Recruiting 101: Do Specialists Get Recruited To College?

In the sport of gymnastics, you automatically think of the gymnast as doing all-around. Competing on four events is typically the desire of the young gymnast and this is often what they work for throughout their club career. 

Ideally, the college coach will want to find recruits that are strong on all four events, because they are getting “more bang for their buck,” so to speak, in regards to scholarship offers. But realistically, in college, most gymnasts are not competing on all four events for four years and there is a place for specialists. 

Recently I had a client who is a specialist. She had to drop floor and vault because of injury and surgery to her shins. I recommended that she focus on beam and bars and do them really well. Initially, it was hard for her mentally, to go from working on four events to two, but it was best for her body. She had a good season on both beam and bars, but of course, never qualified to J.O. Nationals.

We then sent out her information to coaches and the response was incredible. The college coaches could see that she was very talented, clean and will score in college. Within days we had four Pac-12 schools and one SEC team interested.  

This recruit had a strong GPA and was looking for the right fit, not a scholarship. She went on her visits and had a great experience and ultimately ended up choosing Alabama. She felt honored to have all these coaches come watch her at practice and then offer her official visits to campus. She met amazing gymnasts, coaches, and academic advisors. Being a senior in high school and knowing the ramifications of this big decision, she took it very seriously. We processed things along the way and together came to a great final decision.  

Unfortunately, the J.O. system is not geared towards specialists, so it can be shocking at first to even consider this option. With injuries or the fact that not every gymnast is strong on all four events, you should not be afraid to specialize in regards to the recruiting process. Some gymnasts have to take this option and others often continue to work four events even though they know they are weak on an event or two. Either way, remember you can still be very wanted by the college coaches. The college coach who can find a recruit that can score 9.8s on two events will be very interested in you, but this may not transfer into a scholarship.


Jill has an advising service called JH Consulting which helps parents and gymnasts navigate the college recruiting process. You can contact her for more information by going to www.jhicksconsulting.com and call for a FREE consultation. 

Russia, China, & Japan Are The Top 3 Teams To Watch At Worlds Besides USA

Join PRO Now to Get Unlimited Access to FloGymnastics!

Join Now

Already a PRO Member? Log In

Irina Alexeeva - Bars, Woga - USA - 2018 International Gymnix

For the past few quadrenniums, the U.S. women's gymnastics program has not only risen to the top but dominated and maintained its golden status. However, at the 2018 World Championships, Team USA isn't the only country expected to contend for a team medal.

Yul Moldauer Calls 2018 World Championships 'Biggest' Event Of His Life

NORMAN, Oklahoma — Yul Moldauer has been part of some big events. He enters his senior year at Oklahoma with seven individual NCAA titles, which is tied for most in college gymnastics history, and three national championships. He has also medaled at the USA Championships and the World Championships.

Brenna Dowell, Oklahoma Aim To Bounce Back After 'Shocking' UCLA Defeat

The end seemed inevitable. 

When the University of Oklahoma women’s gymnastics team entered the 2018 NCAA Super Six, they were the odds-on favorite to win their fourth national championship since 2014 and third in a row.

USA Gymnastics Names Biles, Hurd & 4 More To 2018 World Championships Team

Interview: Riley McCusker - Day 2, 2018 US Championships

The 2018 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships are less than two weeks away from starting in Doha, Qatar, and USA Gymnastics has just announced the six gymnasts who will be representing the red, white, and blue in the year's biggest international competition. A seventh alternate gymnast will be named in Qatar.

Simone Biles Spearheads The Women's Worlds Event Finals Contenders

Although Doha 2018 marks the first world championships of the quad with a team competition, this year's event finals will still be one to watch, especially with the return of reigning Olympic all-around, vault, and floor champion Simone Biles.

Roster: U.S. Women's 2018 World Team Selection Camp

Following the 2018 World Championships nominative roster release by the International Gymnastics Federation, USA Gymnastics posted the gymnasts who will attend the 2018 U.S. Women’s World Team Selection Camp.

USA's Nominative Team For The 2018 World Championships

The nominative registrations are in for the 2018 World Championships, and the USA's team consists of Simone Biles, Morgan Hurd, Riley McCusker, Grace McCallum, and Kara Eaker, with Shilese Jones as the alternate.

Great Britain Names 2018 World Championships Team

Press release via British Gymnastics:

Ellie Downie, Becky Downie, Kelly Simm, Georgia-Mae Fenton and Alice Kinsella will be the Great Britain women’s team for the forthcoming artistic gymnastics World Championships.

Corinne Bunagan To Represent Philippines At Worlds

Interview: Philippine Senior Elite Corinne Bunagan, ENA Gymnastics

For the first time in three years, the Philippines will be represented in the biggest gymnastics competition of the year. New Jersey native Corinne Bunagan of ENA Paramus will compete at the 2018 World Championships in Doha next month. She received the opportunity after proving herself to be a reliable competitor at the 2018 Asian Games.

U.S. Men's Team Announced For 2018 World Gymnastics Championships

USA Gymnastics has announced the men's team for the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Sam Mikulak, Akash Modi, Yul Moldauer, Colin Van Wicklen, and Alec Yoder make up the five person team with Allan Bower as the traveling alternate.