Here’s What You Missed at the Only Youth Sports Management Conference This Year

By Melissa Wickes
October 12, 2022
3 min

The youth sports community is a special one to be a part of—it’s smaller than you think, and it’s bound together by the common goal of providing kids with life changing sports experiences that will teach them lessons they’ll carry with them for life. The more we can bring this community together to uplift one another, teach each other, and connect on ways to fulfill this goal, the better. And that’s why we created NextUp.

NextUp is the largest youth sports leadership community for building relationships and learning—and our annual youth sports conference finally returned in person this year for the first time since 2019. 

Youth sports leaders from all over the country came together in New York City from October 6-7 to experience a series of informative sessions about timely topics in youth sports—like technology, NIL, mental health, culture, high performance, diversity, equity & inclusion, and digital marketing

Here’s a little taste of what went on at NextUp 2022: the Youth Sports Management Conference so you can mark your calendar now for next year’s conference.

Stimulating Discussions About Youth Sports Today

With a variety of mainstage panel discussions, presentations, and breakout sessions, there was no shortage of opportunities to learn more about what’s going on in the industry—from people who know it the best. 

Throughout the two days, discussions included “The Changing Future of Youth Sports”—where Paul Rabil, Co-Founder and President of the Premier Lacrosse League, and former professional lacrosse player, and Josh Wolfe, co-founder of Lux Capital and Forbes Columnist discussed how sports leaders can navigate the changing landscape of the industry—like engaging athletes in a digital obsessed world, taking pressure off of athletes when everything is driven by social media, and how to maintain empathy throughout everything.

This discussion segued nicely into a breakout session called “Mental Performance & Health,” where coaches and organizers had the opportunity to speak openly and candidly about mental health—how it plays into sports and how leaders can support athletes. 

Networking with Leaders in the Industry

There were plenty of opportunities for youth sports leaders to connect with one another throughout the conference—during breaks from speaking sessions, breakout sessions, dinners, and happy hours. This is truly what makes NextUp so special; it bridges the gap between leaders in the industry and allows them to learn from one another and make meaningful connections.

Influential Voices 

The list of speakers at NextUp 2022 was impressive, to say the least, and it was all led by our incredible emcee, Victoria Arlen. Victoria is a Host and Reporter at ESPN and Gold Medal Paralympian. Her story is inspiring to say the least—having overcome paralysis after four years and going on to break swimming records in the paralympics. You can watch her full story below:

Here are some other noteworthy speakers that presented at NextUp 2022.

  • Paul Rabil, Co-Founder and President of the Premier Lacrosse League, and former professional lacrosse player
  • Swin Cash, VP Operations & Team Development at New Orleans Pelicans, 2x US Olympian, 3x WNBA Champion
  • Julie Foudy, ESPN Analyst, 3x US Olympian, 2x Women’s World Cup Champion
  • Rick Abbott, CEO of Cooperstown All Star Village
  • Emilio Collins, Chief Business Officer at Excel Sports Management
  • Francis Anzalone, COO of TPH Academy
  • Jeff Addiego, Vice President of Golden State Warriors Basketball Academy
  • Lisa Delpy Neirotti, Director Sport Management Programs at George Washington University

Insight into Leading Youth Sports Technology

It’s no secret that technology has changed the way youth sports are operated—and it continues to. That’s why NextUp gave attendees the opportunity to learn more about the different technologies that can help them operate their organizations better—whether it’s LeagueApps’ suite of comprehensive management solutions or the innovative technologies we partner up with like YardStik, Chubb, Lucid Travel, and Mojo.

Join us for NextUp 2023

The great thing about NextUp is that it doesn’t end when the conference is over. NextUp is a community where youth sports leaders can network and learn from each other all year long and we are committed to continuing that experience beyond the boundaries of the conference. Stay updated on all things LeagueApps events and NextUp by subscribing to our newsletter at the bottom header of See you at the next event!