Take the Stairs

Too often when there is a conversation about adjusting what’s allowed in a level I hear someone say it messes up the progressions. I generally disagree with this statement. To me the progressions are the steps taken to get a skill, a backward roll before a back walkover, a back walkover before a back handspring, a back handspring before a back tuck, a tuck before a layout, a layout before a full, a full before a double, etc., along with many steps in between these skills. These would be followed even if there were no levels.

The levels are different. They allow us to group similarly skilled athletes and teams together, largely for the sake of competition, which is great because they allow athletes to successfully compete the skills they have, without being rushed to gain new skills. The levels are progressive, allowing more and harder skills as the levels move up, but not the same as the progressions. I believe you are doing it wrong if you look at the maximum skill allowed in each level as the only steps in the progression because you would be skipping many steps and skills.

I think of the levels as the floors to a building and the progressions as the stairs between each floor. There are many stairs between each level and that’s how I believe we should think about the progressions between each level. I also believe you should take the stairs between each floor. Don’t take the elevator to skip the stairs. Also don’t rush or skip stairs because that is eventually going to cause you to trip.