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  • The Role of Education in Athletics | USSA - Foundation
    USSA has also maintained a strong partnership with Westminster College in Salt Lake City Through this partnership any elite team athlete choosing to pursue a degree at Westminster may do so for free during their time on the team and for the three years after they retire from the team Westminster s proximity to the Center of Excellence provides athletes with an excellent opportunity to study and to train full time in USSA s elite athlete programs Additionally the USSA recently established an alliance with Utah State University through which two university classrooms have been established inside the Center of Excellence Utilizing cutting edge technology USSA elite team athletes can literally train at the Center of Excellence and then walk upstairs to attend live interactive degree oriented classes And for those athletes wishing to take university classes primarily online a partnership with DeVry University provides access to their courses at no cost to elite team athletes For those elite team athletes ready to begin their preparation for their post athletic careers the USSA offers a mentoring program through which athletes are aligned with a mentor working either in their desired career field or within their geographic location In addition professionals are invited to take part in group mentoring sessions at the Center of Excellence where highly successful individuals in specific professions speak about career pathways and networking within that industry Career preparation seminars dealing with developing a career plan networking resume writing and job interview skills are also available to the athletes When an elite athlete is finally ready to enter into the workforce there are also resources available to assist them Post Sochi the USSA will host a transition camp for its athletes providing career transition and networking opportunities with prospective employers And the USSA recently established an alliance with Sales Athletes Group to team elite athletes with prospective employers All of these programs are in place to support the USSA s Vision The USSA believes that a strong commitment to elite athlete education and career development can enhance athletic performance in the following ways Longer athletic careers athletes do not need to make the choice between pursuing elite sport or career and education If taken as an integrated approach athletes can use a long athletic career to fully prepare themselves to enter the workforce when the time is right for them alleviating the perceived need to finish university studies in four years enter the workforce at an early age etc Improved focus on athletics when career and education are effectively integrated into an athlete s performance plan in a way that does not compromise the athlete s performance a sense of confidence and wellbeing about the future after elite sport can alleviate the stress and anxiety associated with the uncertainty of what happens after elite sport A 2001 survey of over 400 Olympians and hopefuls revealed that 67 fear an emotional letdown following their elite athletic career due to concern that their athletic commitment delays their long term

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/12/09/role-education-athletics (2016-04-30)
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  • Can a New Member Structure Facilitate Organizational Growth? | USSA - Foundation
    the USSA to substantially discount the basic USSA Member category replacing the USSA Non Scored category with a membership that could be used both as a non scored membership for participants of any age up to masters and as a general membership category Currently an alpine member in this category is assessed an 80 USSA fee and is also required to pay an additional division state fee ranging from 10 60 Under a new structure it is envisioned that each division or state would be permitted to determine their own pricing for this membership of which only approximately 35 would be collected by the USSA as opposed to the current 80 Associated divisions would retain the authority to create a local pricing structure that can meet their particular objectives such as increasing revenues to invest in programming for its members or further discounting fees from current levels to incent individuals who are not currently engaged with USSA to join the association and benefit from the support and value it can provide As a function of this new structure the USSA is also considering a new Club membership model Club membership currently requires a small registration fee and provides the opportunity to run sanctioned and USSA insured competitions and the option to access USSA s Club Liability Insurance Program which offers the highest quality liability protection to a club Under a new model USSA Clubs would be assessed a substantially higher registration fee but club membership would include the highest quality liability insurance for a club Based on the USSA s ability to scale the net effect would yield a substantial total savings on insurance costs for a club Under this club membership model the USSA would then be in a position to further drive the basic USSA membership fee down

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/10/24/can-new-member-structure-facilitate-organizational-growth (2016-04-30)
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  • Athlete Retention in an Era of High Performance Clubs | USSA - Foundation
    the pressure of ambitious parents They ve observed that this started as a city phenomenon but has now really taken hold across their country This phenomenon has manifested itself in a specialization that occurs too early places higher demands early on with equipment and equipment preparation has increased focus on days on snow at early ages increased focus on rollerskiing and other specialized dryland activities and other things that enhance competition performance As one NSF club head coach pointed out youth sport in Norway has become more focused than elite sport The NSF approach to this problem is poignant to the USSA s clubs as well NSF has begun to urge their clubs to expand their offerings to kids and to accommodate both those who want to compete at a high level and to those who want to participate Importantly they want clubs to do this in a way that doesn t compromise the programming for those that strive to be elite competitors acknowledging that the vast majority of their clubs are set up for those youth who want to compete and train at a very high level They recognize that their clubs are extremely good at this through recruiting of high performance coaches strong elite training facilities high level training sessions and an environment that identifies and favors the very best And that is not something they want to compromise In NSF s view sport is built upon competition and they want a lot of athletes in their system who are capable of becoming top competitors But they also want to ensure that other youth in NSF clubs also receive a good offering built around fitness and healthy lifestyles if that s what they choose NSF has observed that the training and competition environment in its clubs has become so high level at such a young age that youth have no chance if they decide to start in a ski club at age 10 since the development of those athletes is already so far behind the others in their clubs In that way they believe they ve negatively impacted their recruiting possibilities which in turn has resulted in a likely loss of athletes with talent for the sport NSF also notes that in the current club environment they are experiencing significant dropout at 11 12 years old vs 14 15 which has been their experience in the past and which they believe is a more natural and ok age for athletes to transition into other sports or other activities in life Based on these observations NSF has asked itself Do youth have to compete to take part in NSF clubs They believe their clubs may have too much of a one sided focus on competition and that since competition is an important part of sport there is a bias that all youth in clubs must compete But NSF also recognizes that perhaps there are many youth who do not want to compete at least not while they are getting

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/10/14/athlete-retention-era-high-performance-clubs (2016-04-30)
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  • New Olympic Sports | USSA - Foundation
    to introduce new types of equipment And officials have had to be trained in a massive number of new rules But on balance these changes have been extremely productive and have made the sport far more appealing and relevant to the participants and to the public FIS has also worked extremely hard to grow the number of sports under its Olympic umbrella Despite the fact that FIS has had and continues to have far and away the most medals awarded to its sports during the Winter Olympics it has aggressively pursued growth And it s found a willing partner in the IOC who seems to keenly understand that the inclusion of action sports in its program along with the ongoing push toward gender equity will keep it fresh and relevant This work has brought the addition of sports like freeskiing new snowboarding events and a women s event in ski jumping FIS clearly has its eyes on continued modernization The FIS president has highlighted the alpine team event as an area to expand into awarding more medals but with the built in advantage of not requiring any new venue or additional athletes along with a mixed gender team event in ski jumping presumably replacing the now contested men s only team event and thereby working within the space the IOC has already granted And with speculation that Tokyo 2020 will provide a catalyst and avenue for the addition of baseball perhaps Pyeongchang 2018 will weigh into this process with influence of its own just as Sochi 2014 did for its own benefit when the IOC asked it to expand its original program These efforts are vital to the sustained success of the Olympics the FIS and each of its national associations such as the USSA What s good for the

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/09/08/new-olympic-sports (2016-04-30)
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  • Lessons from a Champion | USSA - Foundation
    in a house without a TV until the day before the 84 Olympics in LA His parents brought home a TV so they could watch those Olympics with their kids Seth s childhood babysitter Joan Benoit would race and of course win the Olympic marathon The TV went into the attic after the closing ceremony But listening to Seth it s beyond doubt that parents play a vital role in helping children discover and live healthy lifestyles And the athletes that become heroes for kids through their own accomplishments are massive motivators and are essential to kids getting into sport Seth spoke of perseverance coupled with patience hard work and focus when overcoming adversity such as injury and defeat He spoke about getting to the Olympic finals seeing his family friends and many supporters and realizing that the Olympics was not just about him It was about the journey to get to that point and the importance of that journey to all of the people who had been around him supported him and watched him It was about his community and about his country about the inspiration that his journey provided He spoke about how the pursuit of excellence and the urgency of winning drove not only the best out of him but also drove the absolute best out of those working closely with him And he spoke about how that pursuit of excellence by his coaches and supporters has positively impacted the many other athletes who ve been with him in his team Importantly Seth s journey also highlighted the history and evolution of the sport of snowboarding from racing gates to the rapid development of pipes and parks to the development of competition formats and the progression of tricks and from bootstrapping his way around the pro tour to the well oiled machine that supports his performance today Since its invention snowboarding has had a unique culture among sport Snowboarding has always been about more than winning and losing It s been about creativity community and progression And that s created a highly innovative and dynamic sport that s been appealing to spectators and attractive to youth The Olympics has embraced this and it s been rewarded The IOC took bold moves several years ago to add new events in snowboarding and its counterpart freeskiing The Olympic program in Sochi will be the most interesting and youth oriented competition set to date But innovation isn t a one and done effort Even since the 2014 Olympic program was set snowboarding has continued to innovate not only through athletic progression in existing events but also with new formats and disciplines Big Air has provided a showcase for trick progression its innovated competition formats and has brought the sport to urban settings And Team SBX has brought an exciting nations format to the sport providing an unifying rallying point for teams and nations The challenge for the IOC is to continue to support and facilitate this kind of innovation and

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/08/24/lessons-champion (2016-04-30)
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  • Alpine Training Volumes at Youth and Junior Level | USSA - Foundation
    The trend continues at the U16 and U18 levels with a growing number of athletes falling short of the recommended 20 40 and up to 55 starts per year This deficiency in on snow days also creates an imbalance in the ratios of training freeskiing structured freeskiing competition training specific competition rehearsal and competition U10 athletes are generally over emphasizing competition 13 vs the recommended 5 of on snow time and competition rehearsal 10 vs the recommended 5 And they are generally freeskiing 29 vs the recommended 35 and structured freeskiing 25 vs the recommended 35 Competition training at this level is largely in line with the recommendation U12 athletes are generally over emphasizing competition training competition rehearsal and competition 51 vs the recommended 40 and under emphasizing freeskiing and structured freeskiing Training at the U14 level comes closer to recommendation where athletes are using 55 of their on snow time for competition training competition rehearsal and competition vs the recommended 50 But due to lower than recommended volumes freeskiing and structured freeskiing are being sacrificed At the U16 level competition training and freeskiing come very close to recommended levels 58 competition and competition training rehearsal vs the 60 recommended but the freeskiing training that is done shows a higher ratio of unstructured freeskiing vs structured freeskiing At this level structured and unstructured freeskiing are split 50 50 with the recommendation being 37 5 62 5 U18s are very close to recommended ranges but could do slightly less freeskiing and more competing There are many factors that can lead to imbalances and insufficiencies in these volumes and ratios including availability of training space length of on snow season motivation of coaches preference of athletes and pressures from parents who report that the number of competitions days at every level is

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/08/05/alpine-training-volumes-youth-and-junior-level (2016-04-30)
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  • Olympic Selection Procedures - Freestyle/Freeskiing | USSA - Foundation
    of the additional costs and complexity associated with the expansion of the number of events And so while it works to keep the sport program relevant and modern it is also working to contain the total number of athletes coaches and officials who can take part Freestyle skiing freeskiing have been most impacted by this balance both positively and negatively FIS and the IOC made very positive developments by adding the sports of halfpipe skiing and slopestyle skiing both highly relevant youth oriented events These events have a large participation base are dynamic and interesting for spectators and TV viewers and will create a high degree of youth engagement in the Olympics However their addition has also created some challenges The maximum number of athletes that a nation can enter in freestyle events in the Olympics is 26 With the ability only to enter a maximum of 26 athletes across five sports moguls aerials skicross slopestyle and halfpipe and two genders per sport it is highly likely that the USSA will be forced to leave a podium potential athlete at home The performance levels of the athletes in these sports is very high with multiple podium potential athletes in each sport and gender In order to manage these levels of performance within the maximum allowable quota and to field the most competitive team possible across all five sports the USSA has designed a selection process that rewards top level performance and that also contextualizes the sport by sport selections by assessing the most recent performance levels of each sport as a whole By capping the number of athletes in each sport who can be selected objectively based purely on the achievement of multiple podium finishes in international competition based on the number of top international performers in each sport from

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/07/31/olympic-selection-procedures-freestylefreeskiing (2016-04-30)
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  • Club-Based Organization - Progress Report | USSA - Foundation
    are facilitating increased accessibility for coach education This evolution has already resulted in 40 growth in Level 100 course participation Coupled with that the USSA has trained many of its Level 300 club coaches to deliver Level 100 courses within their clubs encouraging senior coaches in USSA clubs to use the USSA coach development process and curriculum to train and improve their own staffs Through this localized program nearly 200 club coaches have received their Level 100 certification effectively de centralizing the USSA s coach development program out to the clubs in the field and providing benefit to the clubs in the form of efficient staff development The USSA has also expanded the number of courses certifications and continuing education courses many served online to capitalize on the momentum in the program resulting in an over 50 jump in Level 200 clinic participation The USSA s National Coaches Academy has continued on its renewed path giving the USSA s top club coaches another opportunity in addition to participation at selected camps and regional projects to learn side by side with the USSA s elite team staff The USSA Center of Excellence TV has been expanded with over 700 educational videos available and has been re organized to enhance accessibility to the content yielding over 500 000 views Center of Excellence TV offers USSA coaches and athletes vignettes produced by the elite team staff with commentary and text instruction often accompanying the instructional videos And the USSA is currently moving forward toward making premium members only content available on Center of Excellence TV With this focus on coach development the USSA achieved an important milestone providing one certified coach for every ten athletes in the association Ongoing development of the USSA s club development program which will offer education recognition best practices sharing amongst clubs and club consultation services some of which are already being requested by a number of the USSA s largest clubs The program will also establish a club certification system which will verify the quality of programming in clubs in accordance with USSA standards and mentor those clubs not meeting standards to achieve higher levels of quality and performance Certified clubs will be granted the use of the USSA s logo for promotion and fundraising along with the right to promote their affiliation to parents and athletes as a USSA certified club The Club Excellence seminar which is the annual educational gathering of the leadership of the USSA s Clubs will continue to be a valuable feature of the club development program offering information insights and club to club collaboration IT development on behalf of USSA Clubs is being expanded The USSA s online race registration and management system continues to improve with additional functionality being added on based on the feedback of clubs and competition organizers In September the USSA will roll out improved member websites in each of its sports increasing accessibility to information and providing improved demographic segmenting The USSA s regional alpine regional

    Original URL path: http://foundation.ussa.org/blog/athletics/2013/07/30/club-based-organization-progress-report (2016-04-30)
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