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For Coaches How long do keep kids in REC classes

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Just curious if any of you have a time limit on rec classes. That meaning, you like to keep new students in rec classes for at least 6 months, a year, or 2 years before asking them or letting them join team?

I thought I read on here about a girl who was in rec classes for two years before being asked to join team. Is there a maximum number of kids who can train on team or compete?

And do you always do it on an invite only basis?


I'm sure this varies a lot by gym. In my gym, joining team team is by invitation, although we do have rec kids who express an interest in joining team, and we try to prepare them for "trying out". We have no time limit on how long you have to be rec before joining team or a limit to how long you can stay rec. We have rec classes for beginners all the way up to Level 8/9/10 skills if a kid wants. Some kids want to stay rec because they either don't want to compete or don't want the huge time commitment or are doing gymnastics to help with other sports like cheerleading.

My best advice is if you're interested in joining team, ask the coaches what you need to do to get there. I'm so focused on the rec program and whether a kid can move up a rec level that I might miss a kid who could do team. I may not realize that a kid has other goals than learning the skills to move up in the rec program unless she tells me. Our rec program doesn't focus as much on the strength and flexibility elements as team kids do so a kid with great skills still has some additional prep needed to make the team.


Active Member
Sep 19, 2008
I think the change between rec to competition is different at every gym, what one does doesn't reflect how another gym would invite a competitor.

Generally (very generally) speaking, there hasn't been a time limit in my experience. It's how fast a child can pick up the skills for a competitive level. They have to be able to perform a multitude of skills from the level they wish to join.

Aside from the ability to do a skill, gyms also look at the mental 'readiness to compete' aspect. Things to look at there are if a child can take verbal correction without breaking into tears or getting overly discouraged, if they are shy about doing skills in front of people, if the thought of being judged makes them uneasy, that sort of thing.

Another thing to think about is what part of the competitive season it is. Again, generally speaking, getting in on a team mid-season is less likely. While it's totally ok to not have every skill down for competition pre-team, mid season is not the best time to jump in and expect a competition ready routine.

I know thats very general, but I hope it helps. I was speaking about American gyms too, I don't know how it's done in other countries.
Jul 12, 2008
Charleston, WV
Some kids at our gym will never get out of rec classes. We only put kids on the team that we feel have potential. Some, if not most, of the rec kids end up just doing a tumbling class and then do cheerleading.

But I guess to answer your question, there is no set time. There are kids that have spent a year in a rec class and others that never did one. It all depends how ready they are, maturity wise, to participate on the team.


Well-Known Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
No specific time, all the gyms I've worked at have had pretty organized evaluation processes even if they're seemingly informal. Very very few gyms seem to have an actual "try-out" day or anything, at least in my region. Sometimes there might be a younger pre-team group and some higher level rec classes (like rec level 3) and both tracks feed into level 4 but because of age differences they do different tracks. Really every program is at least slightly different.
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