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 and call for a FREE consultation. 

The Biggest All-Around Threats To Simone Biles At The 2018 GK U.S. Classic

Simone Biles is back. 

World, Olympic, U.S. Champions To Compete At 2018 GK U.S. Classic

Press release via USA Gymnastics.

USA Gymnastics Announces Athlete Task Force

Press release via USA Gymnastics.

The Vault: Future Florida Gator Trinity Thomas Finds Success In Tokyo

How Long Can You Stand It with Trinity Thomas

Back in 2016, we spoke with Trinity Thomas about one of the dreams she had as a young gymnast: to compete in the 2020 Olympics in Tokyo. Whether she participates in the next Games or not, the University of Florida-bound Thomas has already found some success in Tokyo. The York, Pennsylvania, product secured an all-around silver medal at the Tokyo World Cup in April. 

5 Routines That Impressed Us At The 2018 American Classic

Last weekend, the American Classic in Salt Lake City gave us our first look at some new elites and new routines for the 2018 season. Usually held closed-door at the Karolyi Ranch, this year the American Classic was open to the public at the University of Utah campus and also live-streamed by USA Gymnastics on YouTube. Some gymnasts used the meet as a tune-up or event to get experience, while others were going all out looking to qualify to this year’s U.S. Championships in August. 

DiCello, Jones Lead Top Difficulty & Execution At The 2018 American Classic

The 2018 American Classic took place over the weekend in Salt Lake City, with 10 juniors and seven seniors qualifying to the U.S. Championships in August. Junior Kayla DiCello from Hill’s Gymnastics won the junior all-around with the highest score of the entire competition, a 55.400, while Shilese Jones from Future Gymnastics won the senior all-around with a 53.900. 

Kayla DiCello Takes Junior AA Title At 2018 American Classic

Hill's Gymnastics' Kayla DiCello took the top spot today for the juniors at the 2018 American Classic in Salt Lake City, totaling a  huge 55.400 in the all-around, the highest score out of both the juniors and seniors. 

Ava San Jose, Mya Witte Victorious At 2018 Hopes Classic

An exciting weekend of gymnastics began on Friday in Salt Lake City, with young gymnasts from across the nation showing some stunning routines. Find out what you missed below. 

National Team Members & Top Elites Headline 2018 American Classic

The 2018 American Classic will take place Saturday, July 7, in Salt Lake City, and provide an opportunity for gymnasts to qualify for the 2018 U.S. Championships in August. Junior and senior elites will be competing and be aiming to reach a certain score in either the all-around, on three events, or on two events in order to qualify. Seniors must score a 52.0 in the all-around, 39.75 on three events, or 27.0 on two events. Juniors must hit a 51.0 in the all-around. 

Celebrate July 4th With USA Mini-Camp: Nutrition Covered In Betsy's Kitchen

Back in March, Mary Lee Tracy opened up her gym Cincinnati Gymnastics to 18 elite athletes for a USA minicamp, and with the upcoming U.S. Classic in Columbus, Ohio, and the U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Boston.