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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.

International Women’s Day: LeagueApps Celebrates Women Shaping The Youth Sports World

LeagueApps Team, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

LeagueApps Celebrating International Women's Day

On International Women’s Day, we wanted to take some time out to recognize not only the female employees that work here at LeagueApps but also our amazing female partners and the women leading youth sports organizations.

 

We want to recognize these seven amazing women and say how much we value them and all women for what they do.

 

Nichol Whiteman

Executive Director, LA Dodgers Foundation

Nichol is a visionary who knows how to get things done. It’s been amazing to see her embrace the role of technology in managing their RBI program, and provide the leadership to facilitate adoption.

Even more important, this project is indicative of her innovative approach to impacting the LA community.

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Candice Utush

USA Stars Academy

Candice is always on top of whatever I throw her way. She was completely dedicated to launching her huge soccer organization while also juggling being a mother.

She is single-handedly impacting the ways in which the USA Stars Academy is able to not only run, but improve their business on a day-by-day basis.

Jen Schroeder

Co-Founder/Catching Instructor, Packaged Deal

What Jen is doing on the field as an instructor is game-changing for female athletes.

But what she is doing as a softball entrepreneur is revolutionary.

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Michelle Petrovich

Vice President, Acers FastPitch

Michelle is a critical part of the Acers organization, dedicating hours of hard work as Vice President.

As a mother and wife, Michelle should be celebrated as a cornerstone for why this organization succeeds.

Julie Boglione

President/Director, Breaking Barriers Lacrosse

I think about Julie and Breaking Barriers often as an example of the power of sports and the passion of our partners.

It makes our mission even more meaningful and makes me proud to be part of the LeagueApps team.

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Chris Lawler

President, Motor City Madness

Chris is a hardworking mother and wife, who dedicates so much energy and time to making the Madness organization great.

Her grit and efforts should be celebrated, for she is inspiring the future generation of young female leaders.

Lisa Mitchelides

Executive Director/Recruiting Director, Midwestern Force Lacrosse

Lisa is a big believer in easy access to sports.

She makes sure everyone who wants to play lacrosse in her area has access to it.

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Lori Brown

Founder/Director, T3 Lacrosse

Besides proving the importance of the sport of lacrosse, the entire business is run by females who have helped Lori make a difference in the game as it grows.

T3 is a fantastic female run company and are great partners to work with!

 

Additionally, we had some more personal, inspirational leaders.

Stephanie Vera said this about her mother:

My mama inspires me each and every day with her strength to not only lead ourfamily, but to never give up at fighting for a career that makes her happy and fulfilled and independent. She was born and raised in Ecuador where she became an accountant as she’s always had a love for numbers. She then immigrated to the United States and quickly found work as a nanny or cleaning lady for families who needed additional help. She quickly learned English and shortly after got certified as an accountant again at H&R Block. Ten years later she get carpal tunnel syndrome and can no longer crunch those numbers. She was devastated. But she went back to school and got certified as an Ultrasound Tech. Through job market set backs she didn’t find a job and figured she would give it a go at selling real estate and got licensed. She is still a licensed realtor, but found that her passion is helping people in need — especially the elderly. She once again went back at it and is now a licensed vocational nurse. I am so proud of my mom for never giving up. She is 56 years old and finally found the career of her dreams. She goes to work happy every day and is getting paid the most she ever has in her career! In my eyes, my mama embodies a strong, hard working woman and I wish her a Happy International Women’s Day!

Jared Cooper added:

International Women’s Day is a great opportunity to acknowledge the invaluable role women play in society, from the board room to the playing fields. My mother was the organizer of the household, and managing a full schedule of three social boys who played sports during every season of the year was a full-time job. Her role in making sure we always made it to practice and games, whether in local community leagues or on travel teams playing tournaments all around New York, can not be overstated. I stand in support of her on this day to acknowledge and celebrate women’s achievements.

I also stand with my wife, who recently gave me the great gift of bringing our two twin boys into this world. Her emotional and physical strength has and continues to be inspiring. Part of my role in being a father is to raise my boys to recognize and respect women as equals in our society, and ensure they advocate for that equality. It is incumbent on all of us to ensure this is a safe and supportive world for women now and for generations to come.

Salt Lick, Sport, and Social: LeagueApps Steams Back From 7th Annual SSIA Conference

Company News, LeagueApps In Action, Product News, Rec, Sports Community, Value of LeagueApps

SSIA 2017
The LeagueApps team was proud to be a part of the Social Sport and Industry Association (SSIA) Conference once again. This year’s event was held from February 22nd-24th in Austin, Texas. This was the seventh conference in SSIA’s history.

The event featured 25 of LeagueApps’ adult and social league partners. Aside from enjoying the 70-degree weather and chomping down on some delicious barbecue, the three-day conference gave us a great chance to collaborate with our partners on future initiatives. This included products, features, and some collective ideas regarding the industry.

The main course was a group session revolving around five of our features that have been released over the last year that can provide the most value to our adult and social league partners.

  • Mobile Admin: Run your entire organization, including all of your programs, on your mobile device.
  • RSVP: Allow easier communication between teammates to help your leagues avoid the dreaded no-shows.
  • Stored Credit Cards: Deliver an easy check-out experience for your customers while collecting 100% of fees on-time.
  • Team Rollover: Empower your leagues’ captains to copy and paste, or “rollover,” previous rosters, simplifying the lives of your participants and staff.
  • Team Talk: The easiest form of communication between staff, players, or anyone, organized by topic.

You can view the LeagueApps presentation below.

LeagueApps Presentation at SSIA Conference 2017

Of course, the main benefit of attending the SSIA Conference each year is the quality feedback and best practices received from our partners. This year was no different.

One thing that we learned was that many of our partners use multiple web tools, software platforms, websites, and social media channels to promote and manage their organization(s). Through our open API, partners and developers have been figuring out how to “talk” to other 3rd-party tools and integrate with them. This need continues to grow as we work with more forward-thinking organizations who need cutting-edge technology to run their operations. We’re inspired by some of the integrations our partners have already been able to develop through our API, and we’re excited to see this trend continue. Learn more about our API plans, or visit our API developer site to access our API documentation.

It’s also clear that bigger data and deeper marketing insights are becoming a huge part of growing. Partners have a thirst for better data. are getting smarter about marketing automation and eager to better track their conversion funnel. They are excited for LeagueApps to build smarter reporting and/or connect them to business intelligence tools.

Finally, it’s cool to see some of our partners actively interested in expanding into the youth market. Several partners have already established youth initiatives, while others plan to in the near future. This is another place where we can drive value and see growth from our partners in the coming years. What’s encouraging is that our partners recognize there is a big opportunity to create positive sports experiences to the non-elite athletes.

Last but not least, we had the luxury of feasting to some world-renowned barbecue. On Wednesday night, we hosted dinner at Salt Lick Barbecue , with the help of our friends and partners from Austin Sport and Social. We’re looking forward to SSIA 2018!


 

 

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

LeagueApps’ Perspective on the Platform Interruption Caused By the Amazon S3 Outage

Company News, Press, Tech Specs, Value of LeagueApps

CTO Steve Parker Hard at Work During the Amazon S3 Outage

CTO Steve Parker Hard at Work During the Amazon S3 Outage

An Open Letter From LeagueApps Co- Founder and Chief Technology Officer Steve Parker

LeagueApps experienced a platform service disruption this past Tuesday, February 28th, 2017. This occurred when one of the basic cloud-based infrastructure services we rely on, Amazon’s S3 (Simple Storage Service), went down unexpectedly. You can read the official summary of the S3 disruption here. In short, a typo during a maintenance task caused the issue.

We first realized there was an issue with LeagueApps sites loading at around 12:45 pm EST. We immediately investigated and determined that the root cause was that S3 was down. Our platform relies on S3 to host and serve static assets, media files such as videos and images, and other content. These assets are important pieces to properly rendering our app pages.

Other sites like Netflix, Spotify, and Buzzfeed were also affected. It didn’t quite break the Internet, but a 4-hour outage at Amazon’s AWS cloud computing division caused headaches for hundreds of thousands of websites across the United States.

We know that our partners expect 110% from all of us at LeagueApps and we are committed to that expectation. We quickly implemented a short-term change to the platform which enabled us to bypass S3 and use a comparable cloud service at Google instead. The outcome was that we were affected for only an hour and a half, while S3 itself was down for over 4 hours.

We have been using S3 as part of the LeagueApps tech stack since the start and this is the first significant issue. In fact, S3 has been so reliable for so long, that it appears some panic ensued and caused ripple effects on Twitter.

We take platform up-time and stability very seriously. So I wanted to share a bit of insight into how we think about and support this. And hopefully, answer some questions you may have.

The LeagueApps Platform is supported by a coordinated set of independent Internet services, like S3. For instance, Google Cloud hosts our database servers and is the main driver of our development and IT operations. Stripe, PayPal, and Authorize.net handle payments, SendGrid is used for email and Twilio for text message processing

Utilizing these various services allows our platform to provide the best of breed capabilities to our partners that each service offers. But this also brings with it some complexity and risk we must manage.

We continuously aim to increase the degree of redundancy within our platform. Redundancy, in simple terms, means having a duplicate instance of a thing in case the primary one goes down. Over time, we’ve executed various technology projects that have increased the redundancy within our platform. For example, our app layer, as well as our database layer (the very core parts of our platform running at Google) are each a “cluster” of nodes (servers), such that a failure of any one single node does not affect the overall cluster’s up-time.

Additionally, we maintain redundant backups of key pieces of our infrastructure to be used in cases of emergency, and perform continuous automated data backups to redundant targets. These projects have paid off, and are a large part of why we’ve been able to maintain 99.9% up-time on a consistent basis.

Building in greater redundancy is a complex and resource-intensive process. And ultimately, even the biggest most sophisticated platforms can suffer interruptions like Amazon did this week. We are continuously evaluating new ways to increase our platform stability, and applying what we learn from events like this.

To that end, we will continue to plan out and prioritize the most appropriate projects to maintain our stability and ultimately ensure that our platform continues to support and empower your organization.

I’d like to thank you and all of our partners for your patience during the S3 outage on Tuesday. Even still, the feedback you all have provided to LeagueApps has been instrumental in helping us create the absolute best product to help you run your sports organization and business.

I look forward to many more years of continued partnership with you.

Feel free to reach out with any questions.

Play Forever!

Steve Parker Signature

 

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.

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 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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