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About Level 6

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cocosmom

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I have heard that there are gyms that do what they can to skip or minimize the time spent in Level 6. They'll get their Level 5 girls to get a mobility score in 6 and then move on to seven. Other gyms see girls get "stuck" at Level 6. Just wondering what the coaches think about it. Why is the jump from 5 to 6 seemingly so much bigger than 6 to 7?
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
I have coached Levels 5 and up for years, and it all depends on the athlete, and the policies of the gym.

While different people have different reasons, I don't think that one level is "harder" than another, or that there is a "right or wrong way" to do it. It all depends on what the goal is.

In my experience, kids who spend at least one year at each level are more successful in the long run, and spending more than one year at a level doesn't necessarily "slow them down." It's like the old fable of the tortoise and the hare, but that's just what I have witnessed.
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
We try to skip level 6 with most of our athletes. The difference between 6 and 7 is so minimal that there is really no reason to do 6. I like girls to jump to level 7 and starting working their 8/9/10 skills at the earliest age possible. To me it seems that the scoring is so harsh in level 6 that most athletes actually do better in 7.
 

cccam

Member
Dec 1, 2007
88
a lot of people at my gym get "stuck" at level 6 because of bars. there is a big leap from level 5 to level 6 in the bar work [as in the clear hips and flips and casts and baby giants] where as from level 6 to level 7, there isn't a huge difference [remember, you don't need a giant for level 7]

some of my friends have trouble getting a good enough back walkover especially coming from just doing cartwheels because in the higher levels [like 7 and 8] it's usually all about the back series
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Funny...the last few posts are a perfect example or different reasons to skip 6 or not.

Our kids must compete Level 6, but our Level 7's must cast to handstand and giants to compete, so that's where the trade off is. Level 7's in our state aren't very competitive without giants, back handsprings on beam, or a front pike or layout on floor.

Usually an athlete who "skips a level" or competes a "back-to-back" season ends up having rough season at some point, and has to repeat a level anyway. The rules for Level 6 (especially on bars) are pretty tough, but if a gymnast can be a decent L6, chances of being good at L7 are pretty good.
 

CoachL

Member
Apr 9, 2007
217
Giants are also required in our program for level 7, along with a cast handstand. As lannamvity said it's all about what the goal of your program is. I have gymnasts introduced at very early levels and ages to optional level skills so that the transition is smoother for them. Our programs goal is to produce elite athletes and college scholarship winners, so we have our progressions geared that way.
 

lannamavity

Member
Sep 13, 2007
409
way out West
Giants are also required in our program for level 7, along with a cast handstand. As lannamvity said it's all about what the goal of your program is. I have gymnasts introduced at very early levels and ages to optional level skills so that the transition is smoother for them. Our programs goal is to produce elite athletes and college scholarship winners, so we have our progressions geared that way.
Sounds like we agree that Level 5 and 6 are good places to hang out while preparing for optional gymnastics.
 
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BlairBob

Guest
I've noticed quite a bit of a difference in scores from level 6 to 7. I am talking about the same gymnast in roughly the same season. From them scoring out of 6 and competing 7 a few months later in the optional season.

If I had older girls ( junior high and older ), my focus would be getting them out of compulsory to get their own routines. Actually I believe, we can petition for them to do it and they end up doing level 7 and missing elements.

This echoes back to the vision of the program. Whether it's teaching high level to elite gymnastics or gymnasts per the gymnast's potential.

I would also be concerned of having gymnasts spend too much time focusing on compulsory gymnastics or competing if they have any hopes of competing in college or elite. Routines during the competitive season take away quite a bit of standard training ( which can get very monotonous without the competitive season ). While gymnasts and parents love going to meets and getting medals and on the podium, the competitive season really does eat a lot of training time in a gymnast's career. Competitive experience is great and all, and you can always be training higher level skills as well as routines; but it's just not as efficient. This could be an issue for gymnasts starting past the age of 10 ( elite is not going to happen [ besides a 1/10000 change from that starting point ] but college can still be a possibility ).

I would also say the commitment levels of level 5 and level 6 are different as it usually means an extra day of gymnastics, often from 3 days a week to 4 days a week. This can also be due as level 6 practices are often at the end of the night versus say 4-7 or 330-630 or something like that. This is as much a financial commitment as it is a time commitment and the required strength is much more. An example is simply the difference to being able to do multiple backhandsprings out of a round off versus having enough of a rebound to do a non scary back tuck. I would also blame back walkovers on beam as a big culprit to the drop outs not only due to the skill but due to back injuries ( in part due to overuse on juveniles, improper technique on back vs shoulder flexibility, and lack of strength and spinal problems ).
 
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