Our gym does a combo of Xcel levels early on and then DP levels. Both of mine competed XB at age 5, XS at age 6.I think the slow and steady approach worked well for her and the hours increased gradually, and topped off at 22. So it all has worked out well for her. That being said, like the pp mentioned, she's the only one left from her training group/level 2/level 3 team. I think maybe there is one left from level 4/5. Her team is large because they've picked up gymnasts from other gyms/out of state, but still interesting the drop offs over the years.