A lot of beginners who want to learn Parkour give up very quickly. I can tell you, when I was just starting out, sometimes I felt like giving up too.
You see, there are several key points that will help boost your progress and make being a beginner and learning Parkour a hell of a lot easier on you and your body.
- Wanting to Learn the Advanced Flips and Cool Moves first.
This is definitely one of the main problems as to why beginners give up. You saw some kids doing flips into a sandpit, calling it Parkour, and you thought, ‘well, if he can do flips, so can I’. Then you go out, try to throw a backflip but because no one around knows how to spot properly, you lack of confidence, open up mid-air and land on Your face.
Don’t believe me someone could be ‘smart enough’ trying to do so? Look up backflip fails on YouTube (we absolutely take no responsibility for the first dude wearing a Glyph-shirt – it turns out the old ones don’t give you any super-power) and you’ll see what I mean.
- Getting Hurt
Here is another big problem you might face when you are a beginner and want to learn Parkour – you get hurt on a botched landing, or because of a slip while vaulting.
A whole slew of problems that result from the first point I made – you tried a move you weren’t ready for, a move you didn’t have the confidence to do, or maybe you were even peer-pressured, and hurt yourself.
You might give up because you figure it’s not worth it to hurt yourself over and over. At least to a certain degree, there is truth in that – and you will want to pay extra attention to the points below to avoid this.
For those of you who are experienced Traceurs, you know it takes quite a bit to build up to the bigger moves.
Beginners, however, don’t know this, and expect to learn very quickly because they “saw it on YouTube”. This is a recipe for disaster – if you don’t take note of the points below.
There is a way to use the Internet as ideal learning tool – but pay attention to the skills specific sink-holes.
To stay with a profession, I believe you will constantly want to improve and learn new things. And since Parkour and Freerunning is such a broad field and most likely you will have to craft your own way through the art, a lack of patience might make you drop out before you reach a level of body control where you can just play and have fun, how Pasha shows here so beautifully:
So if you are a beginner reading this, then you are probably thinking that it will be impossible to learn Parkour, and get to the level you want to be at. But it’s not!
You see, there are several key things that will help boost your progress and make being a beginner a hell of a lot easier on you and your body.
1. Basics First, Then Flips
This one is pretty much a given, but it is essential to learn Parkour safely. You cannot start with the advanced moves until you learn the basic core movement. You can’t (and shouldn’t!) jump a 17-foot roof-gap before you have mastered a 16-foot long-jump on plain ground. Before you can learn a backflip-full-twist, you should learn to do a safe and controlled one on plain ground.
Quadrupedal movements and other low to ground, safe movements (for example these Locomotion Exercises by Ido Portal) will build the foundations for your Parkour learning experience. First get to know your body. Have a look at what low-impact movements you are capable of doing, and which you could work on. Build your strength and ‘bulletproof’ your joints – especially those areas that suffer a lot of impact. Watch Dogen’s tutorial and prepare your not-yet-titanium ankles for future dive-fronts à la Tomasso – which brings me to the next point.
2. Condition Your Body
This is a big one that many beginners forget or completely ignore. Working out, strengthening the muscles, ligaments, and joints, and, probably most importantly, training your landings is something a lot of people, myself included, neglected. I suggest you start with a schedule of 3 workout-days a week, while doing at least 20 minutes of Parkour training daily. I know it can sometimes be hard to find the time in our ever busy lives, but make the effort to train every day, and workout every other day, and you will see some pretty sweet results.
Especially in today’s hectic world you will find it freeing to take the extra time for training. And as an extra reward, science says, you will feel the happiest throughout your day, if you spend focused 20 minutes training daily. Just have a look at these balancing drills, grab a bottle of water and start improving your life.
3. Keep A Positive Mental Attitude
This is probably the biggest problem beginners face.
When they cannot get a move, they tell themselves something like, ‘I’m never going to stick that rail-pre.’
And, guess what? If you tell yourself you are never going to stick that rail precision jump, then you won’t. It is physically impossible. If your mind doesn’t believe, neither will your body.
You must think positive. How do you think the pros got their gainers and other sweet moves? Not by telling themselves they couldn’t do it. But rather by envisioning themselves doing it perfectly. And that is exactly how you can get the basics. Envision yourself sticking the precision, throwing the cat pass, whatever it is. It is completely and utterly essential to have a positive mental attitude.
If your mind doesn’t believe, neither will your body.
So, if you are a beginner, intermediate, or the most advanced Traceur, and you have not started to incorporate these tips into your training, then what are you waiting for? If you want to learn Parkour go out there, start using these three completely essential tips into your training, and believe me, your skill will skyrocket. But don’t take my word for it, try these out yourself.
- Learn The Basics
- Condition Your Body
- Keep A Positive Mental Attitudeand you will feel the results.
How to progress particularly in these three tips?
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Train safe, and, perhaps the most important thing I didn’t say above, have fun. If you’re not having fun, you are doing something wrong. Maybe you have to get back to step number one of the Webucation Guide.
Get out there, implement these tips, and soon you too will be flying over rails!