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Make the Connection: Why Mentoring & Networking Matter

Make the Connection: Why Mentoring & Networking Matter

Love the new USASF junior coaches’ training curriculum? Thank Courtney Kania-Young of Ohio Extreme All-Stars, whose idea sparked the initiative—with a little help from her mentor, Orson Sykes of Twist & Shout.

Hungry for better safety/emergency initiatives? You’ll be appreciative of the work being done by Houston Elite’s Joshua Johnson (mentored by Ann Lehrman) and Karrie Tumelson (mentored by Debbie Love). Johnson’s proposal for Standardized Emergency Action Plans and Tumelson’s recommendations for Universal Safety Standards for the warm-up room will soon be implemented at USASF events during the 2014-2015 season.

Expansion Case Study: CheerForce, Inc.

Expansion Case Study: CheerForce, Inc.

Creating a thriving program is often the impetus for starting an all-star cheer gym—but what happens when that accomplishment generates considerable demand? How do you answer the call to open another location? CheerProfessional asked three gym owners who took the leap and expanded based on their own initial success.

Learn how CheerForce, Inc. tackles the challenge while maintaining the integrity of their brand.

Do Dance Teams Equal Dollar Signs?

Do Dance Teams Equal Dollar Signs?

Could the addition of a dance program be something to cheer about at your all-star gym? The sector has certainly seen significant growth in the last five years, with the 2008 debut of the Dance Worlds and many gyms introducing dance teams. USASF dance committees were formed in 2011 to help foster that growth, and 25 event producers now give bids to Dance Worlds. Being part of this emerging trend comes with both risks and rewards for any gym. Though a dance program can diversify your offering and/or boost your bottom line, it’s important to consider elements like scheduling issues, staffing and costs.

Missing in Action

Missing in Action

Jamie Gumina distinctly remembers being on the bus with her team and about to leave for JAMFest Super Nationals in Indianapolis five years ago. Energy was high, as the team had worked hard to prepare for the event—but that’s when she realized her base was missing. “We called her, and she said she couldn’t come because she was sick,” Gumina recalls. It was a huge setback for the group from Blue Springs, MO-based Gage Center, but cheer director Gumina got to work quickly.

Vetting New Events: A Cautionary Tale

Vetting New Events: A Cautionary Tale

When Jam’s Athletics owner Elizabeth Marsh and her teams arrived at the Cheer Nation Nationals, they were looking forward to the opportunity to compete; in fact, one of the Jam’s Athletics teams was preparing for their first-ever performance. Instead, they got a heartbreaking surprise. “The day of the competition, we came in, and there were no mats, pretty much nothing set up,” says Marsh, who was approached by a rep for event organizer Halee Yates to see if they could borrow Jam’s Athletics mats and spring floor at the last minute. This was not only an unusual request from an EP, but a tall order.

Mission: Fulfillment

Mission: Fulfillment

It may sound like just another trendy buzzword, but “volun-tourism” is a very real trend. A 2008 study by Tourism & Research Marketing found that an estimated 1.6 million volunteer tourists take “ethical” holidays where they have an opportunity to experience another culture while performing philanthropic actions. If you’re thinking about joining their ranks, get inspired by these three inspiring stories from cheer professionals who’ve been there and done that:

Game Changers: American Elite

Game Changers: American Elite

It’s not uncommon for parents to become close when their kids cheer together. What is unusual is for that friendship to blossom into a full-fledged, profitable and fun business. For Wanda and Gary Whipkey, Caryn Hale and Laura Dudley of Tallmadge, Ohio, starting American Elite Cheerleading in 2005 made sense because of their combined enthusiasm and experience volunteering at the all-star gym where their daughters trained. They just weren’t the ones who came up with the idea.

Expansion Case Study: Stingrays

Expansion Case Study: Stingrays

Creating a thriving program is often the impetus for starting an all-star cheer gym—but what happens when that accomplishment generates considerable demand? Many business owners answer the call for expansion and go on to open multiple locations. To learn more about this approach, CheerProfessional asked three gym owners who took the leap and expanded based on their own initial success. Learn how the Stingrays tackle the challenge while maintaining the integrity of their brand.

Day in the Life: Dan Kessler

Day in the Life: Dan Kessler

5:00 or 6:00 am: I get up early in the morning to work out before the girls wake up. (I have two little girls: 3-year-old Ruby Jane and 1-year-old Eleanor.) 90 percent of my workout is straight running—right now, I use the treadmill because it’s been so darn cold [in Kentucky], but I’ve done a couple marathons and a bunch of half-marathons and smaller races. Then I shower, drop Ruby Jane off at pre-school around 8:30ish and come to the office.