No Cut Back 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 J acki. Athlete Representatives: Lydia Bree; Peter Vidmar ; Linda Kardos; Tom Beach; Kathy J ohnson; Tim Daggett; Kelly Garrison. Amateur Athletic Union: J erry Hardy. America n Sokol Organization: Norma Zabka. American Turners: Harry Warnken. Membe rs a t Large: Linda Chencinski. NCAA Gymnastics Coaches-Men: Fred Roethlisberg'e r, University of Min nesota. NCAA Gy mnastics Coaches-Wome n : J udi Avener, Penn Stat e University. Nationa l Association of Women's Gymnastics Judges: Dale Brown . NCAA: Sylvia Moore, Oregon State University; Gail Davis, Rhode Isla nd College; J erry Miles, clo NCAA; Wayne Young, Brigham Young Uni versity. NAIA: Bonnie Morrow. NHSGCA: J ohn Brinkworth. National Fed eration of Sta te High School Athle tic Assoc.: Sharon Wilch ; Susan True. National Jewish Welfare Board: Courtney Shanken . NJCAA: Dave Rowlands , Truman College. NGJA: Mi ke Milidonis. USAIGC: Ed Knepper. Men's Elite Coach es Assoc.: J im Howard , University of Nebraska. USECA for Women: Roe Kreutzer ; Steve Whitlock. Young Men's Christian Ass oc.: Cliff Lothery. Jr. Boy's Gym. Coache s Assoc.: Rich Boccia. President: Mike Donahue. EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE: President: Mike Donahue. Se cretary: Judi Avener. Vice President: Jim Howard. Executive Director: Mike J acki. FIG Technical Committee: J ackie Fie. FIG Rhythmic Technic al Comm.: Andrea Schmid. FIG Men 's Technical Committee: Bill Roetzheim. Vice President for Wome n: Sue Ammerman . President Emeritus: Bud Wilkinson . Athlete Representatives: Kathy Johnson; Peter Vidmar; Larry Gerald. Members at Large: Mike Milidonis; Linda Chencinski . ASSOCIATE CONTENT EDITORS
SPORT S MEDICINE COMMITTEE: Merrill A. Ri tter, M.D. Fran k A. Pettrone, M. D. James J. Campbell , M.D. SAFETY COMMITTEE: Dr. Marc Rab inolf EDUCATION COMMITTEE: Dr. Garl and O'Qui nn BIOMECHANICS COMMITTEE: Dr. Marle ne Adria n,Director SPORTS PSYCHOLOGY COMMITTEE: Dr. Ke ith Henschen, Ph.D. EXE R'::;ISE PHYSIOLOGY COMMITTEE: Dr. Pat Eisenman, Ph .D.
Unless expressly identified to the contrary, a ll articles, statements and views printed herein are attributed soley to the author and the United States Gymnastics Federation expresses no opinion t hereon and assumes no responsibility t hereof.
By Mike J acki USGF Executive Director n reading any newspaper or watching the evening news, it sure seems like our youth is in trouble! We are constantly being hit with issues like drug abuse, teen suicide, poor performance in school and the poor fitness of American youth. Cutbacks in public school spending are eliminating programs in physical education and other courses of study termed: "Non-academic or non-essential." On top of this, the NCAA is now proposing reducing the competitive , "non-revenue" sports season by 50 percent. Someone has told these university presidents that if athletes only train halfthe time, they will study twice as much! Many universities across America are criticized for their lack of attention to academics . Even though the student-athlete still has to maintain a certain academic performance level to compete in sports, the universities feel they must respond. It is interesting that almost all the articles that criticize the NCAA are written about the poor academic performance of football and basketball players. The rules for these athletes however, will not change. I feel it would be appropriate that universities simply admit that these decisions are money-driven only. College sports are big business, and no one wants to lose money. In the recent NCAA basketball championships, almost 1,000 participants were drug-tested without one positive test! This makes a great statement for sport. Where schools and institutions should be using the vehicle provided by athletics and sports to better train and discipline young people, instead they are reducing the opportunities and continuing to cut back on sports programs. Sports are unique for many reasons. Perhaps one of the most important is the education it pro-
vides a person. Sports teach discipline, goal-setting, determination and perseverence. These qualities are critical to success, no matter what field you are involved with or at what level you participate . These characteristics are necessary for a person to succeed in school, in business or in any future endeavor. Sports help people deal with stress, make good decisions and understand teamwork and cooperation. It makes no difference if one is involved with a high-level competitive team or if one simply competes or participates for the fun and exercise. The same traits and qualities are experienced and learned. Sports often provide the first introduction to rules and regulations. They teach goal-setting and task accomplishment at an early age. They also teach the importance of dedication, commitment and teamwork. All in all, sports can provide a wealth of experience to an individual at a very young age that can help that person throughout hislher entire life. Even if a youngster does not pursue a sports career, the benefits of participation last a lifetime. The commitment to exercise, fitness, good health and nutrition contributes to an active and healthy lifestyle and raises the quality of life . It helps increase an individual's self-esteem, confidence and ability to achieve. Simply put, we end up with a better person and someone who will be a respected and contributing member of our society and our nation. Sports is perhaps the most fundamental learning experience society provides. Sports, athletics and fitness provide the basic structure for our youngsters' growth and development. Participate and enjoy your involvement. Get your family to join in. Make it an important and exciting part of your day. Remember, while enjoying the excitement of participating and increasing your health and fitness, you are developing greater qualities that will be with you the rest of your life.