USASF: New Ways to Connect With the USASF in 2018

For the past several years, the USASF has held Regional Conventions as an educational and community-building opportunity for coaches and owners. Attendees networked with each other, learned from a variety of speakers, earned their coach credentials, and received hands-on education related to rules.

Each year, USASF staff reviewed the successes and challenges to prepare for the following season. While the conventions were an extremely beneficial experience for the attendees, only 16% of member coaches and owners were able to attend. Cost, travel and scheduling conflicts kept participation low.

We had the hard conversation that we were investing a lot of resources and time but only reaching a small percentage of membership. What could we do with those same resources to make information and tools easily accessible to the majority of our members? We’ve got three opportunities in the works:

National Meeting

Rather than dilute the experience across five Regional Conventions, the USASF will conduct one National Meeting in 2018. Mark your calendars for August 10-12, and plan to be in Dallas, TX for a brand new meeting experience! The meeting takes place on the 10th and 11th, and includes a special All Star celebration Friday night. Make plans to stay, and have your athletes join you on Sunday, for coach and athlete leadership training. Cheer and Dance Legality Official training will also occur during this weekend. So, block these dates and stay tuned for details!

Online Resources

Online accessibility to many of the same opportunities that were presented in person at conventions brings the USASF directly to all members! Our first online resource is the launch of the Rules & Safety Video Library that illustrates nearly every Rule and Glossary term for the USASF Cheer & Dance Rules & Safety Guidelines.

Do you ever ask yourself “what exactly does that rule mean?” Just click the links and we’ll show you! Log in to your USASF member profile, then go to the drop down menu in the top right corner, select “Visit USASF Rules Video Library” and start clicking! Stay tuned for additional online resources to be introduced soon and regularly!

Partnering

USASF has already been partnering with our event producer members at their events and conferences to offer Cheer Coach Credentialing, Legality Official training, Leadership classes and education about USASF programs and initiatives. We will continue, and expand, these partnerships in an ongoing effort to reach more members.

Join Us!

Connect with the USASF in all the ways that are convenient to YOU! Attend the National Meeting, access our growing library of online resources, and support the events and conferences hosted by our event producer members. Wherever you are, we’ll meet you there!

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