First Look in the Mirror

I recently had a couple conversations about the reasons given for things not going as well as expected at a gym, such as lower than expected placements and athletes leaving a program. One coach talked about their program’s team placements being low, but as a program they didn’t have a great understanding of the scoring system. They looked at the judges as the problem, saying the judges needed more and better training, but didn’t have anyone on staff attend training on the scoring system, didn’t have anyone that judged, overall didn’t do anything specific to gain a better understanding of the scoring system, and left easy points on the table due to their lack of understanding of the scoring system. The judges may not have been ideal at their events, but this program wasn’t either by not excelling at the things under their control.

Another coach talked about the owner saying rising costs were the main reason athletes leave the program despite the owner being a large influence on the total cost by being the one picking expensive uniforms, competitions, choreography, music and clothes. Yes there are expensive options for each of the products and services, and some vendors are raising their prices year after year, but there are also less expensive options available that would allow costs to remain the same.

An owner of a different program also cited costs as being the reason most athletes left the program, but one of the coaches I know at that program questioned that stating several athletes that left the gym continue to cheer at other programs, including several athletes switching to a program that is a couple hours away and known to be more expensive. The coach said the main problem was more likely the lack of organization and the owners often coming in from vacation sun burnt while a pile of work sits on their desk.

I say all this to remind you that you are the main influence for your results. If athletes are leaving your program and blaming rising costs, you need to look internally to find where you can lower or control costs before blaming outside forces. If you aren’t getting the scores and placements you believe you should, you need to take steps to ensure you properly understand the scoring system before saying the judges need a better understanding of the scoring system. You need to start by evaluating the things you can control before looking to the things out of your control.

USASF: We’re Building the USASF CommUNITY and Need Your Help!

Dear USASF Coach and Owner Members:

I hope this email finds you successfully surviving a busy 2016-17 competition season! In the midst of the busy-ness, we hope you’ll find some time to contribute to the USASF CommUNITY!

We’re building an online community full of articles, sample forms, informational resources and more that will launch this summer and we’d love for YOU to contribute and share ideas and tips with USASF members!

Keep reading for details – and submit your articles and sample forms starting today!  Click here to submit content.

Content Ideas for Owners

File Sharing

  • Employee Contracts
  • Athlete Contracts
  • Social Media etiquette

Parents

  • Communication with Parents
  • Setting Expectations
  • Athlete Contracts

Marketing

  • Marketing Strategies
  • Creating loyal fans
  • Growing your program

Financial

  • Creating an effective Booster Club
  • Booster Club – Non Profit?
  • Revenue Builders
  • Fundraising Ideas

Personnel

  • Hiring
  • Communication
  • Setting Expectations
  • Employee Reviews
  • Front Desk personnel
  • Employee Contracts

Management

  • Running effective meetings
  • Constructing a one year plan
  • Managing time efficiently
  • Planning b-­day parties, banquets, performances, showcases
  • Community outreach ideas
  • Social Media policy

Content Ideas for Coaches

Motivation

  • When/when not to push your athletes
  • Self motivation
  • Accountability
  • Pre-Comp Traditions

Conditioning

  • Strength
  • Stamina
  • Stretching

Team Building

  • Just for Fun
  • Team Talks
  • Setting Goals
  • Building Trust
  • Commitment

What Do I Do Next?

It’s simple! Choose as many topics from above as inspire you (or create your own) and submit articles to us! Click here to read all the details for submitting your content. Questions? Just reply to this email.

Your contribution to the CommUNITY will be beneficial to your fellow USASF members…THANK YOU for being a part of our new initiative!

Most Sincerely,

Lynn Singer

USASF Executive Director, Communications and Dance