Recruiting 101: Do Specialists Get Recruited To College?

LSU

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. 

15 TikTok Videos From Some Of Our Favorite Gymnasts

Laurie Hernandez

Whether they're attempting new trends, showing off skills in the gym, or practicing their favorite viral dances, we love to watch our favorite gymnasts on TikTok. Let us know who we missed and still need to follow!

USA Gymnastics Announce Development Program National Championships May 2021

Get The FloSports App

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

USA Gymnastics announced the 2021 USAG Development Program National Championships will be held May 11-16, 2021, at the Ocean Center in Daytona Beach, Fla. For the first time, the event will bring together gymnasts from the men’s and women’s artistic disciplines. More than 1,500 athletes are expected to compete.

Aleah Finnegan Discusses Deltchevs And Diversity

Get The FloSports App

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Aleah Finnegan remembers watching Carlos Yulo make history at the 2018 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. Yulo won bronze on floor exercise in Doha, making him the first Philippine gymnast to medal at a World Championships.

A New Generation Of Gymnasts: Why Morgan Hurd Aims To Be Voice Of Change

Morgan Hurd Women's March.jpeg

Morgan Hurd keeps her pronouns (she/her) in her bio, encourages everyone to wear a mask, and doesn’t shy away from sharing her opinions on social justice topics, even while she launches into the public eye as her career intensifies. Hurd speaks out about many social issues, especially ones that affect marginalized communities.

Division I Recruiting Dead Period In All Sports Extended Through April 2021

Get The FloSports App

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

By Michelle Brutlag Hosick

The Division I Council on Wednesday extended the recruiting dead period for all Division I sports through April 15.

Shane Wiskus Aims For His First Olympic Team Amongst Difficult Setbacks

Get The FloSports App

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Shane Wiskus dealt with his fair share of setbacks this year, but it hasn’t changed his goals. No matter what stands in his path, he has his sights set on Tokyo 2021. 

Unlock this article, live events, and more with a subscription!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

Leanne Wong Commits To University Of Florida

Leanne Wong

Two-time U.S. Senior National Team member Leanne Wong, an elite from Great American Gymnastic Express (GAGE), announced her commitment to the University of Florida. Her signing ends months of gymternet guessing and giddiness. Known for her graceful extension, clean lines, and competitive consistency, Wong made it official November 14, 2020, through her Instagram account. 

Riley McCusker Files Lawsuit Against Maggie Haney

Riley McCusker and Coach Maggie Haney.jpg

Riley McCusker, a four-time national team member of USA Gymnastics, filed a lawsuit against former coach Maggie Haney and former assistant coach Victoria Levine. It's a civil case for damages, alleging negligence and intentional infliction of emotional distress by her coaches for forcing her to train while injured. 

Auburn Women's Gymnastics Sign Four In 2021 Recruiting Class

sunisa lee 2019 world championships

Auburn women's gymnastics head coach Jeff Graba and staff are elated to sign one of the most promising classes school history. 

Kara Eaker And Grace McCallum Sign With Utah Gymnastics

Get The FloSports App

Create a free account to unlock this video!

Get Started

Already a subscriber? Log In

SALT LAKE CITY – Two-time World champions and two of the nation's top elite gymnasts - Kara Eaker and Grace McCallum - locked in their futures with Utah gymnastics on National Signing Day. As two of the most decorated signees in program history, the duo will vie for a 2021 Olympic Team berth prior to continuing their illustrious gymnastics careers in Salt Lake City.