February Member Services E-Newsletter
posted on 02/03/2009

Issue: #9 February 3, 2009

Developing Lesson Plans

Lesson planning is a key responsibility of instructors and coaches. Lesson plans are helpful for preschool classes, recreational classes, and team practices. Why are lesson plans so important?
  1. Lesson plans allow the instructor/coach to be organized and prepared for each class. This leads to better class management, fewer behavior problems, and a better learning environment for the athletes.
  2. Lesson plans help to establish accountability for a program. Lesson plans provide a record of activity that takes place in each class.
  3. Lesson plans provide evidence of progressions that were followed as well as appropriate physical preparation for more advanced skills. This serves as a safety consideration in case a child becomes injured.
  4. A complete lesson plan serves as a guide for substitute instructors/coaches.
Here are a few tips for developing your own lesson plans:
  • Coordinate lesson plans with the gymnastics club's philosophy and mission statement, objectives of the recreational class program, and the curriculum.
  • Include safety considerations such as skill progressions, safe landing position, and safety rolls.
  • Use skill progressions and stations to keep athletes busy and provide safe challenges. Skill progressions should work towards the main skills for the session.
  • Help develop the athletes' fitness by including activities for strength, flexibility, endurance, balance, and other aspects.
  • Do a warm-up at the beginning and allow time for strength and stretching at the end.
  • Have fun! Games and other activities that provide participants with lots of turns are fun for the athletes, while continuously building skills.
  • Prepare your lesson plan prior to class!!! And learn to adapt your lesson plan if needed.

Lesson plans are guides to an end product. They can help instructors, coaches, and athletes progress towards the performance of gymnastics skills.


Feature: Developing Lesson Plans

Update your contact information

Recommendations for Teaching

Become a Member Club Today!

Establishing a Safety Culture


click course title to register

Safety Certification
Feb 28 - San Jose, Calif.
Feb 28 - Hilliard, Ohio

Preschool Fundamentals Pt. 2: Hands on Training
Feb 21 - Seattle, Wash.

Click here to learn how to schedule a USA Gymnastics educational course at YOUR gym

** ** ** ** **

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
Update your contact information

Attention All USA Gymnastics Members!!
Have You Moved? Have You Changed your Email Address?
Do you only use the club email address?

It is vitally important that ALL USA Gymnastics members keep Member Services informed of their contact information, and most importantly their EMAIL address.

Much of the membership-related information items is no longer being sent hard copy to the home address, but is sent via email instead. Failure to keep USA Gymnastics informed may result in missing out on many new and upcoming membership updates and changes.

It is also important to note that important background check information is also being sent via email by the National Center for Safety Initiatives (NCSI). Failure to provide the correct email contact information to NCSI may also result in delayed processing of the background check.

Don't miss out on this important information and other member benefits. Update your contact information today!

Below is a list of the information that members are receive via email:

  • Background Check notification, updates and changes
  • Membership Renewal Notices
  • Membership Instructions
  • Pending Membership/Sanction Notification
  • Monthly Member Services E-Newsletter
  • Membership Updates and Changes
  • USA Gymnastics University Course Offerings
  • Educational Updates
  • Club Updates
  • Important Meet Director Information
  • Important Athlete Information
  • Membership Cards
  • NCSI Background Check notification
  • Course Registration Confirmation

If you have not received any of these important informational items it may be because USA Gymnastics and/or NCSI does not have a valid email address, or an email address that may not be your personal email, but one that is viewed by others such as, your club. It is the responsibility of the member to keep their membership up to date and current with membership requirements and rules.

There are 3 easy ways to update your personal contact information

  1. USA Gymnastics Website

    • On the Member Services section of the website you can easily update your personal information. Once on the Member Services home page, click on the blue membership button, select your member type, select Update Your Personal Information.
    • Please note you must log in using your personal member number and password.
    • Information will be updated immediately


  2. Email Member Services

    • Member Services can be emailed at membership@usa-gymnastics.org
    • Please include your name, member number and the information you wish to update
    • Information will be updated within 24 business hours.


    • Call Member Services

      • Member Services can be contact at 800-345-4719
      • Member Services line is open Mondays 12:30-5:30p.m. e.s.t. Tuesday-Friday 8:30am-5:30pm e.s.t.
      • Information will be updated immediately


*Please note: USA Gymnastics does not sell personal information to any outside source.

Recommendations for Teaching

By Linda Thorberg and Brant Lutska, USA Gymnastics National Preschool Fundamentals Instructors

(For more information, take the Preschool Fundamentals course or review the KAT and MELPD Workbooks, available from USA Gymnastics.)

Here are some brief reminders for successful classes:

Brief Instructions - Young children cannot pay attention to long speeches or technical information. Keep it brief. Script the explanation for new teachers to avoid too many words. Tell-Show-Do is the best way for success. Say it, demonstrate it, and let them get at it!

One thing to do at each station - Keep activities simple and obvious. Avoid activities that need to be reset. It may take more time to reset the activity than to do it.

Immediate, brief, congruent feedback - Talk constantly: young children need individualized feedback. Try to specify exactly what was good, "Nice, high leg on that kick!"

Positive feedback/modeling appropriate behavior - Emphasize corrective feedback as opposed to fault-finding. Acknowledge desirable behaviors and selectively ignore misbehaviors (as long as they are not posing a safety risk to the child or others).

Maintain a positive attitude - Teachers must be actors. The students will mirror your attitude.

These are easy reminders for staff that can keep classes running smoothly!

Is your club an official USA Gymnastics Member Club?

Sign up today and start receiving the hundreds of dollars worth of benefits we provide to our member clubs. If you are already registered, make sure you are taking full advantage of your membership. Review the benefits below to see if you have received all of your member club materials. Also, did you know that parents can use the club finder tool on our website to find a club near them? As a registered Member Club your gym is automatically included in that list of clubs. Click here to find out if your club is listed.

We've revamped this year's Member Club packet! Check out the list of benefits below to see what a Member Club receives or to make sure your club has all of the materials. If you are missing something, please give us a call at 1-800-345-4719.

Member Club Package:

  • Welcome and Marketing Kit including: (value $300)
    • Large "USA Gymnastics Member Club" banner to display in your gym
    • A USA Gymnastics window decal
    • A USA Gymnastics logo "slick" for use in print advertisements, newsletters, business cards, etc.
    • A Member Club Certificate to display in your gym
    • A promotional video commercial to display in your lobby and advertise your gymnastics club in your area
    • The Best Practices for the Gymnastics Business book ($19.95 value)
    • A free one-page link on the USA Gymnastics Website ($100 value)
    • Tyson Fitness Challenge kit including program materials, posters, a DVD, and the Administrator's guide ($29.95 value)
    • Access to the Begin Here, Go Anywhere website with access to a radio spot and customizable national advertising print materials ($150 value)
  • Exclusive Member Club Only website containing useful business articles and media resources
  • Club subscription to Technique magazine ($25.00 value)
  • Weekly e-mails on the latest USA Gymnastics events and opportunities
  • Discounts and Early Bird registration for National Congress, National Business Conference and 1-day Business Builders events
  • Discounts on USA Gymnastics University course registrations including Safety and Risk Management Certification and Pre-School Fundamentals (online and hands-on)
  • Professional Development Program (PDP) materials and Support for Gym Staff training ($60 value)
  • Discounts on USA Gymnastics educational publications and media discounts on employee background checks (required for all professional members)
  • Complimentary Invitational listings ($100 value)
  • Complimentary Classified Ads online ($100 value)
  • Opportunities for special promotions on event tickets, club visits, and more!
  • Ability to purchase club listing at a discount ($150 value)

It only takes a few minutes to sign up! Register your club online for $160 or call us at 1-800-345-4719. If this is not your first member club, please call us for discounts on additional clubs. Don't miss out on this year's benefits. Sign up today!

Safety Matters: Establishing a Safety Culture

Culture is a reflection of the tone and character of a place and its people. It speaks to the purpose of the environment and the expectations placed on the people in that environment. It is gymnastics professionals who create their gym's culture. In gymnastics, our first priority should be safety. As such, developing a safety culture in your gym can create a foundation from which participants will derive confidence and more fully enjoy gymnastics and its benefits.

Establishing a safety culture involves:

  • Regular & clear communication with staff, athletes, and parents.
  • Demonstrated behavior (especially from leaders and others in influential positions) in line with safety.
  • Placing safety at the core of every activity.
  • Emphasizing the importance of risk management.
  • Creating an enthusiastic, informative and supportive environment for participants.

USA Gymnastics has established guidelines for the type of culture that should be present in gymnastics training and competition via the USA Gymnastics Code of Ethics. All USA Gymnastics members should be familiar with the Code of Ethics and consider it a resource as you work to develop a stronger culture of safety and professionalism in your gym.


SAFETY MATTERS is a new educational campaign by USA Gymnastics. The campaign aims to increase the emphasis placed on safety in the gymnastics setting. Safety should always remain in the forefront and SAFETY MATTERS will provide a platform to provide additional education, resources, reminders, tips, and more. SAFETY MATTERS will become a regular part of this e-newsletter as well as other publications, and the USA Gymnastics website.

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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