December Member Services E-Newsletter
posted on 12/02/2008
Issue: #7 December 2, 2008
USA Gymnastics Offices Closed for the Holidays

USA Gymnastics offices will be closed December 24th through January 4th.
Normal business hours will resume on January 5th, 2009.

Please note that the online registration system
will continue to be available 24/7 during this time.


A New Year's Resolution: Increasing Professionalism

January 1st is right around the corner, so what better time to talk about New Year's Resolutions. Common resolutions include exercising more/losing weight, quitting smoking, and being nice to others. And while these are all noble goals, let us add one more for your consideration: increasing your professionalism.

Coaches, instructors, club owners, administrators, judges, and others are all considered "gymnastics professionals." The definition of a professional is, "characterized by or conforming to the technical or ethical standards of a profession and/or exhibiting a courteous, conscientious, and generally businesslike manner in the workplace" (Merriam-Webster). Being a true professional encompasses many areas and requires continued maintenance. Here are suggestions to help you with this New Year's Resolution.

For the individual:

  • Practice ethics: This includes everything from respecting others, playing fair, exhibiting confidentiality and resolving conflicts, to using your authority appropriately and showing concern for the success of your athletes and others. [USA Gymnastics Code of Ethics]
  • Wear proper attire: For class & practice sessions - wear a neat, clean staff shirt, athletic pants or shorts (professional length), athletic shoes, long hair pulled up, minimal or no jewelry. For competition - wear staff shirt and warm-up suit or "docker-style" pants and athletic shoes. For sanctioned competitions, coach and judge attire is defined in the Rules & Policies.
  • Plan activities: lesson and practice plans can help you run organized and effective classes/practices.
  • Seek continuing education: professionals attain basic and advanced certifications to develop their competency as a coach, instructor, or judge and continually educate themselves to maintain and enhance their expertise.
  • Communicate effectively (both written and verbal): maintain positive communication with athletes, parents, co-workers, and supervisors.
  • Practice punctuality: arrive at work before your scheduled start time so that you can be prepared to begin on time.
  • Know your students: remember their names, understand their skill level and how best they learn.
For clubs:
  • Clean your facility: A clean facility presents a better appearance for clients as well as helps avoid injuries and illnesses. Don't forget to maintain the outside of your facility and parent waiting area. Clean the pits, under the trampoline, and touch-up paint.
  • Maintain a safe facility: regularly check apparatuses and equipment for wear and tear, needed maintenance, and replacement.
  • Conduct staff meetings: host regularly scheduled staff meeting to address safety, cleanliness, emergency plans, class and practice lesson plans, schedules, and more.
  • Encourage continuing education: educated and professional staff help with the retention of current students and can be a great marketing tool to attract new clients.
  • Communicate with customers: open and frequent communications with parents, staff, and others is very beneficial. Better utilize your website, produce handouts and newsletters for staff, athletes and parents.
Feature: Increasing Professionalism

Background check look up tool & club program

What happens at a Preschool Fundamentals: HOT course?

USA Gymnastics achieves $1 million goal for CMN


click course title to register
Safety Certification
Dec 11 - Sterling, VA
Dec 13 - Portsmouth, NH
Dec 14 - Hilldale, NJ
Dec 20 - Cincinnati, OH
Dec 27 - Baton Rouge, LA
Jan 11 - Wichita, KS
Jan 11 - Atwood, KS
Jan 17 - Lubbock, TX
Jan 17 - Shelby Township, MI

Preschool Fundamentals Pt. 2: Hands on Training
Jan 25 - Jacksonville, NC

National Congress and Trade Show
August 13-15, 2009 - Dallas, TX

Add the date to your calendar & stay tuned for more details on 2009 National and Regional Congresses!

*please check the schedule online to verify course dates and times
National Center for Safety Initiatives Provides New Look Up Tool for USA Gymnastics Members

One of the most commonly asked questions from USA Gymnastics members who have started the background check process is "what is the status of my background check?"

In an effort to assist USA Gymnastics members with this question NCSI has developed a search tool on the NCSI website that will allow members to stay informed of the status of their background check screening.

The search tool will keep members aware of when their background check is completed, as well as, inform them to contact NCSI to complete the background check screening process (e.g. request of additional payments or information).

For complete details on how and where to log on to use this new tool please CLICK HERE.

USA Gymnastics/NCSI Background Check Club Offering is Now Available!!

USA Gymnastics and the National Center for Safety Initiatives are proud to announce the USA Gymnastics Club Background Check Program.

USA Gymnastics clubs will now have the ability to complete the NCSI background check screening program in their clubs at the same discounted rate that is offered to USA Gymnastics.

For more information on starting a background check program in your club please click the following links provided, or contact NCSI at 866-833-7100 or by email at

Don't forget to mention discount code USAG-08 to ensure you receive the special negotiated USA Gymnastics club pricing.

Please note that the special introductory prices are for a limited time.

So Don't Delay. Begin your Club Background Check Program Today!! Click the following links for additional information.

What happens at a Preschool Fundamentals: Hands on Training (HOT) course?

Experienced and new teachers alike benefit from the education and activities presented at a Preschool Fundamentals: Hands on Training (HOT) Course. Warming up with music, sharing ideas for creative play while reinforcing gymnastics basics, and learning to create new stations and games are only a few of the fun and interactive sections included in the course. By the end of the four-hour course, participants will gain new or renew their motivation for their jobs as well as develop teaching skills, learn tips and techniques, and understand the importance and process of lesson planning. This course also covers parent and child classes and safety considerations for children ages 1-5 years old.

WOGA's Frisco gym hosted a HOT Course on Oct. 25, 2008. National Instructor Linda Thorberg facilitated the course and led the WOGA staff through fun, creative movement games. The teachers completed the course which is Part 2 of the Preschool Fundamentals course offered by USA Gymnastics. The course is Hands on Training and participants have fun learning new games and techniques as pictured to the left.

Both parts of the Preschool Fundamentals course are a must for new teachers and serve as a terrific refresher for experienced staff. Part 1 of the course is offered as an online course through USA Gymnastics University. You can host a HOT Course (Part 2) in your gym and get your staff up to the "industry standard" in preschool gymnastics. There is no cost for hosting a course. Find out more today!

USA Gymnastics reaches $1 million goal for CMN.
New Dress Code Rule.

ATTENTION CLUBS! Thanks to your help and hard work, we were able to reach our $1 million goal for Children's Miracle Network! We would like to say a special thank you and congratulations to our top 3 participating clubs. Gymnastics World of Broadview Heights, Ohio raised an overwhelming $32,000, the most money ever raised by a club in one year. Massachusetts Gymnastics Center in Boston, Massachusetts came in a close second raising $30,066, and rounding out the top 3 is Flip Fest Gymnastics Camp in Lake Francis, Tennessee bringing in $14,000. In our top 3 alone we raised $76,066 of the $201,203 total for 2008. We look forward to recognizing all of the participating clubs in the January issue of Technique Magazine. Also featured in that issue will be a Q & A session with the top 3 clubs and individual participants. We will ask them how they raised their money, what tips they have for other clubs wishing to contribute, and other fun questions.

Teaching philanthropy to children at a young age is an important step in their growth and development as well-rounded individuals. In this case, children helping other children exhibits their compassion for others and the world around them. With so many kids wanting to help others, people of all ages can be inspired to help and give back to their community. We are so proud to be a part of such a monumental event for so many people.

Did your club participate in this year's Tyson's Fitness Challenge or National Gymnastics Day? We want to hear from you! Please take some time to take this survey to tell us about your experience. Once you're done, please send in a paragraph and photos from your event and we will place it on the website.

Thank you again to all of our clubs that participated in this year's fundraiser for Children's Miracle Network. For more information on how to be a part of the action next year, stay tuned for more information on this page.


USA Gymnastics Women's Program has added a new section to the R & P concerning dress code on the floor at sanctioned events. As stated on p.11 of your 2008-2009 Women's Program R & P, Section III part 1 D.2:

"Dress in appropriate attire that reflects the best image of gymnastics. At State meets and above, the coaches' dress code is as follows: Closed toe athletic shoes; Athletic warm-up pants or "Docker-style" pants (NO jeans). Athletic or tailored shorts that are of a reasonable length (7" inseam). No holes, tears, or short shorts. Collared shirts, business casual shirts, or T-shirts with gym logo. (No spaghetti straps, low-cut tops, or midriff revealing shirts). No hats or visors."

You can also find this new rule on our website under Part One: USA Gymnastics Membership; Sections III & IV. Please make sure all of your professional members are aware of the new rule. We want your business, as well as ours, to be well represented at all events. Does your club have a dress code in place? Tell us about it! We want to hear what has worked for you.


USA Gymnastics is a non-for-profit organization which is the sole national governing body (NGB) for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Our mission is to increase public awareness of, and encourage participation in, all aspects of gymnastics, and to support athletes in their pursuit of competitive excellence.

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