Grand Rapids Gymnastics Academy Class Descriptions
Pre-school Program – Upstairs Pre-k Gym (Ages
(ages 2 and 3 w/ parental assistance – 35 minutes) - This is a great class for introducing basic movement
skills in a fun and age-appropriate environment. Gymnasts will work through a series of stations and coordination building
skills in each class. Focus is on motor skills, listening and taking turns in a stimulating environment. One adult per child
will participate in the class and assist the child in following the teacher’s instructions.
Pre-k I (ages 3 and 4 – 35 minutes) Children work on all four apparatus (vault,
bars, beam and floor) with the aid of smaller scaled equipment and props. Classes are held in our upstairs
pre-k gym designed for the safety of the pre-k age gymnast. Introductory gymnastics skills are introduced
along with reinforcing listening skills and following directions through the use of stations, circuits and props.
Pre-k II (ages 4 and 5 – 45 minutes) We recommend this class for any child who meets the age requirement, has participated in pre-k I and
is ready for an increased challenge. This is also a great class for any five year-old who may desire the
smaller scale equipment and cozier environment of our pre-k gym vs. moving to a beginner class in our downstairs gym.
Beginner (age 5+ - downstairs gym) Once a gymnast turns 5, they have the option of participating in our Beginner
classes which are held downstairs in our recreational and competitive team gym. There is no skill requirements
for our Beginner classes and any gymnast age 5 and up may opt to register for this class if they would like.
Recreational Program/Xcel Competitive Track – Downstairs Gym (Ages 5 and up)
Beginner (1 or 2 days/week – 55 minutes each class) This class involves the introduction of basic gymnastics skills on all four apparatus: vault, bars,
beam and floor. Tumble Track (60 foot trampoline) is also incorporated to teach jumps as well as floor and vault progressions.
An example of skills introduced are forward and backward rolls, cartwheels, handstands and bridges
Intermediate I (1 or 2 days/week – 55 minutes each class) This class also utilizes all four apparatus and trampoline. Gymnasts will continue to perfect the skills
introduced to them in beginner. They will also begin working on round-offs, bridge kick-overs, front and back hip circles
on bars as well as moving their basic floor skills to the low and medium balance beams. Gymnasts in this class must have completed
the Beginner class and been recommended by an instructor to move up.
Intermediate II (1 or 2 days/week – 1 hour and 15 minutes each class) Gymnasts will be working on front limbers, back walk-overs and standing back handsprings
on floor. Bar skills will include sole circles, stride circles, front and back hip circles. Vaulting will focus on handstand
flat backs onto a resi pit. It is strongly recommended that gymnasts attend two days/week at this level. Coach’s will
recommend gymnasts who have mastered Intermediate I skills for this class.
Advanced Pre-Team (1 or 2 days of Intermediate II and 1 day of advanced pre-team – 3.25 hours – 4.5
hours total/week) The Advanced Pre-team class is aimed at
bridging the gap between our recreational track program and competitive team track program. Gymnasts who
are interested in adding this class must concurrently participate in at least one day of Intermediate II while attending the
advanced pre-team class. Gymnasts may continue to attend two days of Intermediate II while participating in advanced pre-team
if they would like.
The goals of Advanced Pre-team are:
gymnasts the opportunity to experience a longer/more intensive team practice.
Increase time spent on the strength and conditioning that is necessary to acquire the skills and requirements
needed at the introductory team levels.
gymnasts who may have a desire to compete in the future.
Provide additional gym time to gymnasts with an interest in competing.
Provide an opportunity to move towards competitive gymnastics without making a long term or full season commitment.
To assist coaches and families
in determining which competitive program may be the best fit for your child.
Xcel Bronze (3 days/week for 4.5 hours total) This is the first competitive level of our Xcel program. The Xcel program provides competitive opportunities
for gymnasts and families who may desire less of a time and financial commitment. It is also the more flexible
of the two programs in terms of ability level. Xcel is great for gymnasts who may want a more relaxed practice
structure or prefer the opportunity to do their own routines vs. the structured preset routines that are choreographed for
the entry levels of the JO system. It is also ideal for gymnasts who may have gotten a later start into
gymnastics or gymnasts who may struggle with certain events, strength, flexibility or fear. Gymnasts who
participate in our Xcel program are also often involved in other extracurricular activities or sports in addition to gymnastics.
From Xcel Bronze, gymnasts can progress
through the Xcel competitive levels which include: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum and Diamond. Advancement
is based on skill-level and coach’s discretion on physical and mental readiness.
Developmental Program –
(ages 4 and up) - Junior Olympic Competitive Track (Coach Recommendation)
The Developmental program is designed to identify gymnasts with strong natural ability
and drive for the sport of gymnastics and prepare them for competitive gymnastics. Gymnasts in this program
will see an accelerated rate of progression due to the 2-3 day/week and year-round participation in these classes.
The classes are more intensely focused on strength, flexibility and technique to create a solid foundation of gymnastics
basics that will ultimately prepare gymnasts for safe and consistent progressions through the levels.
The final goal of the program is to develop well prepared gymnasts that are ready to
compete through the USAG Junior Olympic program, beginning at Level 3. The assumption upon entering this
program is that your child will compete for GRGA at some point.
The JO Developmental Program is a year-round program with a higher level of commitment expected than our recreational
Hot Shots (ages 4-6 – 2 days/week 55 minutes
each) – This class will introduce gymnastics fundamentals
on all four events, keeping the focus of class on fun and learning. Skill work will include:
Floor – rolls, cartwheels, handstands, kick-overs, kicks, candlesticks
Beam – walks, kicks, jumps w/ proper form and technique
Bars – pull-overs, casts, back hip circles, forward rolls
Vault – running, hurdles, proper springboard technique, forward
Fast Track (ages
5-8 – 2 days/week 55 minutes each) – Gymnasts
in Fast Track will have attained the skills from Hot Shots and demonstrate readiness for an increase focus on perfecting form
and technique with the skills introduced in Hot Shots. The main goal of this class will be to improve form
and technique of skills already attained. In addition, drills for skills in the next level will be introduced
in the Fast Track level class. These may include drills for: back walk-overs, sole circles and stride circles
on bars and handstand flat backs on vault.
Super Stars (ages
5-8 – 2 days/week 55 minutes each) – The Super
Stars class will begin teaching gymnasts the Level 1 routines that are designated by USA Gymnastics. These
routines are the foundation that will lead to success as gymnasts move-up through the program, ultimately leading to competition
at Level 3.
Advanced Super Stars (ages 5-9 –
2 days/week 1 hour and 30 minutes) Gymnasts in the Advanced
Super Stars class will build upon the skills and routines learned in Super Stars and will focus on learning the Level 2 routines
and skills. This is the last non-competitive level in the developmental program. An
increase emphasis on conditioning will begin in this level to prepare them for the necessary added time spent on conditioning
at the competitive levels in the JO program.
Pre-team (ages 5-9 – 3 days/week 1 hour and 30 minutes) The pre-team class will prepare athletes for their first season on the competitive team. The goal
of this class is to attain all the required Level 3 skills and begin learning the routines for Level 3. Coaches
will also spend time focusing on details specific to competing and how their routines are evaluated.
Level 3 (ages 6-10 – 3 days/week, 9 hours total) Level 3 is the first competitive level of the Junior Olympic level system through USA Gymnastics. The JO
program is a more intense program that follows very specific guidelines, progressions and requirements through USAG. JO requires
a higher number of hours in the gym that increases with each level. It is ideal for gymnasts who are naturally
strong enough and flexible enough to be successful with the required elements at each level. It is also
the most commonly regarded path toward gymnastics at the collegiate levels, Divison I,II or III.
Gymnasts will advance through the level system by achieving mobility scores set forth by USA Gymnastics and
meeting gym standards of physical and emotional preparedness.