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4gr4ce

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Feb 27, 2022
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Hi again! Gymnastics newbie here! I never did gymnastics so this world is all new to me. I have a question about XCEL vs. Developmental (JO.)
Our gym only offers XCEL at these early levels. From what I can tell they switch after diamond and start developmental at level 7? I could be wrong about that? However after reading these Chalk bucket forums I’m think that XCEL may be a waste of time.
My daughter is finishing her first competition season at the Bronze level. She says she wants to do gymnastics “forever.” I don’t know if she really will and it really doesn’t matter to me whether she sticks with it or not. I just want her to do what God made her to do and if that’s gymnastics then Yay! BUT, if she does want to go to collegiate level then I want to make sure I give her the right opportunities now. So then my big question must be is XCEL a waste of time, or can they still achieve collegiate level? I covet your wisdom! :) As always, thank you again for your help!
 

PreciousJ

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Feb 16, 2021
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The Xcel track in USA Gymnastics is by no means a waste of time, but provides a different opportunity for gymnasts than the DP/JO. My only gymnastics experience as a parent is with Xcel, and it works for my DD and our family. The Developmental Program track may work well for others.

If college is a goal, there are several threads on Chalk Bucket that strongly recommend DP over Xcel, and they provide lots of details about why that's the case. However, a gym that treats Xcel seriously can also provide a good gymnastics experience, and allow kids to possibly have more time outside of the gym.

Also, read this article for more information.
 

gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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It's not a matter of whether it is a waste of time but rather is it a right fit for you gymnast's future goals.

If your gym is using xcel as a building block toward optional levels in JO and they have upper level gymnasts (level 9/10) who are doing well, then you should be fine. If the gym can only get the girls to level 6/7/8, not scoring well, then you have to decide whether the gym is going to be the right fit long term.

My dd's gym used xcel as a path toward JO optionals and dd transitioned from platinum to level 7 JO. She went on to be a 4yr level 10 and is completing D3 in college (she could have made D1 but not for the schools she wanted) . So yes, there is a path but it all depends on how your gym program is designed.
 

PreciousJ

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^^^Yes, the strength of the program, whether it's Xcel or DP, makes a difference! As @gymgal stated, it's about finding the right fit. DP hours and compulsory repetition would be a huge turn off for my kid, but some thrive on it. We're at a competitive Xcel-to-optionals gym, and happy with the arrangement. DD doesn't have college gym aspirations (as far as I know), but if she wanted more, we would find the right fit for her.
 
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4gr4ce

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Feb 27, 2022
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It's not a matter of whether it is a waste of time but rather is it a right fit for you gymnast's future goals.

If your gym is using xcel as a building block toward optional levels in JO and they have upper level gymnasts (level 9/10) who are doing well, then you should be fine. If the gym can only get the girls to level 6/7/8, not scoring well, then you have to decide whether the gym is going to be the right fit long term.

My dd's gym used xcel as a path toward JO optionals and dd transitioned from platinum to level 7 JO. She went on to be a 4yr level 10 and is completing D3 in college (she could have made D1 but not for the schools she wanted) . So yes, there is a path but it all depends on how your gym program is designed.
Perfect!! I think this is exactly what our gym is doing. We do have optionals at our gym and they are doing very well. They have gymnasts up to level 10, which I am assuming is as high as it goes before college. This was very helpful. Thank you for posting. I don’t know if my kid will really stick with it that long because she’s 7. She says she does but we all know A LOT can change. But I just want to make sure this is the right path in case she does. :) Thanks again!
 
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4gr4ce

New Member
Feb 27, 2022
11
39
The Xcel track in USA Gymnastics is by no means a waste of time, but provides a different opportunity for gymnasts than the DP/JO. My only gymnastics experience as a parent is with Xcel, and it works for my DD and our family. The Developmental Program track may work well for others.

If college is a goal, there are several threads on Chalk Bucket that strongly recommend DP over Xcel, and they provide lots of details about why that's the case. However, a gym that treats Xcel seriously can also provide a good gymnastics experience, and allow kids to possibly have more time outside of the gym.

Also, read this article for more information.
Thank you!
 

BusyMomof2

Member
Feb 2, 2022
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I think you'll find lots of varying responses as it really depends on your area, the philosophy of your gym, and other factors (like the talent of your gymnast). In our situation, our gym doesn't offer JO until level 6, so ALL lower level competitive gymnasts are Xcel. Our gym spends a fair amount of time uptraining, so our Xcel Silver DD is working on skills far beyond what is required in Xcel Silver as she is working towards moving to optionals. However, some girls on her team don't have optionals goals and are happy as can be competing in the Xcel track. Some will stay on Silver next year, some of the older girls will move to Gold.

In our case, it's definitely not a waste of time as Xcel has prepared our daughter for JO. Her Silver coaches also coach all the way up to L10 (but they aren't the head coaches) so they definitely understand and are skilled in coaching beyond Xcel.
 

rlm's mom

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Aug 21, 2021
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At her age the main thing is to let her enjoy gymnastics! Xcel will keep her on the right track for college when she's young. If she is still set on college by age 11-12 I would move her over to JO optionals - whichever levels she fits into. She will have to test out of the compulsary levels.
 
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Flippinmom

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Mar 11, 2022
22
I’m new to the gymnastics world and my daughter started XCEL bronze last fall. I know XCEL is a newer program, and I wonder if the kids who started in the early XCEL programs are even college aged yet to really know how well it prepares them ‍♀️

Either way, our gym uses XCEL during the lower levels and switches to optionals later, and my daughter doesn’t have college aspirations that I know of lol
 

Carly

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Jan 3, 2016
270
I’m new to the gymnastics world and my daughter started XCEL bronze last fall. I know XCEL is a newer program, and I wonder if the kids who started in the early XCEL programs are even college aged yet to really know how well it prepares them ‍♀️

Either way, our gym uses XCEL during the lower levels and switches to optionals later, and my daughter doesn’t have college aspirations that I know of lol
My dd's gym started their Xcel team in 2014 so there are definitely girls in college that have been through the program. Not exactly sure what you mean by how well it prepares them. Prepares them for what?
 

Flippinmom

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Mar 11, 2022
22
My dd's gym started their Xcel team in 2014 so there are definitely girls in college that have been through the program. Not exactly sure what you mean by how well it prepares them. Prepares them for what?
Sorry if my post wasn’t clear, the OP was talking about XCEL in regards to training with a goal of reaching collegiate level so I was just wondering if the program has been around long enough to judge how the XCEL gymnasts do once they reach that age/level. I see most people recommend JO/DP route usually, but I was just wondering if the program is too new to really know. For example, if a 6 year old started in XCEL bronze in 2014, she would only be 14 now.

Again, I’m very new to this and my daughter is in her first year, so I don’t have an opinion or experience either way, just something I was thinking about. We love the XCEL program and have no plans to change to DP/JO.
 

Carly

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Jan 3, 2016
270
Sorry if my post wasn’t clear, the OP was talking about XCEL in regards to training with a goal of reaching collegiate level so I was just wondering if the program has been around long enough to judge how the XCEL gymnasts do once they reach that age/level. I see most people recommend JO/DP route usually, but I was just wondering if the program is too new to really know. For example, if a 6 year old started in XCEL bronze in 2014, she would only be 14 now.

Again, I’m very new to this and my daughter is in her first year, so I don’t have an opinion or experience either way, just something I was thinking about. We love the XCEL program and have no plans to change to DP/JO.
Sorry, I probably should have realized what you meant. It should take longer to see if the kids who have only been in Xcel the entire time would have a chance to do college gym since it appears that it was started in 2013. I definitely think that it would be possible for some to reach the college level but in general, most probably would not if the gyms are using the program as designed. By as designed, I mean lower hours than JO/DP. My dd, who is now in Xcel, is practicing 1/3 of the amount of hours that she did in JO.
 

Flippinmom

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2022
22
Sorry, I probably should have realized what you meant. It should take longer to see if the kids who have only been in Xcel the entire time would have a chance to do college gym since it appears that it was started in 2013. I definitely think that it would be possible for some to reach the college level but in general, most probably would not if the gyms are using the program as designed. By as designed, I mean lower hours than JO/DP. My dd, who is now in Xcel, is practicing 1/3 of the amount of hours that she did in JO.
That makes sense!
 

cogymmom2dd

Proud Parent
Feb 9, 2020
188
Hi again! Gymnastics newbie here! I never did gymnastics so this world is all new to me. I have a question about XCEL vs. Developmental (JO.)
Our gym only offers XCEL at these early levels. From what I can tell they switch after diamond and start developmental at level 7? I could be wrong about that? However after reading these Chalk bucket forums I’m think that XCEL may be a waste of time.
My daughter is finishing her first competition season at the Bronze level. She says she wants to do gymnastics “forever.” I don’t know if she really will and it really doesn’t matter to me whether she sticks with it or not. I just want her to do what God made her to do and if that’s gymnastics then Yay! BUT, if she does want to go to collegiate level then I want to make sure I give her the right opportunities now. So then my big question must be is XCEL a waste of time, or can they still achieve collegiate level? I covet your wisdom! :) As always, thank you again for your help!
Another XCEL to optionals gym mom here. It has worked well for my kiddos. I like the flexibility that XCEL offers in their routines, no redundancy and meets are more interesting because it’s not the same floor music playing for 3 hours straight. My DD1 did do a season of L2 and L3, so I have live in both worlds and prefer XCEL. Both of my older girls are both in optionals. One of the best gymnast from our gym is now a successful L10 at a neighboring gym (There’s only 2 gyms in my area with successful L10 teams so she left to train with a bigger team. She actually grew up in a gym that was XCEL only, came to our gym at age 9 as a Platinum, then went on to compete levels 6-9 and is now thriving as L-10 and she’s still In Middle school with hopes of scholarships.
 

TumbleTimes4

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Sep 13, 2016
578
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I think it just depends on how your gym uses Xcel. At our gym, the Xcel program is more laid back and lower hours. It gives girls a chance to experience competitive gymnastics that may not have been suited for the more structured and demanding JO/DP program and gives them a chance to experience other activities that wouldn’t be possible to do with higher JO hours. So our Xcel program wouldn’t be a fit for someone with college aspirations. But I don’t think the girls competing Xcel would classify it as a waste of time. They still have the fun of competitive gymnastics that they enjoy with more time to experience other things.
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
270
I think it just depends on how your gym uses Xcel. At our gym, the Xcel program is more laid back and lower hours. It gives girls a chance to experience competitive gymnastics that may not have been suited for the more structured and demanding JO/DP program and gives them a chance to experience other activities that wouldn’t be possible to do with higher JO hours. So our Xcel program wouldn’t be a fit for someone with college aspirations. But I don’t think the girls competing Xcel would classify it as a waste of time. They still have the fun of competitive gymnastics that they enjoy with more time to experience other things.
My dd's gym is exactly the same way. She loves that she can still train higher skills and compete but also has time for other things like school clubs, time with school friends, volunteering, attending school sports/activities.
 

Pirouette

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Oct 16, 2014
222
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The title of this thread was total click-bait for me, LOL!

My daughter only did Xcel, and it was not a waste of time for her. It was perfect for her, and she is still competing NAIGC (club gym, kind of like college recreational) as a college freshman, so I guess it served her well.

When she competed in high school, there were several gyms that only competed the Xcel levels, no JO. Those gyms had great technique and won a lot. I don't know what kind of training or hours they did, but they were very good. I've wondered occasionally if any of them went on to compete in college D1/D3.
 
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gymgal

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Aug 22, 2008
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When she competed in high school, there were several gyms that only competed the Xcel levels, no JO. Those gyms had great technique and won a lot. I don't know what kind of training or hours they did, but they were very good. I've wondered occasionally if any of them went on to compete in college D1/D3.
Someone several years ago mentioned that they knew a gymnast who was a diamond xcel and she was on a D3 team but this is the only one I have heard of. Almost all D3 gymnasts have competed L10
 
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pt coach

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Dec 23, 2009
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In my state during the awards ceremony at each state meet graduating seniors are recognized - they read a little summary of each gymnasts accomplishments in gymnastics, school, other sports and also a list each gymnast's plans for the future. Last year my daughter was one of the graduating seniors at the Diamond State Meet (so I was maybe paying better attention than in other years) and although there were no gymnasts going on to college gymnastics, the majority were planning to do other sports in college like diving or track and field. So, I would say that Xcel is never a waste of time if it allows you to participate in a sport you love, while also pursuing other sports, activities etc. Plus, at least for my daughter, her years of gymnastics gave her the strength, coordination and work ethic to succeed in the sport she chose to pursue in college. I am a big fan of Xcel and particularly love Diamond.
 
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