For Parents Switch from Xcel Silver to JO?

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Carpe Diem

New Member
Mar 3, 2022
3
46
Like many gymnasts, my 7 yo has high aspirations for her gymnastics career (college and beyond). She has also been talking about wanting to switch to the JO team since last year, when she was on Xcel Bronze and saw the JO team practicing in the gym. On Xcel Silver this year, she has placed 2nd consistently in the AA with scores from the mid 37s to the low 38s. DD is the kind of kid that looks at her lowest score from her most recent meet, puts extra practice in at home for that event, and then places 1st on it in the next meet. This has happened with vault and bars this season. She is also a dancer (although gymnastics is her main passion), and her form on floor and beam reflect this. She has received scores as high as 9.85 and 9.75 in those events. We will be meeting with her coach in a few weeks to talk about the possibility of her switching to the JO team. We realize this switch would result in more hours in the gym (which she is asking for), a greater financial commitment, as well as lower scores and less time on the podium most probably (which would be an adjustment). My daughter has mentioned the possibility of competing one more year on Xcel Silver before making the switch, but I think it may be best to make the transition this year instead of waiting if the coaches are on board. Thoughts? She is 7, will turn 8 after the state meet this spring, and is currently the youngest on her team. Xcel Silver has fewer hours in the gym than JO 3, so I am concerned that waiting a year would put her skills further behind, making the transition more difficult another year out. A couple of girls from her gym have successfully moved from the Xcel to the JO team in the past few years, although transitioning from Xcel to JO is not the norm at her gym. I would assume she would have a decent level of success in JO 3 next year, where she would probably be the oldest on her team, and that JO 4 next year (which would have girls her age) would be a stretch for her current skill set. She has a ROBHS and an inconsistent cartwheel on the beam, although she has not competed with either and does not have her ROBHSBHS or KIP yet. Thoughts on making the switch and when/what level, assuming her coaches are open to the idea. Also, I have loved her Xcel experience and we love her coach as well. Her Silver coach also coaches the JO 4 girls. I am afraid that if she does not try training and competing JO, she will regret it if she sticks with gymnastics. I would appreciate any insight and feedback, thanks!
 

katrid11

Proud Parent
Sep 1, 2020
59
46
I would talk with the coach about going into JO 3. It sounds like a decent fit for her skills where she can use the next year to perfect her ROBHSBHS, FHS, Kip, etc. Worst case, she does a year at L3 and doesnt enjoy it and goes back to Xcel without additional skills.

To me it is worth the try b/c she wants to do it. This is all provided you are prepared for the financial and time commitment. Although I have to say our last gym's Xcel did 5 hrs but L3 did 8 hrs so not a huge jump for that age group. the hours really increased at L4+ where XCEL stayed closer to 6 hrs and JO went to 16+
 

Gymx2

Proud Parent
Oct 9, 2015
808
The Xcel program is wonderful, but if your daughter is really eager to join the JO program (ok, development program, now), I would make the switch as soon as possible. She may decide to return to Xcel after giving it a try, but it sounds like she knows what she wants, and I agree that you and she may regret not giving her the opportunity to try JO/DP. I posted a very similar thread several years ago. My daughter made the switch and has never looked back.
 

gymgal

Gold Membership
Proud Parent
Aug 22, 2008
4,548
It's great that her current coach also coaches L4 b/c they will know where she fits best - if she can get those skills in the next 6 months (assuming your compulsory season is in the fall). And yes, I agree with you that now is the time to request making that change, not to wait another year.

Why was she placed into Xcel to begin with?
 

Carly

Proud Parent
Jan 3, 2016
261
I would find out the financial and time commitments and if they work for your family, I would talk to the coaches about switching. If your competition season starts in the fall, I wouldn't worry right now about which JO level she switches to. She has a long time to work to get the skills needed for 4 especially with an increase in hours.
 

gympoppop

Proud Parent
Feb 27, 2022
37
I switched my oldest child from Bronze to JO3 in fall prior to her first season b/c she is just the type of kid for which JO is a better fit (loves gym, perfectionist, likes to practice in the mirror etc.) She loves it! She had a great 3 season and is doing very well in 4 this year. Sounds like your daughter is similar. My youngest is less intense and competitive and is now in her first Bronze season, I think Xcel is a better fit for her. My oldest just had to try out, and was placed into Level 3 by the staff. I believe she "had" all her skills at try outs, but I her vault was terrible!

In terms of 3 versus 4, I think it is possible your daughter could move into 4 from Silver. Many girls aren't that good at vault at the start, and coming from FHS over a mat stack may actually give her an advantage. On beam, it's mostly if she can get a cartwheel down, but it sounds like she's close. On floor, if she has a good ROBHS, then adding a second BHS is no problem at all. But if she is currently has "froggy legs" and is landing with chest down this could take a lot of work. Really just comes down to bars, which is the big differentiator. Kip with a good cast is obviously the big one, but don't underestimate the difficulty of squat on (also needed for 3), having to kip that high up (even though it's easier), and getting good tap swings. Good luck!
 

Carpe Diem

New Member
Mar 3, 2022
3
46
It's great that her current coach also coaches L4 b/c they will know where she fits best - if she can get those skills in the next 6 months (assuming your compulsory season is in the fall). And yes, I agree with you that now is the time to request making that change, not to wait another year.

Why was she placed into Xcel to begin with?
That is a great question. She did the parent tot, then preschool gymnastics, and was at an open gym doing skin the cat on the rings when one of the coaches spotted her and had her moved to pre-team. Her gym has two pre-team tracks and they placed her in the Xcel one. I honestly think it may be a combination of me not pursuing team for her and her being a fairly reserved kid in preschool.
 
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TumbleTimes4

Proud Parent
Sep 13, 2016
578
37
My daughter started in the Xcel Bronze program as a 7 year old and made the move to JO 3 when she turned 8. The hours went from 6 to 9 a week, so it wasn’t too big of a jump. The JO program at our gym is a more structured and serious environment than their Xcel program, and with my daughter’s perfectionist personality, JO was a better fit.

We talked to the coaches and they agreed to the switch. My daughter walked in with an understanding that more would be required of her. She would have to work harder and it would be much more repetitive than she was used too. Scoring would be more rigid, routines would have more and stricter requirements, and that her scores would reflect that until she adjusted.

It was important to us that the door be left open for her to return to Xcel if she was not happy with the switch. And it was.

It was the right move for her. Her Xcel
 

Carpe Diem

New Member
Mar 3, 2022
3
46
How many hours a week does she dance? It might be hard to do both JO and any major dance hours.
How many hours a week does she dance? It might be hard to do both JO and any major dance hours.
This is a great question and something we have talked about. She is taking private ballet and jazz classes right now one night a week. The group classes, which she would have taken, conflicted with her gymnastics schedule this school year. Fortunately, the dance studio owner is very gracious and has been very accommodating. I realize at some point she will not be able to do both, but for now it works.
 
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pinkytoes

Proud Parent
Feb 7, 2022
12
Like many gymnasts, my 7 yo has high aspirations for her gymnastics career (college and beyond). She has also been talking about wanting to switch to the JO team since last year, when she was on Xcel Bronze and saw the JO team practicing in the gym. On Xcel Silver this year, she has placed 2nd consistently in the AA with scores from the mid 37s to the low 38s. DD is the kind of kid that looks at her lowest score from her most recent meet, puts extra practice in at home for that event, and then places 1st on it in the next meet. This has happened with vault and bars this season. She is also a dancer (although gymnastics is her main passion), and her form on floor and beam reflect this. She has received scores as high as 9.85 and 9.75 in those events. We will be meeting with her coach in a few weeks to talk about the possibility of her switching to the JO team. We realize this switch would result in more hours in the gym (which she is asking for), a greater financial commitment, as well as lower scores and less time on the podium most probably (which would be an adjustment). My daughter has mentioned the possibility of competing one more year on Xcel Silver before making the switch, but I think it may be best to make the transition this year instead of waiting if the coaches are on board. Thoughts? She is 7, will turn 8 after the state meet this spring, and is currently the youngest on her team. Xcel Silver has fewer hours in the gym than JO 3, so I am concerned that waiting a year would put her skills further behind, making the transition more difficult another year out. A couple of girls from her gym have successfully moved from the Xcel to the JO team in the past few years, although transitioning from Xcel to JO is not the norm at her gym. I would assume she would have a decent level of success in JO 3 next year, where she would probably be the oldest on her team, and that JO 4 next year (which would have girls her age) would be a stretch for her current skill set. She has a ROBHS and an inconsistent cartwheel on the beam, although she has not competed with either and does not have her ROBHSBHS or KIP yet. Thoughts on making the switch and when/what level, assuming her coaches are open to the idea. Also, I have loved her Xcel experience and we love her coach as well. Her Silver coach also coaches the JO 4 girls. I am afraid that if she does not try training and competing JO, she will regret it if she sticks with gymnastics. I would appreciate any insight and feedback, thanks!
Def talk to her coach. If your daughter loves it and wants to do more, I don’t think you’ll regret helping her explore that. Plus your daughter will be happy mama is in her corner supporting her : )

L3 at our gym is 3.5 hours 3 days a week. I think most L3 is 9-10 hours a week. L4 jumps to 14 hours a week and L6 up you are looking at 5-6 days a week 3.5 hours per practice minimum.
 

SlimsPickin

New Member
May 2, 2022
5
36
She likely has the right skill set for moving into level 4 because you have the entire summer session to prep those skills. I have a child moving to level 4 now (also inconsistent cartwheel on beam) her biggest challenge will be the bars. Going to the high bar at L4 scares her. Your coach though will know best since they know the child.