Reaching level 10 in gymnastics is the ultimate goal of many little girls and even of a few boys as well. If you are a level 9 gymnast already then you are so close to your goal and there is only a little left to do before you will finally become a level 10 gymnast.
In order to become a level 10 gymnast you must be at least 9 years old, be able to pass all of the necessary skills of level 9, and have scored a minimum of 34.00 AA at a level 9 gymnasts meet. As usual your coach must also think that you are ready to progress to the next level.
If you make it past level 9, then congratulations! You have made it to the last gymnastics level that there is, though hopefully you do not plan on stopping here. There are on average around up to 70,000 gymnasts in the United States, and out of all these only around 1,500 are at level 10.
What Are The Skills That You Need To Pass In Order To Graduate To Level 10?
While there are only a few things from level 9 that you absolutely must know, this can vary somewhat from one gymnast to another since most gymnasts by this point have started learning more maneuvers that fit their own skills. This being the case, there are however some things that you should still know before going into level 10 or that you should at least be working on.
On The Floor
You should be working very hard on your doublebacks and have at least the basic doubleback maneuver mastered. You should also be able to do a doubleback with a half-twist and a doubleback with a full twist as well as having these learned in more than one position.
Along with that comes the fact that you should be quite comfortable doing multiple connected saltos without the slightest pause in between any of them. You should especially be able to stick your landings at the end of these without any problems.
The same goes for your maneuvers that have twists to them in that you should be able to do your 1/2 twists and your 2/1 twists and everything in between and land facing the exact direction that you should be facing with no deviation to either the left or the right.
On The Beam
As usual, much of what you should know for the floor event also applies to your beam event. This is especially true in regards to your flips, jumps, twists, and your multiple saltos as well. In particular your mounts and dismounts should have much more complicated maneuvers as you try to work more flips and twist into the maneuvers you know before you hit the ground.
On The Bars
You should know a wide range of giant maneuvers and have combined it with other things like bar changes and handstand pirouettes. A couple of examples of this are the straddle back from front giant maneuver and the giant double back.
To end your bar routines you should be able to do double flyaway dismounts and other maneuvers that require you to flip more than once in the air before you land. Your mounts should also have an increased difficulty and should have no pause after them before you start you first maneuver.
On The Vault
You should have mastered the four basic kinds of vaults namely the handspring, Yurchenko, Tsukahara, and the round-off entries that are paired with twists, saltos, and other maneuvers at the end. You should be able to do all of these without any problems before going into level 10 where you will make them increasingly difficult.
What Do You Learn In Level 10 Of Gymnastics?
If you have made it this far, then you know nearly all the basics of all the maneuvers that there are to know! In this last level your focus is simply making them more difficult by adding twists or flips to them and by putting more of them together in longer strings of combination moves.
There are still countless things that you likely don’t know how to do, but your coach will be working with you on learning which ones are best suited to your own individual strong points and weak points. There will always be something for you to learn and then perfect, but the following things should give you a good place to start.
On The Floor
While you have no doubt been working on your doublebacks, there is still more room to learn. In addition to perfecting the doublebacks that you already know, you will also be learning the double twisting double back which features two complete twists.
In the double twisting doubleback not only do you twist around twice but you also go head over heels in two flips while you are in midair. The next step is to take this just a little further and make it into a two and a half twisting doubleback. This one is the exact same as the double twisting doubelback, only with an added half of a twist so that you are facing the other direction.
Finally, the ultimate challenge when doublebacking is the triple twisting doubleback, this is where you twist yourself in midair three times before you land. This only needs the same two rotations in the air as the double one, but keeping count is only one of the things that make this maneuver challenging.
Although you will be working towards the goal of being able to do a triple twisting doubleback, you don’t need to worry if you can’t quite get it. This skill is a level H skill and is very rarely done in competitions because it is almost impossible to stick the landing after doing that many twists in the air.
On The Beam
Like with the other areas there will always be a more difficult maneuver that you can learn here. As a general rule, most of the new maneuvers for the balance beam are ones that you already know the basic positions to, it is simply a matter of adding more flips, twists, saltos, and combinations to them to make them stand out more and to make them more difficult.
On The Bars
In this level you should be working on adding twists and flips to your bar changes and learning more complicated ways to change bars. You will also be working on ways to release and then re-grab the same bar after doing a twist or flip or something, this kind of maneuver being called a release maneuver.
Some of the new maneuvers that you are likely to learn here are: the pak salto, a blind change front giant pirouette, and a giant double back for starters. For the pak salto you start at the high bar with a handstand, then you swing down and forward only letting go of the high bar when your feet are well above the low bar. Then you do a back flip to catch the low bar.
On The Vault
The most important thing here is to work on increasing the difficulty of the vaults that you know. Since there is no limit on how difficult you can make your vaults at level 10 competitions you should be taking full advantage of this and working especially hard on all of the different vaults that are a level C skill rating and then working your way higher to more challenging vaults from there.
What Skills Do You Need To Put In Your Level 10 Gymnastics Routines?
Level 10 is the only one of the gymnastics levels that has no restrictions when it comes to the level of skills you choose for your routines. Still, you must include 3 level A skills, 3 level B skills, and 2 level C skills in each routine besides making sure that you include the following specified elements for each of the events.
On The Floor
Besides the specifies number of A-C skills, your floor routine must also include your 360 degree turn on one foot, which must be part of a B level skill or higher. You must also include a dance passage in your routine that has at least two jumps or leaps, one of which must include your 180 degree split.
There must be at least three saltos somewhere in your floor routine. Two of these may go in your acro combination that has at least two saltos in it, these may be the same or different and may be directly connected or not. The last salto in the floor routine that you do must be a level C skill or higher salto.
On The Beam
After you first make sure that your beam routine includes the 3 A skills, 3 B skills, and 2 C level skills, then you should also make sure that your 180 degree split leap or jump and your 360 degree turn on one foot are also both present in your routine.
You must also have one acro combination in your routine that has at least two flight elements in it and which may not be connected to the mounting or dismounting of the beam. One of these flight elements must be at least a level C in difficulty. Instead, if you want to you can choose to do an acro combination that directly connects a level A non-flight element with a level E flight element. If you choose the latter combination it still cannot be connected to the mount or dismount.
Finally, your aerial or salto dismount must have a level C value. If you wish to you are allowed to exchange it for a level B dismount as long as it is part of a combination that has a level C skill somewhere else in it.
On The Bars
In addition to the specific number of level A-C skills, the bar routine must have a flight element that is at least a level B skill or higher as well as a second, separate flight element that is at least a level C skill or higher. Neither one of these may have anything to do with either the mount or the dismounting of the bars.
There must be at least one skill with a longitudinal-axis turn that is a minimum of C level skill during the routine. At the end there must be a salto dismount that is also a level C skill or higher.
On The Vault
While there is no specific vault that you have to do for this level, it is a good idea to try to do a vault that is ranked a level C or higher. Remember that while you can do a lower skill level vault that there is no limit to how difficult of a vault you can do, so you should try to take advantage of this fact.
What Comes After Level 10 In Gymnastics?
If you have made it this far in gymnastics then you are probably wondering what comes next. Perhaps you are also starting to wonder what the point is of continuing to spend so many hours in practicing your skills in an effort to get even better. If that is you, then there are a couple of things that you should keep in mind as options.
While not every gymnast plans on going to college, most gymnasts recognize the fact that they will not be able to compete forever. For this reason alone many young gymnasts plan on a career that they can do when they decide to quit gymnastics. One other good reason is that traveling to competitions can take quite a bit of money, so having a part time job that pays well can be an important part of being a gymnast sometimes.
The first thing to remember is that there are college scholarships available to gymnasts who show enough talent and dedication. The second part of this is that a number of level 10 gymnasts are not a whole lot older than the minimum 9 years old. That being said, most scholarships are offered to kids who are at least close to being college age and who want to go to college.
This is one of the reasons why it can be so important to train as hard as ever even after you reach 10, since not only will practicing put you ahead of all the girls who reached level 10 and then slaked off in their training for a few years, but the added years of practice can really help you shine in front of those talent scouts.
In order to get a college scholarship there are a few other things that you should do to help you to be more noticeable and to increase your chances of getting on offer for a scholarship. The first of these things is to make sure that you get good grades, especially during the last few years of your schooling.
This is a vital thing for you to do since most college recruiters who are out looking for talent will also be factoring in a potential gymnast’s grades. While you will of course want to keep up with working on your skills as a gymnast as much as you possibly can, but your GPA is also a very important number that you should work to keep as high as you possibly can.
A college will not want to have to worry about whether or not you can keep up with the minimum GPA that many schools will require you to have if you are going to compete for them. If your grades drop too low then you will not do the college you go to any good at all no matter how good of a gymnast you are. At the same time, they will want you to still have the time you need at the gym in order to be ready for these competitions. Therefore a talent scout will be looking at both of these things.
The second thing that you will want to make sure that you do is to keep up a healthy relationship with your current gymnastics coach and any of the other staff that might work with you. While you might not see at first glance what this has to do with getting a college scholarship, it is definitely something that you should work on even if you don’t agree with your coach or even if you just plain dislike your coach.
The college recruiters are almost guaranteed to talk to your gymnastics coach before they even approach you. When they do so they will ask you coach their opinion as to your attitude, your strengths, your weaknesses, how disciplined you are, etc. If you coach replies that you talk back, are disrespectful, or go against their wishes on a regular basis, then you may not even know that you missed your chance at getting a scholarship.
If, on the other hand, you have a good relationship with your coach and take care to keep on good terms with them, then they are far more likely to focus on your strengths and to promote you to any college scout that comes asking questions and to help you where they can.
The third thing that you should always do is to record your scores. You should record all of the gymnastics scores that you get from each and every meet. If possible you should keep it in an easy to access place and in an organized way.
Even though the recruiters will be able to look up all of your scores from the more important meets you participated in, having your own score records that you can give them a copy of will make you look much more professional and can give them some of the scores from smaller meets that they may not have taken the time to get themselves.
Doing this is also a great way to keep yourself motivated and to see what your strongest and weakest events are on a regular basis. Seeing in print what your scores are over a long stretch of time can really help you see what you might need to work on, and doing extra practice time in your weak areas will help you to be all the more likely to be accepted by a talent scout. This is especially true if you can not only say that you have been working on a certain area but your recent scores show improvement for that event as well.
The fourth thing that you should do as much as you possibly can is to have someone take videos of you, not only at your competitions but during some of your practice sessions as well. If possible you should make a DVD of this and, if you are really proactive and know which colleges you are interested in going to, you can even send it to those colleges so that they will hopefully watch it.
As mentioned, this DVD should have not only your competitions, but also some of your practice sessions. These practice sessions should be up to date – not what you were working on three levels or three years ago – and a great idea would be to show you learning a new skill or a maneuver and your progress that you are currently making on it.
In this video you should try to make yourself look presentable. Everyone knows that 2 hour practice usually involves your hair being messed up long before the end, especially when learning flips and things that may involve being upside down, but you should still try to make sure that a messy hair or anything else does not stand out.
You do not have to go to the same lengths as though you are about to be on a live-streamed gymnastics meet, you are simply wanting to look presentable. Your goal that you are after is that you want the full attention of the viewer to be on what you are doing, not on the piece of hair that keeps falling down or anything else.
The fifth thing that you should do is to watch gymnastics on a regular basis. While this might seem to be in no way connected with getting a college scholarship, it can actually help, especially if you can watch or attend some college gymnastics meets. This will be great for letting you see what you would be competing against and it will also let you see some of the more common maneuvers that college gymnasts are currently using in their routines.
Once you know what some of these maneuvers are, you can start working towards doing these maneuvers yourself and you can also start working on other things that you think might compare should you end up competing against any of the gymnasts you see.
Watching college gymnastics meets can also have another benefit of possibly helping you decide what college you might be interested in going to if you are undecided. It can do this by letting you see the different teams, especially if you are attending the actual meet and not just watching it on your TV or computer, and allow you to meet some of the gymnasts from the different colleges.
While you may be a little confused about exactly what an elite gymnast is, you should know that an elite gymnast can be a gymnast of any level and that in simple terms it is basically a more rigorous form of training. An elite gymnast can sometimes be referred to as an international gymnast and the scores that they get at their meets will be determined the same way as international ones, giving the gymnasts an opportunity to get above a 10.00 score.
Though most of the rules and requirements for the routines are the same for a level 5 gymnast and a level 5 elite gymnast, an elite gymnast will usually have nearly twice the practice hours and by level 10 will be far in advance of a regular level 10 gymnast. Therefore, the requirements in each level for the routines are also more difficult to reflect this fact.
While it is possible to switch from being a gymnast to being an elite gymnast, the higher the level you are currently in the more catching up you will have to do in order to get to the level of skills that an elite gymnast has. However, if you have the time and find that level 10 is starting to bore you, it can be well worth it to move to elite.
One of the main reasons why you might want to move to elite is because it is from here that the Olympic gymnasts are chosen from. If your dream is to represent the U.S. at the Olympics as a gymnast, then this is the stepping stone to get there.