Pre-Competitive and Competitive Women’s Program at Dynamic Gymnastics:
Dynamic Gymnastics is proud to offer two different competitive team pathways under USA Gymnastics. Olympic (JO for short) and Xcel. Both are competitive programs that participate in many of the same gymnastics meets all over the country.
JO has a longer history and is the more traditional track that consists of levels 1 – 10. JO was created with the purpose of producing elite level gymnasts, such as Simone Biles and Gabby Douglas. Junior Olympic can be seen as a more rigid, compulsory style program in which all gymnasts learn the same skills and routines. Levels 1 and 2 are the introductory levels of JO, however the does not compete these levels (meaning our gymnasts begin competing at Level 3). Levels 3 – 5 are known as compulsory levels because each gymnast learns the exact same routine on each apparatus and is required to compete on every event. Levels 6 – 10 are called optional levels, and at that point individualized routines are created for the gymnasts that highlight their strengths while continuing to include skill requirements for that level. At Dynamic our competitive JO gymnasts practice three to five days a week, after school.
Xcel was created recently because the industry realized that only a tiny percent of gymnasts are ever going to be elite level and every gymnast deserves a chance to have a competitive experience (if that’s what they want of course!). Levels in the Xcel program go in this order: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Diamond, and Platinum. In the Xcel program there are no compulsory routines – coaches and gymnasts work together to create individual routines that highlight the gymnast’s strengths. At Dynamic our Xcel gymnasts practice two days a week between 5-7 hours total, depending on the level. Currently our Bronze level trains Tuesdays from 4:30 – 7:00 pm and Saturdays from 11:30 – 2:00 pm. Our Silver and Gold levels practice on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 4:30 – 8:00 pm.
Now let’s talk about the pros and cons of each program. JO requires a higher level of commitment and is more costly because there are a higher number of practice hours a week. Xcel is a bit more flexible and allows for participation in other activities outside of gymnastics, as there are fewer practices per week. JO is also more rigid in its skill requirements. However routines aren’t tailored for individual gymnasts until Level 6, so if a gymnast doesn’t have a particular skill or is weak on a certain event they’ll simply receive lower scores in competitions. Xcel allows for individualized routines in every level, so if a gymnast struggles with a particular skill they can highlight another skill instead during competitions. Xcel typically provides a good base for kids who want to compete on their middle or high school gymnastics teams. Overall the gymnasts are coached the same way in both programs and work on many of the same skills, there’s just more flexibility in the Xcel program than in JO. Neither program is better or worse, harder or easier than the other, they’re simply different and cater to different needs.
Junior Olympic Program
- Minimum age: 6 Years
- Athletes must enter into the program by competing at Level 3 or 4
- Mobility is based upon minimum score achievements & skill level.
- Gymnasts are invited into the program after completion of Shooting Stars program.
- Minimum age: 5 Years
- Athletes may enter into the program by competing Level Bronze or Silver
*For entry into Gold, Platinum and Diamond levels, gymnasts must have competed Silver or JO level 4 or higher.
- Mobility is based primarily on skill level and less on scores.
- Gymnasts are invited into the program after careful selection by Xcel team coaches OR after completion of Xcel preteam.
- Very regimented & structured routines.
- Every athlete must perform the same routines at Level 3-5
- Compulsory routines are constructed so that the athletes with the right “attributes” will do competitively well.
- Compulsory Levels 3-5 are set routines. No changes are allowed.
- Routines created in house by our own coaches
- Athletes will perform the same routines as their teammates in level Bronze and Silver, however the skills can be changed to fit the athleteOrMore open to variations of routine construction from the first level (Bronze)
- Routines may be modified around the individual strengths of the individual.
- Skills can be chosen from the Xcel Code of Points for all levels.
- Compulsory Gymnasts practice 9-15 hours a week
- Optional Gymnasts practice 15-20+ hours a week
- Practices are priority.
- Bronze Gymnasts practice 5 hours a week
- No Xcel level gymnast will be asked to practice more than 9 hours a week
- Gymnasts are encouraged to attend as many practices as possible.
- 33.0 Minimum All Around Score to qualify for State competition (Virginia)
- Regional Championships for levels 8,9 & 10
- National Championships for levels 9 & 10
- Gymnasts must compete in one event at any sanctioned competition to qualify for the Virginia state competition.
- No Regional Championships
- No National Championships
- At levels 9&10, the skill level becomes very difficult. These levels are considered Advanced Optional Gymnastics by USAG. Gymnasts may be noticed by colleges at these levels.
- Equipment Standards: USAG Requirements
- Level 8 is typically the maximum comparative skill level. This level is determined as Intermediate Optional Gymnastics by USAG. Gymnasts who want to continue in college will typically go on to a club level team.
- Equipment Standards: USAG Requirements