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Prep Optional

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Couple of questions about Prep Optional?

If a girl switches to prep optional are her chances of a college scholarship hurt. I guess my questions is, will college programs look at girls out of prep optional are do you have to stay in the JO Program Level 9-10 deal to be looked at. We know of several girls going into prep optional at coaches request and just wandering if they know what they are doing for themselves. Just curious.


I can't really answer your question except that I don't think prep-op goes up to high enough levels for college, does it? I thought prep-op only cover skills up to about L8. Don't most colleges look for L10 girls?


I've heard of girls doing prep-op instead of level 6 - or to get ready for level 7 - but I don't think the skills go high enough for college level. I'm not 100% sure on this one either.


Proud Parent
Jul 25, 2008
I've heard of girls doing prep-op instead of level 6 - or to get ready for level 7 - but I don't think the skills go high enough for college level. I'm not 100% sure on this one either.

This is my first post, so hopefully I do this right. Anyway, this will be the first year that my kids' gym will compete prep-opt, and this will be the 2nd year that our state does it. This appears to be one of the things that our gym is doing with prep-opt. For most of the girls, they are doing it in place of L6. From what I hear judging in L6 is very harsh. Also, our gym seems to be using it with many of the older girls (11-12+) as a way of keeping them in the gym and preparing them for high school gymnastics.

My daughter (currently 10yo) has decided for herself to do prep-opt this year instead of a 2nd year of L5. She wasn't ready for L6 yet, mainly because of bars. Her goals are to compete prep-opt silver. This was not my choice for her. I think the competition will be very limited, meaning fewer girls competing against more than one age group vs. competing L5 in one age group. However, she said that she would be very bored competing the same routines again, and she seems to very motivated now to get her own routines and music, and she's working on some of the L6 skills that are good for her without having to do those that still scare her. Anyway, it's my understanding that once she competes prep-opt that she would probably stay in prep-opt until she is ready to do L7. At which point she would have to go through 1 L6 meet first in order to "test out" of it and skip to 6. However, with this being the first year for our gym, I think the coaches and the owner are still trying to decide how exactly to handle all of this. I hope it will go okay for my daughter and she's not disappointed once she starts going to meets. :confused:


Well-Known Member
Former Gymnast
Proud Relative
Jul 5, 2007
Prep opt programs vary a little regionally but the idea is to be a preparatory optional program (the program was used a lot more - at least in my state - when L7 was not an optional or semi optional level), so I don't think any prep opt programs would currently sustain the level of competition necessary for NCAA preparation. However moving into prep opt doesn't necessarily mean they'll stay there forever. Your gym may move girls there for a variety of reasons without permanently moving them out of the USAG level program. If they are interested in long term plans I think the parents should set up a face to face meeting with the coach who can hopefully give them a realistic assessment of their daughter's short term and long term potential in the sport and at that particular gym.
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