Our gym chooses kids prior to their 6th birthday for JO route. My younger daughter was chosen for her upper body strength and lack of fear. She is very lean and has defined muscles in her arms without doing anything. She climbed a net two stories to the top of the gym which is how she gained the coaches attention. My older daughter started at age 7 and at 9 is doing xcel now. My younger daughter was chosen as one of the last members of the JO preteam because she is less emotionally mature. The coach and I discussed this but due to her potential coach was saving a spot for her. Her behavior had improved in rec over the past few months and she seemed to be maturing. She is a very loving kid but doesn't always listen and is a big risk taker. After a month I finally watched a preteam practice and she was goofing off. She is immature but I hadn't seen her act like in her rec class in a very long time. I asked her afterwards if she liked gym and she said no. I could tell she meant it. She is pretty quiet and doesn't complain much. I explained it to the coach and she understood but said she was glad we gave it a try. She said some kids just aren't emotionally ready at 5. After I pulled her out in the spring DD seemed relieved and started soccer this summer. Gradually though I saw her start practicing gymnastics again outside. She loves the bars. I asked her if she would like to do a once a week rec gymnastics class this fall with soccer and she agreed cautiously. She had a big grin on her face when she came out of gym last week. She told me the rec coach was impressed and she was all proud. I am chasing a three year old so I do not very often watch practice. My guess is she and the coaches will figure out where she belongs eventually? If she continues to like it she might have an opportunity someday for Xcel? I know I blew her opportunity for JO but I feel like it has to be something she obviously loves to make that kind of commitment. I think she may have a ways to go emotionally before she is ready for preteam.