Publisher Mike Jacki Editor Michael G. Botkin Consulting Editor Rich Kenney Education/Safety Editor Dr. Gerald George Event Consultant Allison Cummings Rhythmic Consultant Nora Hitzel UNITED STATES GYMNASTICS FEDERATION BOARD OF DIRECTORS: Executive Director: Mike Jl\cki. Athlete Representatives: Lydia Bree; Peter Vidmar; Linda Kardos; Tom Beach; Kathy Johnson; Tim Daggett; Kelly Gan-ison. Amateur Athletic Union: Jen-y Hardy. American Sokol Organization: Norma Zabka. American Turners: Han-y Warnken. Members at Large: Linda Chencinski. NCAA Gymnastics Coaches-Men: Fred Roethlisberger, University of Minnesota. NCAA Gymnastics Coaches-Women: Judi Avener, Penn State University. National Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges: Dale Brown. NCAA: Sylvia Moore, Oregon State University; Gail Davis, Rhode Island College; Jen-y Miles, c/o NCAA; Wayne Young, Brigham Young University. NAIA: Bonnie Mon-ow. NHSGCA: John Brinkworth. National Federation of State High School Athletic Assoc.: Sharon Wilch; Susan True. National Jewish Welfare Board: Courtney Shanken. NJCAA: Dave Rowlands, Truman College. NGJA: Mike Milidonis. USAIGC : Ed Knepper. Men's Elite Coaches Assoc.: Jim Howard, University of Nebraska. USECA for Women: Roe Kreutzer; Steve Whitlock . Young Men's Christian Assoc.: Cliff Lothery. Jr. Boy's Gym. Coaches Assoc.: Rich Boccia. President: Mike Donahue. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: President: Mike Donahue. Secretary: Judi Avener. Vice President: Jim Howard. Executive Director: Mike Jacki. FIG Technical Committee: J acki e Fie. FIG Rhythmic Technical Comm.: Andrea Schmid. FIG Men's Technical Committee: Bill Roetzheim. Vice President for Women: Sue Ammerman. President Emeritus: Bud Wilkinson . Athlete Representatives: Kathy Johnson; Peter Vidmar; Lan-y Gerald. Members at Large: Mike Milidonis; Linda Chencinski . ASSOCIATE CONTENT EDITORS SPORTS MEDICINE COMMITTEE: Merrill A. Ritter, M.D. Frank A. Pettrone, M.D. James J. Campbell , M.D. SAFETY COMMITTEE: Dr. Marc Rabinoff EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Dr. Garlan d O'Quinn BIOMECHANICS COMMITTEE: Dr. Marlene Ad rian ,Director
SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY COMMITTEE: Dr. Keith Henschen , Ph.D. EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGY COMMITTEE: Dr. Pat Eisenman, Ph.D.
Unless expressly identified to the contrary, all articles, statements and views printed herein are attributed soley to the author and the United States Gymnastics Federation expresses no opinion thereon and assumes no responsibility thereof.
Do You Think ... By Mike Jacki USGF Executive Director
hange ... our lives are controlled by it; from interest rates, to tax laws, to the soft drinks we buy. Oftentimes we feel the need for change. Other times we resist it. Whether or not change is needed is always a question that will receive a mixed response. Here are a few questions that involve change, and whether we should or not. They are important Issues with far-reaching circumstances and ramifications. The question is, are they needed or not? The concept of a National Training Center has always been debated. This is a radical departure from our current system. Some countries use this with great results, others have failed miserably. But, what if ... What if, after the national team was selected, they all trained together with the top coaches in a world-class facility? What if their entire year was planned out for one purpose: to best prepare for the major international competitions like the World Championships and the Olympic Games? What sacrifices would the athletes have to make? Would we perform better? Could we win another Olympic medal? What effect would this have on our club and collegiate programs? One can only speculate as to the consequences or results. Another issue is that of leadership and direction. Generally, in gymnastics, the judges and 5
officials make the rules, and in many cases, that provides the direction and motivation in the sport. In most other sports, the rules are made by coaches, and the officials merely carry out the enforcement. Granted, there are only a few subjectively evaluated sports like gymnastics. However, as an example, at the end of a basketball season, the coaches get together and decide about rule changes for the following year. These are then provided to the officials. The officials simply carry out their responsibility to enforce the rules. Who should make the rules in gymnastics? Are we using the most effective and sure method to guarantee proper direction for our sport's future? What do other sports and other countries do in this same situation? One more question: Are we becoming controlled by rules, regulations and restrictions? Is there so much reading, interpretation, evaluation and information that we become ineffective at accomplishing our goals? Are we getting so tied up in paper and red tape that we cannot do our jobs? Are coaches and judges spending all their time reading and learning from books and papers and not gammg real experiences from coaching and judging? Are we keeping up with the rest of the sporting community and, in particular, other gymnastics programs? These are three questions that each playa unique role in our sport. All ofthese issues are important, and the way they are answered will affect us all . Although change is essential, it must lead to progress and improvement. If progress and advancement are not clear results of change , let's leave things as they are.