How To Get Into UCLA Gymnastics

Last Updated on December 14, 2022 by Omoyeni Adeniyi

If you are looking for a fun, exciting sport to try out, look no further than UCLA Gymnastics. UCLA Gymnastics is a Division 1 NCAA program that offers many different opportunities for freshmen interested in the sport of gymnastics. The team offers an amazing support system for freshman gymnasts who are just starting out, as well as those who are more advanced.

How do I get a college gymnastics scholarship? There are thousands of gymnasts who are talented enough to compete in college, but there are limited opportunities to do so. With less than 100 schools competing in gymnastics, it is about finding the right fit and making sure that a program needs you as well. 

Collegelearners is replete with up-to-date information on gymnastics college recruiting, UCLA gymnastics scholarships, college with gymnastics teams, how hard is it to get into UCLA gymnastics, and so much more. Be sure to surf through our catalog for more information on related topics.

If you’re a gymnast looking to get into UCLA, you’ve come to the right place!

UCLA’s gymnastics team is one of the most prestigious in the country, and it’s no secret why: they’ve got an incredible team of coaches and staff, a beautiful facility, and more opportunities than you can shake a stick at.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of how to join UCLA’s gymnastics team, let’s start with some general information about what makes this school so special for gymnasts.

First, there are plenty of opportunities for incoming freshmen who want to try out for the team. Every year UCLA holds an open tryout where any student who wants to try out can do so—even if they’re not currently enrolled at UCLA. The tryout process consists of two parts: a set of physical fitness tests that gauge your strength, speed, agility and flexibility; and an assessment by current members of the team. If you make it through these steps successfully, you’ll be invited back for training camp at which point you’ll be evaluated again by members of the coaching staff for potential inclusion on the roster for next season!

UCLA Gymnastics 2019 Intro Video - YouTube

What are the Top Programs in Each Division

There are limited numbers of college gymnastics programs. You should spend time getting to know each program and researching where the programs typically recruit. The following schools are among the best programs in the country. You have to be prepared when contacting these coaches.

Women’s Gymnastics

Alabama, Oklahoma, UCLA, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Stanford, Oregon State, Utah, LSU, Nebraska, Illinois, Penn State, Missouri, Auburn, Iowa State, Southern Utah, Boise St., Kentucky, Arizona, Denver, Washington, Central Michigan, Minnesota

Men’s Gymnastics

Stanford, Michigan, Oklahoma, Illinois, Ohio State, Penn State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Iowa, Temple, UIC, Air Force, William & Mary, Army

Things to Remember

A “prospective student-athlete,” or PSA, is a student who is in the 9th grade or above. You are also defined as a prospect if you have initiated communications with a collegiate coach to discuss the recruiting process. Coaches can begin corresponding with prospects September 1 of their junior year of high school. It is important to note that coaches are not permitted to return your phone calls or emails until after September 1st of your junior year of high school. The few exceptions to this are as follows:

Men’s Basketball: Coaches can begin corresponding with prospects beginning June 15th following their sophomore year of high school. This includes phone calls and emails.

Football: Coaches can make 1 phone call to a prospect between April 15 and May 31 of a prospect’s junior year in high school. Otherwise, the coach cannot call a prospect until September 1 of their senior year in high school.

Swimming and Diving: Coaches cannot call a prospect until July 1 following their junior year in high school.

You can call or email coaches any time you wish, just keep in mind they cannot respond until the date allowed by the NCAA for your sport.

Becoming a Bruin

The best way to initiate recruitment by a university is by contacting a coach via telephone or email, and/or submitting a recruiting questionnaire. You may also have your club or high school coach contact an institution’s coaches on your behalf. It is very important to always include your full name and high school graduation year whenever you are communicating with a college coach. Please Note: If you have not yet reached September 1st of your junior year in high school, UCLA cannot respond to any emails or questionnaires sent, even to confirm receipt.

Unofficial Visits

After contact has been made with a UCLA coach, you may make an unofficial visit to campus. An unofficial visit is made at the prospect’s expense, and there are no limits to the amount of unofficial visits a prospect can make to any institution. While visiting campus, you may be provided 3 complimentary tickets (you plus 2 guests) to a home UCLA athletics event. Please discuss this with UCLA’s coach prior to your visit. When you visit UCLA, you may be asked to complete and sign UCLA’s Unofficial Visit Form, depending on where you are traveling from. If you’d like, you can print the form and fill out as much as you can prior to your visit. Please note: no lodging, meals, or transportation to Los Angeles or UCLA’s campus can be provided by UCLA or any representative of athletics interests, including boosters, etc.

Recruiting Evaluations

Coaches may evaluate prospects off-campus at any time during a prospect’s career, as allowed by the NCAA and stipulated in each sport’s specific recruiting calendar. A recruiting evaluation is defined as any off-campus activity designed to assess a prospect’s academic qualification or athletic ability (such as review of academic transcripts or watching practice/contests). In most sports, coaches are limited to 7 recruiting opportunities per prospect per year.

Recruiting & Eligibility

Checklist: Make Sure You’re Eligible! Click 

Life as a Bruin

Click HERE to see what life as a Bruin is all about.

UCLA gymnastics hopes to keep up momentum going into meet given tight  schedule - Daily Bruin

How Do I Become A College Gymnast

It is almost every gymnast’s goal to become a college gymnast. Becoming a college gymnast is not easy and takes a lot of work but here are some useful steps to help prepare yourself or your gymnast on their journey to college gymnastics.

Step 1: Being a Level 10 Gymnast

A very important step to becoming a college gymnast is to first become a high-level gymnast. Level 10 and elites usually become college gymnasts. It is important to be a level 10 or elite while looking for a college to do gymnastics at because NCAA Gymnastics competes at a level 10 difficulty.

To get noticed by college coaches it will help to compete at the Junior Olympics, also known as J.O.s. J.O.s is the last competition of the level 10 season. Every level 10 gymnast from across the nation fights to get a spot to compete at J.O.s.

Step 2: Getting Your Name Out There

It is very easy to get contacted by a college if your name is out there in the gymnastics world. By doing this, without being an elite and competing at national competitions, you need to be bold. Talk to your coaches and ask to go the big competitions that college coaches will be at. For example, the Nastia Liukin Cup is for the top level 10 juniors and seniors in the country.

Nastia is the host and college coaches go to the Cup to watch. If you make it to the Nastia Cup then your name will be on the coaches’ radar. Also, go to big name meets like the Texas Prime Meet, Presidential Classic or Pikes Peak Cup.

All of these meets are well-known meets and will help with getting your name out in the gymnastics world. Another way to get your name out there is to go to college gymnastics camps, but that requires its own section.

Step 3: Talking and Applying to Colleges

Talking to colleges just recently became harder for girls who are in high school. There is a new rule that gymnasts cannot talk to colleges before their junior year of high school. Before this rule was made, gymnasts were committing to colleges as early as their freshman year of high school. That puts gymnasts at 14 or 15 when verbally committing to a college.

Of course, gymnasts will still be able to go on unofficial visits but they will not be allowed to talk to the coaches. One way to get around that though is to have your club coaches talk to the college coaches.

Also, start applying to colleges your junior or senior year of high school because if you are excepted to the school then it’ll be easier to get an offer onto the gymnastics team.

Step 4: Make a YouTube/Webpage

Making a YouTube page will be crucial for your future career as a college gymnast. From the time you are a level 9 start posting videos on the Internet. Include your name, gym name, level, and graduation year from high school.

You can post all of your videos and when coaches hear who you are or you catch their eye at a meet then they can look up your videos. They can go through any video you have posted and see how you have improved from your level 9 year to where you are now.

Plus, it is always fun to watch yourself doing gymnastics because you can see how far you have come and you can see what you could do better.

Step 5: Go to College Gymnastics Camps! 

Another step, as I mentioned earlier, to becoming a college gymnast is college gymnastics camps. Gymnastics camps are so huge nowadays. Almost every single college gymnastics program offers at least one college gymnastics camp each summer.

At gymnastics camps, college coaches get to see you working on your new upgraded skills. They get to work with you 1-on-1, they get the chance to talk to you, and just see how you are in a workout setting and not just the competition setting.

Even if you are dead set on wanting to go to a certain college, try to go to multiple gymnastics camps. It helps get your name out there and opens up more options for your gymnastics future.

college-gymnasts

How Good do I Need to be to Get a Gymnastics Scholarship

College gymnasts are expected to be able to compete in several disciplines. Getting a scholarship all comes down to your strengths matching what college coaches need.

How do I Get a College Gymnastics Coach to Evaluate Me

Gymnastics coaches primarily use video to do initial evaluations of athletes. Only after they have narrowed down their recruiting board will they take the time to see a potential recruit in person. These are some things you can do to make it easier for coaches to see you compete.

What Will Improve my Chances for a Scholarship

Because the gymnastics recruiting process is so competitive, it is important to not miss any important deadlines. Missing deadlines is the first sign to a coach that you are not committed to the process. Access this guide to learn what else you can do to generate more scholarship interest.

What Happens During the Gymnastics Recruiting Process

Most college gymnasts are required to be able to compete in multiple disciplines. Almost all DI gymnasts are expected to be competing and placing very well at Level 10. Girls are expected to have placed in regional competitions. Some programs require athletes to have competed at the National and International level.

What Are the Academic Eligibility Requirements

The National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) sets academic minimums for gymnasts, but oftentimes those are not good enough to get into a university. 

How Many Gymnastics Scholarships are Available, and What Schools Offer Them

College gymnastics scholarships are offered at the NCAA Division I, II, and III levels. NCAA Division III does not offer athletic scholarships but offers other forms of financial aid.

Number of scholarships offered per team, per year, by Division: Not all colleges that are eligible to offer scholarships will choose to do so. For example, Ivy League schools choose not to offer athletic scholarships. Gymnastics is both an equivalency sport and a head-count sport. In NCAA Division I, women’s gymnastics scholarships are full scholarships, but in NCAA Division II, scholarships can be divided between as many players as a coach sees fit. Men’s gymnastics is considered an equivalency sport for all divisions, meaning scholarships are not required to be full scholarships.

Women’s Gymnastics

  • NCAA DI: 12
  • NCAA DII: 6

Men’s Gymnastics

  • NCAA DI: 6.3

Number of Schools With Gymnastics Programs

Women’s Gymnastics

  • NCAA DII: 62
  • NCAA DII: 7
  • *NCAA DIII: 13
  • Total: 82

Men’s Gymnastics

  • NCAA DI: 15
  • Total: 15

*NCAA Division III schools do not offer athletic scholarships, but they do offer other forms of financial aid.

So you’ve got your eyes on UCLA gymnastics, which is great! They’re a great team, and they do some really incredible things. But how do you get there?

Well, first of all: congratulations! You’re already making such a great decision by choosing to go to UCLA. It’s one of the most well-respected schools in the nation, and it has an incredible program for gymnastics.

So how do you get in? Well, first of all, make sure that you’ve taken advantage of the resources available to you. Check out the website for more information about how to apply—and then start filling out those applications! You can also contact your high school guidance counselor or coach to help you figure out what’s required for application materials and deadlines.

If you need any help getting started with this process or have any other questions about getting into UCLA Gymnastics, leave us a comment or shoot us an email at [email address]. We’d love to hear from you!

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