as confidence, communication, building your personal brand, and negotiation.

“Just like female sports, WOLA is here to show that there are barriers and obstacles that women have to overcome, purely based on their gender. It’s refreshing to be supported by a group of successful, powerful women in this company, and I’m eager to see where it can go from here,” Partnership Development Specialist Melanie Rose said.

LeagueApps believes every team member deserves the opportunity to be a difference maker. Through creating an environment where everyone feels comfortable, confident and empowered, LeagueApps is paving the path to making an even bigger impact across youth sports.

Our mission is to help people everywhere have greater access to great sport experiences — sports touches people of different genders, sexual orientation, religion, ethnicity, etc.

“LeagueApps is all about empowering everyone involved with sport – from the organizer to the parent. WOLA empowers the women in our company. Being empowered and empowering others is a transferable skill,” Business Development Manager Casey Miller added.

“The WOLA community enables us to be the very best we can at our jobs because it empowers us and puts us in a position to empower other people around us,” she added.

Consider your sports organization and the market you are serving. By creating a culture that is open to all and allows everyone to feel comfortable, confident and empowered, you eliminate barriers to productivity and put yourself in a better position to achieve your goals.

Casey sees the success of LeagueApps as also coinciding with the power of WOLA,

LeagueApps recognizes the power of the female voice in an otherwise male dominated space, and WOLA has encouraged the entire company to not only accept but actually seek out that perspective. I think this is a big reason for our success. Women offer perspectives that men might not have, and creating a safe space where women feel confident to vocalize that only leads to bigger and better things. Have women in your organization. Encourage them to voice their opinion. Give them a seat at the table. Their perspectives and insights will challenge status quo and improve the company’s bottom line.

 

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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The World Baseball Coaches Convention Confirms That The Game Is Changing

Company News, Dugout, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

Tyler Wood at Mohegan Sun

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

ebookblog

 

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

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

Ballin For Charity

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

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

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

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

REGISTER YOUR TEAM FOR BALLIN’ FOR CHARITY TODAY

 

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

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

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

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

Choose The Charity You Want To Play For

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

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

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

The Early Bird Registration Deadline Is Fast Approaching

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

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


SIGN UP TODAY TO RECEIVE THE EARLY BIRD DISCOUNT

 

 

How 3 Entrepreneurs Convinced an NBA Star to Invest in LeagueApps

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

Credit: Wikimedia/Keith Allison

Shane Battier And Why He Started With LeagueApps

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

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

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

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

Credit: Sarah Michaels / Pretty Instant

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

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

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

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

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

Photo Credit: ABCA

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

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

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

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


Technology Is Taking Over

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

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

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

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

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


Programs Are Getting More Specialized

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

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

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

Custom Gloves at the ABCA

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

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

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

Baseball Organizers Cannot Miss These Conventions

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

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

That fact is not lost on Rohit.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

Jr. NBA Program of the Month

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

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

(more…)

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