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SJennings0411

New Member
Mar 14, 2022
11
38
Good Morning.

I am new to the gymnastics world, my daughter is 6, started gymnastics last May, so almost a year after doing dance since she was 18 months old, we quickly realized that gymnastics was way more her speed. She has fallen in love and told me many times that she is wanting to make team this year and that's what she is working towards. Now we have to decide between Xcel or JO, I've ready many different threads involving this topic and so much good information her.. but I'd love any tips, tricks, advice you experience gym parents have.. Any specific questions I should be asking in regards to try outs as I know nothing of the gym world but I am doing my best to learn to be able to support my kiddo!
 

katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
77
47
Here are some tips from my experiences.

1 - what are the hours of XCEL and JO? How do they progress over time?
2 - do kids ever transfer between the 2 programs? If so, at what levels?
3 - what is the cost of XCEL? JO?
4 - How many girls are in a training group for each one?
5 - what is the age group of the girls she would be training with?
6 - are there any mandatory events outside of meet season (training camp, summer invitationals, etc)?
7 - Are there specialty coaches for either XCEL or JO? (beam, floor, bars, vault, choreography, etc)?
8 - is it really a TRY OUT or do the coaches just assess my child during a regular class?
9 - If your child is thinking college - what levels does this gym go up to? Do they have a track record of college placements? If not, where do they transfer to?

Many other parents here may have more questions to ask.
 

SJennings0411

New Member
Mar 14, 2022
11
38
Here are some tips from my experiences.

1 - what are the hours of XCEL and JO? How do they progress over time?
2 - do kids ever transfer between the 2 programs? If so, at what levels?
3 - what is the cost of XCEL? JO?
4 - How many girls are in a training group for each one?
5 - what is the age group of the girls she would be training with?
6 - are there any mandatory events outside of meet season (training camp, summer invitationals, etc)?
7 - Are there specialty coaches for either XCEL or JO? (beam, floor, bars, vault, choreography, etc)?
8 - is it really a TRY OUT or do the coaches just assess my child during a regular class?
9 - If your child is thinking college - what levels does this gym go up to? Do they have a track record of college placements? If not, where do they transfer to?

Many other parents here may have more questions to ask.
These are all great things to ask, I've asked a few of them but def plan on asking more and getting more specific information. From my understanding they actually have a night where anyone who wants to try out can come to the gym and they hold a class, of course I am still waiting on further information regarding that. My understanding also is they will tell you if your child is a better fit for xcel or JO but if they tell you JO you can choose to go xcel anyways.
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,655
I would agree with most of the tips above but I would not ask at all about college. You will sound like a CGM (crazy gym mom/dad) since you're child is 6. There is plenty of time to look into that in a few years if she is still invested in the sport.

My main concerns at that age were hours/cost for the first few levels, including extra fees. some gyms keep beginner level costs low. Others require that even the low levels travel far for meets, have expensive team leos (instead of an into team leo). We did not have an option at our gym but if I did, I would want to know if she could switch between xcel and JO.
 

LucyRobinson

Gymnast
Feb 27, 2022
133
It's really too early to think about college at 6. Don't even mention it to daughter or coach. But if your daughter loves gymnastics and wants to do it several days a week, choose DP. This will transfer to college more easily but it's not really the point yet.

Xcel is not a bad choice, especially if your gym treats it as a real team. I would recommend starting your daughter in the more serious program and then going to Xcel if it is too much rather than vice versa, if she says she is serious about gymnastics. Though take anything they say at age 6 with a grain of salt.
 

rlm's mom

Proud Parent
Aug 21, 2021
308
39
I would agree with most of the tips above but I would not ask at all about college. You will sound like a CGM (crazy gym mom/dad) since you're child is 6. There is plenty of time to look into that in a few years if she is still invested in the sport.
Definitely don't ask about college. I think OP meant it is just something to think about. If you think she may want to pursue a college path make sure she switches to JO by about age 9-10. You can speak to a parent of a higher optionals kid and find out if they are college-bound and the gym's history of gymnasts being recruited but I wouldn't worry too much.
 

Aussie_coach

Staff member
Gold Membership
Coach
Proud Parent
Gymnast
Club Owner / Manager
Jan 4, 2008
3,935
The fact that she is 6 means it’s great to keep your options open. Some gyms won’t have a pathway from XCEL to JO. In some gyms if you make the depiction to do XCEL at 6, basically it means she will never have the chance ti transition to JO or take the sport further.

Other gyms use XCEL as a launching platform for higher level JO.

I think it’s important to know if you choose one, will it close other doors later on. Maybe right now she loves gym and later on she won’t. Or maybe later on it will become her total passion. It helps to keep that door open if you can.
 

SJennings0411

New Member
Mar 14, 2022
11
38
Thank you all for the tips, pointers etc.. From the talk that I had with the gym my understanding is they allow you to switch if you decide the other is a better fit.. Ive talked with 2 parents with girls about the same age as mine on the different teams and it hasn't helped too much as one of them didnt really know anything lol but def has some things to ask! Thanks again
 

Flippinmom

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2022
33
Not sure if your gym offers spring break or summer camp or if your DD would be interested, but I noticed my daughter learned so much during the summer. I believe having the extended time with her coaches gave her confidence and she improved so much. They invited her to join the team at the end of the summer, she was thrilled
 

SJennings0411

New Member
Mar 14, 2022
11
38
Not sure if your gym offers spring break or summer camp or if your DD would be interested, but I noticed my daughter learned so much during the summer. I believe having the extended time with her coaches gave her confidence and she improved so much. They invited her to join the team at the end of the summer, she was thrilled
I think they did have something for Spring break and they do offer summer camps, my only issue is we live like 45 mins from the gym and I work in a completely different town so things like that aren't feasible for us unfortunately. If we go several days a week I can make that work but every day for just part of the day etc just doesnt work for us.
 

Flippinmom

Proud Parent
Mar 11, 2022
33
I think they did have something for Spring break and they do offer summer camps, my only issue is we live like 45 mins from the gym and I work in a completely different town so things like that aren't feasible for us unfortunately. If we go several days a week I can make that work but every day for just part of the day etc just doesnt work for us.
Yes, that would be difficult! Honestly, I think at the end of the day it’s all about her love of the sport and dedication. If she keeps showing up and doing her best everyday, it will get noticed
 

pinkytoes

Proud Parent
Feb 7, 2022
14
Good Morning.

I am new to the gymnastics world, my daughter is 6, started gymnastics last May, so almost a year after doing dance since she was 18 months old, we quickly realized that gymnastics was way more her speed. She has fallen in love and told me many times that she is wanting to make team this year and that's what she is working towards. Now we have to decide between Xcel or JO, I've ready many different threads involving this topic and so much good information her.. but I'd love any tips, tricks, advice you experience gym parents have.. Any specific questions I should be asking in regards to try outs as I know nothing of the gym world but I am doing my best to learn to be able to support my
I would agree with most of the tips above but I would not ask at all about college. You will sound like a CGM (crazy gym mom/dad) since you're child is 6. There is plenty of time to look into that in a few years if she is still invested in the sport.

My main concerns at that age were hours/cost for the first few levels, including extra fees. some gyms keep beginner level costs low. Others require that even the low levels travel far for meets, have expensive team leos (instead of an into team leo). We did not have an option at our gym but if I did, I would want to know if she could switch between xcel and JO
I would agree with most of the tips above but I would not ask at all about college. You will sound like a CGM (crazy gym mom/dad) since you're child is 6. There is plenty of time to look into that in a few years if she is still invested in the sport.

My main concerns at that age were hours/cost for the first few levels, including extra fees. some gyms keep beginner level costs low. Others require that even the low levels travel far for meets, have expensive team leos (instead of an into team leo). We did not have an option at our gym but if I did, I would want to know if she could switch between xcel and JO.
Agreed!! Also, are you allowed to observe practice either live or on camera? Is allowed for both teams?
 

SJennings0411

New Member
Mar 14, 2022
11
38
Agreed!! Also, are you allowed to observe practice either live or on camera? Is allowed for both teams?
I know for the rec classes we are able to set in the gym and watch classes, not sure about team classes. But def something to ask about as I wouldn't mind watching both practices, great advice.
 
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