The Gymnastics Guide

Helping gymnasts and coaches to be their best every day!

Making Sense of Composition – Level 9 Beam


This post has been updated to reflect the 2022-2026 Code of Points. What skills does a Level 9 gymnast need for an exceptional beam routine? She will need a combination of strong acro skills, dance skills, and a big dismount. Judges have deductions available, called composition deductions, to separate gymnasts of different skill levels, within […]

Making Sense of Composition – Level 8 Beam


This article has been updated to reflect the 2022-2026 Code of Points. What are the ingredients for a great Level 8 beam routine? Gymnasts need a combination of strong acro skills, dance skills, and a big dismount. Judges have deductions available, called compositional deductions, to separate gymnasts of different skill levels. In 2018, those deductions […]

What’s New in 2019-2020


The optional season is officially in full swing, so I thought this would be a good time to review some of the changes and updates for this season. There are several changes to the Level 6/7 vault deductions, along with  updates in several other areas. General: Video review is now allowed for spotting deductions and […]

To Inquire or Not to Inquire?


Inquiries… the only allowable form of communication between coaches and judges. I’ve been on both sides of the inquiry process – as a coach who strongly disagreed with a score given to one of my gymnasts, and as a judge filling out the form and trying to be fair to the gymnast, while still upholding […]

Breaking Down the Level 4 Floor Routine 2022

Breaking Down the Level 4 Floor Routine 2022


Compulsories, by their nature, are repetitive. You might wonder, how can I catch the judges’ attention during the same old-same old Level 4 floor routine? Once, I was coaching Level 4 at an early-season meet and one of my gymnasts turned the wrong way during her choreography. She couldn’t figure out how to get back […]

2019 World Championships Event Finals


After Simone Biles’ historic gold medals in the team and AA finals, what will be next for her? She made all four event finals – how many more gold medals will she bring home? And which other gymnasts will shine during these two days? Certainly the biggest question mark is uneven bars. Biles has never […]

2019 World Championships AA Finals


All-around finals is my favorite competition to watch at Worlds or Olympics. There’s just something special about seeing who can put together the best four routines and win the prestigious all-around title. And after the excitement of team finals, along with all the mishaps, I’ve been anxiously anticipating this meet to see who will be […]

2019 World Championships Team Finals


Wow, what a team final! There were several moments during the final when it seemed like no one was going to be able to put it together to win a medal! In a finals fraught with errors, here are the final results: Women’s Team Gold: U.S. — 172.330 Silver: Russia — 166.529 Bronze: Italy — […]

Breaking Down the Level 3 Floor Routine 2022

Breaking Down the Level 3 Floor Routine 2022


This post has been updated to reflect the 2021-2029 compulsory routine changes. It’s time to polish up those compulsory routines! Today we will look at the Level 3 floor routine. This was always one of my favorite levels to coach, because the kids are just learning to compete, and it is so rewarding to teach […]

2019 World Championships Team Selected


After much speculation, the 2019 Worlds team has been selected! It is a six-member team, with the alternate to be selected at least 24 hours prior to the start of competition. The team is as follows: Simone Biles Jade Carey Kara Eaker Sunisa Lee Grace McCallum MyKayla Skinner Check out the full article on USA […]