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"How Gymnastics is structured"  

By Brian Bakalar

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How Gymnastics is structured

Gymnastics has become accessible to many children, of a variety of different skill levels.  At Gymnastics Revolution, there are 3 branches to our program.  These are “pre-school,” “recreational,” and “team.”  

Preschool programs include all classes between the ages of 1 and 5, including Mommy and Me classes.  The design of these classes is to introduce the sport, and excite each and every child to further explore their abilities

Recreational classes are for boys and girls ages 5 – 16.  Unlike most gymnastics programs, Gymnastics Revolution offers the opportunity for competitive gymnastics to all of the children in its recreational program.  Through “In-House” competitions, gymnasts in our program are given an opportunity to experience this sport as thoroughly as possible.  Modified routines and skills are used, and an emphasis is placed on effort.  Each child is encouraged to perform to the best of their respective abilities, and this environment offers a great way for the gymnasts and parents to see progress. 

The competitive “team” is selected from our preschool and recreational classes, and is comprised of the athletes who show great skill, discipline, and desire.  This team travels nationally, and competes against other gymnastics centers.  The athletes at the top of our team program have their sights set on college scholarships and success at the highest levels in their national competitions.  For a more comprehensive explanation of competitive gymnastics, please see below. 

Competitive gymnastics occurs over a number of progressively difficult levels.  Girls begin competing with other gymnastics centers at Level 4, and work their way through the skills and programs, to ultimately arrive at Level 10.  There is a world beyond level 10, known as “Elite Gymnastics,” which becomes the competitive field for the top 1% of the world’s athletes.  

Boys begin their competitive structure at Class 7, and improve their skills until arriving at Class 1.  As with the girls, there are requirements that must be met in order to be considered a specific level.  These requirements become increasingly difficult as the gymnast improves.  

In both programs, there are two different “flavors” of routine.  Compulsory routines are pre-scripted, and performed by every single gymnast of his or her level, nationwide.  Optional routines allow the gymnast to select his or her own skills, connections, and in the girls’ cases, floor music.  Optional routines, are generally more exciting to watch, and are limited to girls’ levels 7 – 10, and boys levels 4 – 1.  Nationally, there are far more gymnasts in the compulsory levels than at the optional levels.  When you hear about an optional gymnasts’ accomplishments, or the abilities of an “Elite,” you can be sure that this is an athlete of the highest caliber. 

 

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