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JO 4 vs Excel

Discussion in 'Women's Artistic Gymnastics (WAG)' started by Jennifer Rainwaters, Apr 20, 2017.

  1. Jennifer Rainwaters

    Jennifer Rainwaters New Member Proud Parent

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    Hi, my 11 year old daughter competed USA level 4 gymnastics last year. She did not have a great season as she couldn't get the kip. She now has it, though it is a work in progress. She has her robhbt, working on her back layout, can do a front punch and an aerial, working on her front aerial. She nailed her cartwheel on the beam every time last year. She has her back bend on the low vault. She does the front handspring vault and can do a back tuck or front tuck dismount on beam. My question is should she repeat level 4 again or do Excel Gold. She really likes the idea of doing her own routines and music. We have to make a decision soon. Also if she did a year of gold, could she skip level 5 and go right into 6. Not a lot of gyms around here compete at a level 5 Thanks so much.
     

  2. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    You can not skip L5 you have to score out.

    As to which path is better. They are different. Does her gym allow/do back and forth between JO and Xcel because that is important.
    And when does the next season start? Is there any reason to think she couldn't do 5/6 by then? L6 she gets her own routines and music as well.
     
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  3. JoyAvenueMom

    JoyAvenueMom Active Member Proud Parent

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    The way your gym treats Xcel and Xcel athletes would be a great thing to consider. For some gyms, it is considered "less competitive". There are lower expectations, fewer hours, and not a lot of mobility back to JO. Other gyms use Xcel as a sidetrack, moving kids in and out to avoid a lot of repeating at the compulsory levels. Not that either path would be "wrong" ...it just needs to match her goals. As she enters puberty, there is a great possibility that things will change for her. Body changes increase chance of injury, outside interest can reduce the importance of gym, increased self-consciousness can impact confidence and make them feel critiqued all the time. Strictly skill -wise, competing one level or another won't matter "one hill of beans" in terms of her progression the following year. It's all about what she is working on every day in the gym. I've seen 10yo L6 move to Excel, compete 2 years before "retiring". And, I've seen an 11yo L4 become a 13yo Regional L9 champ. Every journey is unique.
     
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  4. Jennifer Rainwaters

    Jennifer Rainwaters New Member Proud Parent

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    Her gym has never had an excel gymnast. The coach doesn't want to move her to 5 yet. She would like her to do the equivalent of between a 4 and 5. She would practice with the rest of the team. Small amount of girls maybe 8 total. Most competed level 3 last year only her and another girl did 4. We have no higher level gymnast. She practices 9 hours a week and that would continue and they may add more since they want to compete usag this year. Our 1st meet last year was in October.( level 3 practices 6 hours, 4 and up 9) Our gym doesn't start competing until level 3. She only did that for 1 year before moving up. I am just so confused, he r coach said she had to look up what qualifications she needs for the excel levels. This is new to her too. Plus they only have 1 coach for all the levels.
     
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  5. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    That would be a concern for me.
     
  6. vbdb

    vbdb Member Proud Parent

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    There's zero harm in repeating 4. I know it's not exciting but it's great for foundational skills. My kid did it because of weakness on bars, the extra year made a world of difference, between a kid scoring in the low 8s on bars first season to 9.6s the next year.
    If you moved to another gym they'd probably have her repeat as well if the gym you're in now isn't keen to move her up to 5 now.
     
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  7. Jennifer Rainwaters

    Jennifer Rainwaters New Member Proud Parent

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    We had a level 7 and 5 the year before but one moved gyms and is doing excel and the other moved to a different state. Our gym's main focus is on Acro, we actually went from 4 Girls total to 8 last year. My soon to be 6 year old will be joining the team this year as well as one other new one. Moving gyms is not something we want to do this year. The moms want to give it one more year before bailing.
     
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  8. GymDad9.9

    GymDad9.9 Active Member CBBC Board Member Proud Parent

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    How about another gym?
     
  9. M2Abi

    M2Abi Member Proud Parent

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    If she didn't have her kip while competing Level 4 last year, I think repeating Level 4 is a good idea. I wouldn't switch to Xcel just because she would have to repeat, especially if there aren't other Xcel gymnasts at your gym.
     
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  10. Jennifer Rainwaters

    Jennifer Rainwaters New Member Proud Parent

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    we are at practice now, we will see what her coach suggest.
     
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  11. Jennifer Rainwaters

    Jennifer Rainwaters New Member Proud Parent

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    She has it perfect now. The coach doesn't know what got into her. She has improved so much since her last meet. She really wants to move to a 5 now. We will see.
     
  12. GAgymmom

    GAgymmom Active Member Proud Parent Judge

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    Everyone: It's Xcel not Excel. Just my pet peeve.

    Anyway, Level 5 is a hard level, harder than 6, and scoring is tough. But if a gymnast can do level 5 and score high 8's, she will be great at Level 6 where skills are based on the gymnast's strengths and scoring is better. Xcel is not a path to JO, and the Xcel committee makes that very clear. It was intended to be a track for gymnasts who for various reasons could not or would not compete in the JO program. Now, some gyms use it in place of compulsory then score their girls out of 4 and 5, and some gyms only have Xcel. The scoring is more lenient and the requirements are less vigorous, and you will see that Xcel gymnasts often have pretty high scores.

    If your daughter can compete level 5 competently, I would have her on that track. I don't mean she has to score 9.5s on everything. High 8s are often the high scores in Level 5. Its is a good level for solidifying the basics of form and core skills. The judging is just very hard because there are so many places deductions can be taken.

    I'm not against Xcel, I rather enjoy watching the routines. I just think that the JO compulsory program is better training for optionals.
     
  13. duyetanh

    duyetanh Active Member Proud Parent

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    If your child is old enough, you actually can petition to have your child just head to L6 and skip 5. I forget the age though. And yes, make sure your gym supports going back and forth...because a lot of gyms don't.
     
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  14. gymbeam

    gymbeam Active Member Proud Parent

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    Here's rule about petitioning:

    "Any gymnast who has had previous competitive experience in any system (including USA Gymnastics) and who is a minimum of 14 years of age OR is at least a freshman in High School is eligible to petition by submitting a formal written request to the State Administrative Committee for entry into Level 7 and below. The petition must be accompanied by a video that demonstrates her skill level."
     
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  15. ldw4mlo

    ldw4mlo Well-Known Member Proud Parent

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    That's true you can pretty much petition anything.
     
  16. raenndrops

    raenndrops Well-Known Member Coach Proud Relative Former Gymnast

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    Here is my take on it. She is 11. She will be practicing with the same girls either way, which means she will get the same training either way.
    Therefore, going to Xcel Gold for a year would not hurt her progression to Level 5 the following year.
    If she likes the idea of her own music and choreography, this could be a good intro to Optionals too.
    Since the gym doesn't have many girls in Artistic, it is even better for her.
    She could train Level 5 skills all summer and compete them in Xcel Gold.
    Bars - L5 kip, cast, clear hip, kip, squat on, kip, baby giant, and flyaway are all acceptable in Gold. If she doesn't have the baby giant and/or clear hip and/or flyaway in time for the beginning of next season, she could leave out (as long as a circling skill is done) baby giant and clear hip and do the L4 dismount.
    Beam - BWO or cartwheel and handstand, full turn, split leap or split jump and jump series are all L4/5 skills that can be used.
    Floor - the L4 final tumbling pass or any of the L5 tumbling passes, the leap passes from either level, and the full turn from L5 could all be used.
    Vault - the handspring is still acceptable.

    Being able to substitute out L4 skills for L5 skills as they get competition ready throughout the season is a real positive of the option of competing Xcel Gold.

    I would actually have a different answer if it was a bigger gym with less JO--> Xcel --> JO mobility, with a cut in hours when going to Xcel, or with lower quality coaching for Xcel. However, since nothing else will change, there is no harm in doing Xcel Gold for a year instead of repeating L4.
     
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  17. SurpriseGymMom

    SurpriseGymMom Verified Coach Verified Coach Proud Parent

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    Something else to consider is the coaching itself. Is her coach going to want to add another set of codes and requirements to keep track of in order for your DD to do Xcel, as well as seek out meets etc for that? If there are no other Xcel gymnasts at your gym, that adds to the coaches workload. I don't know if you live in an area where meets are typically local and there is an abundance of them or in an area where most meets are at least a day trip and may be less available (so possible conflicts with JO meets etc).
    You have established that your gym is very small and that movement between the two is pretty much a non-issue because of the small number of gymnasts. I would presume it would be the same coach(es) hether she competes JO or Xcel, and she would be with the same girls regardless, both good things!
    The benefit of doing Xcel (for HER) would be that she wouldn't be doing the same routine as last year (presuming she would repeat L4) and could add in slightly higher level skills in the events she is stronger competing. If her coach(es), hours, training all remain the same no matter what she actually competes, then she would be fine either way.
    If you or she has loftier goals such as college gym etc, then I would probably seek out another gym to be honest... and there, she may face repeating L4 for fundamentals, which is not a bad thing at all. A gym whose highest recent memory level gymnast was a L7 would be a huge concern to me personally....
    Good luck in whatever you decide!
     
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  18. gymgal

    gymgal Well-Known Member CBBC Board Member CB Booster Club Proud Parent

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    What did the coach say after practice yesterday?

    If she has most of her skills for 5 at this point, then maybe the coach will decide that. Does she have a BWO or BHS on beam? No, she cannot skip 5, per se, but she could do a year of Gold, do one meet of L5 to get the qualifying score and then move to L6 with her teammates. She could also do the same as a repeat L4, as long as she continues to training her L5/6 skills. What is the other gymnast who compete L4 this year doing?
     
  19. coachmolly

    coachmolly Verified Coach Verified Coach Former Gymnast

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    I have no idea why a coach would want to have 1 Xcel gymnast. Not only is it different rules and routines to worry about, but I'm sure there will also be some backlash from kids & parents about why one kid is learning her own routines while the rest have to continue with compulsories. it just sounds messy.
    I think competing another year of 4 would be the easiest and most productive, she could keep working her level 5/6 skills in the gym and possibly even compete a level 5 meet or 2 at the end of next season if she gets the skills.
     
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  20. Jennifer Rainwaters

    Jennifer Rainwaters New Member Proud Parent

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    Thank you so much, that is want I wanted to here. I think this would be best for her. They have already started working level 5 skills. She is doing very well all of a sudden.
     

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