2 Years at One Level?

Sex: female
Age: 15
Gymnastics Level: 6

right now, i am at a very small gym. my coach also makes all the girls do 2 years at a level unless they get 36 AA. the problem is i have alot of optional skills i can do better and i am not able to work most of them because of our gyms size. i feel like i am being held back and was trying to get some information on doing one or two meets at level 6 then going right up to level 7. i know i am old for level 6 so that is also another reason i would like to try and go right to optionals. could you help me figure out how i might go about this or how other gyms do it?


USA Gymnastic’s rule for moving up is that gymnasts only need to score a 31.0 all around in order to move up to the next level.  They just recently made a statement that gyms should not hold gymnasts back unnecessarily.  As long as you score (or have scored) a 31.0 all around, you can move up to level 7.  Coaches can do whatever they want in their own gyms, but there is no rule holding back gymnasts from moving up after only one meet.

I once had a gymnast who moved up two levels in a single meet.  I got the cooperation of the state director and the meet director ahead of time and the girl competed Level 5 on Friday, moved up to Level 6 on Saturday and moved up Level 7 on Sunday.  She won medals and bars at all three levels.  So, you may not be able to move up that fast, but you are allowed to by the rules of the sport to move up after scoring a 31.0 All-around only once.

I find there are definitely some gymnasts who do better at optionals, and my general coaching strategy is to get gymnasts to the optional levels as quickly as possible, so they are working on real gymnastics skills.  Certainly, not every coach has that same coaching strategy but it is the strategy of most high level gymnastics coaches.

I also never like letting judges determine when my gymnasts move up, which is essentially what is going on if gymnasts at your gym have to score 36.0 AA at a meet.  That means the judges, not the coach, are making the decision and that makes no real sense to me and is certainly not something I would want to do.

At age 15, you certainly are mature and experienced enough to have your own opinions about your gymnastics career and should have the opportunity to voice those opinions and have them considered.

You are definitely going to have an uphill battle trying to convince your coach to move you up faster than normal and you may need to enlist your parents to help you try to convince the coach.  I hope I have given you some potential selling points for you being allowed to move up.  Personally, I vote for you moving up to optionals, so good luck.

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