WAG STEPs Programme
STEPs stands for Striving Towards Excellence in Performance. The STEPs programme was introduced in 2011.
- STEPs 1 to 5 have compulsory routines.
- STEP 6 have compulsory vault and bars routines, and compulsory skills on beam
and floor to be included in routines with personal creative choreography.
STEPs 1-6 focuses on the basic skills essential for the development of more advanced skills.
- STEPs 7 – 10 have optional routines.
STEPs 7 – 10 are progressively developmental towards the international requirements and enable the gymnast to choose skills to satisfy the set requirements.
The STEPs programme has been progressively ‘tweaked’ to adapt to changes in FIG regulations and to where the SDC believes development should be heading. It is planned for the programme to remain as it is until 2017. A review will be undertaken in 2015/2016. It is anticipated that the set skills in STEPs 1-6 will remain essentially the same for 2017 onwards but there will be new choreography for STEP 1 – 5 beam and floor routines.
It is important that any programme sets the participant up for success. Placing an athlete in the wrong programme or in the wrong level of a programme is detrimental to the athlete’s long term development, often leads to a sense of failure and can result in the loss of the athlete from the sport.
The SDC believes that a gymnast should only enter a STEP if they already have the skills or Composition Requirements (STEPs 7-10) for that STEP. In this way they have confidence that they can perform the skills while working towards excellence of performance. At the same time they should also be learning the skills for the next STEP.
There should not be an expectation by anyone that a gymnast should progress one STEP each year. The gymnast must MASTER the skills at one STEP before progressing to the next STEP – competence is NOT good enough. If a gymnast hasn’t mastered the current STEP they will not cope with the next one.
Qualifying score and moving up a STEP
In STEPs 1-6 WAG operates a ribbon system to indicate the level of performance. At the first competition in a given STEP the gymnast is awarded a ribbon that reflects their score. When they improve their performance to the next score band they are awarded a ribbon of the colour for that score band. The ribbons in order of increasing performance levels are green →blue → red → gold.
The SDC has set scores that the gymnast must achieve in order to move up to the next level. These have not changed since the introduction of the STEPs system. However, while achieving the qualifying score is an indication that the gymnast is competent at the current STEP, it does not necessarily mean that the gymnast is capable of moving up to the next STEP. Many clubs set additional criteria for a gymnast to move up and this usually involves an assessment of what skills they have at the next STEP.
– Michele Hawke, WAG SDC Coach Liaison, March 2015