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Editorials News

Switch It, Change It

Another experimental thing I’d like to see some event try is switching panels after day 1. I don’t know that this is a great idea, but I believe it would be worth trying at some events. The apparent downside would be getting inconsistent scores across days when performing the same routine. I believe this is possible and even likely.

I also believe if it would happen when switching panels by day it would happen if switching panels by event and getting the quicker feedback of seeing it happen by day would make it easier to address. Right now it’s rare for a judge to see another judge’s scores for a routine. Would seeing another judge’s scores lead to more consistency across judges and panels? I don’t know, but it would give an opportunity for a judge to see if they are high or low compared to someone else, which would make it easier for the judges that want to be great to look into why.

It would also give the coaches more feedback which I believe would be greatly appreciated at early season events, although I admit it may not be what they are looking for at major events. It would make judges watch day 2 routines with “fresh eyes” because they wouldn’t have their notes from the day before and it would incorporate more opinions into the final results, both of which I believe are good things.

Like I said at the beginning, I don’t know if this is a great idea that would lead to significant positive adjustments, but I don’t see it causing problems so I’d like to see some events try it.

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Announcements News

USASF: Personal Development Has Gone Virtual

Personal Development & Leadership Training coming to you Virtually!

USASF Logo 2018Now is the time to invest in yourself! The IMPACT Leadership Workshop, designed for All Star Professionals like yourself, has been redesigned to be even more accessible and affordable!. Developed by the IMPACT Leadership team, you will be taken through a series of introspective lessons designed to provoke thought, deepen one’s sense self worth, and strengthen and empower your voice as a leader and role model.

Topics Include

  • Integrity Matters
  • Defining Leadership Strengths
  • Your Role, Relationships and Responsibility
  • Your Voice Matters
  • Creating Your Own Path for Personal Success

Participants Receive

  • A Digital Workbook
  • 6 Hours of training + a two-hour advanced leadership training post-workshop
  • Certificate of Completion
  • Opportunities to apply for Advanced Leadership Training

To register, log in to your Member Profile and look for the Upcoming Meetings section for a complete list of events for which you can register.

Share With Your Athletes!

The BOLT/MARCH Workshop is designed for USASF Cheer and Dance Member Athletes who are entering 9th through 12th grades. Developed and led by alumni of the USASF Mentoring Leaders program, BOLT/MARCH will set athletes on a path to success and is now more affordable and more accessible than ever before! Athletes will register directly from their Member Portal!

  • 6 Dates to Select From
  • Only $60 per person
  • 6 Hours of Training

Athletes are: eligible to serve on the USASF Athlete Advisory Council, able to participate in the Healthy Kids Out of School project, receive advanced leadership training, and earn additional points for USASF Scholarships!

Coaches, encourage your athletes to continue their personal and leadership development by attending a VIRTUAL training. To share this information with your athletes, copy the link below and paste in your favorite platform (email, BAND, text, etc).

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Editorials News

Execution First

Execution wins. I’d really like to stop writing with just that, but I feel like some sort of explanation is expected. On most of today’s scoring systems the difficulty portion is outlined enough that it’s hard to separate yourself from other teams on that side of the score sheet. In All Star Cheerleading if a team can’t get in the high range in every category that states specifically how to get in the high range, it becomes questionable if they are in the correct level. Of course there are exceptions, like teams put together to push kids or allow them to perform skills above the team average, but generally if you are trying to be competitive in a division you should be able to hit the high range in all difficulty categories.

With just about everyone that’s going to be competitive in a division being in the high range in difficulty it leaves execution as the deciding factor and the place you can separate your team. If you think of the teams and programs that consistently win does their difficulty or cleanliness come to mind. For me it’s cleanliness, aka execution.

How many teams can you think of that you would say the primary factor of their success over their competition is being more difficult? How about having better execution. What about being more creative? I can only think of 2 teams in which I think their creativity is what sets them apart from the other teams in their division and both of them rely on precise execution of their creative elements to ensure the skills are performed legally and are viewed by the crowd and judges the way they were intended to be. I can also only think of a couple teams that I feel like difficulty is the thing that consistently separates them from the competition and even within this group the most consistent ones also execute very well. Execution is the thing most of the highly successful teams I see use to set themselves apart from the competition.

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In Review News

In Review – January 2020

January came and brought significant events like UCA & UDA College Nationals, Majors, NDA All-Star Nationals, and JAMfest Cheer Super Nationals.

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In Review News

In Review – December 2019

Welcome to 2020. Here’s some of the news to close out 2019.

Categories
Editorials

Happy New Year

Happy New Year! As one year ends and another begins many of us think of the changes we’re going to make to our lives. Sometimes it’s adding something and other times it’s removing something. For those of you in the cheer and dance community I’d like to suggest changing points of view. For the next year as you watch teams try to identify something they do extremely well. This could range from the things directly reflected on the score sheet to intangibles like lots of positive floor talk. I think this change of perspective, to looking for the good, will make us more positive as a whole.

Categories
Editorials

Know Your Role

As a coach do you realize how significant your role can be in a child’s life? If you name the adults a child spends the most time with in a year the list will probably start with Mom & Dad, then move to their teacher. The person after that may very well be a coach. I figure Mom & Dad get a couple hours with a child per week day and a little more on the weekend.  A teacher probably gets a little over an hour a day, maybe 7.5 hours per week. A coach gets a couple hours per practice a couple days a week, maybe 4 hours. School doesn’t go year round while our sports typically do so that pulls the teacher and coach closer over the span of a year. Once you factor in children rarely having the same teacher for multiple years, but often having the same coach for multiple years it becomes very possible the coach could be a clear third.

Do you appreciate your role as one of the most consistent adults in a child’s life and do you use that role and time to help shape the child into a better person. I hope you answer with a resounding Yes!

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Announcements News

USASF: Are You Competition Ready? (2019-20)

USASF Logo 2018Dear USASF Coaches and Program Owners,

Competition season is upon us. Are you competition ready? Join Regional Directors Glenda Broderick and Robin Galik as they walk you through the steps to ensure you are prepared for your 2019-2020 events and fully understand compliance, eligibility, rostering, and more!

SELECT THE TIME THAT WORKS BEST FOR YOU

  • October 16, 2019 at 12:00pm EDT
  • October 16, 2019 at 9:00pm EDT

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the webinar.

Can’t join us at the times listed? Register anyway and we’ll send you the recording.

Be sure to check The Connection for a posting of the webinar and further discussion.

Categories
Editorials

Connect the Kids

A long time ago, when I first started coaching Tiny and Mini aged kids, I was told kids won’t do anything for you until they think you care about them. This was quickly proven true. At that age some of the kids instantly decide you are best friends and you are good from the first moment. Others are a little more suspicious of new people and it takes more effort to build trust and rapport with them, so step 1 was getting the kids to like you.

A recent conversation with a coach reminded me that sometimes competitiveness in this area isn’t the best thing. The conversation was about a coach who was so determined to be every child’s favorite that he was in some ways cutting down the other coaches to improve his position. Even though I think wanting to be the favorite can be a good thing I don’t think doing it at the expense of others is good. I hope coaches are putting in effort to ensure each kid connects with someone on staff without getting too caught up on being the one each kid connects with. It is great to be the coach every kid loves, but much more important that every kid feels loved.

 

 

Categories
Editorials

Certifiably Challenged

I’ve worked scoring and deduction challenges at several events in the past, usually on the deductions side, but occasionally on the scoring side. In doing this I’ve been part of and have overheard many discussions related to scoring and rules in our industry and it has left me with an idea for an experiment.

I’d like to see what would happen if a major event required the coach to be certified in that category to be able to challenge a score. Using legality deductions as an example, only USASF certified judges would be able to challenge a legality issue. The exception I would add for legality concerns is if the skill was sent in via the USASF Coach App. If you aren’t certified and didn’t send it in there is no opportunity to get a legality deduction reviewed. Similarly on the scoring side, you’d need to be a certified building judge to challenge your stunt score, etc.

I believe this would accomplish a couple things. First, I think it would incentivize coaches to better educate themselves regarding the scoring system or rules. Some coaches are already doing a great job of this on their own, others have shown up to challenge scores and as I was showing where what was performed fell on the scoring rubric, they asked where I got it (the rubric) and asked if they could get a copy.

Second, I believe this would reduce the number of baseless challenges giving the challenge representatives more time to work with coaches on the legitimate challenges. And to help keep the number of baseless challenges minimal I would also have a method for revoking a certification a lack of knowledge is demonstrated in a coaching role just as it is if a lack of knowledge is shown in a judging role.

On top of that to keep the interactions professional I’d reserve the right to revoke the certifications of those not being professions, removing their ability to challenge for the remainder of the season. There are several logistics that would need to be worked out to make this a reality, but I think it would be worth trying.

Categories
Announcements News

USASF: Is Your Eligibility Up-to-Date?

With the start of a new Membership Term (June 1st), have you taken the necessary steps to be eligible this event season? NEWfor the 2019-20 season, all Owners, Coaches, and Personnel must be SafeSport trained. Find out more here. #DontbelikeDiana

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Announcements News

USASF: Learn About The Dance Rules And Age Grid

USASF Logo 2018Join Meredith Walker, Director of Rules and Safety, for the 2019 Dance Rules and Age Grid Webinar.  Open to Owners, Coaches, and Event Producers, the webinar will cover the updates to the Dance Rules and Age Grid document and will conclude with a Q&A.

Registration is required.

2019 Dance Rules and Age Grid Webinar

Wednesday, June 19th at 11:00am CST | 12:00 EST

(The Registration Link was included in the email)

Categories
Announcements News

USA Cheer: Rules Training for Coaches and Officials!

USA Cheer LogoUSA Cheer announces the first ever comprehensive safety rules course!

Unlike other rules training that primarily reviews new rules, this 4-part course covers the entire spectrum of the high school cheerleading rules. There are two courses available, with one geared towards coaches and another with additional fifth training section for rules officials.

The course is developed by the USA Cheer rules committee which is led by rules experts Bill Ahern and Jim Lord, both of whom are also advisers to the NFHS rules committee. The course is designed to be compatible with both the USA Cheer and NFHS safety rules, and should serve as the foundation for rules understanding for any cheerleading coach or choreographer.

The course will be updated each year, along with a “new rules” add-on for coaches who have completed the comprehensive training.

For more information, and to complete the USA Cheer Safety Rules Course, click below and select “Responsibilities and General Rules (Part 1)” from the “HS Rules” section. Join USA Cheer for course discounts!

Categories
Announcements News

USASF: Join USASF this Summer!

National Meeting

Elevate yourself. Elevate your program. Elevate All Star!

Join USASF this summer at the National Meeting in Dallas, TX August 10-11. Log in to your COACH profile, select Credentialing Website from the drop down menu at the top right, then select MEETINGS AND EVENTS on the left side to register. Click here for general information and the block schedule.

See what the excitement is about!

Coaches & Owners

Integrity Motivates People And Cultures to Transform (IMPACT). Coaches and owners will make an IMPACT on their athletes, program and fellow coaches by participating in this leadership series exclusively for All Star Cheer and Dance professionals. Click here for details

Cheer & Dance Leaders

Bettering Our Leaders of Tomorrow (BOLT) activates young cheer and dance leaders to become strong peer role models who put team first, fully commit to their All Star program and learn to make the choices that lead to accomplishment. Developed and led by alumni of the USASF Mentoring Leaders program, BOLT will set young athletes on their path to success. Click here for details

Male All Star Athletes

A leadership program just for male All Star athletes! Males Advancing Respect, Character and Honor (MARCH) builds confident, strong, principled and motivated male leaders, and prepares them to lead their peers, their team, their All Star programs and in their extended community. Click here for details

Athlete Leadership

Developed for ALL All Star athletes. Want to transform your athletes into leaders for their teammates, their program and their community? Join USASF this summer! Watch this testimonial by Drake #leadershipforlife

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Announcements News

USASF Cheer Rules & Policy Change

Cheer Coaches and Owners

Want to make a change to the Cheer Rules & Policies for the 2019-2021 seasons? Find out how and complete this form.

Deadline: June 1, 2018

Editor’s Note – We omitted the link to the form in this article. The link was included in the email sent to USASF members.