October Member Services E-Newsletter
posted on 10/05/2009


Issue: #17 October 5, 2009

Professional Development: The KEY to Stepping UP as an Industry and in your Business

In any industry, one of the primary keys to success is Professional Development. This could be considered a vital part of your Marketing efforts! Why spend tens of thousands of dollars on external marketing if we do not have the trained staff to handle the influx of students?

To start with, let's try to define the world of Professional Development as it applies to our industry. There are really three key elements to what we should call "total package training". These areas are:

  • Technical Training
  • Leadership Training
  • Business Management Success Training
In our work with hundreds of clients, we find that the vast majority of owners do an excellent job of Technical training, but are hard-pressed to provide the other two areas. Why? Because although there are many ways to get technical training (industry associations, private vendors), there are few resources dedicated to the Leadership and Business Management Success training areas.

In most small businesses, the higher the level of technical training, the higher the person rises in the organization. You may have heard of a business principle called the "Peter Principle", which states that a person rises to their highest level of incompetence! This is amazing, yet true because technical prowess alone is not nearly enough in today's marketplace.

This is especially true in the area of your Key Program Leaders, Managers, Directors or whatever you want to call them. Today, they MUST BE the Total Package, or they will fail. The high quality demands of customers, the competition, and business in general shows clearly that those businesses that have the HIGHEST LEVEL OF TRAINING DEEPEST IN THE RANKS are the ones that survive and thrive no matter what the economic conditions!

Again, TECHNICAL Training is essential, but only the starting point in true Professional Development.


(article continued below)
Professional Development: the KEY to Stepping UP as an Industry and in your Business

Important Membership Updates

Online Business Courses Now Available

Club Criminal Background Check Program

Safety Matters: Planning and Preparation


click course title to register

Safety Certification
Oct 8 - Auburn, WA
Oct 9 - State College, PA
Oct 9 - Chapin, SC
Oct 10 - Overland Park, KS
Oct 11 - Las Cruces, NM
Oct 16 - S. Jordan, UT
Oct 17 - Damariscotta, ME
Oct 18 - Zionsville, IN
Oct 18 - Norwood, NJ
Oct 22 - Virginia Beach, VA
Oct 25 - Hilliard, OH
Oct 30 - Castleton, VT
Nov 1 - Saginaw, MI
Nov 8 - El Paso, TX

Preschool Fundamentals Pt. 2: Hands on Training
Oct 11 - Auburn, WA
Oct 22 - Virginia Beach, VA

** ** ** ** **

Regional Congresses
Region 2: Oct 9-11 Seattle, WA
Region 7: Oct 23-25 Virginia Beach, VA

*please check the schedule online to verify course dates and times
Professional Development, continued

We will now turn our attention to the other two areas, LEADERSHIP and BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SUCCESS training.

In LEADERSHIP Training, there are many areas of personal development. These include:

  • Self Knowledge
  • Developmental Stages of Children (mental, physical, emotional)
  • Understand the Parent Perspective
  • Working with Your Staff
  • Working with other Program Managers
  • Understanding the Owner Perspective
  • Working with the Local Community
  • Working with the National Community
  • How to build Master Mind Alliances
In addition to the above, Leaders study and understand the following four (4) areas:
  1. Leadership Characteristics
  2. Optimal Energy and Performance for Leaders
  3. Personal Organization and Effectiveness
  4. Thriving in a Competitive Environment
In BUSINESS MANAGEMENT SUCCESS Training, there are eight (8) vital elements that Owners and Program Managers must be aware of, and must incorporate into their daily work. These eight elements are:
  1. Management Strategies
  2. Marketing Principles
  3. Human Resources Systems
  4. Information Technologies
  5. Financial Systems
  6. Facility Management
  7. Risk Management
  8. Inspiration!
These areas are each important, are interrelated, and truly must be learned as a unit, much the same as the parts of a car function together, or the way a symphony is comprised of a collection of excellent musicians. It is the blending of these talents that creates the daily masterpiece.

Like anything else, the first step is simple AWARENESS of the elements! Many times it comes as a shock to a Program Manager that "all of the above" is really their job. Many times we hear from Program Managers that "I do not want to do all that, I just really love instructing and teaching children". That is fine, but that person may not be able to lead or direct the program. This is an area where HONESTY and having the CRUCIAL CONVERSATIONS is so important to everyone's mental health!

OK, now that we are at least AWARE of the elements of Business Management Success, what do we do next? Fortunately, through an active partnership between your National Association and 3rd Level Consulting, a series of Online Business Management Success Courses have been developed and are available right now.

It may be helpful to think about the concept of PROGRESSIONS as you explore the content of these courses. Just as there are PROGRESSIONS in all skill learning curriculums (Gymnastics, Swimming, Cheerleading, Dance, Martial Arts and more), there are PROGRESSIONS to learning the eight elements of Business Management Success!

Once this is fully grasped, it is far easier and less stressful to handle the six million (yes, six million) details that seem to comprise the job of running a Children's Activity Center!

Article by:
Franklin B. Sahlein
Certified Business Intermediary
3rd Level Consulting & Business Brokerage

Frank Sahlein has been involved with the industry since 1967 - as Gymnast, Martial Artist, Coach, Business Owner, Consultant and Business Broker. Frank pioneered the Children's Learning Opportunity Center concept - a blend of Sports Instruction, Child Care & Education, Entertainment. The amazing WINGS Center (since 1974) is a 35,000 square foot working lab of effective and efficient management systems.

Important Membership Updates


  • Beginning August 1st, 2009 mandatory criminal background check screening went into effect for all new/renewing/lapsed Introductory Coach members who are 18 years of age or older. To begin your background check screening today, please visit the USA Gymnastics website.

  • The new Jr. Introductory Coach membership category has been introduced for those that are 16-17 years of age that would like to coach or judge on the floor of level Levels 1, 2, 3 and/or Pre-Opt for Women's, Rhythmic, Trampoline & Tumbling, and Acrobatic Gymnastics. Safety/Risk Management certification is a requirement of this membership.

  • Effective August 1st, 2009 pending membership will now expire one year from the date the membership was paid. Expiration dates will no longer be reset to the date the membership requirements were completed. Pending members will begin to receive their magazine subscriptions, as well as the ability to register/attend USA Gymnastics University courses. Pending members will NOT have the ability to participate in USA Gymnastics sanctioned events until all membership requirements have been completed.

  • November 2009 marks the 2 year anniversary of mandatory criminal background check screening. Therefore, many if not most USA Gymnastics Professional members will be required to renew their background check requirement at the end of 2009 and into 2010. USA Gymnastics recommends that you re-apply for your background check screening 4-6 weeks prior to your background check expiration date. Please visit the USA Gymnastics website.

  • Reminder that all clubs are required to keep a completed 2009-2010 Athlete/Introductory Athlete form on file in the gym for all that will be participating in USA Gymnastics sanctioned events. The forms must include all signatures, including both the parent/guardian and the athlete.

  • All USA Gymnastics memberships are non-refundable and non-transferrable. Therefore, please use extra care when registering or renewing athletes online to ensure that the membership payment is being applied to the appropriate athlete.

  • Membership cards are being mailed out to all current USA Gymnastics members. Please read the USA Gymnastics Advisement that has been included in the membership card mailing.

  • Please contact USA Gymnastics as soon as possible to update any personal contact information to ensure that you are receiving all membership updates and benefits.

For any questions or concerns please contact: USA Gymnastics Member Services Department Phone Hours: Monday 12:30pm-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time Tuesday - Friday 8:30am-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time 1-800-345-4719 toll free membership@usa-gymnastics.org


For any questions or concerns please contact:

USA Gymnastics Member Services Department
Phone Hours: Monday 12:30pm-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time
Tuesday - Friday 8:30am-5:30pm eastern daylight savings time
1-800-345-4719 toll free

Online Business Management and Leadership Courses Now Available through USA Gymnastics University

Recently, USA Gymnastics and 3rd Level Consulting offered the Level 1 Business Management Success Course LIVE at the Regional and National Congresses. The outstanding response and attendance at this course offering indicates the very real need for these types of courses among both Owners and Key Managers.

There are six (6) online Business Management Success Courses that comprise the backbone of the USA Gymnastics University Business College. A brief description each course follows.

  • Level 1 - deals with the eight essential Management Success Elements.
  • Level 2 - more in depth on the Management Success Elements.
  • Level 3 - a Leadership Toolkit, comprised of the four Leadership Areas.
  • Level 4 - back to the Management Success Elements.
  • Level 5 - finishing up on the Management Success Elements.
  • Level 6 - Advanced Leadership Course.
Complete summary outlines of each course are available on the USA Gymnastics University Foundations Business Courses webpage.

Among the advantages of the series are:

  • Owners and Key Managers learn progressive business concepts, and can then speak the same "business language". Many times we assume (and you know what that means!) that everyone else understand what we mean when we say it ... not true unless the terms and issues are clearly defined!
  • Completion of the Courses leads to a very high level of discussion within your own organization ... isn't this what we all truly want?
  • Online learning is the purest form of effective learning ... when someone is doing self study, the information is "sinking in" effectively due to the internal self talk and dialogue taking place!
  • Because the courses address the Leadership and Business Management Success areas, the chances of a Key Manager or Owner becoming "the Total Package" rises considerably!
  • For Program Managers, imagine the advantages of having the most complete knowledge available to run your own program! Your career potentials are far greater with Education.
  • For Owners, imagine the advantages of having Certified Key Managers when you want to promote, grow, expand or sell your business!
Learn more at the USA Gymnastics University webpage


USA Gymnastics Club Criminal Background Check Program

USA Gymnastics and the National Center for Safety Initiative are proud to announce the USA Gymnastics Club Criminal Background Check Program.

USA Gymnastics clubs will now have the ability to complete the NCSI criminal background check screening program in their clubs at the same discounted rate that is offered to USA Gymnastics.

For more information on starting a background check program in your club please click the following links provided, or contact NCSI at 866-833-7100 or by email at businessdevelopment@ncsisafe.com.

Club Program Specifications
Club Program Pricing Details: 4/1/2009-12/31/2009

Don't forget to mention discount code USAG-08 to ensure your receive the special negotiated USA Gymnastics club pricing. Please note that the special introductory prices are for a limited time.


So Don't Delay. Begin your Club Criminal Background Check Program Today!!

Here are some of our clubs that have already taken advantage of this great service for their businesses:

  • Columbus Gymnastics Academy...Susan Castro
  • KLI Limited DBA Hand 2 Hand Acrobatic Training Center, Michelle Caviness,
  • Black Diamond Gymnastics DBA Black Diamond Kids Center, Josh Storrer
  • Sunburst Gymnastics (NJ), Mike Onuska
  • The Gym-Nest, William Borges
  • World of Wonders Cheerrnastic Center
  • Liberty Gymnastics Training and Enrichment Center, Terri Nuno
  • Gymfinity, LTD., Jason Orkowski
By completing the NCSI Criminal Background Check on each of your staff members, you are protecting your business and your clients while taking advantage of the new discounted rate. You value your clients, and they value safety in the gym. Be sure to discuss the benefits of background screenings with them, in addition to introducing USA Gymnastics' new Participant Welfare Policy.

Safety Matters: Risk Management through planning and preparation

USA Gymnastics is pleased to offer this Safety Matters short series detailing some of the steps gymnastics professionals can take to avoid injuries and the lawsuits which sometimes arise because of them.

Obtain a release form -- Gymnastics professionals should prepare a document that notes inherent risks involved with gymnastics participation and provides for the gymnst and his/her parents to release the gymnastics professionals from any loss or liability, including, but not limited, to injuries which arise from those risks. It is a good practice to have an attorney draw up the forms to make sure the language is clear, all-encompassing, and precise.

Be appropriately trained in gymnastics instruction -- Gymnastics professionals should know the skills and movements they are teaching as well as the progressions and lead-ups for those skills and properly instruct the students in those activities. Proper instruction also includes continual review of safety practices such as falling and landing drills, repetition of fundamentals skills, demonstrations of correct skill technique, and ample practice time.

The topics of providing emergency assistance and the importance of knowing your gymnasts will be covered in the next edition of the Member Services E-News.

These and other key risk management principles can be found in the new 2009 edition of the Gymnastics Risk Management Safety Course Handbook, now available through the USA Gymnastics technical materials online store.


USA Gymnastics is a non-for-profit organization which is the sole national governing body (NGB) for the sport of gymnastics in the United States. Our mission is to increase public awareness of, and encourage participation in, all aspects of gymnastics, and to support athletes in their pursuit of competitive excellence.

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