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.
Dear 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.
Join 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)
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
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
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.
Dear USASF Program Owners:
Member Input and Data Collection
Following months of member discussions, webinars, focus groups, and finally a survey of owners regarding a potential change in Division I and II guidelines for the 2018-19 season, the Board of Directors met on April 4, 2018 to review all information and determine next steps for DI/DII.
First, the Board recognized that an unprecedented number of owners actively participated in the most recent webinar and survey, demonstrating the importance of this topic. While the Board hoped to hear from every owner, 20% of owners attended or watched the webinar and responded to the survey. This is nearly double the participation of previous webinars and surveys.
After reviewing and discussing all of the information, these were the four most compelling takeaways:
- A majority of owners indicated in the survey that there should be a DI/DII separation, but there is no clear majority for the number that should define a DI/DII separation.
- There are quite a few changes happening for the 2018-19 season, including bottom ages and brand-new division progressions with FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite. Let’s see how/if All Star shifts and settles with these new opportunities and revisit the DI/DII discussion next year.
- A strong majority (65%) of survey respondents agree that DII programs should be permitted to opt in to compete DI.
- A clear majority (72%) of survey respondents agree that, if a DII program opts to compete DI, they should remain DI for the entire season.
What This Means
The Board decided to defer the decision about a number that defines DI/DII until more member data and input can be gathered and broad member support and consensus is clear. The DI/DII split will remain at 125 for the 2018-19 season. Given that allowing DII teams to opt in to compete DI was supported by a clear majority of owners, the Board voted unanimously to allow that provision for the 2018-19 season. Here are the details:
Division II (DII) Definition – 2018-19 Season
- A “Division II” PROGRAM is defined as having 125 or fewer athletes registered in its competitive cheer program.
- Novice and FUNdamentals athletes do not count toward the 125 or fewer athletes.
- Exhibition teams, crossover athletes, exceptional athlete teams and dance teams do not count toward the 125 or fewer athletes.
- All Star Elite athletes and All Star Cheer Prep athletes are counted toward the 125 athletes or fewer.
- It is up to the event producer’s discretion as to how to monitor “Division II” status for their particular event(s), given the definition provided above.
- Multiple-location programs must follow the Program Classification as outlined in USASF PROGRAMS: Classifications and Program Definition
- Once a program has 126 or more competitive cheer athletes, the program is no longer eligible for Division II status for the remainder of the competitive season, regardless of the number of athletes they may have in their program at any given time.
- NEW for 2018-2019:
- Programs that qualify for DII based on their competitive cheer athlete count (125 or fewer) may select to compete DI at USASF Sanctioned Events.
- The selection to compete DI will apply to all teams in the Program.
- Once the program selects DI, they will compete DI for the remainder of the season at any competition where a DI/DII split is offered.
Additionally, broad member consensus is to maintain consistency in the midst of the significant new opportunities with FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite. To better measure growth and create a clearer path for future opportunities with the new progressions, Prep guidelines regarding competing once at two-day events will remain the same from 2017-2018 through 2018-2019.
What’s Next – Member Involvement
The Board is optimistic about the combination of the new opportunities in divisions for 2018-19, and the stabilization of DI/DII for another season while more data and input are gathered. Allowing FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite to establish, without a shift in DI/DII at the same time, will allow members to more clearly evaluate next steps for DI/DII. We look forward to continued member dialogue that will reach the decision that will put All Star on its best footing for growth. Here are two direct paths for dialogue:
- The National Meeting will be the optimum occasion for face to face dialogue with your peers, Regional Directors, Connection Leaders and the Rules Team about how you can grow and strengthen your program through the four progressions (FUNdamentals, Novice, Prep and Elite), and how to best position your business for longevity in our sport.
- The USASF Connection, the new online community accessible through your member profile, is the ideal social platform for conversation, debate and opinion sharing directly with USASF members and staff.
We look forward to YOUR input and involvement!
ID cards for Coaches, Owners, and Personnel will be available to order on February 12.
Coach and Owner ID cards: can be requested through your Coach profile. All coaches and owners will receive one card (at no charge) each membership term. Additional cards can be ordered for $10 each.
Personnel ID cards: need to be ordered by the Program Administrator. All personnel are eligible to receive one card (at no charge) each membership term. Additional cards can be ordered for $10 each.
If you have questions or need additional assistance please send an email to [email protected]
Eligible Coaches & Owners will be asked to cast their ballot in the National Advisory Board Election between February 12-15. Ballots will be emailed on February 12. Log into your Member Profile today and make sure your email address is accurate!
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:
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 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!
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.
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!
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.
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
- Employee Contracts
- Athlete Contracts
- Social Media etiquette
- Communication with Parents
- Setting Expectations
- Athlete Contracts
- Marketing Strategies
- Creating loyal fans
- Growing your program
- Creating an effective Booster Club
- Booster Club – Non Profit?
- Revenue Builders
- Fundraising Ideas
- Setting Expectations
- Employee Reviews
- Front Desk personnel
- Employee Contracts
- 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
- When/when not to push your athletes
- Self motivation
- Pre-Comp Traditions
- Just for Fun
- Team Talks
- Setting Goals
- Building Trust
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!
USASF Executive Director, Communications and Dance