Dear USAIGC Parents,
SAFETY BEGINS WITH YOUR ENTIRE STAFF.
Dear Parents, Our World Championship shows the essence of our USAIGC & IAIGC competitive program. It is not just about competition levels, scores and placements. Most importantly it is about our gymnasts and what WE provide these young ladies in a healthy well-rounded environment. At the World Championship I watched with great pride gymnasts and coaches from other countries and States across America bonding while competing together and supporting one another with cheers and congratulations on outstanding performances and efforts collectively. This is what the USAIGC & IAIGC competitive programs’ foster. This positive behavior enhances our competitive program and develops well-rounded, healthy gymnasts competing in an intelligent competitive program that provides them physical, emotional and social benefits, in a nurturing and happy competitive environment. It is the friendship between gymnasts and coaches that made this World Championship so special. The World Championship is also about the time shared together by our gymnasts from the USA and around the world competing and, singing together at Karaoke/DJ Nights and Swim Nights by the pool. Our Coaches work together for every gymnast on the competition floor and at our social events we get to know each other while exchanging ideas and planning for our Associations' future.
We have just begun! We will continue to push the competitive envelope and continue to develop a healthy competitive culture that continues to foster friendship between our gymnasts and a bond of learning between our Coaches and Club owners. Thank you for being part of the USAIGC and IAIGC. Paul Spadaro - President
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------The USAIGC was established 1973. Re-organized in 2001 with a new President and a new competitive direction. The "NEW" USAIGC re-established our Club Owners Association and created with its membership a new competitive program. It was time for a change. It was time for new ideas, new goals and a new direction for our Association, Club Members and Gymnasts. Ideas that are relevant in today's Competitive and Business World. This fundamental change allowed our Association to go Worldwide. Presently we have 7 countries participating in our Competitive Program following the same Competitive Rules and the same philosophy. Our International Club Members make up the IAIGC/ International Association of Independent Clubs and we have conducted IAIGC Competitions in Bermuda and South Africa. Our International Competitions are open for EVERY USAIGC Competitive level.This Australia will be joineing us this August.
Competitively we choose an Optional Only, College Bound International Competitive Program built upon the NCAA Collegiate Rules that provide our Gymnasts and Coaches with a large variety of progressive optional gymnastic skills to master instead of restrictive mandatory compulsory skills.
USAIGC/IAIGC Membership HAS A VOICE & AN OEN VOTE!
Our Competitive Rules are created and decided upon with our Voting Club Members every two years. Our Membership can bring forth any rule recommendation they feel would help our competitive rogram and our gymnasts.Our Voting Procedure is “OPEN VOTE” for all to see. One Club. One Vote. We are all equal.This voting process allowed us to form the International Association of Independent Gymnastic Clubs (IAIGC).
Our Competitive Program provides an environment that fosters and nurtures the attributes of a sound mind, sound body leading to successful healthy and well-rounded gymnasts. It is built on long-term skill development with the intentional slowing down of our gymnasts’ learning curve providing our Gymnasts the necessary time to develop and perfect gymnastic skills in a safe, logical, progressive order with recommended training hours per level. Over-training is the number one reason gymnasts leave our sport.
Our USAIGC Training times provide our gymnasts with ample time for school responsibilities, family activities and an outside life with friends. Life is about experiences and the USAIGC/IAIGC provide positive well-balanced competitive experiences for ALL of our gymnasts.
Our Competitive Options prevent Gymnasts’ “frustration” of being stuck in a competitive level:
1. The Gymnasts’ skill level determines their competitive entry level.
2. Mobility between competitive levels is decided by the Coach not a score.
3. Mobility between competitive levels does not have to be in progressive order.
4. Gymnasts may compete on two consecutive competitive levels, one as an All-Around Gymnast on their primary level and then as an Individual Event Specialist on their next level (maximum number of routines = 6).
5. USAIGC/IAIGC provides 5 Competitive Platforms: (a) All Around, (b) Individual Event, (c) Team, (d) Club High School and (e) International. International Competitions are open to all USAIGC / IAIGC Competitive Levels.
Our Competitive Program develops gymnasts that are a head above their peers, gymnasts that will develop into strong, intelligent young ladies who are goal oriented, success driven, disciplined, with excellent time management skills and who have learned life’s most important skill dealing with success and failure. It is the process of becoming a gymnast in a healthy competitive environment that develops these outstanding qualities, not scores, not placements nor competitive levels. This is the core philosophy of our Competitive Program. Our gymnasts will be prepared for tomorrow’s world, making them tomorrows’ leaders!
The Tortoise & The Hare! The average gymnast leaves our sport by12yrs. old. The USAIGC is changing this statistic with intelligent long term training progressions so our gymnasts start to peak at a later age and finish the race (the Tortoise). The USAIGC does not believe in “home schooling for sport” there are other reasons for home schooling. Our belief is that the whole child must be developed to be successful in LIFE. This is what the USAIGC/IAIGC stands for. The path to short-term satisfaction, at the expense of long-term development and high level performance does not promote success; it inhibits growth on and off the competition floor.
A Childs Life is Precious. Their childhood experiences will define who they are and who they will become. Children must experience a broad spectrum of life’s experiences and know how to make intelligent decisions, most importantly they must be a well-rounded, educated women ready to meet the challenges our changing world. The USAIGC/IAIGC will nurture our gymnasts and help prepare them for tomorrow’s world. The USAIGC/IAIGC is not an "I" Association it is a "WE" Association and the "WE" includes our Parents. I am very proud to represent the Club Owners, Coaches, Instructors, Gymnasts, Parents and Officials of the USAIGC/IAIGC.
Education plays a major role in our gymnasts’ lives.
Parents provide their children with many opportunities to experience and learn The USAIGC provides a strong foundation for success in life.
College Scholarships: Statistically there are between 2-2.5% of athletic scholarships available per year. There are 4.5% - 5% Academic Scholarships available per year. To be considered for a Gymnastic Scholarship the gymnast must score consistently 9.25 -9.50+ on two Premier Level Events. Currently College Coaches are looking for Gymnasts with a dynamic Vault (full twisting yurchenko) and a strong Uneven Bar Routine. Solid grades are essential and high scores on College entrance exams. The Gymnast must be healthy and injury free. Collegiate Coaches do not care where a gymnast comes from if they fulfill the basic requirements and needs of that College Team. A video of the gymnast performing sent to the Collegiate Coaches along with school grades and a brief history of the gymnast starts the process.
Collegiate Coaches look Nationally and Internationally.
The USAIGC has recruits a distinguished group of clinicians for our Coaches Education Program.
Our Educational Goal is to teach our Coaches a logical long-term skill development program for our gymnasts.
USAIGC/IAIGC Coaches Education Committee
Chair: Robert "Duke" Nelligan: Past Head Coach Maryland University, Past Bermuda Head Coach. Duke will reach out to some of the best technical minds in the world.
Byron Knox: Head Coach University Bridgeport, Winning SIX consecutive National Collegiate Championship.
Plus a number of outstanding Club Coaches both Nationally and Internationally .
PAUL SPADARO – President USAIGC/IAIGC President
A SPECIAL LETTER There are two USAIGC Competitions in New York that award a financial scholarship to a gymnast, in my name. The gymnasts write an essay about themselves. The scholarship check goes to the gymnasts club pay for her training fees. The Meet Director, who I know first as an outstanding gymnast said this young ladies letter was exactly what I have always believed in. After reading her letter and her Coaches letter and seeing her report card she can be President of the USAIGC when she finishes her educational pursuits. This young lady is very special and we have many like her in our Competitive Program. The USAIGC has defined its Competitive Program. This young lady captured what I keep trying to put into words. Bravo!
I am standing on a beam four feet in the air, four inches thick. Girls around me are doing back walkovers and front tucks off the beam without a second thought. But here I am frozen in anticipation of a mere cartwheel. This is not easy—but no one said it would be.
When someone thinks of gymnastics they think of flips and flexibility. They think of tucks and splits and scorpions. A lot of gymnasts are not this flexible. But if someone watched my team stretch at the beginning of a workout, they would see girls who had their splits, or almost had their splits except me. I have gone to practice twice a week every week for six years. And every practice, we stretch. I still do not have a split. I am strong, but I am not flexible. I work hard to increase my flexibility, pushing myself past my limits, but it is not easy. Some kids have natural flexibility; I can’t fall back on my flexibility as a crutch. I must work hard to get every skill. But for me, it is thrilling to master a skill. My lack of flexibility--and the need to work hard and persevere in the face of challenge has helped me in other parts of my life. I compete in track, which comes more easily to me. When I face a personal goal in track, like running a mile in under 6:25, I don’t give up even when I think I can’t go any faster or longer. This, I know comes from gymnastics.
Another thing that is hard for me in gymnastics is the ability to just go for a skill. It took me almost a year to consistently land my cartwheel on the beam. I stuck it easily on the low beam but I struggled on the high beam. I would spend my beam rotation preparing to do a cartwheel. I would tell myself I could do it and to just bring my legs around the top of the beam. But in the middle of the cartwheel, somehow I would doubt myself, and bring my feet down. I still don’t know why I would do this. At first, I thought it was because I was scared of falling and hurting myself. But this was not it. Doesn’t every gymnast feel afraid of hurting herself when attempting a new skill? For me, it was more than that. I think, at that point, I knew I could do a cartwheel if I let myself, but, I had some kind of a mental block where I was afraid of failing or doing something wrong. Because of that, I spent hours dumping cartwheels off the beam. My Coaches finally told me to fall on the other side of the beam. This advice, plus hours of practice, helped me to move beyond my mental block and land my cartwheel. I think I used to be like this in school also. When I could not think of an idea for a writing project that wasn’t “perfect” in my mind. I got stuck and did not experiment with other ideas. But this experience in gymnastics of trying and failing and trying something new and failing in a different way, and then eventually succeeding, helped me to become stronger in my schoolwork as well.
Maybe one of the biggest things I have learned from gymnastics is to know who you are. Even if I am not the kid who will master a new skill every day, or who will get first place on floor or who will get above a 9.0 on beam, I will improve. Although it is hard, I have learned how to notice the little things. Like if I can get my arms in my kip just a bit straighter or complete my beam routine without falling. Sometimes I do get frustrated. I wonder why I can’t do what my coaches want me to do as soon as they want it. But in the end, it always just makes me work harder and makes me feel even better when I achieve something that I have worked hard for. For example, it took me about a month to get my kip. I remember that is all I would do after I finished my conditioning was-kip after kip after kip. It was frustrating but I was able to see the little improvements I was making, like getting my chest closer to the bar or doing a longer glide. Finally I did get my kip, and it made me feel awesome, but it was the whole process and not just the end point that mattered.
I can’t imagine life without gymnastics. It has shaped who I am and has helped me face challenges that would have been harder without it. I know what it is like to have physical limitations and work past them. I know what it is like to face fear and overcome it. I know what its like to work hard every day and be glad for the small successes. Gymnastics is not all of me but its part of me. A part I will never let go.
School average 96.86
Parents, the USAIGC/IAIGC, its Member Clubs & Coaches will develope within our healthy competitive environment Gymnasts who will be well rounded, successful, intelligent, goal oriented young ladies prepared to tackle the world of tomorrow. These are the principles I have believed in my whole life. I am very proud to represent our Membership Clubs, Coaches, Gymnasts and Parents. Paul
Do’s and Don’ts of Parent Participation. By Chellsie Memmel
I first want to thank the parents who put their kids in our great sport! Without parents, we wouldn’t
be here or have any of the amazing opportunities that we do. With that said, I believe there should be boundaries in parental involvement in sports:
Do watch practices but only once and a while. If you just can’t stay away, don’t bring up things that happened or any trouble they may have had in practice that day. Let your child talk to you. If they want to vent, listen. If they would rather leave their bad day behind, let them. If they had a great day and are super pumped to tell you about it, be excited and happy about it.mDon’t set your own goals for them it will make it harder on you and them.
Your kids are in this sport because they want to be and because hopefully they love doing it. They will have their own goals and expectations of what they want to get out of it. It is great to help guide them with their goals but anything more than that can create problems. More often than not, especially as they start getting older and more advanced, kids know what is going to be realistic in terms of goals. They will know what is going to be physically possible for them to learn and accomplish, and what might not be. Don’t set unrealistic goals for them and let them know what they are.
“The Olympics” goal is my least favorite coming from parents. Step back and think about the numbers. Five girls (soon 4) in the next Olympic Games) make the team every four years. Five every four years. They’re the best five in the country, out of millions of gymnasts, and a big group of the top athletes. It obviously can be done, but realistically the odds are not in anyone’s favor. So please remember to always be realistic about what you want them to get out of the sport and support them no matter what happens. That’s not to say that they shouldn’t reach for the stars! But this should be their dream, not yours.
This was years ago, but still a story I remember well our team was at a compulsory meet and one of the girls did not have a good meet at all. She was so scared at what her mom’s reaction was going to be, she went into the bathroom right away and called her grandmother and asked her to come pick her up. That stuck with me and I’m really lucky to not have had that kind of experience.
Think about it this way. You may have been a gymnast yourself but are you also a (real) coach? You took a few math classes in school years ago, but does that qualify you to teach math now? You obviously will have more knowledge than parents who did not do gymnastics, but have you ever coached, and how long has it been since you were in the gym yourself? Please don’t lose sight of that. Let the coaches be the coaches.
First and foremost, you chose to go to a club and let the professionals there coach your child. It is their job and what they have been trained to do. They have most likely started out as helpers and trained under more experienced coaches, been to clinics, are certified appropriately, and have done high-level gymnastics themselves. Most of the coaches I know have a training plan, especially when you get into the competitive levels. They know what is in the routines and where the kids should be in their training at each point in the year. Let them do their job.
Be careful about pushing your kids to train skills at home, especially their big skills. Practice at home should only be done with proper equipment and matting and safety should be a number one concern. Also, be sure to check with your child’s coach regarding an “at home” training schedule.
I am very lucky to have awesome parents. They supported me through every up and down that I went through in my gymnastics career. The best thing they did was let it be MY career. MY gymnastics. They were always there when I needed help or advice but never overstepped their parental boundaries, even when they were both coaching me. They were my coaches at gym and my parents at home…and I truly thank them for that!