Parents How fast do kids typically move between levels? (Rec gymnastics)

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Jun 6, 2023
I am curious how long does it typically take for an average recreational gymnast to get to level 3?

My daughter started gymnastics a bit late at 8y old. She was moved to level 2 after about 8 weeks and now tested into level 3 after just 6 weeks in level 2. I am quite shocked how quickly she progressed especially since I know level 3 is the last recreational level. So, what happens if she is not invited to a team? Will she just stay at her level 3 rec class indefinitely? And is there even a chance for making a team given her age??
Gyms do rec levels and team invites differently so I can't say for sure. My daughter did rec for about 6 months total (she kept starting and stopping). She tried out for team and started L2 team at age 8. She's in optionals and in the middle to younger end in her level so 8 is not too late. Our gym always does one day of tryouts rather than inviting from rec.
Unsure what Rec "1,2,3" means at your gym...that may be a gym specific system, or it could be USAG 1,2,3 skills done in-house? All gyms do it differently. My gym just has rec, pre-team, then starts competing a bit at level 2. Either way, it can be very common for girls that start "Later" to have skills to start a few levels up, skip-ing rec and pre-team completely.
Gyms vary in their procedures for moving kids up the levels and how they choose gymnasts for team. It is best to ask your gym - either the front desk or the coach. Let them know that your child is interested in team. Older gymnasts do tend to move through rec levels faster than younger ones if they have natural ability and/or related experience - dance, other sports - because they tend have better body awareness and focus. Most gyms will have a variety of ages in their beginning team level (age6-12 most often) but there are some gyms form their teams based on age and 8/9 would be too old. If you find yourself at one of these gyms, don't hesitate to search for other gym's in the area that have older girls.
My 11 year old started rec at age 9 then a year at level 2 and then competed level 3 this past year. She is moving to level 4. There are some younger girls on the team that did 2 or 3 years at level 3.
Levels 1-3 can be blown through in a big hurry or skipped entirely in some cases. My son and his friend were both moved to the level 3 team after their first trial class in rec. My son was a competitive swimmer and backyard trampoline master and the other kid had done ninja classes at another gym. They both had the physical fitness to pick up the skills very quickly. They are both doing very well and continuing to move up quickly on team.

Our gym doesn’t have any elite emphasis, so age doesn’t matter. Both the boys team and the xcel team have kids into their early teens in the lower levels. Sometimes they have older kids train with a higher level so they have age-appropriate friends.

If your gym thinks 8 is “too old” find another gym!