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Repeating Level 4?

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Billy

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I am seeing a lot of talk about first and second years at L4 and it seems like a lot of girls do L4 more than once. As my DD is just moving up to L4, I'm curious about this. Are we talking about AAU or USAG L4? How common is it to repeat L4? Why do they repeat? Are there certain skills that give the girls trouble?
 
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hammy

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From a personal standpoint, I would have my girls repeat level 4 (USAG L4) for a few reasons:

1. Missing a backhandspring/missing key elements that are building blocks for future skills.
2. Improper technique on important skills (back hip circle on bars, bhs on floor, vault, etc)
3. Maturity--if the kids are consistantly scoring low and do are not mature enough to move on to the next level. For me, this point is mainly a safety issue because as the levels progress the skills become more difficult, and if the gymnast is not mature enough they will end up hurting mentally and physcially.

Repeating a level generally occurs for many reaons, such as missing key elements, immaturity, improper technicque, etc. I am a perfectionist, so I like to see that my gymnasts are able to correctly perform a skill consistantly before advancing them. As far as how common it is to repeat level 4, I think it really all depends on the gymnast. There are some skills at level 4 that give the gymnast trouble, but there are skills at every level that present problems. If everything came extremely easy to every kid, there would be no competition and no overcoming obstacles.
 

Geoffrey Taucer

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This varies a lot from gym to gym, and from kid to kid.

Every girl has her own pace. Some girls need several years at the same level to solidify their basics, others can run right through a level.

Not much more to say.
 

flip4u

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Feb 27, 2008
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As said before, there are many reasons that a gymnast may repeat L4.

For me, to move from L4 to L5:
*The gymnast must be able to compete all L4 skills consistently with good form (usually scoring 8.5 and above)
*The gymnast must be able to perform all L5 skills consistently

Another thing that I look at is attitude. If the gymnast has not been scoring well as a L4 and not receiving medals at competition (usually medals are given out to the top 1/2), then I will hold them back. I want them to feel good about themselves and their performance. In my experience, if a gymnast that has not been successful at the previous level is pushed to the next level, they will be even less successful at that next level. Many times this leads to the gymnast quitting gymnastics altogether.
 
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Billy

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I understand the reasons for repeating a level. What I want to know is, is there something specific about level 4 that causes problems? Because it seems like this is the level that gets repeated most often (at least from what I can tell based on comments on the board). Why would that be? What is it about level 4?
 

cftmoonlight

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I understand the reasons for repeating a level. What I want to know is, is there something specific about level 4 that causes problems? Because it seems like this is the level that gets repeated most often (at least from what I can tell based on comments on the board). Why would that be? What is it about level 4?
My experience is that a lot of 4s are fairly young and things get scary. Level 4 isn't scary, but when you make a small kid go over that vault in level 5 or jump to the high bar, that gets scary. I think that is the biggest difference in the move from 4 to 5.
 
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Billy

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I have heard that AAU level 4 is a better preparation for USAG level 5 than is USAG level 4. Is this true? They still don't do the kip but they do jump to the high bar, roundoff back handspring, and the cartwheel on the beam. They also vault to a stack of mats using the vault table.
 
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TuesdayPillow

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I guess it depends on the gym/coach's goal.
I do not find Level 4 very progressive at all. I have worked at two gyms that start their gymnasts at Level 5. Sometimes the kids stay for two years, many times they are able to move on.

I do not wait until a child is PERFECT before they move up. However, I train my kids according to their level. Some train to compete well in meets and get high scores.

In my opinion, there is no reason to repeat Level 4. Level 5 is the level where you really start training all the important skills on every event that will allow the gymnasts to progress.

Reasons most gyms repeat Level 4?

Maturity
They want to win
Fear
 

Aussie_coach

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If level 4 is the one being repeated it is often the level 5 skills we can look to for the problem. The kids have successfully gained their level 4 skills for competition but often repeat because they arent getting their level 5 skills. There are a few big jumps from level 4 to 5. Like vaulting over the table, glide kip and long hang kip on bars and so on.
 
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Billy

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If level 4 is the one being repeated it is often the level 5 skills we can look to for the problem. The kids have successfully gained their level 4 skills for competition but often repeat because they arent getting their level 5 skills. There are a few big jumps from level 4 to 5. Like vaulting over the table, glide kip and long hang kip on bars and so on.
Okay, that makes sense. So when we're talking about "repeating" level 4, we're talking about repeating the competitions while continuing training level 5, not repeating the level 4 training. Usually. Right?
 
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hammy

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Yes, many girls repeat level 4 because they are not able to successfully and safely complete the level 5 skills, so it is likely that they are training the level 5 skills while competing level 4. Also, some gyms may just have the kids train for a year, with no competitions, then skip through the levels (doing 'move up' meets).
 
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Billy

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Ah.... now I understand the "scoring out" of a level. I never knew how girls would know the skills and routines for multiple levels in one meet season. They must have been training both levels in preparation for moving up. Oh the things you learn in this forum! Thanks, everyone!
 
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BlairBob

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I was at one gym that used L4 to compete girls coming from the rec program and not keeping the younger girls typically till L5. These girls were more of the ontrack girls coming from the developmental program.

Quite often though a girl will be competing one level, say L4, she will be training her L5 skills. Basically come in, do a few routines and train the skills or vice versa.

" In my opinion, there is no reason to repeat Level 4. Level 5 is the level where you really start training all the important skills on every event that will allow the gymnasts to progress. "

This is pretty much idea about the JO MAG actually.

One of the first gyms I was at when I was just a rec coach coming on trained for their first level of competition as Level 5. In fact, they skipped over mastery of many of the L3 and L4 skills and suffered in doing so during that season. It could have also been due to a new coach taking over as the old compulsory coach went into teaching. While she was trained well, she was still new to it.

I would say most gyms repeat L4 to allow their gymnasts to medal and score high. Parents at that level ( meaning new to the competitive world of gymnastics ) dig that big time and are a general pain in the butt if their DD isn't scoring 36 with 5 medals 5th place and under versus having them on a sign n' play sport and go to the playoffs. Especially considering the expense and effort those new L4 parents have to put into the gym ( Booster club volunteering, selling stuff, etc unless they are loaded ).

Simply put, one of the biggest obstacles of L5 is jumping to the high bar from a squat on. If the gymnast ever has a big fall on that, it can just take forever.
 

Aussie_coach

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The way it works in Australia in general is that all gymnasts compete the level they have mastered and work the skills for the next level. We have a bonus point system so that the gymnasts can compete some of the skills from the next level in their current level. They get a small bonus to their start value but of course it is a risk too for deductions but the system is designed to ensure girls are training the next level skills. All level 4's will be working level 5 skills.

Another thing we do in Australia is offer competitions from Level 1 and up. Competing is not compulsary to move up until they are level 4, but most girls compete earlier than that. It seems to give the girls a lot of advantages competing earlier. One of the keys to success is competition experience, this sort of experience they can't gain without competing. However, we do not have an incredibly high retention rate in the higher levels. The problem with our system is that because they can compete the bonus skills many girls repeat the level year after year.

We have even bigger problems with the squat on and jump to high bar in Australia because it is a required skill for level 4, so all our level 3's are learning this skill. However it does help the transition to level 5, getting the kips is enough of a challenge on its own it's nice to have the girls have mastered the squat on for a long time already.
 
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Billy

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We have even bigger problems with the squat on and jump to high bar in Australia because it is a required skill for level 4, so all our level 3's are learning this skill. However it does help the transition to level 5, getting the kips is enough of a challenge on its own it's nice to have the girls have mastered the squat on for a long time already.
Georgia AAU level 4 does the squat on jump to high bar, too, as well as a cartwheel on beam and the ROBHS on floor. They also use the vault table for the first time (landing flat on a stack of mats). I've heard some say this level is a better transition to USAG level 5, probably for this same reason. That way they can focus on getting the kip when they train level 5.
 
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hammy

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I really wish USAG level 4 was the same as Georiga AAU level 4 because it would provide such a better transition!
 
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