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Xcel to JO?

gymgirllove

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My DD is in xcel silver, she wants to move to JO to go farther in her gymnastics. She is really old for her skill level so she worries about if it’s worth it. She’s 13, and according to the required skills, she will be sitting about at level three or four once she gets her round off back hand spring. The level fours at her gym are roughly 8-11 though and it’s a concern for her. What are your opinions? Is it smart?
 

Gymx2

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Why does she want to do JO? "Going farther" could mean a lot of things. Does she want to do more hours and work at a higher intensity than her Xcel program offers? If so, I think JO might be a great choice even if she is on the older side. Does your gym treat Xcel as a lesser competitive group? If that is the case she might be happier with a gym that treats Xcel with more respect.
 

moogacat

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Why does she want to do JO? "Going farther" could mean a lot of things. Does she want to do more hours and work at a higher intensity than her Xcel program offers? If so, I think JO might be a great choice even if she is on the older side. Does your gym treat Xcel as a lesser competitive group? If that is the case she might be happier with a gym that treats Xcel with more respect.
This is exactly it. My daughter does Xcel, and her gym shows it more respect than some other gyms in the area. The JO girls do look at them as a little bit "lesser," but the Xcel coaches don't treat them that way. They do as many meets as the L3-5 girls, and get to do Regionals if they qualify. My daughter has been allowed to progress to upper level JO skills simply because she has the will and the skill, and the coach supports it. If it's a matter of wanting to do more hours and intensity, then she should move to JO. If she just wants to do higher level skills as she's able with the hours she's currently training, then there are at least some Xcel programs that will accommodate it.
 
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Carabistouille

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(Not from the US, so take this with a grain of salt)

I agree with what was said before.

As a coach and a gymnast (in a totally different system though, keep that in mind), I think "optionals" programs are good for older girls and especially for late-starters, because it gives you more freedom in terms of skills selection and progression (older girls and late starters often have a weaker event, usually bars). Also it allows you not to train skills that would not be particulary useful to you (mill circle and front hip circle in L3 for instance - if she is learning a BHS at 13, there is very little chance she will do a front giant one day, so even if there is nothing wrong with learning those skills [I mean it's fun !], her time would be better employed learning skills that will eventually lead to harder skills she has a reasonable chance of learning).
And at that age, they often like to have their own floor music and routine.

So in theory, I think an optional program can be a great way to progress, but if she feels that this gym' xcel program is lacking intensity/hours/focus on form and conditioning, then indeed it might be a good idea to switch either to JO or to another gym with a more intense xcel program.
 

CLgym

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I am definitely a fan of movement between JO/Xcel. My DD went from Xcel to JO a few years ago because she wanted a more intense program, and she very happy that she took the leap. From my perspective, it's not really a question of being "worth it" or not. For most gymnasts, "going further" doesn't mean much. The real takeaways are lessons regarding teamwork, tenacity, friendships, sportsmanship, physical fitness, etc. So I would suggest looking at what your DD will gain/lose from such a change.

How will your daughter feel about being older than the rest of her team? Keeping it real, without a ROBHS, she's technically not even ready to compete L3 (let alone L4), and I assume the L3 team is about age 7-10 based on your post. Does she have a kip? Pick up skills fast? The friendships and social aspects of team gymnastics are critical to my DD's enjoyment of the sport, so this would be a big consideration for me.

Will she be OK giving up the optional routines of Xcel for more tedious compulsory routines?

Will JO require more gym hours that could impact your daughter's ability to participate in other activities, complete homework, etc? Increasing demands (school and social) seem to particularly impact gymnasts during their pre-teen / early teen years.

Will your current gym allow your daughter to move to JO? Or would it require a gym change? In our case, DD's first gym did not allow mobility between the two programs so her move to JO also meant changing gyms. Along the same lines - If your daughter moves to JO and doesn't like it, will the door to Xcel always be open to her?

I'm sure there's more to think about, but hopefully this gets you started. Good luck!
 

gymgirllove

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Thank you all for your opinions, I’ve talked to her about the things you have said and made it clear that a lot of options can be difficult for her. We decided to stay on xcel for now and possibly move once she has more skills and is more prepared.
 
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