During the first week of December, I attended the level 1 Assistant Coaching award for parkour/Freerunning at The Parkour Project in Poole. My motivation for signing onto the course was spurred by a desire to expand the reach of parkour to people with additional needs and disabilities. Over the summer at the Parkour Generations event, Rendezvous, I had a traumatic experience, brought on by a poorly presented and managed activity, that raised a lot of concerns in me about the way parkour is coached and the possibility that in many cases people with additional needs may be driven away from it. Parkour has such vast potential to provide countless opportunities to people with additional needs and I have become passionate about working towards a point where I can provide these opportunities to people.
To achieve what I want to achieve I want to gain as much knowledge as I can and seek learning experiences that will ensure I can be the best coach I can be. My experience over the course of the 4 days I spent doing my level 1 course was extremely positive. I came away a more confident coach and a more confident practitioner.
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Prior to going on the level 1 coaching course, 180s were something I had very little experience with. Pleased to have made a ton of progress with them during the course. Definitely have improvements to make but the confidence is there to build up from. #parkour #parkourwomen #fitness #shecantrace #theparkourproject #trainhard #strength #weareNOTgymnastics
Our first day was spent doing a first aid workshop and a safeguarding and child protection workshop, both of which were excellent and extremely useful workshops to do. The guys leading those two courses were very good and provided general training as well as training more specific to Parkour coaching.
On the second day, the main segment of the course began. Over the next two days, we covered a range of topics and faced a number of challenges. As well as discussing the essentials of what makes a good coach we covered how to effectively plan sessions, how to adapt sessions when faced with difficulties and how to manage sessions once they are in progress. We also discussed the spirit of Parkour and were presented with physical challenges to test our limits and progress our own abilities.
I previously felt somewhat lost when it came to planning and programming. The course helped me understand more clearly how to achieve structure in a class and gave me a much greater understanding of effectively programming strength and conditioning. We also delved into a few finer details of coaching certain movements, covering useful cues and looking into the different reasons why someone may be struggling with a particular movement.
The physical challenges that occurred progressed my confidence massively. Prior to attending the course I had significant confidence issues carrying out movement at height. The Parkour Project is a fantastic location and it’s high bar set up allowed me to become comfortable at height. At the start of the week I was moving on all fours on top of the bar set up, but by the end, I was walking around on the bars and jumping. Carrying out a jump over 2 metres above the ground was something I would not have considered before going on the course. My confidence has increased substantially. I feel as though I have undergone a significant mental shift with regards to my understanding of my own ability and potential. This will absolutely allow me to become a better coach.
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Moar achievements from my week in Poole. Haven't considered doing drop rail pres for a long time. Over the course of the week we were regularly challenged and I was able to dismantle a lot of my confidence barriers. The pole to cat was a bit of a mental battle the first time round. I feel much more comfortable moving at height than I did a week ago. It feels like my confidence is now back to the point it was prior to losing my mum and experiencing an upsurge in anxiety depression related issues. The difference now is that I also have more experience and strength to start to fully capitalise on that confidence. #parkour #parkourwomen #railbalance #drop #jump #learning #confidence #strength
The course also encouraged us to be aware that we are always learning. Seeking different coaching experiences and gaining knowledge should be something that we never stop doing. We are always capable of learning more and although we will develop our own coaching styles we can always utilise ideas from other people to ever improve our classes and ensure we are providing people with the best experience we can.
It was a fantastic week and thinking about putting it all into practice gives me great joy.