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Very few XD gymnasts

AliyaFan76

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Something I've noticed so far this season is that there are very few xcel diamonds in our area. At our last meet, there were 1200 gymnasts and only 12 of them were diamonds. On the other hand, platinum is a pretty competitive level and at big meets there are usually 100+ of them. Anyone know why this is?
 

GymDadWA

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I assume for a lot of gyms if the athlete wants to throw those kinds of skills they can switch to the JO track. I know switching to JO takes score outs and lots of gyms treat Xcel different than JO in regards to hours and commitments, but Diamond is very similar to 7 so I can see gyms just saying that they have to go over to JO at that point.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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This is pretty common in my state. Most girls who are Platinum and want to continue to grow, either stay in platinum and just keep upgrading, or go to JO optionals. I think it's a self-perpetuating problem because people stay Platinum because there's no competition in Diamond...
 
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Soaring

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I agree that it is a self-perpetuating problem. Though the Xcel program is growing for all levels, I know of some gyms that have stayed away from offering diamond because of the lack of competition in some areas.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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Yeah, most meets here will have 1-4 diamond gymnasts. All our Xcel levels are growing by leaps and bounds and Diamond is...not.
 

moogacat

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My daughter is a first year XD and we were worried she’d be at meets with very few gymnasts. There were only two in our state the last two years. The first two meets she’s going to have 12 Diamonds registered, which was a nice surprise. Not sure what things will look like after those meets, but that’s at least some growth.
 

2G1B

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At least in our area, the xcel season hasn't really started yet, so it is possible that you will see more girls at competitions after the new year. My DD is likely doing a 3rd year of platinum due to injuries; but after this year (and possibly later this season) she will do XD and likely will never go back to JO. She has already competed L6 and was relatively successful at it (not a rockstar, but placed at state on bars and at most meets placed on usually at least 2 events and often AA). For her, she is now doing another sport too and tries to make sure that she is in the gym at least 15 hours per week, but she is prioritizing the other sport and XD is the perfect place for her to finish out her gymnastics through high school. At regionals last year R8 had 90 girls competing XD. So, while not as big as XP, I do think that it is growing.
 

MILgymFAM

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There were around 100 XD at my daughter’s state meet last year. After my daughter went diamond last year, two of her teammates left JO to join her, and more switched this year. It seems to be growing in some places.
 

txgymfan

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I’m glad to hear XD is growing. It’s also nice that XCel is finally getting more notice overall. I think it’s often an underrated program for athletes and families who do not want gym to be all consuming, still a priority, just not the only one.
 

mls529

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This is pretty common in my state. Most girls who are Platinum and want to continue to grow, either stay in platinum and just keep upgrading, or go to JO optionals. I think it's a self-perpetuating problem because people stay Platinum because there's no competition in Diamond...
Yep, this is exactly what is happening in region 5, and our state in particular. My DD will be a 2nd year platinum this year, with upgrades from last year. Some of her younger teammates will likely be 3rd year and possibly even 4 year Platinums in the future, as our gym has indicated that as of now, they will not offer Diamond as a level. Watching Platinum last year, tons of really tough competition - girls who could clearly be Diamond or JO with some big skills, especially on floor and beam.
 
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Aussie_coach

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So why are gyms so reluctant to offer the diamond program, when clearly they have kids who are very capable?
 

Carly

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My dd is doing her second year as a platinum. She only practices about 6-7 hours a week which is making it take much longer to get the skills needed to move up to diamond. Maybe she'll move up next season but if she's still not ready, it doesn't really matter. There is no real push to get to the next level, like in JO, because we know that she won't be doing college gym, except maybe club. Our gym does have a good amount of diamonds but has twice as many platinum gymnasts.
 
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raenndrops

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So why are gyms so reluctant to offer the diamond program, when clearly they have kids who are very capable?
Most of the time it is because there isn't much competition at Diamond. It would take a whole group of gyms in an area to get together and say that they have Platinums who would do Diamond IF there were other gyms that had Diamonds.
This is the first year that YMCA teams in my state have the option of offering Diamond. There are 2 girls at 1 gym in our district that are competing Diamond. Other states have Y Teams that have offered Diamond for a while now. It is growing at Y Nationals too ... and last June, one team from Ohio petitioned their Level 7s into Diamond for the meet. I think after that, the State Committee decided it might be a good idea.
Bonus - Now, a girl who wants to go from Level 8 to Xcel can compete Diamond instead of dominating Platinum all season.
 

Sk8ermaiden

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I really do think it's threefold. 1)There's no competition. There are just a few gyms competing it anyway, and the more that choose to compete diamonds despite their kids being the only ones in the level at meets, the more will decide to do the same. 2) Gyms are using Xcel in place of compulsory...after Gold or Platinum they just move to optionals. 3) Gyms are using Xcel as intended, and it is REALLY hard to get Diamond skills in 12 or less hours a week.
 

jamieintexas

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I won’t have diamonds. I don’t think that it is safe to train those skills with Xcel hours. In my gym you can stay in Xcel forever and do other sports or you can move into the JO program for optionals. I don’t think that I would even let a level 8 go back into Xcel and compete XD. If you drop your hours, you need to drop the harder skills. It is just not safe.
 

Soaring

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I don’t think that I would even let a level 8 go back into Xcel and compete XD. If you drop your hours, you need to drop the harder skills. It is just not safe.
It is interesting to think of it that way. I can understand that XD generally has low hours and it makes it difficult to safely train hard level skills. My gym is a little different in that the level 8's and XD train together, for a total of 15 hours a week. As a result, there is not a safety issue there.
 
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coachmolly

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I think there are a lot of things that come into play. I have noticed that many gyms that have a team of Diamonds are gyms that have really committed to their Xcel program- adequate time in the gym, quality coaches, opportunity to train with optional groups if the hours/coaching at Xcel aren't enough for higher level skills, no stigma attached to level 8/9s moving from JO to Xcel. I think there is a place for Diamond in the Xcel program, but I also think it's hard, if not almost impossible, to get kids to that level without working at it.
 

profmom

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My daughter competed two years in Diamond after JO L8. It's growing by leaps and bounds here in the northeast, and the quality is very good. Her gym had 12 hours a week for Platinum and Diamond but girls could opt to do an extra practice. I never saw any of her teammates competing skills unsafely. The (large!) team is composed mostly of girls who have been XCel all the way up, but has a few former JO gymnasts.

I hope Diamond grows nationally. It's a very good option for girls who for a variety of reasons (injuries, inability to progress, time) are not going to L10. My daughter was also able to transition very successfully from XD to NAIGC.
 

Aussie_coach

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So what level would Excel diamond be equivalent to?
 

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