General information

Beginner I is generally populated by children 6-8 years of age but we do, on occasion, permit students who are 5 to join the class with the discretion of their NPGC pre-k coach and the parent.  Beginner I shifts to a skills focus and works to build a solid foundation of basic gymnastics skills that will be utilized throughout any gymnastics career no matter how short or long that may be.  Therefore prerequisites include: an ability to listen and follow directions despite all the distractions a gymnastics environment provides, an ability to wait turns patiently and the strength to support one’s own body weight whether it’s inverted or in a support on the bar.

Each class will consist of approximately 15 minutes of warm-up and stretching followed by three separate 15 minute rotations.  Rotations will be different each week and will change between vault, bars, beam, floor and trampoline. 


Testing will take place in weeks 7-10 with the students receiving a level recommendation from the coach on week 10.  Below you will find the skills that will be tested for each event.  In order to pass beginner I students need to be able to successfully perform each of the skills listed on their own a minimum of two consecutive turns on two consecutive weeks.  This shows us that the student is proficient in the skills taught and has enough consistency to move on and begin working towards the next set of skills.  Students must pass beginner I before they can take beginner II.  This ensures the safety of the gymnast and helps us to provide a positive, successful gymnasts experience for each child.  


  • hurdle step onto spring board: jumping from 1 foot in front of the spring board and landing on 2 feet on the top of the spring board

  • straight jump off springboard: coming from hurdle step and being able to take off from 2 feet and land on 2 feet while maintaining a straight, tight and controlled body position in the air and upon landing 

  • handstand straight body fall: student will need to pass through a full handstand and maintain a straight, tight body position all the way to the mat, landing on their back on a mat with everything landing at the same time


  • squat on: keeping both hands on the beam while jumping feet onto beam; feet and knees stay together with feet landing in between hands.  

  • tip-toe turn/pivot turn: half turn on tip toes with both feet staying on the beam and hips pivoting toward the back foot

  • tuck jump stick off beam: jumping and bringing knees up in front of chest before landing in a safe and controlled manner

*all skills are performed on the low beams 


  • L-hold for 5 seconds: students will need to show that they can hang in a pike, or an "L" for 5 seconds on a bar that is eye level with straight legs and feet off the floor 

  • 3 casts to push away dismount: need to show strong support with stomach and hips coming off the bar on each cast before pushing hips up and back on 3rd cast to land on feet on the floor away from the bar

  • kick over: students will need to be able to hold the bar and kick their feet up and over the top of the bar, pulling body around and finishing in a front support on top of the bar; at this level they may have the assistance of a ramp or a mat 


  • forward roll: on the floor with no ramp; feet and knees together throughout and hands reaching in front to finish 

  • backward roll down wedge: students need to be able to push off hands equally and land on feet without knees touching the mat to successfully complete this skill

  • lunge-handstand-lunge: we are looking for students to start and finish in a lunge position with feet coming together in a full handstand showing support for a second or two before controlled finish

    • lunge: 1 foot in front of the other, weight on front leg, arms by ears and belly button facing front foot

    • same foot forward on start and finish