Parents How long does it take to get to level 2?

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Not open for further replies.


Proud Parent
I know the answer is "it depends" but how long could it REALLY take for a slightly timid, not horribly precocious but hard working and dedicated young lady of 5.5 to get to Level 2?


As explanation, my frustration is that my and my other child's car time could be cut down dramatically by promotion, and I do not want to feel this pressure to pick a gym based on who thinks she is 1 year away from level 2. I do prefer to do it based on other factors.
Last edited:
What skills does she already have well, how many hours a week does she train and how old is she? I think people could give more input if they knew what you do? Are you choosing a new club?
Are you referring to USAG L2 or what your gym calls level 2? Reason I ask is many gyms don't even have L2 teams or whatever. They do pre-team and then the girls start competing at L4 or 5. I know the gym where my gymmie started called their rec levels 1, 2, 3 etc., but they had no relation to those USAG levels.

Yes, please tell us more about what your dd is doing now, how often she has class.
I believe it is AAU level 2 actually.

This year she started off taking 2 hours of artistic a week, moving to 5 hours of developmental in the last two months. She also does some on her own. I think she has all her level 1 skills except the back hip circle, recognizable but not polished. She has gotten much stronger, enthusiastic and more skilled in these two months. I am driving around quite a bit. Yes we are looking at decreasing the driving. She is 5.5.

I am trying to get her a bar, as she really will try much faster things that are hard if she's in her comfort zone. She'll grow out of that I would think before she couldn't try this at home.
She is very young and if she were mine I would find the closest gym that had a good pre-team programme. I am not sure that, for me, competing AAU L2 would be the primary deciding factor, many gyms do not even begin to compete until L4 and L5. Spending tons of time perfecting routines may not be as much fun as learning skills.

As for the home bar, they would not be my first choice for home equipment, a beam or a mat would be better. For her to learn a back hip circle at home with no coach is not the best idea, so much can go wrong.

Five hours a week sounds about right for pre team, you could always add some ballet to that yourself as it always helps in the end. She will be more than doubling her hours now and she will progress much faster. I see lots of girls have a huge skills spurt around 6 and this may happen for your DD. It is so hard for a coach to predict where your DD will be in a year, she could fly ahead of the pack, stay with the pack or fall behind, there is no real way to tell.

I would aim for a happy DD who loves to go to gym, begs for more and is challenged, that doesn't mean constant new skills, sometimes that mean perfection of aquired skills.

Best of luck, these choices are never easy, the good news is that she is so young and has so much potential.
She is very young and if she were mine I would find the closest gym that had a good pre-team programme. I am not sure that, for me, competing AAU L2 would be the primary deciding factor

It's not for me, as I would somewhat prefer she not compete level 2 (though I don't feel strongly about that right now). But rather, the good pre-team programs that do NOT compete level 2 are a good hike. On the other hand, the three gyms near me that have something going for them ALL compete level 2. There is one other fairly close gym and I called and asked about the pre-teams, and was told they have 2 hour and 4 hour per week pre-teams (and I don't think they have a girls' team there actually at the moment). I asked when my daughter could be eval'd for the 4 hour pre-team and was told that they could do that in the summer, but, she rarely puts someone in that group who is not seven. Uh, huh? My daughter REALLY loves and REALLY benefits from going more than 2 hours a week at age 5!
Yeah I hear you, that is a tough choice really. Ideally she would be in a gym that actually has a team, hard to have pre team without the team isn't it. It really seems that your DD is ready for more then 2 hours a week and a good programme would benefit her.

Based on the experience of a Mom whose 6 year old competed L2 AAU, it doesn't hold them back and they are learing worthwhile skills that lead on to the next level. Girls can also skip levels if they aquire skills faster than the average.

But as you say 2 hours a week will not keep her happy at 5. As for not having kids in 4 hour pre team until they are 7, that sounds very odd, when we have so many little ones here competing L4 at 6 and doing fine. It's not about age it's about readiness.

Good luck, we all empathise with this tough choice, though I have to say it is nice that you do have choices.
*Disclaimer* I replied to this from the quick links on the homepage, before realizing that the OP had posted in the PARENT's forum. OOps, sorry! If the mods want to delete/move it, I understand, but I was really only trying to help-out Emorymom.

I am a coach at a gym that starts competing at Level 3, though some girls enter the team program at Level 4, or transfer later from other gyms. We do not compete Level 2, although our pre-team trains similar skills. From my experience watching our gym and those that DO compete Level 2 AAU, I have seen both advantages and disadvantages of both systems. If Level 2 is competed, just as a progression to be got-through, until the kids reach Level 3 or Level 4, I do not see much point in it. If however, it is used as PART of a bigger plan for team progression, it can have benefits. To do REALLY well at Level 2, the kids need to have solid skills and GREAT execution, which can really help them through all the compulsory levels. However, if just scoring OK at Level 2 or 3 is just seen as an end unto itself, it will not help the long-term development of the gymnasts. They need to also be working on new skills as well as perfecting routines.

I have seen many Level 3 and 4 gymnasts that can DO the skills, but either with terrible form, bad technique or sometimes both :(. Having to compete at Level 2 with easier skills (in a good gym!), could prevent some of those problems further along the levels. As a coach, it is MUCH easier to teach a skill the right way with decent form than it is to try and correct a kid that believes they HAVE a great round-off or back-hip circle! To do even those skills correctly, the child needs a good hollow shape (which they can hold), and for R.O. an excellent cartwheel with straight body, and the ability to fully extend the shoulders and push through them.

If I were the OP, I would look at the gyms nearest you first (Atlanta area?). If they DO compete Level 2 AAU, check out their meet results online. Are their kids consistently scoring 35s and 36s? How old are the gymnasts? How many of their top scorers are older or repeaters? Any decent gymnast should be able to score 35+ as a 2nd year Level 2/3/4. If more than 1/3 of their level 2s or Lvl 3s are repeaters, and are NOT the youngest kids, that would be a red-flag that this is a gym that cares MORE about winning than progressing their gymnasts. You want a balance. Some kids DO need to repeat OR be in a less demanding program, but scoring 35 or 36+ regularly shows a decent mastery of that level.

If you are in Ga, check out the GA aau gymnastics website. The Level 2 and Level 3 state meet is this weekend in Winder, GA. The schedule is on the GA AAU website. See when the gyms you are interested in are competing (try and pick the session or sessions that have the most relevant teams), maybe you and your DD can go "watch" the meet! For her it could be a fun experience, and for you, you can scope out the gyms, how they do and also how the coaches interact with the kids.

I hope this helped. If you have any questions lmk!
Last edited:
She is still young I would find the closest gym that had good programs.My dd was doing rec 1hr classes once a week at that age.She had the attention of a nat,extremely timid and a boucing bean (everybody laughed at her any time she had to wait in line she was bouncing the whole time )I was a suprised when they asked her to be on team.She was 6 almost 7(4mon away)when she started AAU team 2 and she loved it ,it was a huge accomplishment for her to just perform in front of a lot of people.AAU is a great program for young kids starting out in Fl all the kids get a overall medal or ribbon ,which is great for little ones if they do not place at least they get something.AAU in Fl is huge for the compulsory levels most gyms switch to usag between L5-L7.
So in follow up: The current plan is that DD is going to start level 2 team this year, at a program that doesn't score well compared to the other close by level 2 teams that hold kids longer / older before competing (one program very highly ranked might have held her back to compete level 2 at age 8, the other age 7). I know that some people would think "hold her back in a pre-team to compete older or at a later level" and I think "gymnastically" that may be good advice. But I am really trying to cut back on the driving where possible, and this program is just a couple of minutes drive up the road (we could bike easily except for the hill, so we can bike difficultly). There are lots of girls there many of whom must live nearby enough to be buddies, it's a good value, and she can be dropped off for 3-hour stretches. Parent satisfaction seems high.

The very close programs all compete level 2, except for one that isn't calling me back. Since I was unable to make an eval appt, I dropped in and HC eval'd her, said she was good to go for pre-team with the level 2's about to be level 3's and HC asked them to call me when they had the fall sched finalized, but never heard from them. It would be a lot more money anyway.
Hey emorymom, it's good to hear back from you.

At Level 2 winning isn't everything, but good basics are. It sounds like you made a smart choice for now. The gym is close and customers seem happy, which at the rec. and lower levels is more important than having the highest scores.

As your daughter begins on the team program, I would recommend that you watch practice periodically to make sure that the coaches are paying attention to details like body-position and form, and esp. that your daughter is still having fun! If you have concerns. ask her coaches, and of course let us know how it goes.....

Best of Luck to you both :)
Not open for further replies.

New Posts

DON'T LURK... Join The Discussion!

Members see FEWER ads

Gymnaverse :: Recent Activity

College Gym News