Parkour is more popular now than ever before. One of the best things about this sport is that anyone can take part. You do not need to buy equipment and you don't need a team - all you need is yourself. Dedication and effort are all that it takes to go far in this game, and that is what makes the sport so beautiful.
Yet, a lot of people don't make it far. They burn out before reaching a high level. They get injured, frustrated, or just lose interest.
Having a long Parkour career is a skill in and of itself. The only way you are going to achieve greatness in this sport is through years of dedication and training. Greatness can mean whatever you want it to mean, but it will take time nonetheless.
But longevity doesn't come easy, so you’ll need to work at it. You need to take care of yourself and work on a complete game. Many amateurs become too technical, focusing only on techniques and movements. Others are obsessed with the physical side, and endlessly lift weights. Some people try to do too much at once and end up burning out.
If you want a long Parkour career, you need to avoid all these pitfalls. This post will break down the essentials to achieve longevity.
Don't Run Before You Can WalkMany amateurs are guilty of this, but almost none of them believe so. When young practitioners start, they usually have dreams of emulating their heroes. This leads them down a path of excessive technical training, without mastering the basics.
Instead, impatient traceurs practice a technique for a day or so and then move on to another, and another after that. They do all of this too fast. They feel like they are competent with a specific technique, so they move on. They try to learn as many techniques as they can, as fast as they can. Eventually, they become burnt out. They wake up one day and realize that they are "so-so" at a bunch of movements, and not really great at anything. After a while, they give up.
The only way to avoid this boils down to your approach to your training. Do you actually want to become great at this sport? Then you need to take your time and work the basics over and over. Getting great at Parkour is a lifelong process -- lifelong. They only way you are going to become great is through years of practice. If you are not ready for that kind of commitment, chances are you will burn out before too long.
Practice the basics over and over. Do them every week. Do thousands of repetitions. Never stop. Never lose the beginner’s mind.
Commit to YourselfYou should be training for yourself, and not for anyone else. Again, this is something that many amateurs don't realize they are doing. Are you training because you want to improve your skills, physical fitness, and mental toughness? Or, do you find yourself dreaming about being a YouTube star and receiving admiration?
If you are thinking about fame and approval, you are in this sport for the wrong reasons. You should be training Parkour for yourself, and no one else.
The only reason you should be doing this sport is for self-improvement. That is the principle the discipline was founded on many years ago, and it holds true now.
If you commit to yourself, you will have the discipline to take your time. You will focus on the details. You won't stop until you get it right. This is the only way to really become great.
Find a BalanceYou need to have a balanced training approach. This is an absolute must. Your training should consist of equal parts technique, physical fitness, mental preparation, and rest.
Too often, young traceurs try to learn all the movements they can, as fast as they can. Once they learn about strength conditioning, they start obsessing over that instead.
The key to a long career is balance. You need to work on everything equally. Start writing down your hours in a book if you need to. Do whatever you can to make sure no part of the game is left untouched.
This approach takes time, but it is the only way to really achieve greatness.
This might be the most important piece of advice. You need to take breaks. You need to give your body time to rest.
Remember, you should be committed to this game for the long haul. There is no shame in taking a week or even a month off. Once you commit to a Parkour lifestyle, your health becomes a priority.
You need to get adequate sleep and stop training when you are injured. Too many people want to push through. They don't listen to their bodies. They don't respect their bodies. You need to be different.
Let your body recuperate. Take a week off if you need to. Take a month off if you need to. If you let your body rest when it needs it, it will return the favor, and allow you to train for the rest of your life.
Failure to heed this advice will leave you as a damaged old person, with nagging injuries that won't go away.
Put Knowledge Into PracticeThe theme of this article should be clear: patience. If you want to be good at Parkour, you need to commit to a lifetime of work. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and neither was any good athlete.
By committing to a lifelong goal, you will take the time you need to build your skills. Take your time and take care of yourself, and you will get there – while everyone else fails.