2019 AVCA Convention: LeagueApps Volleys on to Pittsburgh
By Jamie Hancock
December 23, 2019
The LeagueApps team returned to the AVCA Annual Convention for the fourth year in a row last week. Marketed as volleyball’s premier event for coaches, we traveled to Pittsburgh and attended the four-day convention as the final four Women’s Division I NCAA teams competed for a national championship.
The LeagueApps team had the opportunity to connect with the passionate volleyball community, including clubs and partners, while also learning from some of the most enterprising organizations from across the country. At our Innovation Dinner at AVCA, over 100 coaches and organizers met to discuss the current club volleyball landscape and best practices. Our all-star panel included some of the country’s top volleyball clubs—including Texas Advantage Volleyball, Austin Junior Volleyball, Michigan Elite Volleyball Academy, K2 Volleyball, and Zero Gravity Volleyball—in addition to Lloy Ball, a four-time volleyball Olympian and 2008 Gold Medalist, and Zach Wholley, Head of Sales at SportsRecruits, with moderation by Jeremy Goldberg, LeagueApps President. Topics ranged from keeping kids in the game, ideologies and the impact of coaches, gender diversity among coaches, and the coach-parent relationship.
Hundreds of coaches and club organizers came to visit our booth in the exhibition hall where we gave away free swag, raffle prizes, and fresh popcorn. Visitors took photos, videos, and boomerangs with the team in our state-of-the-art photo booth and even had their very own sports emojis created. Best of all, we were able to meet with many of our partners face-to-face, and check-in with them regarding any questions or feedback!
Centered around coaching development, the educational sessions at the AVCA Convention focused on everything from teaching and impacting athletes to developing a strong team culture to incorporating technology and data. Two major themes that emerged were social media strategies and the mental side of the game. Coaches recognized a need to adopt the latest technological resources to deliver the best experience for players and parents while growing their organization and helping players improve. Many sought specific recommendations for which platforms to use. Some of the platforms that had a presence at the convention were DataVolley 4, VERT, SportsRecruits, TeamGenius, and Opendorse.
Lastly, mindfulness and the mental side of the game garnered everyone’s attention at the AVCA Convention. It was also a hot topic among several youth sports organizers at our NextUp 2019 Conference that LeagueApps hosted back in November. Eager to grow our knowledge of the topic, we sat in on a session delivered by Sam Parfitt, the founder and CEO of The Truth Athlete Project. A former Division I tennis player, Parfitt began by explaining why he started the organization. We know that one in four people suffer from a mental health condition, and as he pointed out, athletes are no exception. Early signs of a mental health condition often surface at a young age. Parfitt argues that sport is well-placed to help this crisis. Over three separate sessions, he walked attendees through a series of exercises that they can bring back to their organization to help players practice mindfulness.
For those whom the LeagueApps team had the pleasure of meeting, we hope you had as much fun—and benefitted from the AVCA Convention—as much as we did. For others, you can find additional information about LeagueApps by visiting our website and following our social media accounts below. We hope to see you all next year in Omaha for what’s sure to be an even better convention!