Parents

USAIGC-UNITED STATES ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDANT CLUBS
IAIGC:
 – INTERNATIONAL ASSOCIATION OF INDEPENDANT CLUBS
       AN INTERNATIONAL  GYMNASTIC CLUB OWNERS ASSOCIATION
Parents, USAIGC/IAIGC, its Member Clubs & Coaches have developed a healthy competitive environment.
IGC Gymnasts 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 Spadaro President USAIGC/IAIGC

The Importance of Youth Sports Wide-ranging benefits that sports bring to our children’s lives. 
Beyond the physical benefits of improved strength, coordination, flexibility, and overall health, athletics helps our kids understand and adopt healthy lifestyles at an early age. Our Children learn about leadership, communication, accountability, and responsible risk taking. They gain self-esteem, determination, and organizational skills. Most importantly, sports should bring fun and enjoyment to their lives. 
Youth sports can also bring parents some great benefits. You get to be a part of your child’s experiences both on and off the field. You know where they are and that what they are doing is safe, enjoyable, and beneficial to their health. You help them to develop healthy lifestyle and behavior patterns that last a lifetime. From an academic standpoint, studies show that kids involved in sports tend to stay in school longer and get better grades. Sports are a win/win for you and your kids. Youth sports can provide a safe environment to develop character and learn valuable life lessons that they will carry with them throughout their life. These are traits that will serve them for decades to come and will help them in school, in relationships, in work, and in life. 
So, what are those lessons? What values are we talking about? In his book How Children Succeed, Paul Tough has identified a growing trend in educational theory. This trend is dispelling the notion that IQ is the great determinant in predicting college graduation and life achievement. Instead, he points to a growing body of work that demonstrates a correlation between an abundance of character traits such as grit, curiosity, self-control, and determination with successful outcomes and high achievement. This makes sense. To use the example of a doctor, her intelligence may get her into medical school, but only determination and perseverance will get her through the countless sleepless nights and hundred-hour weeks of residency. Sports can teach our children these traits in abundance.2 
Raising a child is akin to designing and building your child’s long- term infrastructure, as if you were building a house. If you are only building for the short term, you are not worried about things like the foundation, wall strength, or ceiling beams—only first impressions and curb appeal. But if you are building it to last for seventy years, you want a sturdy foundation, strong walls, and a well-built roof. We need to think of parenthood in the same way. 
If we are building a solid emotional and moral foundation for our children, we must think long-term. We must think beyond single games or three-month seasons. We must focus not on wins and losses but on core values and principles we want our kids to take from sports. When we think about the long haul, we realize that the purpose of youth sports is not only to develop better athletes but better people. Sports help children build the foundation for becoming a quality adult both on and off the field. Children form their self-image through what they hear said to them and about them. We need to make sure the messages they receive enhance one of the values above, or other values that are important. We need to make sure they are in an environment where these things are not only taught but exemplified by the coaches, the teachers, and the adults charged with educating them. 
Trophies, medals, wins, and losses have their place in the youth sport experience, but they are far from the be-all and end-all reasons for kids to play sports. They might be a possible outcome of things like hard work, perseverance, and dedication, but they are the result of preparation and not the reason for it. Many parents and coaches judge the athletic educational process solely by tournament victories, league finish, and final scores. This misdirected focus is harmful not only for a child’s long- term athletic development, but it usually places a great strain on a parent’s relationship with his kids. As a result, children end up competing more than they practice. They develop poor habits and begin to see your love for them, and belief in them, as tied to wins and losses instead of effort and commitment to the process. According to the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethical Education, research shows that kids play sports for the following reasons:
To have fun (always #1)  To do something I am good at To improve my skills To get exercise and stay in shape
To be part of a team  The excitement of competition
They do not play to win. They like to win, they enjoy competing, but they do not play to win. They play to have fun, to be with their friends, to feel good about themselves, and because it is exciting. Yet how often do we pick and choose our kids’ sports team because it is the winning team, the winning coach, the defending champion, and assume that because of all the wins everything else just happens? We look at wins and losses and fail to search for happy faces and proper developmental environments. According to Dan Gould at the Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, kids want to have fun, to get better, and to be with their friends. They want parental support and encouragement. They want you to watch them play and praise them for their effort. They want you to be realistic about their ability. They want you to be present and interested in what they are doing. This is the path to high performance. Yelling at their coach, the officials, and them is not. Being overly critical and putting extreme pressure on them is not. They want the game to be theirs!3
When I ask my former players what their fondest youth sports memory is, it nearly always has to do with a trip we took, a funny incident that happened, or just a team with great relationships. If they mention winning a state title or a big tournament, they usually qualify that remark with something such as “I just love this team so much because it makes winning fun.” These players were highly competitive youth soccer players, many of whom have gone on to play in college. The last high-level youth girls’ team I coached had thirteen players go on to play college soccer— seven of them to play NCAA Division I—and the team also won four Oregon Youth Soccer State Cup Championships. Yet all of their fondest memories had to do with relationships, van rides, and team trips. It’s not that they didn’t like winning; they loved it. But their biggest takeaways were the lessons they learned and the friendships they made.
As parents, I believe that whenever possible we should do our best to give our kids what they need and some of the things they want as well. One thing that all kids want, and we are capable of giving them, is a pleasurable sports experience. Better yet, this is the most likely path to high performance for it develops athletes who control their destiny, fall in love with their sport, and as a result willingly put in the time, effort, and commitment needed to perform at their highest possible level.
Wide-ranging benefits that sports bring to our children’s lives.
Beyond the physical benefits of improved strength, coordination, flexibility, and overall health, athletics helps our kids understand and adopt healthy lifestyles at an early age. Our Children learn about leadership, communication, accountability, and responsible risk taking. They gain self-esteem, determination, and organizational skills. Most importantly, sports should bring fun and enjoyment to their lives.
Youth sports can also bring parents some great benefits. You get to be a part of your child’s experiences both on and off the field. You know where they are and that what they are doing is safe, enjoyable, and beneficial to their health. You help them to develop healthy lifestyle and behavior patterns that last a lifetime. From an academic standpoint, studies show that kids involved in sports tend to stay in school longer and get better grades. Sports are a win/win for you and your kids. Youth sports can provide a safe environment to develop character and learn valuable life lessons that they will carry with them throughout their life. These are traits that will serve them for decades to come and will help them in school, in relationships, in work, and in life.
So, what are those lessons?
What values are we talking about? In his book How Children Succeed, Paul Tough has identified a growing trend in educational theory. This trend is dispelling the notion that IQ is the great determinant in predicting college graduation and life achievement. Instead, he points to a growing body of work that demonstrates a correlation between an abundance of character traits such as grit, curiosity, self-control, and determination with successful outcomes and high achievement. This makes sense. To use the example of a doctor, her intelligence may get her into medical school, but only determination and perseverance will get her through the countless sleepless nights and hundred-hour weeks of residency. Sports can teach our children these traits in abundance.2
Raising a child is akin to designing and building your child’s long- term infrastructure, as if you were building a house. If you are only building for the short term, you are not worried about things like the foundation, wall strength, or ceiling beams—only first impressions and curb appeal. But if you are building it to last for seventy years, you want a sturdy foundation, strong walls, and a well-built roof. We need to think of parenthood in the same way.
If we are building a solid emotional and moral foundation for our children, we must think long-term. We must think beyond single games or three-month seasons. We must focus not on wins and losses but on core values and principles we want our kids to take from sports. When we think about the long haul, we realize that the purpose of youth sports is not only to develop better athletes but better people. Sports help children build the foundation for becoming a quality adult both on and off the field. Children form their self-image through what they hear said to them and about them. We need to make sure the messages they receive enhance one of the values above, or other values that are important. We need to make sure they are in an environment where these things are not only taught but exemplified by the coaches, the teachers, and the adults charged with educating them.
Trophies, medals, wins, and losses have their place in the youth sport experience, but they are far from the be-all and end-all reasons for kids to play sports. They might be a possible outcome of things like hard work, perseverance, and dedication, but they are the result of preparation and not the reason for it. Many parents and coaches judge the athletic educational process solely by tournament victories, league finish, and final scores. This misdirected focus is harmful not only for a child’s long- term athletic development, but it usually places a great strain on a parent’s relationship with his kids. As a result, children end up competing more than they practice. They develop poor habits and begin to see your love for them, and belief in them, as tied to wins and losses instead of effort and commitment to the process. According to the University of Notre Dame’s Center for Ethical Education, research shows that kids play sports for the following reasons:
-To have fun (always #1)     -To do something I am good at  -To improve my skills   -To get exercise and stay in shape
-To be part of a team - The excitement of competitio
They do not play to win. They like to win, they enjoy competing, but they do not play to win. They play to have fun, to be with their friends, to feel good about themselves, and because it is exciting. Yet how often do we pick and choose our kids’ sports team because it is the winning team, the winning coach, the defending champion, and assume that because of all the wins everything else just happens? We look at wins and losses and fail to search for happy faces and proper developmental environments. According to Dan Gould at the Michigan State University Institute for the Study of Youth Sports, kids want to have fun, to get better, and to be with their friends. They want parental support and encouragement. They want you to watch them play and praise them for their effort. They want you to be realistic about their ability. They want you to be present and interested in what they are doing. This is the path to high performance. Yelling at their coach, the officials, and them is not. Being overly critical and putting extreme pressure on them is not. They want the game to be theirs!3
When I ask my former players what their fondest youth sports memory is, it nearly always has to do with a trip we took, a funny incident that happened, or just a team with great relationships. If they mention winning a state title or a big tournament, they usually qualify that remark with something such as “I just love this team so much because it makes winning fun.” These players were highly competitive youth soccer players, many of whom have gone on to play in college. The last high-level youth girls’ team I coached had thirteen players go on to play college soccer— seven of them to play NCAA Division I—and the team also won four Oregon Youth Soccer State Cup Championships. Yet all of their fondest memories had to do with relationships, van rides, and team trips. It’s not that they didn’t like winning; they loved it. But their biggest takeaways were the lessons they learned and the friendships they made.
As parents, I believe that whenever possible we should do our best to give our kids what they need and some of the things they want as well. One thing that all kids want, and we are capable of giving them, is a pleasurable sports experience. Better yet, this is the most likely path to high performance for it develops athletes who control their destiny, fall in love with their sport, and as a result willingly put in the time, effort, and commitment needed to perform at their highest possible level. 
CHILDREN PRTICIPATE IN SPORT FOR:
To have fun (always #1) - To do something I am good at - To improve my skills - To get exercise and stay in shape
To be part of a team  -  The excitement of competition
They do not play to win. They like to win, they enjoy competing, but they do not play to win.  They play to have fun, to be with their friends, to feel good about themselves, and because it is exciting. 
Benefits of Youth Sports There isn’t any other youth institution that equals sports as a setting in which to develop character. Team Sports are the perfect setting because character is tested all the time. CHANGING THE GAME: The girls on the other team gave her a hug. This was youth sports in its quintessential form: pure, unadulterated fun for everyone  When and why did we take the joy and romance out of youth sports between the ages of six and ten? A 2005 study by the University of Notre Dame found that:
-36 percent of youth reported that coaches yelled at them during a game
-26 percent of youth reported that coaches urged them to retaliate
-48 percent of youth reported that coaches yelled at a referee
-68 percent of youth reported seeing spectators yell at referees
-43 percent of youth reported being teased by a fan
The innocence and joy of American youth sports has been corrupted. Rarely do kids just get to “play” sports anymore. Instead, they get to “work” sports, a movement caused by the misguided notion that our kids
The Benefits of Youth Sports  need to specialize early and win at all costs to get that college scholarship and justify the investment made in youth athletics. The romance is gone, the fun is gone, and sports are no longer play.
As a result, 70 percent of young athletes are dropping out of organized sports before they reach high school. Some children quit because of financial hardship, others because they acquire other interests, but many children quit because sports is no longer fun.
There are three main myths held by many parents of young athletes.
The belief in these three myths is one of the underlying factors that have caused youth sports to become 
Over competitive and under-fun. 
Myth: Children need to specialize early in a specific sport if they want to play competitively, play high school, play college, or even play professional sports. The science tells us that this is just not true. With the exception of a few early specialization sports—figure skating and gymnastics as examples—most athletes benefit from a multisport background. Participation in multiple sports leads to better overall athleticism, fewer overuse injuries, and fewer kids who burn out at a young age. Unfortunately, many parents are swayed by travel clubs and private coaches who promise the world, but only if their ten-year-old discards all other activities and dedicates his life to one sport. As we will discuss in our chapter on conditions and long-term athletic development, this is completely false. Myth #2: Sports, and especially travel and competitive-level sports, are an investment in a future scholarship or contract. This myth has been perpetuated by sporting goods companies, beverage makers, and professional coaches looking to make a few extra bucks. 
The Benefits of Youth Sports numbers demonstrates that scholarships and pro contracts are reserved for an elite few athletes whose time, effort, and dedication, combined with their talent and a good dose of luck, led them to the higher ground. For the majority of athletes, there is not a scholarship to be had, at least on the playing field. Since 1947, only twenty-three players who participated in the Little League World Series—the ultimate event for twelve-year old baseball players—have also played in the major leagues. If you are looking at youth sports as an investment strategy, you are just as likely to succeed in paying for college by playing the lottery, and far more likely to succeed by investing the money in a 529 plan. Investing in your child’s sport in order to pay for higher education and garner future pro contracts is not a good bet. 
Myth #3: Parents and coaches who want to develop high performers must focus on winning. The research shows that this is untrue. First of all, while kids like to win, and enjoy winning, it is not why they play. They play to have fun, to be with their friends, to learn, and to wear the “stuff,” but they don’t play to win. Research has found that parents who try to ensure success often raise unsuccessful kids. Your child has a far greater chance of success if he focuses on preparation, effort, and enjoyment. Your child has a greater likelihood of becoming a high achiever if he strives for excellence instead of championships. Excellence is process-oriented and allows for failure, mistakes, and setbacks. It encourages learning and finding the positives in the performance rather than the outcome. Every child can achieve excellence. Children who focus on excellence are far more likely to be high-performing athletes and ultimately successful ones. As parents and coaches of young athletes, we spend a great deal of our time and energy focusing on our children’s performance. We look at their efforts, their results, and their commitment. We help them to set goals and do our part to help them achieve those goals by taking them to and from training and games, finding good coaches, and buying them equipment. Yet all too often our children “under-perform” according to 8 
CHANGING THE GAME Our expectations, and we are at a loss as to why. There is a simple answer. We do not pay enough attention to their mental state and its effect upon their performance. Eric Plantenberg lives in my hometown of Bend, Oregon, and by all accounts he is an elite performer both athletically and in the business world. He has climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest, run full Ironman triathlons, and started a school for homeless children in Egypt. He has also been a finalist for Fortune magazine’s Small Business “Boss of the Year” for his work at his company, Freedom Personal Development. His work focuses on what he calls “The Anatomy of Results.” Plantenberg has immersed himself in the interplay of intentions, state, and actions on performance. He defines intentions as a person’s vision, goals, and motivation to perform. He defines a person’s state as “how you show up,” the energetic and emotional quality you bring to your activity. Finally, he describes actions as “what you do when you show up to perform.” What he has found is quite compelling. Most people believe their actions and intentions have the greatest impact on their results. Plantenberg has discovered through his work with elite athletes, business executives, and others that state of mind is the greatest determinant of high performance. In the most successful people, their intentions and actions account for a portion of their achievement, but their state of mind is responsible for the majority of their success! When we think about it, this makes a lot of sense. If we use the example of a basketball game, every player on the court likely intends to win the game, wants to play well, and wants to succeed. They all can dribble, pass, shoot, run, and perform the required actions in the game, albeit some better than others. The elite performers are the ones who show up “in the zone,” ready to play, and believing in their inevitable success. A talented player who fails to show up in a positive state rarely performs well, while a less skillful player who maintains an abundance of energy and a positive outlook will likely perform his best. Less talented The Benefits of Youth Sports | 9 athletes with great attitudes often outperform talented kids with a poor state of mind. The influence of state of mind on performance has been confirmed through decades of research by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. She has discovered that beyond talent, intent, and actions, a person’s approach and what she calls “mindset” play a tremendous role in achievement and performance. Dweck has discovered that people have either a fixed or a growth mindset when it comes to performance. The view a person adopts profoundly affects the way she lives her life, how she performs, and what she accomplishes. Fixed-mindset individuals believe that their abilities and qualities are carved in stone and that every activity is a test of one’s innate, unchangeable ability. Whether it be in the classroom, on the athletic field, or in a relationship, fixed-mindset individuals view every situation as a confirmation of their intelligence, ability, character, and even their personality. Challenges are to be avoided, obstacles are reasons to give up, criticism is ignored, effort is worthless, and the success of others is threatening. Fixed-mindset people do not believe in growth, only validation. You’ve either got it or you don’t! Here are some things that fixed-mindset people say: “I don’t play much. I am just not a good soccer player.” “I failed the test. I won’t ever understand algebra.” “I am not an artist. My brother got all the artistic genes in our family.” Do any of these sound familiar? Do you know anyone whose every failure is a repudiation of his ability? Do you see a player who has potential but is not applying himself? “Why even try?” says the fixed mindset person. “I am just not good and never can be.” On the other hand, Dweck has discovered that growth-mindset individuals believe that one’s abilities are starting points and that 10 talents are capable of being cultivated, nurtured, and developed. Effort, commitment, risk, failure, and disappointment are all components of development and not a reflection of permanent traits. Everything is a part of the journey, and every success or failure is a reflection upon where one is today, not where one might be tomorrow with some effort and application. As a result, challenges are embraced, effort is the path to accomplishment, criticism is helpful, persistence is celebrated, and the success of others is inspiring. Hopefully we have heard some growth-mindset statements from our kids: “If I’m going to break into the starting lineup, I need to practice harder and more often.” “I got a C. I need to do some more studying for our next test.” “Wow! That was the most challenging practice we ever had. I like our new coach!” Growth-mindset individuals love challenges, take risks, try new things, and focus on the process—not the outcome—of achievement activities. Through her research, Dweck has developed a series of mindset workshops and tested her theories on students of all ages. In one of her studies, she taught a portion of a class a fixed-mindset approach (the brain does not develop, skill is innate and cannot be learned, etc.), while others were led to adopt a growth-mindset approach (this can be learned, ability can be developed). Over eight sessions, both groups of students were taught study skills and how to apply them to learning challenging new concepts. Their teachers were not told which kids were in which group, but they were asked for feedback on student performance. Throughout the study, teachers singled out far more students in the growth-mindset group for making huge progress in both their motivation and improvement. At semester’s end, Dweck looked at the students’ The Benefits of Youth Sports | 11 grades in math. The growth-mindset group showed an improvement and was far more inspired to learn and put forth effort. The students in the fixed-mindset group did not improve their grades. In spite of receiving everything the growth group did, except for the growth-mindset training, their motivation to learn and apply their new study skills did not change. Their mindset held them back! From toddlers to adults, Dweck’s results are astounding and consistent. Every study confirmed that the growth-mindset individuals learned more, demonstrated more improvement in testing, challenged themselves more often, and enjoyed themselves more than the fixed mindset groups. Every time! The highest-performing athletes are likely to have a growth mindset when it comes to sports. Of course, young athletes and even pros may perform well on a fixed mindset, but they will never reach their true potential. They will constantly seek validation and need to prove themselves instead of focusing upon improving themselves. In the long run, they will be surpassed by those athletes with a proper growth oriented state of mind. The great news is that mindsets can be changed. Dweck has developed workshops and exercises that help students, athletes, and others adopt a growth-oriented mindset. Sometimes it is as simple as watching a short video on how the brain grows and develops throughout life. Other times it is simple statements of praise that have the desired effect. Once people are open to the possibility that nothing is fixed, they can get on with learning and performing their best.1 Game-Changing Question
IGC CHILD SAFETY .USAIGC NUMBER ONE PRIORITY.USAIGC has a mandatory 100% Employee Background Check on Employees 18+ Years & Older. Paid & Unpaid. 18 years and over good for 2 years. Owners & All Staff Names are posted on our website. NEW employees are background checked as hired. "Employees" are defined as ALL Paid and Non-Paid Staff Members,18 years and over working for a Member Club in ANY Capacity. USAIGC Background Checks are signed and notarized by the Club Owner(s). The 100% opposite the Clubs Name on the Club Directory Page means the Club has meet the Background Check requirements. No Club can complete in a Sanctioned Competition until this requirement is satisfied. USAIGC Competition Directors are responsible for verifying all Coaches & Club Owners PRIOR to them stepping out on the Competition Floor. SAFETY STARTS WITH YOUR ENTIRE STAFF.
USAIGC/IAIGC History: Re-established in 2001 with new ideas, new goals and a new direction for our Club Members and Gymnasts.  A NEW competitive program was built upon ideas that are relevant in today's Competitive World allowing the USAIGC to go Worldwide. The IAIGC - International Association of Independent Clubs was established. 8 Countries participate in our International Competitive Program following the same Competitive Rules and Philosophy. Our IAIGC & USAIGC International Competitions are open for EVERY Competitive level. 
The Benefits of Youth SportsThere isn’t any other youth institution that equals sports as a setting in which to develop character. Team Sports are the perfect setting because character is tested all the time. CHANGING THE GAME: The girls on the other team gave her a hug. This was youth sports in its quintessential form: pure, unadulterated fun for everyone. When and why did we take the joy and romance out of youth sports between the ages of six and ten? A 2005 study by the University of Notre Dame found that:
-36 percent of youth reported that coaches yelled at them during a game
-26 percent of youth reported that coaches urged them to retaliate
-48 percent of youth reported that coaches yelled at a referee
-68 percent of youth reported seeing spectators yell at referees
-43 percent of youth reported being teased by a fan
The innocence and joy of American youth sports has been corrupted. Rarely do kids just get to “play” sports anymore. Instead, they get to “work” sports, a movement caused by the misguided notion that our kids
The Benefits of Youth Sports  need to specialize early and win at all costs to get that college scholarship and justify the investment made in youth athletics. The romance is gone, the fun is gone, and sports are no longer play.
As a result, 70 percent of young athletes are dropping out of organized sports before they reach high school. Some children quit because of financial hardship, others because they acquire other interests, but many children quit because sports is no longer fun. There are three main myths held by many parents of young athletes.
The belief in these three myths is one of the underlying factors that have caused youth sports to become over-competitive and under-fun. Myth: Children need to specialize early in a specific sport if they want to play competitively, play high school, play college, or even play professional sports. The science tells us that this is just not true. With the exception of a few early specialization sports—figure skating and gymnastics as examples—most athletes benefit from a multisport background. Participation in multiple sports leads to better overall athleticism, fewer overuse injuries, and fewer kids who burn out at a young age. Unfortunately, many parents are swayed by travel clubs and private coaches who promise the world, but only if their ten-year-old discards all other activities and dedicates his life to one sport. As we will discuss in our chapter on conditions and long-term athletic development, this is completely false. Myth #2: Sports, and especially travel and competitive-level sports, are an investment in a future scholarship or contract. This myth has been perpetuated by sporting goods companies, beverage makers, and professional coaches looking to make a few extra bucks. 
The Benefits of Youth Sports numbers demonstrates that scholarships and pro contracts are reserved for an elite few athletes whose time, effort, and dedication, combined with their talent and a good dose of luck, led them to the higher ground. For the majority of athletes, there is not a scholarship to be had, at least on the playing field. Since 1947, only twenty-three players who participated in the Little League World Series—the ultimate event for twelve-year old baseball players—have also played in the major leagues. If you are looking at youth sports as an investment strategy, you are just as likely to succeed in paying for college by playing the lottery, and far more likely to succeed by investing the money in a 529 plan. Investing in your child’s sport in order to pay for higher education and garner future pro contracts is not a good bet. 
Myth #3: Parents and coaches who want to develop high performers must focus on winning. The research shows that this is untrue. First of all, while kids like to win, and enjoy winning, it is not why they play. They play to have fun, to be with their friends, to learn, and to wear the “stuff,” but they don’t play to win. Research has found that parents who try to ensure success often raise unsuccessful kids. Your child has a far greater chance of success if he focuses on preparation, effort, and enjoyment. Your child has a greater likelihood of becoming a high achiever if he strives for excellence instead of championships. Excellence is process-oriented and allows for failure, mistakes, and setbacks. It encourages learning and finding the positives in the performance rather than the outcome. Every child can achieve excellence. Children who focus on excellence are far more likely to be high-performing athletes and ultimately successful ones. As parents and coaches of young athletes, we spend a great deal of our time and energy focusing on our children’s performance. We look at their efforts, their results, and their commitment. We help them to set goals and do our part to help them achieve those goals by taking them to and from training and games, finding good coaches, and buying them equipment. Yet all too often our children “under-perform” according to 8 
CHANGING THE GAME our expectations, and we are at a loss as to why. There is a simple answer. We do not pay enough attention to their mental state and its effect upon their performance. Eric Plantenberg lives in my hometown of Bend, Oregon, and by all accounts he is an elite performer both athletically and in the business world. He has climbed to the summit of Mt. Everest, run full Ironman triathlons, and started a school for homeless children in Egypt. He has also been a finalist for Fortune magazine’s Small Business “Boss of the Year” for his work at his company, Freedom Personal Development. His work focuses on what he calls “The Anatomy of Results.” Plantenberg has immersed himself in the interplay of intentions, state, and actions on performance. He defines intentions as a person’s vision, goals, and motivation to perform. He defines a person’s state as “how you show up,” the energetic and emotional quality you bring to your activity. Finally, he describes actions as “what you do when you show up to perform.” What he has found is quite compelling. Most people believe their actions and intentions have the greatest impact on their results. Plantenberg has discovered through his work with elite athletes, business executives, and others that state of mind is the greatest determinant of high performance. In the most successful people, their intentions and actions account for a portion of their achievement, but their state of mind is responsible for the majority of their success! When we think about it, this makes a lot of sense. If we use the example of a basketball game, every player on the court likely intends to win the game, wants to play well, and wants to succeed. They all can dribble, pass, shoot, run, and perform the required actions in the game, albeit some better than others. The elite performers are the ones who show up “in the zone,” ready to play, and believing in their inevitable success. A talented player who fails to show up in a positive state rarely performs well, while a less skillful player who maintains an abundance of energy and a positive outlook will likely perform his best. Less talented The Benefits of Youth Sports | 9 athletes with great attitudes often outperform talented kids with a poor state of mind. The influence of state of mind on performance has been confirmed through decades of research by world-renowned Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck. She has discovered that beyond talent, intent, and actions, a person’s approach and what she calls “mindset” play a tremendous role in achievement and performance. Dweck has discovered that people have either a fixed or a growth mindset when it comes to performance. The view a person adopts profoundly affects the way she lives her life, how she performs, and what she accomplishes. Fixed-mindset individuals believe that their abilities and qualities are carved in stone and that every activity is a test of one’s innate, unchangeable ability. Whether it be in the classroom, on the athletic field, or in a relationship, fixed-mindset individuals view every situation as a confirmation of their intelligence, ability, character, and even their personality. Challenges are to be avoided, obstacles are reasons to give up, criticism is ignored, effort is worthless, and the success of others is threatening. Fixed-mindset people do not believe in growth, only validation. You’ve either got it or you don’t! Here are some things that fixed-mindset people say: “I don’t play much. I am just not a good soccer player.” “I failed the test. I won’t ever understand algebra.” “I am not an artist. My brother got all the artistic genes in our family.” Do any of these sound familiar? Do you know anyone whose every failure is a repudiation of his ability? Do you see a player who has potential but is not applying himself? “Why even try?” says the fixed mindset person. “I am just not good and never can be.” On the other hand, Dweck has discovered that growth-mindset individuals believe that one’s abilities are starting points and that 10 | 
CHANGING THE GAME talents are capable of being cultivated, nurtured, and developed. Effort, commitment, risk, failure, and disappointment are all components of development and not a reflection of permanent traits. Everything is a part of the journey, and every success or failure is a reflection upon where one is today, not where one might be tomorrow with some effort and application. As a result, challenges are embraced, effort is the path to accomplishment, criticism is helpful, persistence is celebrated, and the success of others is inspiring. Hopefully we have heard some growth-mindset statements from our kids: “If I’m going to break into the starting lineup, I need to practice harder and more often.” “I got a C. I need to do some more studying for our next test.” “Wow! That was the most challenging practice we ever had. I like our new coach!” Growth-mindset individuals love challenges, take risks, try new things, and focus on the process—not the outcome—of achievement activities. Through her research, Dweck has developed a series of mindset workshops and tested her theories on students of all ages. In one of her studies, she taught a portion of a class a fixed-mindset approach (the brain does not develop, skill is innate and cannot be learned, etc.), while others were led to adopt a growth-mindset approach (this can be learned, ability can be developed). Over eight sessions, both groups of students were taught study skills and how to apply them to learning challenging new concepts. Their teachers were not told which kids were in which group, but they were asked for feedback on student performance. Throughout the study, teachers singled out far more students in the growth-mindset group for making huge progress in both their motivation and improvement. At semester’s end, Dweck looked at the students’ The Benefits of Youth Sports | 11 grades in math. The growth-mindset group showed an improvement and was far more inspired to learn and put forth effort. The students in the fixed-mindset group did not improve their grades. In spite of receiving everything the growth group did, except for the growth-mindset training, their motivation to learn and apply their new study skills did not change. Their mindset held them back! From toddlers to adults, Dweck’s results are astounding and consistent. Every study confirmed that the growth-mindset individuals learned more, demonstrated more improvement in testing, challenged themselves more often, and enjoyed themselves more than the fixed mindset groups. Every time! The highest-performing athletes are likely to have a growth mindset when it comes to sports. Of course, young athletes and even pros may perform well on a fixed mindset, but they will never reach their true potential. They will constantly seek validation and need to prove themselves instead of focusing upon improving themselves. In the long run, they will be surpassed by those athletes with a proper growth oriented state of mind. The great news is that mindsets can be changed. Dweck has developed workshops and exercises that help students, athletes, and others adopt a growth-oriented mindset. Sometimes it is as simple as watching a short video on how the brain grows and develops throughout life. Other times it is simple statements of praise that have the desired effect. Once people are open to the possibility that nothing is fixed, they can get on with learning and performing their best.1 Game-Changing QuestionUSAIGC/IAIGC World Championship: The essence of our World Championship is having our gymnasts compete in a healthy International Competitive environment. It’s not about competition levels, scores or placements. I watch with great pride our gymnasts and coaches from around the world and across America bonding together while competing and supporting one another with cheers and congratulations on outstanding performances. This is what the USAIGC/ IAIGC program fosters. Positive behavior enhances our competitive program and develops well-rounded, healthy gymnasts competing in an intelligent gymnastic program that provides them physical, emotional and social benefits, in a nurturing and happy competitive environment. It is the friendships between gymnasts and coaches that make our World Championship so special. The time shared together with gymnasts from the USA and around the world: competing, singing at Karaoke/DJ Nights and Swimming in the pool and our Coaches working together for every gymnast on the competition floor. At our Social Events we get to know each other while exchanging ideas and planning for our Association’s future.
We have started something special! We will continue to push the competitive envelope and continue to develop a healthy competitive culture that fosters 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 
WHY GYMNASTS/ATHLETES QUIT. When a gymnast puts away her leotard and club warm-up for the last time and walks away from our sport, as the Coach reflects, would they choose to coach the individual gymnast differently than they presently have? Effective youth coaching is psychiatry and parenting. Each gymnast is unique and have specific needs that sport can bring them. Some coaches fail to fill those needs because they falsely assume they are training the next Elite or Olympic Champion. They fail to see each child beyond that day when their career ends. The USAIGC/IAIGC by design prepares our gymnasts for life beyond sports. We believe a healthy well-rounded competitive program will prepare our gymnasts for tomorrows World. Gymnasts in the right competitive environment will be prepare them to meet the challenges of tomorrow’s world. They will become the leaders, providing our Coaches understand the big picture.
Gymnasts in a healthy Competitive Program will develop a standard of excellence, strong work ethic, believe in themselves, learn to trust others, the value of encouragement, to know they aren’t the center of the universe, to know that success does not come overnight (or in one practice), to lose with dignity, to accept temporary failures without blaming others, and to realize these failures aren’t permanent, to be pushed to their physical limit, time and time again, to love and to be loved, to sacrifice for others, to respect authority and rules, Teamwork/unselfishness, To never give up! These things still matter when the cheering stops                      

A SPECIAL LETTER 
 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 it’s like to work hard every day and be glad for the small successes. Gymnastics is not all of me but it’s part of me. A part I will never let go. School average 96.86

 WE are a WORLDWIDE GYMNASTIC CLUB OWNERS ASSOCIATION. Our Optional OnlyCollege Bound International Competitive Program is built upon the NCAA Collegiate Rules that provide our Gymnasts and Coaches with a large variety of progressive optional gymnastic skills. Our Competitive Program is built to provide an environment that fosters and nurtures the attributes of a sound mind, sound body leading to successful healthy and well-rounded gymnasts. Gymnasts Training is built on long-term skill development. We intentionally slow down our gymnasts’ learning curve providing them with the necessary time to develop and perfect gymnastic skills in a safe, logical, progressive manner along with recommended training hours per level. Over-training is the number one reason gymnasts leave our sport. Our 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. 

ORGANIZATIONALLY: USAIGC/IAIGC Membership CLUBS HAVE A VOICE WITH AN OPEN VOTE onall Competitive Rules and Policies brought forth by our membership. One Club. One Vote. We are all equal. 
Our Competitive Options prevent Gymnasts’ “frustration” from being stuck in a level. The Gymnasts skill level determines their competitive entry level. Our Gymnasts can start on any Competitive Level their Coach feels is safe. Mobility between competitive levels is decided by the Coach not a score. Our Gymnasts may compete on two consecutive competitive levels: All-Around (their primary level) and Individual Event Specialist on their next level up, on up to 2 events = maximum of 6 routines, OR simply as an Individual Event Specialist performing on one or two apparatus. 
5 Competitive Platforms: (a) All Around, (b) Individual Event, (c) Team, (d) Club High School and (e) International open to allCompetitive Levels. 
Our Competitive Program develops gymnasts that are a head above their peers. Our gymnasts will develop into strong, intelligent young ladies who are goal oriented, success driven, disciplined, with excellent time management skills. Gymnastics teaches 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 tomorrow’s leaders!
The Tortoise & The Hare! The average gymnast leaves Gymnastics around 12yrs. old. The USAIGC is changing this statistic with its intelligent long-term training progressions allowing our gymnasts to peak at a later age and finish the race (the Tortoise). The USAIGC/IAIGC does not believe in “home schooling for sport”. Our belief is that the whole child must be developed to be successful in LIFE. The USAIGC/IAIGC believe 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 Child’s Life is Precious. Their life experiences define who they are and what they become. Children must experience a broad spectrum of life’s experiences and know how to make intelligent decisions. They must be well-rounded, educated women ready to meet the challenges of our changing world. The goal of USAIGC/IAIGC is to nurture our gymnasts and help them prepare for tomorrow’s world.  The USAIGC/IAIGC is not an "I" Association. It is a "WE"Association and the "WE" includes our Parents. 
College Bound: Education plays a major role in our gymnast’s lives. Parents provide their children with many opportunities to experience and learn from. The USAIGC provides a strong foundation for success in life. 
Statistically there are 2-2.5% athletic scholarships available per year. There are 4.5% - 5% Academic Scholarships available per year. To be considered for a Collegiate Scholarship the gymnast must score consistently 9.25 - 9.50+ on two Premier EventsSolid School grades are essential and high scores on College Entrance Exam. 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 what that College Coach is looking for. All the Coach needs is a video of the gymnast performing along with her school grades and a brief history of her gymnastics. 
This starts the process. Collegiate Coaches look Nationally and Internationally. 

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OUR 2021 USAIGC & IAIGC WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP INFORMATION 
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email: paul.spadaro@usaigc.com

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