WAG Div 1 Difficulty

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reluctant

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I just attended a Div 1 Women's meet at a highly ranked school and it was so much fun but it strikes me that the difficulty appears to be the same as the first year level 10s at our gym. Do athletes learn new skills in college or do they just perfect the skills that they go in with? If so, is that boring? I know it's fun to be on a team, but I would imagine that part of the thrill is getting better, not staying the same for 4+ years.
 
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TumbleTimes4

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I know they are also limited to a max of 20 practice hours a week per NCAA rules. I imagine that training fewer hours than they are use to probably would interfere with learning a lot of new skills. And since they are competing as a team, it’s more about hitting clean routines rather than upgrading a ton of difficulty. More difficulty would leave more room for deductions. I would think the goal would be to keep them healthy too since they compete much more frequently than elite.

That being said, one of the Glenn girls at UCLA did learn a new bar dismount for this year. I’m sure they do learn new skills, probably just not as many and not at the rate of an elite gymnast. I do however really want to see Ohashi throw her full on beam though. She did a couple years ago and it was gorgeous!
 

Flyaway

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The end game is different in college gymnastics - it's all about that perfect 10 and the team score. No need to put their bodies through extra stress and risk injury to learn more difficult skills that they likely won't have perfect 10 perfect.
 

Freddy's Fred

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The end game is different in college gymnastics - it's all about that perfect 10 and the team score. No need to put their bodies through extra stress and risk injury to learn more difficult skills that they likely won't have perfect 10 perfect.

That's kind of depressing to me. They work so hard and then in the end it is just maintaining. :(
 
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gymgal

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Most of the gymnasts competing in D1 are coming on to the team already having college level routines, some beyond and they take out skills to reduce deductions. From there, it is all about perfecting the routines. You will see some gymnasts add skills into competition along the way but why take the chance of potential injury training new skills and not having the same level of confidence in competing them?

I know they are also limited to a max of 20 practice hours a week per NCAA rules. I imagine that training fewer hours than they are use to probably would interfere with learning a lot of new skills.
The official hours are limited to 20 but there are additional "optional" hours that really aren't optional. I am sure it is different for each team but many are doing 30+ when taking into account all aspects (warmup/cool down, strengthening/conditioning (which is often "optional"), therapeutic - all of which are encompassed in a typical club practice.
 

gymgal

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That's kind of depressing to me. They work so hard and then in the end it is just maintaining. :(
I don't have personal knowledge but I am thinking that most gymnasts are ok with it, especially with the rigors of college and the anticipation of competing every weekend for 3 months. After 15 years of upgrades, a little maintaining probably is welcomed. ;) But also, there has to be some level of upgrades as the code changes and I am sure you see more upgrades in the lower ranked teams because not all their gymnasts would be coming in with fully competitive routines.
 

esor

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I just listened to a great Gymcastic podcast where they had Peng Peng Lee, who was a UCLA gymnast until last year. It was so interesting to here her take on what college gymnastics is about vs. (in her case) elite. She said it was a different type of fun aiming for perfection vs. upgrades/hard skills. It was very interesting to hear her take on it. she also talked about the toll it takes on your body competing all the time in college, so it seems the challenges are just different when they hit the collect level.
 

Amyk333

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Another thing to remember is that college gymnasts compete every week during competition season. Throwing high difficulty skills week after week is difficult on the body and puts the gymnast at a high risk for injury.
 

justanothergymmom

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I just attended a Div 1 Women's meet at a highly ranked school and it was so much fun but it strikes me that the difficulty appears to be the same as the first year level 10s at our gym. Do athletes learn new skills in college or do they just perfect the skills that they go in with? If so, is that boring? I know it's fun to be on a team, but I would imagine that part of the thrill is getting better, not staying the same for 4+ years.

That is amazing that your first year level 10s have the same difficulty as the athletes at a top D1 school. Since this is the case, I would imagine that your first year level 10s will soon commit to some of the top D1 schools, and they will likely have more specific information about expectations for commits at each of these programs, since they will all be a little different.

Some collegiate athletes do continue to learn new skills and upgrade their routines, and some continue to perfect the skill set that they come in with, as well as work on new connections of current skills. For sure, these NCAA athletes will be competing the cleanest routines that their college coach feels will benefit the team. I can only speak for my own D1 gymnast, who absolutely LOVES this sport and has never seen any of it as boring--including the repetitive parts. And not only is it fun to be on a team, it is one of the BEST PARTS of NCAA gymnastics!

This question reminds me of an unofficial visit my daughter was on years ago with several other commits and recruits. While observing the team practicing, one of the parents of a recruit was questioning whether her daughter would be able to compete all 4 floor passes that she was planning to compete for her current JO season. The coaches responded that it would be unlikely, and that they try to compete as cleanly as possible. (I am paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it...) I remember sitting there thinking to myself that most of the athletes on that team had tons of other "tools in their box" (having followed many of them through their JO careers), but clearly they didn't need to put ALL of those tools on display to meet NCAA requirements and compete successfully.

My personal thoughts--First year level 10s have a lot less repetitions (and years of pounding on their bodies) than D1 gymnasts. Many of these athletes at top D1 programs have 6-7 years of Level 10/elite training and competition before starting college. Now as collegiate athletes, they are competing in women's bodies and not little girls, and recovery can be a little different than when they were 13 or 14 years old. It is important to respect that, which may requite a different pacing than JO/elite athletes, in order to help them compete safely and smartly, and hopefully enjoy their NCAA careers.
 

reluctant

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That is amazing that your first year level 10s have the same difficulty as the athletes at a top D1 school. Since this is the case, I would imagine that your first year level 10s will soon commit to some of the top D1 schools, and they will likely have more specific information about expectations for commits at each of these programs, since they will all be a little different.

Some collegiate athletes do continue to learn new skills and upgrade their routines, and some continue to perfect the skill set that they come in with, as well as work on new connections of current skills. For sure, these NCAA athletes will be competing the cleanest routines that their college coach feels will benefit the team. I can only speak for my own D1 gymnast, who absolutely LOVES this sport and has never seen any of it as boring--including the repetitive parts. And not only is it fun to be on a team, it is one of the BEST PARTS of NCAA gymnastics!

This question reminds me of an unofficial visit my daughter was on years ago with several other commits and recruits. While observing the team practicing, one of the parents of a recruit was questioning whether her daughter would be able to compete all 4 floor passes that she was planning to compete for her current JO season. The coaches responded that it would be unlikely, and that they try to compete as cleanly as possible. (I am paraphrasing, but that was the gist of it...) I remember sitting there thinking to myself that most of the athletes on that team had tons of other "tools in their box" (having followed many of them through their JO careers), but clearly they didn't need to put ALL of those tools on display to meet NCAA requirements and compete successfully.

My personal thoughts--First year level 10s have a lot less repetitions (and years of pounding on their bodies) than D1 gymnasts. Many of these athletes at top D1 programs have 6-7 years of Level 10/elite training and competition before starting college. Now as collegiate athletes, they are competing in women's bodies and not little girls, and recovery can be a little different than when they were 13 or 14 years old. It is important to respect that, which may requite a different pacing than JO/elite athletes, in order to help them compete safely and smartly, and hopefully enjoy their NCAA careers.

Just to clarify, I am not talking about my own child. My own child is not interested in college gymnastics.
 

reluctant

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Just to clarify, I am not talking about my own child. My own child is not interested in college gymnastics.

Timed out:

Just to clarify, I am not talking about my own child. My own child is not interested in college gymnastics. I am making an observation hat gymnasts who last through high school are extraordinary humans who have pushed themselves to limits for essentially their whole childhood. I would imagine that a lot of these people are motivated by being risk averse and by wanting to learn new skills all the time. It seems like a pretty major shift in focus, if they are indeed not learning new skills when they compete for a college. In addition, I can't think of another sport where you don't get better in college. So I stand by my assertion that I think it is kind of depressing in the abstract. It doesn't mean that they are not having fun. And if college stands in contrast to a childhood of anxiety and physical overexertion, than that is also kind of depressing. Why would we put our kids through this?
 

wandrewsjr

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I would argue college gymnastics is exactly like most other college sports. College swimmers don't learn new strokes, they get more efficient with their breathing, better technique on starts and turns, more powerful kicks. College basketball players don't learn new skills, they get more efficient with their shot making, develop more aggressive defensive techniques, become better rebounders and passers to help the team.

Even if a college gymnast does not learn new skills(and some do), she may be developing better technique in her tumbling to make it higher, cleaner, with more controlled landings. She is developing the technique in her release moves so they are cleaner and caught every time, becoming better at hitting that handstand on bars every time. She is perfecting that Yurchenko to get it more explosive off the table, cleaner in the air, sticking that landing consistently. Getting better doesn't just mean "new", it means more consistent, more explosive, more dynamic, cleaner.

Only sport I can think of where many college athletes might learn entirely new skill sets is diving, but that's because many athletes come to the sport late so are still on the learning/acquiring skills curve in college.

College sports are team sports. The whole team is working together to get the win. In gymnastics, helping the team means perfecting technique so it's deduction free, hitting consistently every time, doing your best to stay healthy and injury free so you can contribute, stepping into the line-up at the last minute because a teammate was injured in warmups, learning to hit a routine with thousands watching and the team relying on you.

While most college gymnasts may be past the learning new skills part of their gymnastics career, they are most certainly striving to get better.
 

reluctant

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I would argue college gymnastics is exactly like most other college sports. College swimmers don't learn new strokes, they get more efficient with their breathing, better technique on starts and turns, more powerful kicks. College basketball players don't learn new skills, they get more efficient with their shot making, develop more aggressive defensive techniques, become better rebounders and passers to help the team.

Even if a college gymnast does not learn new skills(and some do), she may be developing better technique in her tumbling to make it higher, cleaner, with more controlled landings. She is developing the technique in her release moves so they are cleaner and caught every time, becoming better at hitting that handstand on bars every time. She is perfecting that Yurchenko to get it more explosive off the table, cleaner in the air, sticking that landing consistently. Getting better doesn't just mean "new", it means more consistent, more explosive, more dynamic, cleaner.

Only sport I can think of where many college athletes might learn entirely new skill sets is diving, but that's because many athletes come to the sport late so are still on the learning/acquiring skills curve in college.

College sports are team sports. The whole team is working together to get the win. In gymnastics, helping the team means perfecting technique so it's deduction free, hitting consistently every time, doing your best to stay healthy and injury free so you can contribute, stepping into the line-up at the last minute because a teammate was injured in warmups, learning to hit a routine with thousands watching and the team relying on you.

While most college gymnasts may be past the learning new skills part of their gymnastics career, they are most certainly striving to get better.

Thank you for this insight. It makes me feel better.
 

tomtnt

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BEST explanation ever regarding differences between collegiate and JO/elite gymnastics

There is a push to increase the difficulty in college code - the devaulation of the Yurchenko full... I bet there will be a slow creep towards increasing difficulty in other events as well.. maybe a requirement for single bar release, E-pass on floor, etc...


I would argue college gymnastics is exactly like most other college sports. College swimmers don't learn new strokes, they get more efficient with their breathing, better technique on starts and turns, more powerful kicks. College basketball players don't learn new skills, they get more efficient with their shot making, develop more aggressive defensive techniques, become better rebounders and passers to help the team.

Even if a college gymnast does not learn new skills(and some do), she may be developing better technique in her tumbling to make it higher, cleaner, with more controlled landings. She is developing the technique in her release moves so they are cleaner and caught every time, becoming better at hitting that handstand on bars every time. She is perfecting that Yurchenko to get it more explosive off the table, cleaner in the air, sticking that landing consistently. Getting better doesn't just mean "new", it means more consistent, more explosive, more dynamic, cleaner.

Only sport I can think of where many college athletes might learn entirely new skill sets is diving, but that's because many athletes come to the sport late so are still on the learning/acquiring skills curve in college.

College sports are team sports. The whole team is working together to get the win. In gymnastics, helping the team means perfecting technique so it's deduction free, hitting consistently every time, doing your best to stay healthy and injury free so you can contribute, stepping into the line-up at the last minute because a teammate was injured in warmups, learning to hit a routine with thousands watching and the team relying on you.

While most college gymnasts may be past the learning new skills part of their gymnastics career, they are most certainly striving to get better.
 
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