Junior Olympic (JO) gymnastics is a competitive program run by USA Gymnastics (the governing body for gymnastics in the United States), for American athletes interested in many types of gymnastics. The Women's Junior Olympic Program has two major groups: Compulsory and Optional.
The difference between Optional and Compulsory is the type of routines they can perform. For Optionals, there are only 4-5 routine requirements and each gymnast can have her routine choreographed for her personality and individual strengths and weaknesses. Whereas in compulsory levels, the routine is already choreographed, and every gymnast must perform the same routine.
The Xcel program was created in 2013 as an alternative to the more rigorous Junior Olympic (J.O.) competitive program. It is a great way for gymnasts to become more involved in the sport and attend fun competitions as well as to provide them with a healthy level of challenge and commitment to their training.
The program's versatility allows for gymnasts to participate in competitions at all skill levels, so it is an excellent competitive path for both beginners and for those who have more experience. There are five divisions in the Xcel program in which gymnasts can compete with increasing difficulty: Bronze, Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Diamond.
The most fun and exciting part of Xcel is the flexible level requirements. In J.O. each gymnast is expected to learn the exact same routines and skills as everyone else in their level, whereas Xcel requirements are more open-ended so that each gymnast can show off her strengths on each event---routines are catered to the gymnast, so each athlete has the opportunity to highlight her personality and unique abilities.
Everyone! Xcel gives families and gymnasts an opportunity to experience a fun competitive environment with less time and financial commitment. Beginner gymnasts interested in competition are highly encouraged to inquire about our Xcel program and explore their passion for gymnastics; advanced gymnasts can enroll in Xcel as a fun way to stay active and involved in the sport. Gymnasts will be evaluated by coaches and given a recommendation on which program and level to train.
Although Xcel is separate from the J.O. program, gymnasts can transfer to J.O. if they are looking for a more rigorous dedication to the sport; likewise, J.O. gymnasts can transfer to Xcel if they want to spend a little less time training or even compete new skills and routines in the Xcel program during their off-season.
Those who are interested in transferring from Xcel to J.O. can be introduced to our Hybrid Program, which gives them the opportunity to train J.O. routines. This is additional commitment and training on top of regular Xcel practice and is invite-only based on coach recommendation. Our aim is to provide each gymnast with a challenge and mold a path for their success!
Straight A's Gymnastics Academy was founded on the belief that gymnastics is not only the root of all sports, it provides a vehicle with which we can teach skills that will last a lifetime and can assist in the development of every child in our program.
What we do
SAGA competitive team programs will always be dedicated to helping each child unlock their fullest potential. This does not mean, however, that every child will earn a place on our competitive team.
The SAGA team staff will treat each athlete’s goals and aspirations individually. Some kids do not have any desire to train at a high-level pace, nor should they have to in order to be a valued member of our competitive team.
This is not to say that the staff at SAGA will accept mediocrity in training. We will always run a structured, disciplined program, as it is our belief that gymnastics is far too dangerous and costly to have training be considered just an opportunity for socializing.
Our staff will demand respect and a strong work ethic from each athlete. Conversely, athletes will be treated with respect and be provided with positive guidance to help them reach their goals.