may be explained by the following: (a) Level 10 gymnasts are very advanced; some
are every bit as good as elite gymnasts. (b) Many level 10 gymnasts will plan to
continue competitive gymnastics at the collegiate level. It can therefore be assumed
that Level 10 and Level 11 (“elite”) gymnasts habitually set and attain goals.
Significant differences were noted for the Concentration subscale with Level 11
(“elite”) scoring higher than Level 8. The way gymnastics is (should be) taught utilizes
a system referred to as progression. Basic skills are taught first until they are mastered.
These basic skills lead to more advanced skills and combinations of skills. As the level
of difficulty increases for skills and combinations of skills, more concentration is
required. Gymnasts that go through the proper progressions should be able to
demonstrate the highest levels of concentration by the time they reach Level 10 and 11.
There are several important things to concentrate on for competitive gymnastics:
difficult skills, routines, presentation of the routine, etc. In fact, gymnasts may possess
higher levels of concentration than do athletes in other sports. Certainly, the data
shown in Table IV would support this contention. One important aspect of
concentration is the need to focus totally on the task at hand and to be able to rule out
distractions. This ability to maintain a high degree of concentration comes from
competitive experience. Although Level 10 and Level 11 gymnasts generally have
more competitive experience, often other gymnasts spend many years at levels below
the elite level and thus acquire lots of competitive experience. Nonetheless, as can be
seen in Table IV, there is a trend showing a linear relationship between Level and