MAG The transition begins - Boys L4 to L6

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Men's Artistic Gymnastics
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As somebody else mentioned recently in a different thread, things have slowed down so much since season ended, it's harder to find things to post about. That being the case, I'll just try what all us parents do at the gym and just jabber away about my own kid. :p The difference is, of course, it'll be easier for you to ignore me here than it would be at the gym. :D

Just yesterday I mentioned to y'all that my fella has finally begun his transition from Level 4 to Level 6, and he's all smiles. He's now surrounded by other L6's and L7's (it's a combined group). The coach treats them as one group during conditioning and on many skills. Towards the end of the session, he seems to split them off according to level to work on their appropriate skills. Sort of. What we (my son and I) have noticed is that he occasionally invites/allows an L6 or two to join in on an L7 skill practice if that particular gymnast seems ready enough for it.

To my ds, this is like a dream come true, 'cuz he absolutely loves trying new skills. The other possibility is that we are just ignorant about which skills go with which levels. I guess some of the L6 bonuses are actually L7 mandatory skills? I have the DVD and other materials at home. Somewhere. :eek: Or maybe one of you coach types could summarize off the top of your head so's we can share with other Chalk Bucketeers?

Anyway, my li'l guy is now having the time of his life. His hands are more torn up now than ever, but to him they're badges of honor, and he just keeps smiling. Unfortunately for me, his new schedule doesn't permit me to be there to watch as much as I used to, so I have less video to go over with him. I can, however, share a 30-second collage of one happy kid who has broken free from his L4 bondage and is truly feeling the joy of gymnastics. Check it out. ;)

- Harv
Thanks, BlairBob. I knew I could count on you to have the information. ;)

These guys are a joy to coach whereas compulsory, be it WAG or MAG, can be very stressful.
Uhhh... aren't levels 6 and 7 still compulsory? :confused:

No matter. I get what you're saying. :D

- Harv
He is coming along nicely! Nice little montage. It sounds like he is in the perfect place right now!
Like our coach is not real gymnastics until L6....

I think it is still compulsory until L7...but like you said bonuses in L6 are requirements in L7.......You should be very proud!!

My DS (8) is having quite a lot of success at L5...I thought it would be a long hard road, but so far so the kip, got the inlocate (without piking), handstands on Pbars is almost there.....mucle up almost there....still with 6 months left till the season!!! YAY!!!

The only thing left to begin on is the DREADED 3/4 Giant!!!!!
Everone is afraid of the black and blue marks!!:eek:
Levels 4-7 are compulsories, levels 8 and up are optionals.

However, I think I get what BlairBob is saying; at levels 4 and 5, they're not learning real skills, they're learning basics. There are hardly any skills in the level 4 routines that are even recognized as skills at the upper levels. 5 has a few more genuine gymnastics skills, but it's still the same idea.

One you hit 6, though, you're actually flipping. You're doing actual skills that you can actually use in upper-level routines.

I would compare it to the transition in reading skills between, say, k-2 and 3rd grade and up. At the earlier grades, you're learning to read. Once you hit about 3rd grade, you're reading to learn.

6 represents a similar landmark in gymnastics. You're no longer preparing to someday do gymnastics, you're doing the real thing, even if it's still compulsory routines.
Though L7 is now compulsory, I remember it as Class 4. Theoretically about the same level but the difficulty level tended to be higher though the execution varied.

By Level 6 and Level 7, the gymnast has been in the sport and should have more matured in his outlook towards training. This is because of the difficulty and danger level of those skills. This won't always be the case because be they girls or boys, their mental focus will vary.

Our L5 boy has known been in the sport and competed for 2 years but been on preteam for 3+ and in gymnastics for maybe 4. However, he just now training 5 for whatever reasons there have been. I think that one of the reasons he wasn't ready for L5 was his lack of mental focus at times though I don't think his lack of flexibility helped and there could have been a lack of focus on coaching. He has been of the mind that this is the off season aka time to screw around and I've been of the mind that now is the time to train so it won't be October and season in 3 months while still missing skills.

Level 5 is now easier than it was before. I have a bit of a hard time with this as before this season I was used to the old L5 with false scissors and scissors and the spindle and pushing the boys for good stride swing technique towards false scissor but their swing is still very immature/basic.

Everything else is virtually the same except the baby giant pullover in L5. Man, I haven't even thought about that. I think I will cut some insulation foam the right length so they can pullover on to that and avoid the banging just like we use on PB for upper arm. We'll probably work it in straps when we can as well.

Geoffrey, I really like your analogy on the compulsory boy's system. I may have to borrow it to explain.

L4 is like super basics except for the circle and the bonus stuff. L5 actually has some skills in it. L6 definitely means you are something of a gymnast because if you look at the numbers, they drop off from L4>L5 and L5>L6 dramatically probably due to skill level and next due to commitment/cost.
Level 7 is preparation for optional gymnastics. The new routines give more options to coaches and gymnasts with what their routine will include in the way of skills. As for the L4 and L5 routines being easier now, I agree and disagree... While they may seem to be watered down in the way of skills, the requirements are harder. For example, swings on high bar are supposed to be horizontal or above (I didn't see many guys doing this last season, maybe one or two). Same goes with the swings on rings, again didn't see much of that. I think the emphasis on the L4 & 5 routines now is more on form, than skill.
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