Since we are on Boys Level 4 topic...please critique if you care...

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Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
Well, I love picking apart routines...(quietly of course)
I would love to receive anyone's opinion....
My boy came in 3rd...his AA was 87.20...I did the adding wrong on the video!
1st on pommel, 4th on Floor and HB, 2nd on Pbars, rings and vault....
He did not do ROBHS because he is still scared to do it w/o a spot.

I did not put the Hbar on because I missed it! This is the event I needed the most critique about!!!

Thanks to anyone who looks!!


Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
He did great, but y'know, there is always room for improvement,...
I think his vault could have been better....the back lever in the rings was not flat enough...
I wonder if there is a deduction (SR) for not swinging with arms out on the sides. He swings with his arms overhead....
What makes him look good?
Is it form?? He has struggled so much with silly skills like press handstands....
Thanks for commenting!


FX: Needs to refine step in CW, lifts arms by sides not in front ( though they should stay right at his ears ). Slightly arched in press HeS. Knees bend as he rocks back to candle with slight pike in hips. Aren't the arms supposed to be out to sides in the arabesque? Back leg wobbles in arabesque. His arms drop a bit and his head is out as he enters the round-off. He also lacks turnover in the round-off ( feet landing in front of hips to have a rebound that goes up and back instead of chest landing in front of feet ). He could lunge more into his round-off.

PH: I would like to see his back leg cut swing and cut higher on the dismount. My boys tend not to lean back on the opposite arm to the leg that is cutting over. They and yours need to get that shoulder over the wrist and pommel when swinging.

MR: Besides obvious knees bending in circle and feet seperation and flexion, there was a slight spindling action in his last circle where it ended up not as square as the first 4.

SR: Watch feet seperation on jump up to rings, very slight but seen. arch in chest when initiating pullup and needs to control as he lowers down so his body doesn't wiggle and arch at the bottom. Basically he is dropping too fast. bent arms on back swing with lack of ring turnout and pushing the rings out and I like to have them tuck their head in and down. Head is out on front swing and needs to pull the rings back ( but doesn't need to turn them out ). head is out on basket swing ( nose to knees ) and Back Lever is too piked. Hips are piked as he comes out of the back lever/basket. He does not hold the german hang for 2s and his hips still are piked. leg seperation upon landing.

V: Lack of amplitude and really hitting the straight/stretch body in the air. another straight arm underarm circle. feet seperation upon landing.

PB: Hips piked as he enters the mount with slight pike in front swing ( possibly under horizontal in front ). Nice dismount, too bad about the steps.

Solid overall, it might seem that I'm super critical but it's kind of my tendency. Don't worry, I hold it in mostly while coaching. Ya know, compliment sandwich though sometimes the truth is honest and brutal.


Proud Parent
Jun 6, 2008
I was hoping you would comment BlairBob....Thanks....
I appreciate the honesty....our coach doesn't really like to get into it too much with us parents.....maybe a language barrier thing?

I keep telling him to hold everything LONG....maybe this way he will stay for the 2 sec.!

His worst event is FX...he has STRUGGLED with is as he lacks flexibility and is generally NOT a 'detail' kid...he likes the big power fun stuff...
But, his FX has come a LONG way....
With that said, I hope he can get his ROBHS in time for Gasparilla in 2 weeks....

Back Lever has really improved...

He is trying to fix his HB routine.....he is rushing the swing..(i think this is tapping?) He arches when at vertical....I think coach wants the 1/2 turn higher too....we'll see....

Would you say my son has nice form?? I don't think he is particularly 'super talented' or anything, he is a very hard worker....He loves the sport....
I must say sometimes it is frustrating to see kids who have been at it 1/2 as long and they can already pull off endo press handstands, while mine has been suffering with plain press!!

I was very happy to see that you can still kick butt without ALL of the has been telling us for a long time, if you can't do the bonus perfectly DON'T DO are better off...


Some coaches don't like to get too detailed with explanations to parent's. I understand this because sometimes there will be the parents that will try to know it all. Maybe it is a language barrier. I try to keep the lines of communication as open as possible but sometimes they are still very wary of talking to me.

I tell my boys who tend to not hold their holds to hold for the count of 5 on their 2s holds and the ones who know how to hold it for long enough to hold for the count of 3. For those momentary holds it's a quick 1-2 beat.

Yeah, I tend to want my L4's to half turn just below horizontal but it is asking a lot since they only need to swing to 45. If we could turn hollow and then snap back to hollow instead of swinging forward in mixed grip with a slight arch and the hips out I'd be thrilled.

With the new rules, if you mess up with a bonus and fall, that is a complete waste of time. #1 boy might be able to connect the BHS to the RO but might lose all bonus for leg seperation, not snapping his chest and bent knees. Fun, but useless. The same applies for when a few of them try to do their back lever and that causes them to run out of gas for doing the hold in german hang or if they do 2 pullups instead of 1 with poor form. I had one of my 4's last year do that and they often deducted what he got for bonus due to poor form in his pullups.

His form looks good, especially on pommel and PB. My #1 has a much more poor looking FX routine with a horrible straddle and shoulder flexibility. Your boy seems a bit tall but I don't know his age.

There are a score of problems with my boys on HB. My biggest pet peeve is swinging in the front with bent arms and the next is head out on the back swing and lack of a hollow there. Next would be not swinging back to hollow after the 1/2 turn or not being hollow in the first place ( because their swings need a lot of refinement ). Another would be head out in their undershoot, but one of my pet peeves is not keeping that head in and I want them to get their head in on everything across the board which will take time.


Great scores! Nice-looking routines. :)

It's way too early for me to be offering critiques, but I can learn a lot by watching other L4's and especially reading the critiques in this forum.

If it helps any, I've heard more than one judge compliment my own boy on the way he spreads the rings on his SR swings. I don't know how that actually affects the score, but I'm guessing it at least counts toward virtuosity.

During our pre-season intrasquad meet, the judge gave each boy a nice verbal critique after their performances to help them prepare for the real meets which were coming up next. One thing I remember was that he was cautioning the boys to show more control on their pull-ups on rings and high bar. Specifically, he advised them to descend as slowly as they went up, instead of just dropping.

To my novice eye, your boy does look real nice in terms of form. I especially liked his p-bar routine and dismount. What age group is he in?

ZJsMom - the YouTube link actually contains 2 url's stuck together. When you get the "page not found" message, just strip off the first half of the url and hit return or enter.

gymluvr33 - I'm still figuring out abbreviations myself, but in this case I would take "MR" to mean "mushroom". ;)

- Harv


In an ideal L4 ring swing we want the gymnast to push the rings forward and push them out while turning the rings out and tucking the chin to chest so the head is in. I tell the boys to try to look like a horizontal Y to possibly almost having the arms spread out just slight of horizontal with shoulders shrugged and pushed out.

Harv, his swings could since L4 are only required to swing to 45 degrees below horizontal.

MR= Mushroom.

I abbreviate things way too often. BB becomes beam. HB or UB becomes bar/s. SR becomes rings. FX becomes floor. PH becomes pommel or pig.
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