Anon D3 College Gymnastics possibility

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My daughter has always wanted to do college gymnastics. It has been her dream ever she was 6 years old. She has had some major set backs so far so she is far behind others in her class.
She graduates in 2026. She is competing xcel platinum but can do diamond routines (one level per year rule at her gym). Some of her skills include a tsuk on vault , giants and double backs on bars, almost has her back full and front layout on floor, bhs and ro bt dismount on beam. We are transferring her to DP next season. Not sure which level yet but hopefully level 8.
She has always been the hardest worker on the various teams she has been on. Her coaches gave her an award for being the best team player on her team one year.
Obviously she wants to be on a D1 team but she knows that there are low hopes for her on that front. But we have been doing some research about D3 gymnastics and we believe that she would have a better chance making a team. If she were to make a team, we think it would be because of her vault and bars. She doesn’t have her heart set on any specific colleges either.
Do you think that there is any possibility of her having a shot at making any D3 team? Would it be too early to make a recruiting account even though she isn’t even in DP yet?
 
I personally would wait to make any recruiting account until she is demonstrating at least solid level 9 skills and routines. Doesn't have to be across all events.

It is so hard to know what the future holds as so many things could happen. Given where she is now, if she made good progress each year, it is possible, but blocks, injuries, etc get in the way so you just don't know. I will say that most D3 rosters are filled with L10 gymnasts who have had either late starts or lots of injuries that hindered their recruiting years. There are a few L9s but most of these are specialists with superb skills in one or two events. To be marketable in VT as a specialist (being recruited just for VT) she would need a more advanced VT like a twisting one or a front front. All D3 teams have at least 6 layout and above vt-ers when healthy so they would be only looking for a specialist who could bring in a higher start value. Recruiting as a bar specialist only, she would need a solid L10 routines with at least a 9.8 start value but like 10.0SV, meaning she would either need two transitions or a single bar release. bars appears to be more volatile for a lot of D3 teams because of shoulder and wrist injuries and that bars is just really hard for a lot of gymnasts, so if she can excel in bars, she will have a better recruiting shot.

If you haven't already, try to stream some of the D3 meets so that you get a sense of what skills she will need as a recruitable specialist, she would need to be striving for the more skills/routines not the lower ones. D3s often have a few really strong routines and then a few "average". So for bars, you may see 2-3 scores in the 9.5+ range and then the rest would be lower. VT would be 9.6+ but more like 9.7+
 
I recently was at a D3 meet and was surprised at the number who came from Xcel, so it is possible.

Bars will be very difficult even if it's her best event now just because it takes years to learn the release skills (and this assumes she already has a high to low bar release now). Most in D3 are competing single bar releases, even in the lower ranked teams. It's very possible to put together a routine w/o the single bar release but if your DD isn't consistently training high-low bar releases now then unfortunately, time will probably not be on her side.

It's too early to start a recruiting account as it sounds like she doesn't have any high value skills yet. The important thing will be whether your DD has skills for a 10.0SV on routines. This is what college coaches look for.
 
If by west, you mean Western US, then yes. NCGA divides up teams by 'west' and 'east' hence the reference above to west. The west teams are in WI, MN and now IA. East teams are eastern US.
 
Hi! I am a level 8 gymnast here to help. Many collages start scouting level 9 and 10 competitions for juniors and seniors that might fit well on their teams. If your daughter competes those levels well, she does have a chance of getting in. And no, it is not too early to make a recruiting account because even if your daughter doesn’t transfer to DP, some Xcel gymnasts still move on to collage, even if it is unlikel.
 
It is possible? Yes, but I'll come back to that. The main thing is that D3 coaches look for 10.0SV for routines so your DD has three more years to achieve and perfect skills. While you see the occasional front-entry vault competed most coaches prefer a Yurchenko-entry. Again the focus is on 10.0 start value so she will need some sort of twisting with the Yurchenko or a hand front. Bars will be very difficult if she hasn't started training release moves (both single bar and high to low) because the progressions to skill acquisition take years.

There's been buzz on Chalkbucket in recent months that D3 teams 'allow' Xcel which makes me laugh because there's a reason for this. The Iowa schools have brand new programs and I'm sure they will be building them out so that they are more competitive. With some of the others you really have to pay attention to quality of academics and/or quality of coaching. I live in Minnesota and my DD opted to go an East school. Some of the West schools I would NOT send my kid to (which says a lot because there is reciprocity between MN/WI state schools so she could have gone to any of the WI schools and pay in-state tuition).

Now back to the question of it being possible...My DD started high school as a L8 and then spent 3 years at L9. Even though she was a L9, she had some bigger skills on floor (which she had competed) and nice upgrades on vault that were not yet ready for competition. Bars was actually her 'strongest' event in terms of scores and placements at meets but w/o a release skill (and her gym didn't even train single bar release skills), there was no interest in her bars despite having beautiful fundamentals (giants, handstands, etc). She started her IG account the summer before Sr year and met with several college coaches in November of her Sr year. All conversations centered on how to create 10.0SV routines with her current skills. Floor - check; Beam - close though she didn't want to compete beam in college. Vault - not yet 10.0 (still training twisting) but was told she'd easily make the early season lineup with her Yurchenko layout. Bars - I already explained, not happening.

So back to your DD...she will have to cover a lot of ground in 3 years. Higher level skills take time. Having a strong work ethic in the gym is great but that really is more of a requirement for higher level gymnastics if you know what I mean. She will have injuries and mental blocks. This is where Luck comes in as sometimes the injuries/blocks happen at the worst possible time (meaning she has to miss an entire season/pre-season or she has an injury that takes months to come back from).

Higher level gymnastics is HARD and your DD hasn't even started this part of her journey yet. My advice is to encourage her to enjoy where she is now and not focus on the college team goal. Re-evalulate in a year after she's made the switch to DP. I know so many athletes who get stuck on the goal of college gymnastics that it takes away some enjoyment of the here/now.
 
I read a post about a girl who took a gap-year after high school to do another year of level 10 in order to land a spot on a college team. It worked for her. I’m not sure of all the rules but that is one way to literally buy more time.
 

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