What Is Tops Gymnastics Program?

What is TOPs gymnastics program? The TOPs Gymnastics Program (or Talent Opportunity Program) is a talent hunt for female gymnasts aged 7-10. Potential gymnasts are assessed and invited to the National TOPS Training Camp to further their talents.

What is TOPs Program?

What are TOPs and why does it matter to you? Gymnastics TOPs is a talent-search initiative that was established around 27 years ago. It aims to identify new talent among young female gymnasts. This program is only open to gymnasts aged 7-10 years.

USA Gymnastics manages this program. Each state is assigned a TOPS State manager. To evaluate talented gymnasts, the State Manager establishes evaluation dates. The State Manager sets evaluation dates to evaluate potential gymnasts.

The International Elite Committee’s Developmental Team Coordinator implements the Talent Opportunity Program (TOPs), an identification system. Its purpose is for coaches to identify potential talent early and nurture these athletes and their coaches to offer competitive opportunities.

As you can see, TOPs is an American Gymnastics talent opportunity program that USA Gymnastics uses in order to identify gymnasts who have a “special” talent. It is important to have a strong national team in gymnastics. I believe the International Elite Committee is a good example of this.

TOPs’ goal is to find gymnasts who have a “special talent” and can be coached well. The program focuses mainly on strength, flexibility, and conditioning. The TOPs gymnasts learn specific gymnastics skills which are essential to other high-level skills. These skills are learned at a much faster rate than in the JO Program ( levels 1-10).

What Is Tops Gymnastics Program?

Gymnastics is a sport in which gymnasts reach their peak age. Most gymnasts who make it to the Olympics are between 16 and 17 years old. TOPs training is designed to speed up a gymnast’s progress. TOPs training is only available to a select few athletes. The wrong gymnast could cause a decline in confidence, which could lead to a gymnast wanting to quit gymnastics. The TOPs program can help improve confidence and motivate the right gymnast.

How to join the TOPs Program

You will need to locate a TOPs testing center close to you in order to join. Although the testing dates are typically in June or July, training should be done long before then at a private gym that offers TOPs training. It is important that your child meets all TOPs requirements.

Expert coaches are usually available to assist athletes in participating gyms and clubs. These coaches prepare and train athletes to excel during evaluations.

I’ll talk about where TOPs training programs are located near you and who to contact to get more information about TOPs programs. Let’s start with the evaluation and testing of programs.

Testing TOPs Program

To compete in TOPs, gymnasts who are selected by their gyms (not every gym has TOPs-trained gymnasts) are first evaluated at a regional or national TOPs test. These tests are held in the months of June or July. Gymnasts only get evaluated for six physical abilities at a regional or state level test (see below).

A gymnast who scores well in the National TOP test may be invited to the National TOP. This test is held in October. Athletes who score highest in the National TOP test are invited for a National TOP Training camp. The National TOP Testing and Camp are held at the Karolyi Ranch National Training Center, an American Olympic Training site.

Testing TOPs Program

TOPs same physical abilities tests and gymnastic skills in a variety of areas (includive state or regional level). You might need to teach your child:

  • Rope climbing
  • Do not press your hand.
  • Left lifts
  • Handstands should be done regularly
  • Flexibility tests
  • Take tests

Let’s look at the requirements for TOPs testing skills and how they are described. The exact tests may vary depending on the TOPs gymnastics age requirements. The youngest gymnasts might only need to be tested for six basic physical abilities, basic gymnastics skills, such as leg flexibility and handstands.

Testing will also be different at the state and national levels. The sprint test, which I’ll discuss below, is only available during national testing. Keep in mind, however, that TOPs skills criteria for testing are constantly updated.

What are the TOPs requirements?

Six tests are required for the Physical Abilities Testing.

  1. Rope Climb: The Rope Climb requires that gymnasts climb 12 feet while holding their legs in a pike pose.
  2. Handstand Hold Gymnasts must hold a handstand for at least 30 seconds while maintaining correct body alignment.
  3. Press Handstands: Gymnasts aged 7 and 8 years old must perform 5 press handstands. 9- and 10-year-olds must perform 10.
  4. Leg Lifts: Gymnasts need to do 20 leg lifts. They must start and return their legs horizontally each time.
  5. Cast to Do Handstands Gymnasts should do 5 casting to do handstands. To be counted, handstands must be within 15 degrees of vertical.
  6. Flexibility Test – This is a series of 6 kicks followed by 6 holds.

Rope Climbing

Rope climbing involves climbing 12 feet up a rope. To climb the rope, the athlete must keep his legs straight and in a piked position.

The rope must be held horizontally by the athlete’s legs throughout the climb. They cannot be crossed between her legs. A score of 0 will be given to an athlete who uses her legs to assist the climb.

Other mistakes will result in points being deducted by the scoring coach. The evaluator may deduct points based on other mistakes, such as if an athlete bends her legs or doesn’t keep their legs together.

Press Handstand

Start in a straddle position (L) with her hands on the ground and her legs extended above the floor. Then, straddle press to a handstand, then return to the starting position. The gymnast must continue this pattern throughout the test. She cannot rest more than two seconds in any position.

Testing TOPs

An athlete can’t walk with her hands and her hands must be at least as far apart from her shoulders. She must always face her opponent and must do a full handstand as well as a full straddle position.

These and other requirements must be followed or the score will be reduced.

Hold the Handstand

The handstand holds require that the athlete lifts her arms up and holds them in a handstand. She must keep her fingers in front and hold the handstand position for no more than 30 seconds.

If she falls within the first five seconds, she only has one chance. An evaluator might make deductions for bent arms, shoulder alignment, or body alignment. Scores will be higher if the athlete is able to hold the handstand for longer.

Leg Flexibility

The leg flexibility test is used to measure how flexible an athlete is. A series of six kicks must be delivered by the athlete, which includes both forward and reverse kicks. They should also hold onto a beam.

Leg Lift

The leg lift is performed by the gymnast hanging from a bar with her feet facing forward. Until she begins the exercise, her feet must be horizontal.

Then, she must bring her legs to a horizontal position again and then repeat. She can do up to 20 lifts.

Sprint 20 Meters

The 20-meter Sprint measures how fast a gymnast can run 20 meters. For the best results, she cannot wear gym shoes.

Why should you join TOPs Program?

TOPs training program is a great option for your child if you’re considering TOPs. There are many benefits to the intensive program.

It Can Prepare Them For High-Level Competition

TOPs is a great program for children who are serious about their gymnastic future. TOPs have been attended by many Olympic medalists. TOPs was attended by the Fierce Five who won Gold Medals at the 2012 Olympics.

A majority of the US gymnasts who participated in the Olympics in 2008 and 2012 also attended TOPs.

Although you might think the Olympics are out of reach for your child, it doesn’t mean they can’t be a gymnast who competes at a high level. TOPs will train her. TOPs are hard work. It pays off long-term.

It Helps To Discover a Hidden Talent

TOPs give athletes with high potential the chance to develop and thrive. You might not want to enroll your child in TOPs if she has such talent.

They may not realize they are gifted until they apply for TOPs. Many gymnasts reach their peak performance in their teens.

Discover a Hidden Talent

The TOPs program is crucial because it allows your child to receive top-level training in gymnastics and high-level skills in gymnastics at an early age. This will help them succeed later in their careers or journeys.

Gymnastics TOPs will give your child the foundation to be able to do advanced gymnastics later on. They will be able to improve their flexibility, alignment, and strength. TOPs gymnasts see significant improvement.

It Develops Discipline and Confidence

TOPs is a fantastic program for children, even if they don’t have a plan to become serious gymnasts. You will help your child gain self-confidence.

It will teach children discipline and how hard they must work to reach a goal. They will feel a sense of accomplishment if they make it to the training camps.

Even if they don’t, they will feel accomplished from participating in this high-level program. It will be something that they can share with their friends.

Gymnastics is a great way for children to exercise their muscles and immune system, have fun and develop their minds.

Gymnastics takes mental strength. Children must learn to persevere, even when they fail, in order to reach their goals.

What are the TOPs Program’s Advantages?

  • Training for TOPs is more focused. Tops training focuses on what you must learn to be a successful gymnast. Competing TOPs gymnasts don’t need to spend time learning routines. They are focused on being strong and flexible and learning the exact skills that you will need to be able to compete at a higher level.
  • This is how most gymnasts make it to the Olympics. If you’re wondering how to be an Olympic gymnast one way is to excel in the TOPs program. The TOPS program was attended by all five members of Fierce Five, 2012 Gold Medal Winning Olympic Team.

What Are the Disadvantages of TOPs Program?

  • It’s not so fun. If my daughter was competing TOPS in gymnastics, I would be concerned about her burnout. It doesn’t seem like much fun. You can see it in the video below. You will need to be able to demonstrate strength and conditioning skills. Yes, condition continuously.
  • Your gymnast may not be able to compete. If your gymnast attends a gym where their TOPs gymnasts compete in the JO Program (Levels 1-10), then this shouldn’t be a problem. Your gymnast might not be able to compete in her TOPs gymnasts aren’t there.

Do I Need TOPS?

TOPs are for gymnasts who have a special talent. However, I believe that gymnastics has many advantages that I search and educational program TOPs is a great way to make sure of this. It builds self-confidence, helps kids stay out of trouble, and teaches them how to live a healthy life. My belief is that gymnasts will have more enjoyment and receive more of these benefits if they do gymnastics through either the Excel program or traditional levels.

If I were a parent considering TOPs educational program for female, I would likely be asking the following question:

What’s my goal with gymnastics for my daughter?

If she thought she would be able to commit herself to gymnastics in the future (many Olympic hopefuls are home-schooled, and train in the gym for 30-40 hours per week), then TOPs might be for her.

If she thought she wanted to have fun, play a sport, compete and have a normal life, I would not recommend TOPs.


What are TOPs in gymnastics?

The Talent Opportunities Program (TOP) is available in all USA Gymnastics gyms. USA Gymnastics is the governing body of gymnastics in America. TOP’s is an educational and talent search program for coaches and female artistic gymnasts.

How do you qualify for TOPs in gymnastics?

Based on the scores of their TOPs test scores, only the top 7-year olds are eligible for TOPs National Diamond Team. The best 8-10-year-old gymnasts will be invited to the National TOPs Test in October at Huntsville’s Olympic Training Center (the Karolyi ranch) in Huntsville.