Why Train? The benefits to training Parkour

Why Train? The benefits to training Parkour

There are many hobbies out there and although many of them have some great benefits to the individual such as team building skills and hand eye coordination none have such a diverse list of benefits with a strong carry-over to real life than Parkour.

The fact that Parkour is non-competitive and based around utility of oneself and strength of one's character has given the fresh sport the foundation needed to sweep the world in such a short time. Without a league to aim for or a particular movement as a prerequisite, a beginner practitioner quickly finds themselves in control of their new sport leading themselves on a journey of self discovery and mastery of many different movements and ways of thinking, this self-discipline is vital in development of a healthy member of society and allows those that train parkour how to learn to better themselves at a goal set by themselves.

Why we call it "training". This may seem like a trivial use of a term, however when compared to many other sports you may find that it is unique in so far as it implies more than just setting out for some fun with mates, the term encompasses the core element of Parkour; overcoming obstacles. Whether that be mental or physical or a mixture of the two, those that train Parkour find that their goal when setting out to have some fun with their friends is to figure out how to do something difficult or complex that they previously were not capable of. Obviously this builds immense self confidence in a person, knowing they can overcome barriers and achieve what they set their mind to despite fear or doubt.

By training Parkour a practitioner will find they become "Physically Literate"; by moving and using the human body to Climb/Run/Jump you become aware of how this vehicle works and how to optimise it with posture change or strength training or mobility exercises to get a better overall body allowing better Parkour, but also better life. Small injuries and recovery is a useful part of this process too as it teaches the practitioner how to heal themselves and gives them a reason to condition and put the work in to prevent injuries in the future whether they be from Pk or life in general.

Along with physical literacy comes "Mental Competency", this is once a practitioner is aware of their ability and what they can and can't do. The importance is on the CAN do concerning this term as the more goals a practitioner achieves the more mentally competent they become, aware of the micro-routines that allowed them to go from "No way I can do that" to "Ok, maybe if I can just do that first bit really well" to finally "Wow, I did it! Now to get it clean.". With that celebration comes one more log in the record of problems solved and self competency improved.

Lastly I will mention the frame of play and the importance of it within the sport of Parkour/freerunning. Without set rules or a judge Parkour allows those that do it to let loose and experience the type of training session they want to have. And although the rough goal is to overcome some obstacle to yourself, the way to achieve this is so broad it can lead to a very unique session where goals are set and ticked off one after the other, each being its own problem to be solved and each solving boosting the practitioner's dopamine throughout the session. This can rekindle the experience of play as a child, where everything was a brand new puzzle to be solved. Now finding new puzzles and ways of looking at the world and being able to interact with them in a flow-state when focusing on how to achieve these new goals.

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About the Author

Connor O'Carroll

Connor O'Carroll

With many years studying technique and safe practice of Parkour, Connor utilizes these to focus on creative movement using simple surroundings for his own training.

He hopes to be able to share this method of creative expression to his students to see them too enjoy movement even if only given one unassuming obstacle.