10 Initiatives to Save Gymnastics in America
10 Initiatives to Save Gymnastics in America
By: Zander Arthur
We need to get together and Save Gymnastics in America. Coaches, club owners, parents, and athletes, I need you to hear me out. Our sport has been struggling to thrive, and it’s due to a lack of leadership from the top. If we want our gymnasts to succeed, our clubs to grow, and our sport to be one of the most popular sports in the world again, we need real change.
I’ve been in this sport my entire life; my parents have been in this sport their entire life. I have never seen us so weak. I don’t want to be all talk, so I laid out 10 important initiatives that need to happen immediately for us to bring back the confidence in our institutions and Save Gymnastics.
ONE- Train coaches with practical, quality, and extensive training courses.
We need extensive, up-to-date, and quality training courses that truly provide practical ways to coach both recreational and competitive gymnastics. These courses should instill a unified value system that sets the culture of positive approach gymnastics and coaching etiquette. Right now, the courses available are outdated, impractical, and difficult to access. You take the courses, and you’re no better a coach once completing it. That needs to change.
TWO- Promote gymnastics and its greatness to the public at large.
Our governing body needs to promote gymnastics and its greatness to the public at large. The average club doesn’t have the marketing budget to grow awareness and interest in the sport to their local communities. The governing body needs to have a large marketing budget to help clubs across the country gain enrollments. Every child should do gymnastics, at least at the recreational level, once in their life; that needs to be the focus when promoting gymnastics to the public at large. I’m talking about consistent ads for both boys and girls’ gymnastics, country wide, with a re-direction to local gymnastics centers.
THREE- Provide unified and extensive business development courses.
What about unified and extensive business development courses? Many gym owners are in the dark when it comes to best business and marketing practices. We resort to community groups in Facebook, or 3rd party companies outside of our sport. Our governing body needs to provide the greatest and latest business practices and resources for our clubs.
FOUR- Celebrate and honor our legends and heroes in our sport.
We need to celebrate and honor our legends and heroes in our sport, like the passing one of the greatest male gymnasts of all time, Kurt Thomas. We need more mini-docs like the one I put out, but with the kind of quality for Netflix or cable TV, for the public at large. How awesome would that be?
FIVE- Highlight and reward gymnastics clubs that show excellence in ethics and success.
We need to highlight and reward gymnastics clubs that show excellence in ethics and success. We need to celebrate not only our athletes and coaches, but our great club owners that dedicated their life to the sport and their local community. This will galvanize the community and promote behavior of excellence.
SIX- Revive men’s gymnastics to make our whole sport stronger.
We need to bring attention back to men’s gymnastics. Men’s programs are dying all over the country, but just in the US. Why? It’s all due to the fact that there is not enough awareness. Young boys need to look up to male gymnasts like they look up to quarterbacks. The larger our pool of male gymnasts, the better our top contenders will be, putting us back on the world stage and re-awaken local club and collegiate men’s programs.
SEVEN- Deliver active and responsive leadership.
What is the plan? Where is the hope for a better future? I want to know what are we doing now, and what we will accomplish in the future, to make our sport safer, stronger, and better than ever. We need Leadership.
EIGHT- Express unity within our sport by spreading our core values as a community.
We Need to unify our sport, club owners, gymnasts, and coaches. If we all work together to keep each other accountable, spread our core values, and expand each other’s knowledge, USA can be the leaders again, in both the sport and the business of gymnastics. It takes Leadership from a governing body to provide that kind of environment and framework.
NINE- Make World Championships a popular event to gain public attention annually.
Let’s make World Championships a popular event to gain public attention annually.
Why is it that the public at large only gets excited about gymnastics every 4 years at the Olympics. Where are the efforts to make World Championships like the World Series or Super Bowl? We may never get there, but we need to try.
TEN- Prioritize risk management planning and provide strong support during times of crisis.
We need our governing bodies to have risk mitigation planning for its members and be prepared during times of crisis.
There’s all ten. Everything I stated, myself and National Gymnastics Curriculum are actively working on. I am the co-founder and President of NGC, and I’m hoping to get the support from our community and governing bodies. We are not trying to take-over, again, WE ARE NOT TRYING TO TAKE OVER. We are simply just working on filling these gaps in our sport. But we need your help. We are asking for your club to become a member and certify your recreational and competitive coaches with our extensive program. We need huge support by getting thousands of clubs to join, that is the only way we can make these initiatives come true and fix the ethics issue in our sport.
Like I said, we are not all talk we are actually doing this! We just need your support. We can continue to work on all the initiatives stated, so long as we get thousands of clubs on board. Nothing bad can come from this, only great things. Please visit our site at NationalGymnastics.us/savegymnastics, and enroll your club today, you will not regret it. If you are a parent, athlete, or coach please take action and share this with your club! Let us Save Gymnastics in America together.