In addition to our Junior Olympic Team Program, we also offer the Xcel Program. What's the difference? The Xcel program is a path for gymnasts of all levels who wish to improve their skills and compete in a fun, stress-free environment. Unlike many other sports such as baseball or soccer, Junior Olympic gymnastics, the traditional training program for competitive gymnasts, requires years of training before the athlete can start competing. Progression in the Junior Olympic program is slow and steady. Until they reach the upper levels and start competing, gymnasts often do not directly see how much their hard work is paying off. This can be discouraging for many athletes. The Xcel program was designed to keep gymnasts involved and excited about the sport every step of the way!
Competing in a gymnastics competition is a fun and rewarding way for gymnasts to show how far they have come since they started. Unlike the Junior Olympic program, the Xcel program allows gymnasts to start competing almost right away by lowering the skill requirements for the entry levels. The program also has more advanced levels. Being an Xcel gymnast is ideal for entry-level gymnasts as well as older gymnasts who are looking for a fun activity to help them stay in shape and be involved in gymnastics without consuming all of their time.
There are five divisions in the Xcel program including Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Every division includes its own set of optional rules where there are only four to five routine requirements per event that the gymnasts chooses to compete. Each gymnast can have their routine choreographed to fit their personality and emphasize their individual strengths. Junior Olympic compulsory level gymnasts all compete the same exact routine. Level 6 is the first Optional level in the Junior Olympic program which is comparable in skill level to the hardest division in the Xcel program, the Diamond division. Without the Xcel program a gymnast could be involved in the sport for years without ever getting to compete a customized routine. Also, judging can be more strict in the Junior Olympic program and produce lower scores than what the gymnast may get in the Xcel program. With higher scores, gymnasts tend to feel better about their performance and seem to be, in many cases, more motivated to stick with the sport.