Level 2 in gymnastics comes after the completion of Level 1. It is the second level included in the gymnastics level structure of the USAG Junior Olympic program. There are certain skills that are compulsory in the routine of level 2 gymnastics requirements. All gyms do not compete at this level. Also, this is not considered a required level.
The basic levels including level 2 prepare a gymnast to get more accustomed to his or her body and take control of the body weight. Immense dedication is required to learn these skills. The regular practice gradually makes the activities perfect and the gymnast can progress to the next level.
Though gymnastics is rewarding to the body of children, yet they must be trained under professional supervision. Parents must take care of while their kids are practicing the drills at home or the park. It is better if the right kind of mats, grips, and chalk are used so that the Level 2 gymnasts can train properly and safely.
If your child is not able to do a certain skill of Level 2, it means he or she needs more muscle development and strength to accomplish it. Ask the trainer for body specific workouts and make the kid do them regularly. Make your child follow an expert-recommended diet.
Never make your child do any activity that the coach has not suggested.
Ideal age of Level 2 gymnasts:
Generally, kids of 5-6 years reach Level 2.
Level 2 allows the kids to join a team and compete for the first time. They usually need 4-5 hours of practice per week.
Level 2 gymnastics requirements:
- Jump to handstand on the mat stack and straight body fall to flat back
- Tuck over
- Straddle over
- Handstand and fall over a barrel
- Handstand arch to stand
- Dive roll-on mat stack
- Jump off the block – stick
There are several changes in Level 2 from Level 1. The first stage involves a stretch jump. Level 2 requires an inverted jump.
The gymnast must stretch properly for making the muscles warm. It reduces the risk of injury.
- Leg cut
- Mill circle (forward stride circle)
- Back hip circle
- Under swing dismount (squat to pike sole circle dismount)
- Single leg basket swing
- Three leg lifts
- 1 chin up
- Piked glider swing
- Straight body lift – support
Bar event of women is prominently acknowledged and appreciated as competitive. Young gymnasts can learn various skills at a good rate to become competitive. The number of skills increases at this level.
- Swing ½ turn
- Tap swing
- Leg lift
- Back hip circle
- Under swing dismount
High bar 2nd tier skill set requires more refinement and definition of muscles. Daily exercise and various learning skills help in achieving them. Parents and guardians must take care of the young kids practicing at home.
- Support walk
- Turn 90 degree
- Support and swing
- Longhand swing
- Front support
- Straddle travel
- Rear dismount
As per the experts, the gymnast at level 2 can train on a short p-bar before performing the skills on the actual equipment. It will reduce the risk of injury of the kids learning Level 2 skills. Children can get scared or lose confidence as they are not familiar with actual bars. With practice and moving on to the actual apparatus, they can gradually become confident and achieve perfection.
- Jump to front support mount
- Arabesque (30 degrees)
- ½ pivot turn
- Tuck jump
- Stretch jump
- Coupe walks
- Cartwheel to handstand dismount (side)
- Cartwheel handstand straddle down
- Side relieve turn
- Lunge to lunge
The beam event is recognized globally. The all-women event involves balance and precision for executing great skills.
Bridge back kick over
Handstand for 1 second minimum
Heel snap turn (90 degree)
Split leap with leg separation (60 degree)
Split jump with leg separation (60 degree)
With a level, the floor skills become tougher and more challenging. The level tests the determination and capabilities of the gymnasts who reached Level 2. The kids can practice the majority of the skills at home under the surveillance of elders. Using a tumbling mat helps lessen injury. Both boys and girls can perform activities.
- Inverted hang
- Tuck sit
- Leg swing
- Pull up (skin the cat)
- Swing dismount
The majority of the skills involved in-ring training are taught taking the help of certain apparatus like a high bar. Here, the development of the upper body is extremely important. With regular practice under expert guidance, kids can effectively learn ring skills.
- Leg swings
- Tuck hold
This event is considered less demanding. Level 2 usually doesn’t support the momentum required for Pommel Horse skills. But, it is observed and proved that leg swings help in acquiring the capability of doing the skills. The more intense practice is required and with levels and body development, coaches teach the required skills to the gymnasts. Regular practice and utmost dedication can make the kids perfect.
Important factors to consider:
The gymnasts’ level of skill:
You have to remember that Level 2 is a junior level, and the gymnasts who are mostly kids may not have the confidence or capability to achieve perfection in all the skills. They may master a specific skill and can be prepared for progressing to the next level. But, they still may lack precision in other skills.
Hence, it is better to give them ample time and days to keep on practicing with care. If they are not prepared, keep them at the same level till they master all the skills.
The level of commitment of the little gymnasts:
The gymnasts have to learn more difficult skills in Level 2 and beyond. The mental strength of the kids must get the needed support and enhancement to cope with the rise in difficulty.
Parents, guardians, and coaches should remember that the kids are struggling hard to achieve a certain level of focus, mental skills, and confidence. They need more time to train their mind and body. The number of practice hours should be increased.
Parents must support their children in practicing their skills, and encourage them. They must make the child understand that failure is okay and normal. The child should learn from the elders that failure teaches them the right way to succeed. It is devotion, consistency, patience, and hard work that can give them the desired result. Parents should celebrate their child’s success and reward them every time they achieve a skill according to the commitment.
Gymnast’s maturity level:
Level 2 gymnasts are usually children who are emotionally immature. So, they may face difficulty in going ahead to the next level. They may feel scared as they have to perform difficult skills. Seniors, coaches, and elders must cheer up the kids and motivate them to practice more. Support them in boosting their confidence and teach them how to handle and master harder skills.
A suggestion to the parents of the gymnasts:
Whenever a coach thinks that your kid is ready to move up to the next level that is Level 3, then only your child can progress to the further stages. If the coach thinks that your little gymnast needs more practice and time to master certain skills, then don’t panic or scold your child. Kids are developing physically, mentally, and emotionally. They are seeing new things, learning new things, and experiencing new things. Their body may not have the required strength needed to perform certain skills. Their muscles and bones are getting stronger gradually. It will take time.
Confidence is another thing that a child may lack. Again, some kids may remain always cheerful and confident. You must not compare your child with others. Every kid is unique and has a distinct learning capacity. Give them the required time and let them learn at their own pace.
Moreover, if a gymnast repeats a level, that doesn’t mean that he or she won’t be able to pass it in the future. It signifies that the kid needs more practice, coaching, and time to get hold of certain skills. They have to work harder on mental and physical skills.
Check if your kid is feeling overwhelmed. Otherwise, his or her level of motivation may drop. Start small and let them build over time. Start with a few classes per week instead of pressurizing your child to perform the tough skills every day and evening. Your Level 2 gymnasts are kids and you have to keep their interest on top so that they do their practice on their own.
Always keep it fun and do not think that gymnastics classes are everything in your child’s life. Let your baby enjoy what he or she is doing. Help the little gymnast make friends with other fellow gymnasts. Kids love doing things with friends and together they can achieve their level of mastery over the skills required in Level 2. Don’t forget that safety comes first.