The Men’s Junior Olympic Age Group Competition Program provides training and competitive opportunities for beginner to elite gymnasts from ages 6 to 18.
The Junior Olympic Program is organized into ten different levels of training or competition. Each level has multiple age groups and opportunities for participation and competition. Competition is carried out at the local, state, regional and national levels through USA Gymnastics sanctioned invitational meets and championship level meets. The Men’s Junior Olympic National Championships are held in May of each year for eligible athletes in Levels 8, 9 and 10 who have qualified through their Regional Championships. The season culminates for eligible Level 10 athletes at the P&G Gymnastics Championships.
The Junior Olympic Age Group Program is organized into the following three areas:
A. Essential Elements Program
The Essential Elements program focuses on both athletes and coaches becoming more proficient with their ability to move freely through a number of foundational areas of boys’ gymnastics. In other words, this curriculum provides the opportunity for any coach to learn how to set up a program, apply it to a team structure and become well versed in teaching boys gymnastics. This can be an invaluable resource for clubs who are always searching for boys coaches or simply would like to start a program but do not have a boys coach. Here is how the program works – each coach can set up their own lesson plan by choosing 4-8 stations known as ‘boxes’ that coordinate with the 14 or more key “Essential Elements” for that level (Levels 1 & 2). Week after week, they can select different boxes to introduce new drills, progressions and challenges. The boxes can be used for individual stations or included in a circuit or obstacle course. The students’ progress may be tracked daily or they may perform skills every 6,8 or 10 weeks depending on which time frame best fits with the club program. Students may also keep a record of their own achievements in all of these areas as an ongoing system of peer recognition. The program curriculum is arranged in a ‘plug and play’ format so that class instructors can combine any of the parts freely and keep each class different and interesting from one day to the next. An effort is made to allow the boys to have as much play time with each box as possible and to combine them in a way that is fun to do.
B. Age Group Competition Program
The Junior Olympic Age Group Competition Program consists of seven levels.
C. Junior National Team Program
The Junior National Team Program provides for the identification and selection of our elite junior athletes. The program includes the Junior Development Team selected through the Future Stars Program, the Junior National Team for Level 8 & 9, and the Junior Elite Team for Level 10. An athlete must be a U.S. citizen (must meet citizenship requirements as defined by the FIG) to be selected to the Junior National Team. The program objectives are to: