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OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF USA

GYMNASTICS UNIVERSITY

ALEX NADDOUR 2016 OLYMPIC BRONZE MEDALIST

LEVERAGING FACEBOOK TO THE MAX ___________ GYMNASTS: FINALLY, A WAY TO MANAGE YOUR FEARS & BALKING IN THE GYM — PART 2 ___________ MEMBER CLUB LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY PROGRAM SUCCESS STORY ___________ THANK YOU TO OUR INDUSTRY MEMBERS ___________ ... AND MORE! JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017– VOL. 37 – #1


EVENTS E V E N T S

S C H E D U L E

DECEMBER

2016

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R103—School Age/Recreational:

Hands-On Training (HOTSA)

11

R102—Preschool Fundamentals:

Hands-On Training (HOTPS)

19 – 20

World Team Trials (AG)

JANUARY

Woodinville, WA

Woodinville, WA

Huntsville, TX

2017

20 – 22

Sand Dollar Invitational (W)

20 – 22

Kim Zmeskal‘s Texas Prime Meet (W)

27 – 29

Fiesta Bowl Invitational (W)

27 – 29

Circle of Stars Gymnastics Invitational (W)

27 – 29

Metroplex Challenge (W)

Orlando, FL Irving, TX Chandler, AZ Indianapolis, IN Fort Worth, TX

FEBRUARY 3 – 5

Arizona Sunrays Classic Rock Invitational (W)

3 – 5

Buckeye Classic (W)

Columbus OH

3 – 5

Chow‘s Challenge (W)

Galveston, TX

3 – 5

Pikes Peak Cup (W)

3 – 5

Classic Spectacular (W)

Minneapolis, MN

Atlanta, GA

10 – 12

Gliders Invitational (W)

Ontario, CA

Dimondale, MI

10 – 12

Chicago Style (W)

Chicago, IL

Oak Lawn, IL

Phoenix, AZ

4

W200—Development Coaches Course:

Hands-On Training (HOTD)

6 – 8

Atlanta Crown Invitational (W)

6 – 8

Twistars Invitational (W)

13 – 15

Brestyan‘s Invitational (W)

Medford, MA

10 – 12

Greensboro Gymnastics Invitational (W)

13 – 15

Lady Luck Invitational (W)

Las Vegas, NV

17 – 19

Charity Choice Invitational (W)

Tacoma, WA

13 – 15

CGA Coaches‘ Spectacular (W)

Cincinnati, OH

17 – 19

Magical Classic (W)

Orlando, FL

13 – 15

Legacy Elite Winter Classic (W)

Chicago, IL

17 – 19

Excalibur Cup (W)

VA Beach, VA

13 – 15

Star Struck Invitational (W)

Atlantic City, NJ

17 – 19

WOGA Classic (W)

Frisco, TX

13 – 15

Tampa Bay Turners Invitational (W)

Bradenton, FL

17 – 20

Presidential Classic (W)

CO Springs, CO

Greensboro, NC

Orlando, FL

W = Women, R = Rhythmic, TR = Trampoline, M = Men, GFA = Gymnastics for All, TU = Tumbling, AG = Acrobatic Gymnastics, B = Business, TT = Trampoline/Tumbling NOTE: Dates and events are subject to change or cancellation.

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TECHNIQUE • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017


OFFICIAL PUBLICATION OF USA

GYMNASTICS UNIVERSITY

J A N U A R Y / F E B R U A R Y 2 0 1 6 • V O L U M E 3 7 • #1

PUBLISHER

Steve Penny

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FEATURES 6 LEVERAGING FACEBOOK TO THE MAX By Mark Mahoney

EDITOR

Scott Bregman GRAPHIC DESIGNER

Jeannie Shaw

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GYMNASTS: FINALLY, A WAY TO MANAGE YOUR FEARS & BALKING IN THE GYM — PART 2 By Dr. Alan Goldberg

USA GYMNASTICS BOARD OF DIRECTORS Chair: Paul Parilla Vice-Chair/ Secretary: Gary Anderson Treasurer: Jim Morris National Membership – Women: Tom Koll National Membership – Women: Kelli Hill National Membership – Men: Yoichi Tomita National Membership – Men: Tom Meadows National Membership – Rhythmic: Brooke Bushnell-Toohey National Membership – Trampoline & Tumbling: Peter Dodd National Membership – Acrobatic Gymnastics: Dr. Jay Binder Advisory Council: Mike Burns Advisory Council: Casey Koenig Advisory Council: Rome Milan Athlete Director – Women: Alicia Quinn Athlete Director – Men: David Durante Athlete Director – Rhythmic: Ava Gehringer Athlete Director – Trampoline & Tumbling: Austin White Athlete Director – Acrobatic Gymnastics: Dylan Maurer Public Sector: David Benck Public Sector: Bitsy Kelley Public Sector: Jim Morris Public Sector: Mary Lou Retton

CHANGE OF ADDRESS AND SUBSCRIPTION INQUIRIES: In order to ensure uninterrupted delivery of TECHNIQUE magazine, notice of change of address should be made eight weeks in advance. For fastest service, please enclose your present mailing label. Direct all subscription mail to TECHNIQUE Subscriptions, USA Gymnastics, 132 E. Washington St., Suite 700, Indianapolis, IN 46204 . TECHNIQUE is published bi-monthly by USA Gymnastics, 132 E. Washington St., Suite 700, Indianapolis, IN 46204 (phone: 317-237-5050) or visit online at www.usagym.org Subscription prices: U.S.—$25 per year; Canada/Mexico—$48 per year; all other foreign countries—$60 per year. If available, back issue single copies $4 plus postage/handling. All reasonable care will be taken, but no responsibility can be assumed for unsolicited material; enclose return postage. Copyright 2017 by USA Gymnastics and TECHNIQUE. ­All rights reserved. Printed by Sport Graphics, Indianapolis, IN. Member Services 1-800-345-4719. Unless expressly identified to the contrary, all articles, statements and views printed herein are attributed solely to the author, and USA Gymnastics expresses no opinion and assumes no responsibility thereof.

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MEMBER CLUB LEGISLATIVE ADVOCACY PROGRAM SUCCESS STORY By Diane Barron

DEPARTMENTS

2

EVENT SCHEDULE

4

INSIDE USA GYMNASTICS MESSAGE

6

16

WHAT’S NEW — REPORTING SUSPECTED ABUSE

30 “THANK YOU” TO OUR

USA GYMNASTICS INDUSTRY MEMBERS! 32

USA GYMNASTICS UNIVERSITY LIVE COURSE SCHEDULE

42

FREE WEBINARS

44

MEMBER SERVICES UPDATE

47 CLASSIFIEDS

COVER: Photo by John Cheng

JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • TECHNIQUE

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M E S S A G E

F R O M

Greetings and Happy New Year! The new quad is always an exciting time for USA Gymnastics — four years ago, we saw Simone Biles emerge as the best gymnast on the U.S. and world stage and become the USA’s most most decorated gymnast. The road to Tokyo has begun, and we will have two new national team leaders for men’s and women’s gymnastics. 1988 Olympic gold medalist Valeri Liukin is leading the women’s program as national team coordinator, and the men’s program is expected to announce the newly created position of high performance director in the near future. The success this past quad in rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and acrobatic gymnastics demonstrates that the USA is competitive on the world stage. The Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions provided our fans across the country to celebrate our athletes’ success.

T H E

P R E S I D E N T

/

C E O

For all our Junior Olympic athletes, the New Year means they are heading into the heart of their competitive season. It’s one of my favorite times of the year when our motto, Success is a Team Effort, truly takes center stage, and the work of our athletes, coaches, parents, gym club owners and judges comes together.

10 women’s gymnasts as they vie for a place at the Nastia Liukin Cup (March 3 in Newark, N.J.), is already underway as this issue goes to press. For the second year, we will also host the Men’s Elite Team Cup, showcasing many of the country’s best Level 10 men’s athletes along side some of our elite men.

I want to wish all of our athletes, coaches and parents the best of luck while they compete in the greatest sport in the world.

Both the Nastia Liukin Cup and the Men’s Elite Team Cup will be held in conjunction with the American Cup, scheduled for March 4 at Prudential Center. We hope to see you in Newark, but if you can’t join us, make sure to follow coverage online at ATTAmericanCup.com, on social media and on NBC Sports!

2016 was an incredible year for USA Gymnastics and the spotlight provided by the Olympic Games showcased the best our sport has to offer. Gym club owners across the country are seeing spikes in registration in their gyms and their invitationals, including those participating in this year’s Nastia Liukin Cup Series. The Nastia Liukin Cup Series, which brings together the top Level

See you in the gym,

Steve Penny President & CEO USA Gymnastics


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FEATURE

LEVERAGING FACEBOO F B Y

M A R K

M A H O N E Y

LEVERAGING FACEBOO acebook has risen to be a formidable branding and marketing tool for small businesses. According to research by Small Business Trends, it is also very cost effective. This research indicates that only about half of the millions of small businesses in the U.S. who use Facebook for marketing actually spend money on it. This cost efficiency makes it even more important to gyms since lean marketing budgets make gym owners quite opportunistic in the marketing choices. Leveraging Facebook to its maximum potential takes some effort but is well worth it. Being recognizable is crucial to getting found and ‘Liked’ in a Facebook search.

FACEBOOK BUSINESS FAN PAGE

As a business, you must use a Business Fan page. Your profile image is pictured at the top of your Facebook Fan Page and is also the thumbnail image that gets displayed next to all your Facebook Fan Page updates, so it should be chosen wisely.

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• Business classification and category is important.

Try: o Sports Club / Gym — Sports Instruction • Vanity URL should be short and simple — easy-to-remember

Since your cover photo takes up the most real estate above the fold on your Facebook Page, make sure you choose one that is high quality and engaging to your visitors.

CALL TO ACTION BUTTON & TOP NAVIGATION

Inspiring action from your Facebook page visitors is important, too. Gather information, get them involved, lead them to a web page, and show them more details. All of these are great actions to lure visitors deeper into learning what is great about your gym. • Call to Action — Sign Up, Join My List, Contact Us

Things to think about: • Cover picture should be engaging — i.e. A picture with kids

• Website page — Free Eval, Try a Class, Schedule a Tour

• Profile picture should be your logo in a big and recognizable format

• Do not Duplicate Labels between Buttons & Navigation

TECHNIQUE • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

• Top Navigation items — Photos, Videos


OK TO THE MAX

OOK TO THE MAX

Take advantage of the fact that you can customize your options to include different ones that work for your facility — Sign Up, Shop Now, Contact Us, Book Now, Use App, Watch Video, and Play Game — and customize each with a destination URL. Simply click the drop-down arrow on your button and select ‘View Insights’ to get data on how many people are clicking your buttons.

EMBEDDED CLASS SCHEDULE

In today’s fast-paced, digital world, gym owners need to make the registration process quick and easy. As a Jackrabbit user, you have the opportunity to streamline the process by adding your class schedule to your website. But did you know you can add it to your Facebook page?

Be sure to view your page as a visitor because text sometimes changes.

ABOUT SECTION

Your ‘About’ section gives you the opportunity to speak to your visitors. Be succinct in covering what sets you apart from your competition. • 2–3 Sentences; descriptive but succinct • Link to your website • Differentiate your brand • Select a short Vanity URL, can only change once! • Verify Address Link actually goes to your business

Delivering your message to your readers efficiently and getting them to your registration page quickly is an important aspect of your overall marketing plan. Facebook is one of the most powerful tools in your marketing arsenal to help you convert your readers into registered students. In addition to your newsfeed, Facebook application tabs provide you with an opportunity to share important information about your studio — much like pages on your website. • Embed Schedule or Link to Website -> Schedule • Do n make victors click many times to register • Use Google Analytics on your website continued ... JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • TECHNIQUE

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C O N T I N U E D

ENGAGEMENT

It’s all about engagement. You want your visitors to become involved in something on your page. They will get to know you better,and your Facebook page will become more popular. Offer choices for engagement.

The 20% • Brand promotion

Here are some ideas: • Allow comments and reviews • Award points for actions: Like = 1 pt, Comment = 2 pts, Share = 3 pts • Ask questions • Be observant about your timing and act at the best day and time • Have contests • Crowdsource for answers

You also need to keep your content fresh. Think about the Facebook pages that you like to visit. Do they spout marketing speak all the time or post items relative to your interests? Do you get sick of seeing the same posts on their page or do they keep your interest with new items? You never want visitors to get bored with your page. If that happens, they will not be visitors for long. At the minimum, post weekly but it is recommended to post daily with the 80/20 rule in mind.

PHOTOS & VIDEOS

Make use of these very popular items — people love to look instead of read.

POSTING RULES

The type of content you post is very important to the success of your Facebook page. The page cannot be all about you. First of all, no one will visit more than once. Secondly, Facebook will not be very happy with you. It is important to abide by the 80/20 rule for content.

• Photos and videos are proven to be the most Engaging types of content • 18 characters of each of your Facebook Posts serve as the meta title

The 80% • Entertaining content • Emotional content • Expert tips & advice • Success reviews • Personal content

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FEATURE

FEA TURE . . . F A C E B O O K . . .

C O N T I N U E D

GREAT CONTENT SOURCES

If you just do a little research, you can identify amazing content sources to use in choosing content for your Facebook posts.

POPULAR POSTING TOOL

You may want to use PostPlanner — a content aggregator and scheduler. It will help you by:

Examples? • USA Gymnastics — USAGymClub.com/articles

• Automating publishing of selected content to your Facebook Page based on a time schedule that you predetermine.

• Anne Josephson — annejosephson.wordpress. com

• Adding your blog feed and publishing your new posts automatically.

• Facebook.com/Parenting

• Allowing you to view the latest content from your favorite Facebook Pages.

• Facebook.com/ProactiveCoach

• Allowing you to view simple analytics that show you the percentage of people who liked your post, clicked it or commented on it.

PREPARE FOR NEGATIVITY

PINNED POSTS

Use the ability to pin posts to the top of the timeline to keep them in front of visitors longer. When you post new content to your Facebook Page, older posts get pushed farther down your Timeline. But sometimes, you may want a specific post to stay at the top of your page for longer — even after you publish new updates. To solve for this, Facebook offers the ability to "pin" one post at a time to the top of your page. You can use pinned posts as a way to promote things like new lead-gen offers, upcoming events, or important product announcements.

There is always going to be a “Negative Nellie” among your visitors, so don’t feel like you’re being singled out. The best way to manage negativity is to prepare for it. Don’t let negativity get the best of you. When you get emotionally invested in it, is when it can go wrong for you. Remember to: • Respond no-matter-what • Respond quickly — but not emotionally • Be patient and understanding • Ask to speak privately • Let your community respond • Consider asking the fan to remove their post • The last resort is banning the fan

Remember that: • Big events, big meets, summer camps, contests are great to pin to the top • What is pinned stays at the top for 7 days • Woobox.com allows users to run sweepstakes and photo contests 10

TECHNIQUE • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017

Here are two examples of response verbiage. Which do you think is guided by the points above? Response Text #1 • You and your miserable rug rat are two peas in a pod, and we were so excited the day you cancelled and now you have the nerve to post this on


Facebook? If you actually parented your child, we would have to deal with brats like yours.

• Work with Google Analytics

Response Text #2 • I am so sorry to hear about your experience, this is not at all our standard level of service. I would love to chat with you about this and find a way to make you happy. Please consider giving us another chance to teach your child. Can we chat about this today? Well, obviously #2! But #1 is pretty funny, isn’t it? Notice how calm, professional and accommodating #2 is.

POST METRICS

Facebook allows you to segment individual page posts by gender, relationship or educational status, age, location, language, or interests. It helps you to be smarter about your content and your timing by watching these post metrics. You can set an expiration date for your post here as well.

MONITOR YOUR PAGE

There is a mountain of information that you can learn about your page and your visitors by using the monitoring provided by Facebook. You can also share monitoring tasks with others on your team using the tools provided in your page.

You can watch your: • Reach • Likes, Comments, Shares • Topics • Days/Times Use Facebook targeting tools because they are: • Easy to use • Allow you to set a low budget (Daily and/or Total) o Moms with young children o 5 mile radius from Gym

• Assign staff to page roles

• Allow you to upload your customer email list

• Turn on notifications

• Allow you to A/B test (and you should always do this)

• Post on a consistent basis • Keep pictures and videos fresh

continued ...

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FEATURE

FEA TURE . . . F A C E B O O K . . .

C O N T I N U E D

FACEBOOK LIVE (WEBCAST)

This is an exciting feature in your Facebook page that gives you pretty simple yet slick abilities to post live video! You really give your visitors the feeling that they are right there with you.

Since you can do so much without eating up your marketing budget, you should get familiar with what is offered in this way before jumping to purchase Facebook ads and paying to boost your posts. Look at some Facebook pages of those you know are making Facebook work for them. You can learn a lot by just being a visitor! Helpful Online Resources • How to Setup A Facebook Fan Page: o Facebook.com/business/learn/set-up-facebook-page o https://youtu.be/OzoVfj-QwnQ o https://youtu.be/NTBa1FS3Hyk • Facebook Live o https://youtu.be/4hkLbuyOfP8

Keep in mind that this is LIVE so there are some things to be aware of: • Try not to move the phone around • Keep the phone steady by using a tripod • Make it fun!

CONCLUSION

Facebook is definitely a marketing tool you want to maximize. Don’t try to do everything at once. Doing it well is better than doing it all. You will learn what works for you and what doesn’t.

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MARK MAHONEY’S BIO Mark Mahoney, CoFounder and CEO of Jackrabbit Technologies, discovered his passion for technology and gymnastics in college (MIS major and member of UGA gymnastics team.) After working for several smaller software companies, he decided to combine his passions and launched Jackrabbit Technologies in 2004. Jackrabbit Technologies (www.Jackrabbittech.com) provides online class management and billing software to children’s activity centers, including gymnastics and cheer gyms, dance studios, child care centers, music schools and swim schools.


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D R .

A L A N

G O L D B E R G

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GYMNASTS: FINALLY, A WAY TO MANAGE YOUR FEARS & BALKING IN THE GYM I

n the first article we talked about where balking comes from: When you balk, it’s NOT because you’re a “head case,” not trying hard enough, don’t care enough or aren’t committed! It’s because your nervous system is picking up on a feeling of being unsafe and reflexively clicking you into the self-protective response of FREEZE. Because survival is THE most important thing to mammals, and YOU are a mammal, your trained performance skills get temporarily kicked offline so that your nervous system can respond to the perceived danger. When a gymnast suddenly can’t get themselves to go for their skills, it’s simply because their nervous system is responding to a threat and doing what its biology has programmed it to. Balking can be confusing at times because sometimes you may not even feel afraid! Maybe the skill doesn’t feel right or you just can’t get your body to go for it. Regardless of whether you’re actually in touch with feeling fearful or not, this inner

PART 2

danger is WHY you’re not going and your self-protective instincts determine whether you balk, NOT your thinking brain! Understanding exactly where this sense of inner danger comes from is one important step to being able to successfully get your skills back. Why? Because the sources of this danger are what trigger your nervous system to freeze. If you can learn to eliminate or respond differently to these sources, then you can learn to calm your nervous system down so that your trained performance skills will come back online all by themselves! From this, the most important principle that gymnasts, their coaches and parents need to grasp is that when a gymnast can’t stop themselves from balking, the #1 PRIORITY is to work on helping that gymnast calm their nervous system down! In this article and the one to follow, we will focus on a few strategies that gymnasts can use to begin to help get unstuck. But first, let’s brief-

ly review the things that cause the nervous system to ramp up into the “danger zone.”

THE SOURCES OF INNER DANGER

#1

PAST UPSETTING/SCARY EVENTS

As I discussed in the first article, your body and nervous system tend to memorize (out of awareness) everything about a scary fall, close call or anything else upsetting (seeing a teammate fall or getting yelled at) that happens in or outside the gym. This memory includes the movement that you felt in your body and all of the images, sounds, emotions, fear and negative thinking connected to that experience.

COACH’S RESPONSE TO #2THE BALKING

Sometimes coaches get frustrated and impatient with a balking gymnast, Continued on page 18...

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especially when all of their attempts to help have failed! Out of impatience they may punish the gymnast by making them do extra conditioning or they may threaten the gymnast with time deadlines and negative consequences if the skills aren’t recovered in time. Out of their frustration at wanting to help, but being unable, the coach might make comments that the gymnast perceives as hurtful. At times, a coach may get so fed up that they’ll send the gymnast home. When a coach responds to a gymnast’s balking in this manner, that athlete will feel even less safe inside, and this will make the problem worse!

#3

THE GYMNAST’S RESPONSE TO BALKING

Most gymnasts are perfectionists! Gymnastics attracts that kind of athlete, which makes sense when you consider how the sport is scored and how even a hundredth of a point can make the difference between winning and losing. By nature, perfectionists have very little tolerance for mistakes, setbacks and failures. When they lose a skill that they have been effortlessly doing for months or longer, the perfectionistic gymnast responds with self-directed anger, frustration and impatience! “Why aren’t you going!” “This is totally stupid!” “Even the younger kids can do this skill!” etc. Perfectionism, by itself, isn’t all bad. Striving for perfection can help you overcome obstacles, reach higher and achieve more in this sport. However, when used against yourself, this same perfectionism can kill your love of gymnastics, destroy your self-confidence and bring your skill development to a screeching halt. When you as a gymnast get upset and frustrated with yourself for balking, 18

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you will increase that state of inner danger and get yourself more stuck.

#4

THE PARENTS’ RESPONSE TO BALKING

All kids are hard wired to want to make their parents proud. When they start experiencing these performance problems, most gymnasts feel that they are making their parents unhappy and disappointing them. In their confusion as to why their son/ daughter isn’t going for “easy” skills that they’ve been doing for months, parents will sometimes get impatient and frustrated. In an attempt to be helpful, parents will try many different approaches to get their child unstuck, including “tough love.” They may pressure their son or daughter to “just do it!” and use threats of punishment as a motivation. Even though they may be coming from a place of genuine concern, this kind of parental response will contribute to the gymnast feeling even less safe and therefore more stuck.

CALMING THE GYMNAST’S NERVOUS SYSTEM DOWN

So what can the gymnast do to feel safer, bypass the freeze response, and get their trained performance skills back online?

GYMNAST’S STRATEGIES

The very first step that you as a gymnast can take that will begin to turn the balking problem around is to learn how to be a better “inner coach” to yourself. This means learning to respond differently to yourself

when you start balking or feeling afraid! Rather than demanding “Why aren’t you going?!” or “What’s wrong with you?!,” ”This is ridiculous!,” you want to remind yourself exactly why you’re not going: Your nervous system is sensing danger and putting you automatically into freeze mode to keep you safe. It doesn’t mean that your not trying hard enough, don’t care, aren’t good anymore or are a “head case!” So instead of getting angry, impatient and frustrated with yourself, instead of pressuring yourself to go, you want to try to remain patient and understand that your first order of business is to calm your nervous system down. Balking is a problem that you can and will work through, but you have to approach it the right way, learn to be kinder to yourself and allow yourself the time to work things through. Being a better “inner coach” to yourself doesn’t just mean that you want to “be positive” and tell yourself things like, “C’mon you can do this! You got this! You’ve been doing it forever!” Most stuck gymnasts already tell themselves these kinds of “positive” things and they just don’t work. When you try to be positive and yet continue to balk, you’ll get even more frustrated and angry with yourself. Another part of being a better inner coach to yourself involves stopping the comparison habit. Telling yourself things like “No one else has these problems” or “Even the younger kids can throw these skills!” will only make you feel worse about yourself, more afraid and therefore more stuck. Instead, you need to keep your focus just on YOU and what YOU are doing and NOT on others! When Continued on page 18...


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you start responding to yourself with more understanding of why you’re balking, forgiveness for having these struggles and patience, you will begin to feel a little safer inside. When this starts to happen, the freeze will begin to melt. What I am saying here is absolutely critical to you being able to successfully work through this problem and times in the future where you get scared! Here’s a good rule of thumb to keep in mind when you get scared and start balking:

THE PROBLEM ISN’T THE PROBLEM! THE PROBLEM IS HOW YOU REACT TO THE PROBLEM!

The problem for you isn’t that you’re afraid and unable to go. The REAL problem, the one that is causing you so much heartache is how you REACT to your fears and balking. Getting angry, frustrated, upset and impatient with yourself will always make things so much worse! Instead, you have to tell yourself things like “OK, you’re afraid and stuck today. It might be because of that fall last week. Let’s try the skill again! You’ll work this through, if not today, tomorrow and if not tomorrow, then the next day. But the most important thing right now is that I need to do some things to help myself feel safer inside.” An important step to help you feel safer inside is to learn to “listen” very carefully to your nervous system and when you “get activated,” that is feeling fearful, angry, frustrated, upset and/or impatient, you want to take enough time to allow your nervous system to settle until you feel safe enough to try again. So instead of impatiently pressuring yourself to “just do it, just go for it,” you want to step back, “catch your breath” so-to-speak and do one or more of the following: 20

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ASK FOR A SPOT

get help from the coaches and if need be, do this in an extra private lesson so you don’t have to worry about teammates and taking time away from them. You don’t ever want to hesitate to ask for a spot. It is NOT a sign of weakness or of failure. Instead, it is a great way for your nervous system to start to feel safer.

PUT MATS DOWN

Put mats down on the floor or, when appropriate, on the apparatus you’re working, i.e. putting a resi-mat on the beam or piling up panel mats next to the high or low beam will help you calm down.

WORK YOUR SKILLS INTO THE PIT, ON THETUMBLE TRACK OR TRAMPOLINE

Again, not being able to do something on floor or on the competition apparatus doesn’t make you a failure. Do not give yourself a hard time for having to switch where and how you work on your blocked skill.

TAKE A STEP BACKWARDS

While these are standard strategies that coaches will use with you, allow yourself to “step backwards” until your nervous system calms down and you’re able to go. For example, if you’ve lost your back handspring on high beam, go down to the middle or lower beam. If you are still afraid, pile up panel mats there or go to the floor. Remember, backing up to lead up skills is NOT a sign of weakness or failure. Instead, it speaks directly to the heart of

the problem here: Needing to get your nervous system to settle. Go to a lower beam, to floor or to lead up skills, etc.

SWITCH TO ANOTHER EVENT

There are going to be days where you are more scared than others. On those days, forcing yourself to stay on the apparatus until you go when you’re really scared will only drive your nervous system further into the “red zone!” Instead, leave the event you’re struggling with and do something else or Take a break. Take a few minutes off. Go get a drink of water, catch your breath or “change the channel” in some way. Listening more carefully to your nervous system and immediately responding by doing things that will help you settle inside is what is first needed to begin to turn this problem around. Remember, your trained skills will always come back online automatically once you start feeling safer inside. Remember: Taking these steps “backwards” is NOT failing! These steps are exactly what your nervous system needs right now to calm down. Once you’re able to go for your skills after you’ve taken that step or two backwards, then step out of your comfort zone again, get back up and try the skill that you were balking on once more. If you continue to balk and feel scared after a few more attempts, patiently take a step back once again. DO NOT give yourself a hard time in this process, because this back and forth, allowing time for your nervous system to settle in between, is exactly what is needed to begin to get you unstuck and on the right track!


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any states have passed rulings, policies and laws that have negatively affected the way we run our businesses. Over the last few years, the state of Missouri has been dealing with a law that required us to collect sales tax on all of our services. All of the income that we collected for any type of service was subject to sales tax. We were very fortunate that Missouri Senator Will Kraus sponsored a bill to eliminate that sales tax on lessons.

ARTICLE WRITTEN BY MISSOURI SENATOR WILL KRAUS In my time as Chairman of the Senate Ways and Means committee, one of the most disappointing actions by our government I’ve witnessed is the continual overreach into taxpayers’ pockets. After changing their interpretation of the law, the Department of Revenue (DOR) began auditing studios and gyms and claiming huge amounts of back taxes for not collecting sales tax on classes. Because they were never notified of the change in law, gym owners across the state were shocked when they were given bills, some of which totaled hundreds of thousands of dollars. It is distressing that our Department of Revenue is actively seeking to reinterpret tax law to gain as much revenue as possible, in ways that are so damaging to our state’s economy. Our government should be looking to boost jobs and the small businesses creating them instead of imposing burdensome regulations and overreaching into business owners’ pockets. On May 13, the Senate passed Senate Bill 1025, pushing back against the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) perpetual quest for more revenue. The bill would restore instructional

classes given at dance studios, gymnastics facilities and other fitness facilities to the same designation as educational classes and other services, the classification they held before DOR reinterpreted a sales tax law in 2008. As many of you know, the governor vetoed this common sense measure on June 28, 2016. On September 14, 2016 the legislature convened its annual veto session and the veto of SB 1025 was the first bill the Senate addressed. The Senate voted to overturn the veto by a vote of 29-2, and the House followed suit later that day by finalizing the veto override by a vote of 124-31. Senate Bill 1025 corrects the egregious revenue-grab attempted by the DOR, and will finally go into effect on October 14, 2016. As of that day, anyone providing instructional lessons will no longer be required to collect sales taxes on those classes. Sales taxes will still need to be collected on tangible items such as any equipment or gear sold, but the classes themselves will be tax free. As a public servant, I cannot watch bureaucracy regulate our economy into the ground. I sponsored Senate Bill 1025 to prevent DOR from inflicting further damage on Missouri’s business owners and communities. Remaining diligent against this kind of government overreach, and keeping money in taxpayers’ pockets, is vitally important. What we did as owners was to support Senate Bill 1025 and to ultimately be a part of the success of the bill passing. Here is how the process unfolded: 1. When we first heard that a few gymnastics clubs in Missouri had been audited, we contacted our attorney and accountant for information and advice. Neither of those professionals were aware of the law

and were not able to direct us. We felt responsible to protect our company from a potential audit so we hired a tax attorney to interpret the law and guide us on how to be sure we were in compliance. 2. We testified at the Ways and Means hearing at our state capitol in support of SB 1025. In addition, our Department Leaders contacted their representatives prior to the hearing asking for their support. Our Office Manager wrote a letter as a parent and business woman in support of the bill. We presented her letter at the hearing. 3. We asked all of our families to call, write or email their representatives in support of the bill. We supplied them with sample letters and dialogue for the phone calls. The Senate passed Bill 1025. 4. We sent a petition to the governor that our families signed asking for him to pass SB 1025. I included a cover letter explaining our services and offering to visit him at his State Capitol office to discuss my concerns and to explain the reasons our services should not be taxed. The governor vetoed the bill. 5. Since the governor vetoed the bill, our last chance for the bill to pass was during the veto override session. We did a large campaign educating, explaining and reaching out to all of our customers. We asked them to contact their representatives through letters, emails and phone calls. A table was set up in our lobby with information and letters to sign. To make it easy on the parents and to guarantee that a large number of letters would be sent, we provided the letters, had the parents sign them, and our front office looked up the representative for each customer and mailed the letters. JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • TECHNIQUE

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6. I called each representative the day before the veto session to confirm they received the letters and asked that they support the people who support them. The governor’s veto was overturned. Senate Bill 1025 was passed. 7. We hosted Senator Will Kraus at our gym for a bill reenactment ceremony. It was a great opportunity to thank him and to thank our parents who worked to get this bill passed. As of Oct. 14, 2016, we no longer have to collect sales tax on our instructional classes. The bill is very narrow including instruction/educational programs only. A letter ruling has been requested to help the owners understand exactly which services are taxed

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and which ones are not taxed. In the mean time, we have been advised by our tax attorney to be cautious and only exempt services that are in no question considered instruction. Our jobs include so much more than teaching gymnastics. Serving our students and their parents is a large responsibility and can involve tasks that are not the norm. Supporting and fighting for the rights of our parents by eliminating the sales task on our gymnastics classes was time wellspent and the right thing to do. I hope that if you are dealing with a law that is unfair that our journey can be of assistance.


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GYM UPDATE

“THANK YOU” TO OUR USA GYMNASTICS INDUST

NAME

WEBSITE NAME WEBSITE

321 GoProject

www.321goproject.com

Gateway Sports Source

www.gymshorts.com

3rd Level Consulting and Business Brokerage

www.3rdlevelsonsulting.com

Gibson Athletic

www.gibsonathletic.com

Girl Power Sport

www.girlpowersport.com

A-1 Awards

www.a-1awards.com

Go For the Gold Leotards

www.goforthegoldleotards.com

Goodson Ent. Inc.

www.garygoodson.com

GTM Sportswear

www.gtmsportswear.com

Gym Treasures

www.gymtreasures.com

Gymnastics Progressions

www.gymnasticsprogressions.com

Gymnastics USA

www.gymnasticsusa.us

Happy Gymnastics

www.happygymnastics.com

Hasty Awards

www.hastyawards.com

AAI www.aai.com American Specialty

www.amerspec.com

Amilia www.amilia.com AT&T www.att.com Auburn Electronics Group

www.aegroup.com

Beyond the Scores

www.beyondthescores.com

Big Ass Solutions

www.bigassfans.com/

Butter Braid brand fundraising

www.countrymaid.net

C and H Financial Services Inc.

www.chfs.us

Capture It Sports

www.thecaptureitcollection.com

Carolina Gym Supply Corp

www.carolinagym.com

Hershey www.hershey.com Hilton Hotels

www.hilton.com

Hodges Badge Company Inc.

www.hodgesbadge.com

IClass Pro

www.iclasspro.com

Chobani www.chobani.com

Illusions Activewear

www.illusionsactivewear.com

Class Juggler

www.classjuggler.com

Inside Gymnastics Magazine

www.insidegymnastics.com

Creative Disruption

www.creativelydisruptive.com

International Gymnastics Camp

www.internationalgymnastics.com

Deary’s Gymnastics Supply

www.americanathletic.com

International Play Company

www.iplayco.com

Dekan Athletic Equipment Corp

www.dekanathletic.com

Jackrabbit Technologies Inc.

www.jackrabbitclass.com

Dollamur Sport Surfaces

www.dollamur.com

JKLM Designs

www.jklmdesigns.com

Dragonfly Aerial Company

www.dragonaerialco.com

Joshua Tree Skin Care

www.jtreelife.com

Dreamlight Activewear

www.dreamlightusa.com

Jumptwist Music Inc.

www.jumptwist.com

Elite Etceteria

www.peachstateawards.com

K-Bee Leotards

www.k-beeleotards.com

Elite Sportswear/GK

www.gkelite.com

Kellogg’s www.kelloggs.com

Energym Music

www.energymmusic.com

KT Tape

www.kttape.com

Enovative Technologies

www.enovativetech.com

Kulin-Sohn Insurance

www.gymnasticsinsurance.com

Extreme Athletic Supply

www.easupply.net

Lizatards www.lizatards.com

EZ Flex Sport Mats

www.ezflexmats.com

Main Event

www.mainevt.com/

Flaghouse Inc.

www.flaghouse.com

Mancino Manufacturing Co. Inc.

www.mancinomats.com

Flip N Fit

www.flipnfit.com

Markel Insurance Company

www.markelgymnastics.com

Floor Express Music

www.floorexpressmusic.com

Maxwell Medals & Awards

www.maxmedals.com

Foxy’s Fitness Fashions

www.foxysfitnessfashions.com

Meet Authority Productions

www.meetauthority.com

Foy Insurance

www.foyinsurance.com

MeetMaker www.meetmaker.com

Full Circle Finance

www.fullcirclellc.us

Metroplex Challenge

www.metroplexchallenge.com

Garland Activewear

www.garlandactivewear.com

Midwest Gym Supply Inc

www.midwestgymsupply.com

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RY MEMBERS!

NAME

WEBSITE

Motionwear LLC

www.motionwear.com

National Association of Intercollegiate Gymnastics

www.naigc.org

NBC www.nbcsports.com Ninja Zone, LLC

www.ninjazone.club

Norbert’s Athletic Products

www.norberts.net

NSGEL Inc.

www.northshoregymsales.com

Obersee www.obersee.com Ocean State School of Gymnastics

www.ossg.com

Ozone Gymnastics Apparel

www.ozoneleos.com

Paul Ziert and Associates Inc.

www.intlgymnast.com

Pelle Activewear

www.pelleactivewear.com

Perfect Landing

www.perfectlandingpits.com

Procter & Gamble

www.pg.com

PT I Like Gym Indonesia

www.rockstar-gym.com

Rebecca’s Mom Leotards

www.leotard.com

Resilite www.resilite.com Simax Sports

www.simaxsports.com

Snowflake Designs

www.snowflakedesigns.com

Snyder Insurance Services Inc

www.snyder1stop.com

Spieth America

www.sasportonline.com

Spin Center

www.spin.center

Sports and Beyond

www.sportsandbeyond.com

Sports Idol Nation

www.spin.center.com

St. Vincent’s Hospital and Health Care Center

www.stvincent.org

Stunt Double, LLC

www.stuntdoublecheer.com

Success Videos, LLC

www.thegymnasticscoach.com

The Snow Group Ltd.

www.snowgrp.com

Thorne Research

www.thorne.com

Tumbl Trak

www.tumbltrak.com

U.S.E.C.A. www.useca.us UCS Inc

www.ucsspirit.com

Under Armour

www.underarmour.com

US Glove Inc

www.usglove.com

USA Competitions

www.usacompetitions.com

USA Parkour

www.usaparkour.org JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • TECHNIQUE

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LIVE COURSE SCHEDULE

LIVE COURSE SCHEDULE

R103 — SCHOOL AGE/RECREATIONAL: HANDS-ON TRAINING (HOTSA) Visit the course page for more course information and location details.

W200 — DEVELOPMENT COACHES COURSE: HANDS-ON TRAINING (HOTD)

W400 — NATIONAL COACHES’ COURSE

Visit the course page for more course information and location details.

Visit the course page for more course information and

Jan 7............................Shawnee, KS

Jan. 4........................... Oak Lawn, IL Jan 22..................San Clemente, CA

location details.

May 29 – June 1......... Huntsville, TX

W300 — JUNIOR OLYMPIC TEAM COACHES’ COURSE Visit the course page for more course information and location details.

May 25-28.................. Huntsville, TX

To register for a congress/course, visit the USA Gymnastics website at www.USAGymnasticsUniversity.org. Register online or download the registration form.

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FEATURE

ON FLAME RETARDANTS IN GYMNASTICS CLUBS

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lmost a decade ago, I remember being shocked to learn that the foam equipment in my gym likely contained flame-retardant chemicals. Like many competitive gymnasts, I started the sport at a young age and by the time I was 18 had spent more than 6,000 hours in the gym. I never dreamed that chemicals like this were in my gym, or that the chemicals in foam could be harmful and get into my body. Flame-retardant chemicals have been added to products in an effort to improve fire safety. However, we now understand that they can easily evaporate from products into the air then stick to dust and skin and enter our bodies. The main way they enter the body is when dust on the hands is accidentally ingested, but they are also inhaled and absorbed through the skin. Over a decade of research indicates that some flame retardants accumulate to high concentrations in the body, can harm the developing brain, and have been linked to cancer as well as reproductive problems. In 2010, scientists across the globe released a consensus statement documenting concerns about these chemicals and more recently the Chicago Tribune and HBO covered this issue, including new findings that flame retardants may not be as effective as advertised. Flame retardants are used in many products including polyurethane foam (like in upholstered furniture) as well as the plastic casings of electronics. When I first began researching flame retardants in graduate school, I wondered if it they could also be used in the foam found in landing mats and the loose foam pit commonly used by gymnasts. As a

former gymnast, I remembered that were likely also in many of their foras the foam ages, it creates a gritty mer gyms. In a recent survey of foam dust that gets all over the gym, espe- from gyms across the U.S., we idencially in the loose foam pit. The dust tified PentaBDE only in the majority clings to your skin and can get into of pit cubes purchased prior to 2005. the eyes and mouth. I was concerned Like most of the population, the gymabout what this could mean for gym- nasts likely also contacted PentaBnasts, so I conducted a study as part DE in their homes as it was a common of my doctoral thesis. Three years ago flame retardant used in upholstered I graduated and published that work furniture until 2005. in Environmental Science & Technology Flame-retardant chemicals used reporting flame retardants in the air, to replace the PentaBDE mixture dust and foam of training equipment were also found at high levels in the from a gymnastics training facility at gym and in pit cubes from our survey levels much higher than of foam from U.S. gyms. what we find in homes, ofThese include tris (1,3-di"AS A FORMER fices or vehicles. chloro-2-propyl) phosGYMNAST, I phate (TDCIPP) and the The flame retardants we KNOW THAT ® Firemaster 550 mixfound at high levels in the THERE ARE ture which includes triphgym were the same that MANY BENEFITS enyl phosphate (TPHP) are typically used in foam. TO GYMNASTICS, as one component. We AND I DON’T These included the Pentfound evidence that these THINK ANYONE aBDE mixture, which was chemicals entered the SHOULD QUIT the most commonly used gymnasts’ bodies during THE SPORT flame-retardant mixture practice, with higher levBASED ON OUR prior to 2005, when it was els of TPHP and TDCIPP FINDINGS. phased out of use. Part metabolite found in urine HOWEVER, I of the reason these findsamples collected from DO THINK IT IS ings are concerning is begymnasts after practice PRECAUTIOUS TO cause PentaBDE is known compared to before pracLIMIT CONTACT to accumulate in the body tice. Our results also conWITH FLAME where it will persist for firmed that TDCIPP and " RETARDANTS... many years. I suspected TPHP are eliminated from that some gymnasts and the body more quickly than PentaBcoaches could have very high levels of PentaBDE in their bodies. To ad- DE, on the order of hours. Most peodress this question, I asked a team of ple contact these replacement flame collegiate gymnasts to provide blood retardants in the home and other insamples for testing. We found that door environments, as both are used average levels of a component of the in upholstered furniture. Although PentaBDE mixture was 4 times high- these replacements don’t accumuer in their blood compared to the gen- late in the body to the extent that eral U.S. population and similar to an PentaBDE does, people can have low occupationally exposed population levels in their body for much of the of foam cutters and carpet install- day and continuous low level expoers. PentaBDE was present in the sure is of concern for chemicals that pit cubes from their current gym and are hormonally active. Continued on page 40...

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R E T A R D A N T S

. . . C O N T I N U E D

Environmental chemicals that are hormonally active are known as endocrine disruptors because they can disrupt action of the endocrine system. PentaBDE, TPHP and TDCIPP have all been shown to act on thyroid hormone and may act on the steroid hormones as well. Both human and animal studies indicate that PentaBDE can disrupt levels of thyroid hormone in the body and adversely affect neurodevelopment and reproduction. In population-based studies, women with higher levels of PentaBDE in their blood took longer to get pregnant and their children were more likely to have developmental behavioral disorders such as ADHD. Most research on TPHP and TDCIPP is experimental (lab and animal) with observational research on humans (epidemiology) just beginning. TPHP is suspected of being a developmental obesogen, which means changing how babies develop in the womb. In rodent studies, prenatal exposure to TPHP can stimulate development of fat cells and interfere with bone cell development. TDCIPP is a mutagen and listed on Proposition 65 as a chemical known by the State of California to cause cancer. Our findings are particularly concerning for competitive gymnasts and coaches, who spend a lot of time in the gym. As a former gymnast, I know that there are many benefits to gymnastics, and I don’t think anyone should quit the sport based on our findings. However, I do think it is precautious to limit contact with flame retardants and that we can find ways to maintain fire safety without the use of these chemicals. As a club owner, you can promote the health of your

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coaches and gymnasts by considering the following suggestions: IMPLEMENT A HAND-WASHING POLICY FOR GYMNASTS AND COACHES AT THE END OF PRACTICE. Accidentally ingesting dust is an important way that flame retardants enter the body, and people who wash their hands more frequently with soap and water have lower levels of flame retardants in their bodies. Note that while hand sanitizer is effective for removing germs, it does not remove flame retardants. PURCHASE FLAME RETARDANT-FREE EQUIPMENT IN THE FUTURE. We have been told that most landing mats do not contain flame retardants due to the presence of a vinyl fabric cover. However we have identified flame retardants in landing mats as well as in generic sting mats and the vault runway. Therefore, we suggest asking your supplier whether the equipment you are purchasing contains any flame-retardant chemicals. REPLACE YOUR PIT WITH FLAME RETARDANT-FREE FOAM. The loose foam pit appears to be the most important source

of flame retardants in the gymnastics training environment. I am currently working with a fire engineer on a study of pit cubes and fire safety that will provide useful information for gyms and Fire Marshalls. That information should be available in the coming months, so stay tuned. JOIN THE GYMNAST FLAME RETARDANT COLLABORATIVE via our website or by liking our  Facebook page (facebook.com/gymnastcollaborative) to receive updates such as results from our flammability study, flame retardant-free suppliers, release of our fact sheet, opportunities for foam testing, and findings from future research. Please also help inform our work by taking a short survey. Many thanks to everyone who has participated in or helped facilitate this research including my collaborating researchers at the  Boston University School of Public Health, Duke University, Worcester Polytechnic Institute and Silent Spring Institute as well as funding from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences and the Toxics Use Reduction Institute at UMass Lowell.


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USA Gymnastics wants every club to be successful. Join us on Wednesday, February 1 at 1 p.m. for the Top Three Success Tips Webinar featuring the 2017 Business Ambassadors Team. Get the information you need to continue pursuing excellence in your business!

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TECHNIQUE • JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • TECHNIQUE

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UPDA TE UPDATE M E M B E R

S E R V I C E S

REGISTER TODAY FOR THE 2017 NATIONAL CONGRESS & TRADE SHOW! M E M B E R

S E R V I C E S

National Congress Trade Show Anaheim, CA • 2017

2017 NATIONAL CONGRESS & TRADE SHOW

Anaheim, Calif. Anaheim Convention Center Aug. 17–19, 2017 Held in conjunction with the 2017 P&G Gymnastics Championships

usagymcongress.org

Aug. 16. The event is complimentary to National Congress attendees. Space is limited. • Each day will feature 14 full tracks of education from all six disciplines, and coaching, judging, business, preschool, school age/recreational, sports science, fitness, and more!

WHAT TO EXPECT • Congress lectures will take place Thursday, Aug. 17 – Saturday, Aug. 19 • National Business Forum Wednesday,

• Designated Hands-On Spotting Lectures • National Trade Show Hall

Hurry! Early bird pricing only available through March 3! Member Club tiered pricing is available! Visit usagymcongress. org for complete details!

For additional questions, please contact Member Services Department at 800.345.4719 or membership@usagym.org.

A

WHAT IS A STANDARD OF BEHAVIOR AND HOW DOES IT PROTECT CHILDREN?

Standard of Behavior within a youth serving organization is clear expectations for how staff and volunteers interact with children. They allow for interactions that are warm, encouraging and appropriate, but prohibit dangerous, harmful or inappropriate interactions. Standards of behavior are necessary and important because they play a vital role in lessening the likelihood that an abusive situation could develop.

Organization should include the following standards of behavior: • Elimination of privacy • Boundaries if physical contact is a necessary part of the activity • Travel/transportation guidelines

• Limitations on electronic, social and out-of-program interactions • Parental monitoring These standards of behavior can and should be adopted by all youth serving organizations and tailored to promote the safest environment possible.   For more information on prevention strategies visit www.usagym.org/ClubsCare

Everybody plays a part in protecting children.


JANUARY/FEBRUARY 2017 • TECHNIQUE

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CLASSIFIEDS

CLASSIFIEDS POSITION AVAILABLE

EDUCATION

ROSWELL RECREATION & PARKS DEPARTMENT’S GYMNASTICS PROGRAM is looking for a full-time MEN’S TEAM DIRECTOR for our boy’s gymnastics classes and competitive team program, along with part-time COMPULSORY AND OPTIONAL BOYS’ AND GIRLS’ TEAM COACHES. Applicants must meet certain qualifications including but not limited to: experience, education, certifications, physical and mental demands, and pass all background and drug screenings. Our large program is housed in a beautiful facility and we are excited to welcome new talent to our current amazing staff! Apply online at www.roswellgov.com/employment. For more information, contact Cindy Furman at 770-641-3987 or email resumes to cfurman@roswellgov.com.

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FOR INFORMATION on how to publish a classified ad in Technique, go to

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or call Scott Bregman at 317-829-5650.

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Technique Magazine - January/February 2017  
Technique Magazine - January/February 2017