Entries Tagged 'club governance' ↓

reducing parent complaints

Gym Jag:

complain-12. Have a clear, written information packet about team philosophy, policies and procedures. …

4. Commit to an atmosphere of collaboration and good faith. …

6. Make sure parents know whom they need to go to for what. …

10. Document any injuries or physical complaints and follow up with parents immediately. …

11. Give all kids equal attention. …

14. Be very clear about move up criteria. …


Click through to read the rest. :-)

Kyle Shewfelt’s new gym

… The 11,000+ square foot facility in Calgary is very well done. Bright and appealing. Lots of parking. …

Opened 10 months ago, Kyle has about 950 members a week. Business is great.

If you want to see a new club well launched, check out Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics. …


That’s the club mascot, not Kyle. :-)

read more on Rec Gymnastics

RiskAssure – online risk management

Rob Deatley at Calgary Gymnastics Centre alerted me to this state-of-the-art software.

Risk Assure is a web-based software system that helps child activity centers protect themselves from liability. With RiskAssure, you can be sure that your equipment is cataloged, maintenance is performed on time and incidents—when they occur—are handled quickly, correctly, and professionally. RiskAssure can make sure that your students are the daring ones, not you. …

RiskAssure has a retail price of $95/month, but only costs $49/month for Charter Subscribers at this time …


If you are responsible for risk management at your club, click PLAY or watch a detailed summary on YouTube.

Contact Frank Sahlein or Barbara Anne Elliott at 3rd Level Consulting if you want to chat to a real human being.

scheduling Gym rotations

One of the toughest jobs.

Maria and Kelley shared this pic from Mismo Gymnastics:

Rotation schedules… good thing I like puzzles! 13 groups, 13 stations. All groups have different times and not every group can go to every event… problem solving at its finest! —


Sands & McNeal:

% Importance of Training Tasks:

5 General Warmup
8 Specific Warmup (tumbling basic skills)
20 Uneven bars
22 Balance beam
6 Vault
5 Tumbling
5 Floor exercise dance
7 Ballet
17 Strength training

Technique – Managing Training Time (2002)

Netherlands Gym Club promo

A cute, inspiring video promoting Turn School Rijssen.

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Canadian non-profit Gym Clubs

by site editor Rick McCharles

The non-profit Society clubs in Canada are not dying. It’s nearly impossible to kill one.

But most of the new clubs opening in Canada are for profit businesses.

And that’s good news. :-)

More competition. More innovation. Higher quality.

The latest in my city is a 2nd location for Gymtastics, 15,000 square feet.

Gymtastics 2

Good luck to owners Darlene Fedyna & Travis Oxley.

Earlier this Fall Kyle Shewfelt opened a new gym in town. A couple of years ago Darlene Traviss opened Flip Factory.

My first advice to any young coach who wants to make a career out of Gymnastics:

Own your own gym.

Gym Club survives earthquake

This photograph of the ruined QEII complex taken in June 2011 shows the gymnastic buildings in the foreground that are OK and still in use:


I coached there for the 2001-02 season. That’s the Christchurch School of Gymnastics. :-)

The Gymnastics Gyms are the only facilities left open in the massive QEII sports complex damaged in the February 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

A recent news report:

‘You’re at QEII Park? I thought that was all closed?”

People working at the Christchurch School of Gymnastics hear this a lot. …

During 2011, the gym lost about 35 per cent of its members, says school chief executive Avril Enslow. But numbers are building back up now as homes in the area are repaired and people become more confident about where they’re going to live. …

Enslow is proud of the achievements of her competitive gymnasts. Seven of the school’s members are on the long list for the Commonwealth Games so they’ll be going to trial later this year and early next for the New Zealand team. …

Gym school bouncing back

preventing sexual abuse

GymCastic Episode 56 is well worth a listen:

We start our special episode by looking back at some of the physical, emotional and sexual abuse stories from gymnastics’ recent past. We start in the 1980?s. If you are a long time listener, you’ll find out why Jessica always calls the 80?s the Dark Ages.

With three special guests we discover the history which brought gymnastics to this point of change, what has been done to stop abuse, what loopholes still need to be shored up, and what educational and policy programs for prevention are now available. In addition, you’ll find out how to stop and report gymnastics child pornography.

Our guests are, Scott Reid, investigative reporter for the Orange County Register, Katherine Starr, two time Olympian and founder of Safe4Athletes, and Lynn Moskovitz-Thompson, Director of Educational Services at USA Gymnastics. …

Episode 56: Preventing Abuse in Gymnastics

Olympic swimmer Katherine Starr was abused as an athlete. She points out that those in sports where athletes peak at a young age are more vulnerable.

Good links are provided for those looking for resources.


USA Gymnastics Clubs Care Campaign

USA Gymnastics We Care Campaign




Every coach, every club should have policies and procedures to protect athletes and coaches.

For example, coaches should never be responsible for athletes alone. Not in the Gym. Not in the hotel. Not even in the car.

Coaches should sign a Code of Conduct.

There can be no sexual relationships between athlete and coach at any age. (Unless married, for one exception.)

I endorse the episode.

But when it comes to discussions on coaching ethics, there’s far too much emphasis on sexual misconduct, not nearly enough on far more prevalent psychological abuse.

And, as usual, there was not a mention about the wrongfully accused. Any coach accused in 2013 is assumed guilty, whether he’s guilty or not.

I’ll ask GymCastic to do a future segment on psychological abuse.

Sexual abuse is less prevalent in Gymnastics than in the general population. Psychological abuse is far, far more prevalent in Youth Sport than in the general population.

Smart Moves online lesson plans

One of the best products I saw at U.S. Congress was demonstrated to me by Mike Fitzgerald from New Zealand.

His company — Smart Moves — offers a platform where any sport, any organization, any club can create a database of lesson plans.

Click PLAY or watch how it works on YouTube. (5min)

Everything is stored in the cloud. Everything can be viewed from any browser: tablets, smart phones, Mac, PC, etc.

Pretty slick.

Very customizable.

You can add images and videos.

Jeff Lulla, for example, has already put together a video series of Gymnastics drills for Smart Moves.

Click PLAY or watch a sample on YouTube.

Videos are easily linked to lessons.

If you might be interested, watch another more detailed video on how it works – Smart Planner (quick start videos combined)

Cost for most people is between US$29 – $99 / month.

Contact Smart Moves with more questions. Or sign up for a free 10 day trial.

Clubs and organizations are jumping on this RIGHT NOW. :-)

Smart Moves assumes you will be printing the lesson plans week-to-week.

In the future, instead, we’ll wirelessly display the lessons on monitors around the Gym using something like Google Chromecast ($35 / monitor).

Leave a comment if you’ve tried Smart Moves.

coaching “huddle”

LisaLisa Adlard at IEGA had trouble scheduling coaching meetings. As do we all. :-(

It’s difficult to get your staff together and free at the same time ANYTIME during the week.

Instead, Lisa schedules coaching “huddles”. These are very brief get-togethers (15min or so) inside the gym. With very few talking points.

The week I was there:

• Weekly Focus …
• Certificates …
• Thanking volunteers …
• Customer service … smile, greet parents and inform them of something their child did well that day
• Keep the Front Office clear

Lisa schedules 2 each week. Every coach must attend one or the other.

mission based decision making

As a young man, I was on dozens of committees.

At some point, it became obvious that committees are not often very efficient at arriving at good decisions.

Instead of keeping eyes on the prize, committee members are easily distracted by the last “issue”. Most of a parents Board of Directors meeting — for example — will focus on the ill-fitting new leotards, not the club Mission. :-(


Best avoid committees, as much as possible.

Best form of governance is benevolent dictator.

That’s why I prefer privately owned clubs over parent directed non-profits.

Of course a “Malevolent Dictator” is even worse than being directed by a Parent Board.

related – recommended book for trustees on Parent committees – The Strategic Board: The Step-by-Step Guide to High-Impact Governance

Legitimacy and Voice (participation, consensus)
Direction (strategic vision, long term perspective)
Performance (responsiveness, effectiveness and efficiency)
Accountability and Transparency
Fairness (rule of law, equity of power)

need a Social Media Policy?

I’m amazed we haven’t had more problems in sport with Facebook and Twitter.

In London there were astonishingly few problems. Michel Morganella and Paraskevi Papachristou were both sent home for racist tweets. But I expected worse.

How can coaches, clubs and athletes protect themselves?

Kevin Lawrie:

Problems or issues (‘fires’) that sport organizations deal with are handled in two parts – proactive and reactive. That is, there are steps an organization takes before the problem occurs that are aimed to prevent it (proactive) and steps the organization takes after the problem has occurred that are aimed to fix it (reactive). Organizations craft Policies that outline a procedure to cover both the proactive and reactive steps. …

Increasingly, in response to requests and questions from sport organizations, we are recommending the following:

Social Media Use Policy – for the organization’s staff and other stakeholders (internal document)

Social Media Guidelines for Athletes – ‘guidelines’ not ‘policy’ (internal document)

Social Media Guidelines for Coaches – ‘guidelines’ not ‘policy’ (internal document)

Social Media Policy – for coaches and athletes (external document)

Updated Code of Conduct or Athlete Agreement

The five documents work together to give organizations both the proactive and reactive solutions to social media issues.
Canadian Sport Law and Strategy Group – Does Your Organization Need a Social Media Policy?

One guideline for coaches — turn off the phone while in the gym.

USA ‘Clubs Care Campaign’

As part of its ongoing efforts to promote a safe environment for athletes, USA Gymnastics is launching the “Clubs Care Campaign” in October. This educational initiative, designed specifically for gymnastics clubs, focuses on raising awareness about child sexual abuse so clubs can further their work toward establishing and maintaining a safe environment in their gyms. …

details on the ClubsCare page

Many resources and links are available to anyone, not only members of USAG. For example this related article (PDF) published in Technique.

click for PDF version

related – USAG Permanently Ineligible Members