About Xcel

The purpose of the Xcel Program is to present gymnasts the opportunity to participate in competition and/or provide former Junior Olympic competitive gymnasts the opportunity to continue competition without the intense time commitment. The goal of the Xcel Program at Emeth is to challenge each and every athlete’s limits and abilities by providing enjoyable, yet challenging practices and competitions. The Xcel program also allows for gymnasts who are exceeding (or progressing faster) in some areas such as Floor and Beam to continue to progress at this excelled pace, and be challenged in these events, but at the same time continue to work in the other events. This allows the gymnast not to become “board” or find themselves in a situation that they are not prepared for or “over their head”.

The Xcel Gymnastics Program and Competitions is sanctioned by USA Gymnastics. USA Gymnastics is the governing body of gymnastics in the United States. USA Gymnastics wanted to provide an alternative to the Junior Olympic Program (which requires a tremendous amount of time commitment) where gymnasts could continue their participation in gymnastics and have the opportunity to compete, yet with limited time commitment in the gym. There are currently 4 levels in the Xcel Program; Silver, Gold, Platinum & Diamond. More information about USAG Xcel in general.

Gymnasts may progress into higher levels by a variety of paths: JO Compulsory, Xcel Optional, and JO Optional. Emeth Coaches make recommendations for each step on an gymnasts’ path according to what will help them best reach their potential.

At Emeth the Bronze and Silver  gymnasts practice in their own grouping to allow for the diverse skill range of the gymnast to be properly managed. The Gold, Platinum  and Diamond group works with the Optional A/B and Optional C groupings. Please see the chart below.


JO to  Xcel Comparison
Level 10
Level 9Xcel Diamond
(7 – 9)
Level 8
Level 7Xcel Platinum
Level 6Xcel Gold(5 – 7)
Level 5Xcel Silver(3 – 6)
Level 4(2 – 5)
Level 3Bronze
(2 – 3)
Level 2


Starting with the 2013-2014 competition season, Emeth reduced it minimum age for Silver from 10 years of age to 8 years of age.

Silver Pro is for the “Advanced” Silver gymnasts. This grouping has more advanced skills, and has progressed through the Silver Prep grouping. The Silver Prep grouping is generally the “Beginner” or first year Silvers. Silver Prep will have a lower skill set, and are learning the transition to Optional from Compulsory  They will compete with the Silver Prep girls, but skill levels are higher.

Optional vs Compulsory


  • Each athlete has her own unique routines and choreography.
  • Focus is on featuring the athlete’s style and highlighting her strengths.
  • Training strives continually for higher difficulty level through skill selection that will make her look her best and stand out.
  • Difficulty requirements increase in each level. There are a variety of ways to meet requirements.


  • In each level, every girl’s skills and routines are the exact same.
  • There is no focus on individuality.
  • Emphasis is on training and mastering the core skills that lead up to the more advanced optional levels.
  • Each successive level progresses in its level of difficulty.


An gymnasts must earn two things to be eligible to progress from one level to the next:

1. Required scores achieved in current level

2. Required skills mastered for level being entered

Respective scoring requirements:    8.5 / 34.0       8.5 / 34.0        8.75 / 34.5

Gymnasts are responsible for designing their own Bar, Beam and Floor routines as well as selecting their Vault. Gymnasts are responsible for obtaining their own floor music.

Xcel Coaches

Heather Leshovsky is the head coach for Xcel Gold, Diamond and Platinum levels, Nikki Arold is the Head coach for Xcel Silver. Heather and Nikki are assisted by Janet Littlefield. If you wish to schedule a private lesson with your coach, please feel free to Schedule one