Bar progressions, just like progressions on all the other events, should be presented in a convenient order in approximately in their order of difficulty. The important part here is that the skills are taught in a logical order, which can and has been used to train Elite international athletes. There are any number of valid reasons why the order of skills taught and learned could and should be varied. Not every successful program is the same or has to be.
Use Other Equipment
Bar progressions often benefit from skill progressions that are taught on other events, in particular, trampoline, floor and the tumble tramp bar. While it may be ideal to include these each time in the progression at the listed place in the progression, that station may not be open or it may be inconvenient to use the equipment at that particular time for some other reason.
Review Prerequisites and Basic Progressions Before Moving On
Some certain skill progressions are used in the learning process for a variety of different specific skills. That particular progression may have been taught days, weeks, or even months ago. Even if the skill has been thoroughly learned previously, it will be wise to repeat the progression for clarity and the continuity of learning the new skill.
Some Skills Take More Than One Season or One Year to Learn
A particular progression may have been set up as a long range, multi-year optional gymnastics development training program. If you are currently learning a particular skill, not the whole group of skills, you will be choosing to train only the skills that refer to that particular skill. Or you may be using that skill in the current routine and want to use the specific progressions that go with that skill to improve the execution and consistency of performance of that skill.
Gymnasts Will Learn at Different Rates But Still Will Learn
It will not be uncommon to find that different gymnasts have different learning rates for each of these skills. It may be very possible that for a variety of individual reasons, some gymnasts will learn or not learn the skills in the order listed. Variance in strength, flexibility, experience, and psychological factors can all influence learning order.
Our goal is not to be so inflexible that we stop a gymnast’s progress completely if they cannot master a particular skill on a progression list. That skill can be temporarily bypassed to work on others that don’t require it as a definite and specific prerequisite. It is important to determine and correct the deficiencies that prevented that skill from being done. As soon as they are fixed, the gymnast can return to the skill and master it and move on.
Variety Increases Learning and Interest
It is always a good practice when creating lesson plans to introduce variety into your workout plans in order to maintain interest. Using even a slightly different order of steps forces the gymnast out of any rigid patterns they may be developing and increase positive learning stress.
Pass the Stress Test
Positive learning stress is the stress associated with change in the learning process and the more different approaches to learning the gymnast is exposed to, the more solid and consistent they are and the better able to deal with a variety of competition situations.
Step by Step – Slowly, Slowly
It is not a good idea to skip skills entirely, either because a gymnast is particularly talented or seems to be able to skip certain progressions or parts of progressions. This may cause consistency problems later or lead to gaps in gymnastics skills, which will affect future skill learning. Those skills may be needed for some future progression.
Maintain a Training System
As with all of the sport there are always other skills and drill variations that may have to be left out. Remember to keep within an overall systematic training process, however, and not jump from new idea to new idea without any cohesive pattern.