Parkour is an amazing sport, but it’s even better with friends. Unfortunately, a lot of rookie traceurs end up training alone. Worse yet, every time you bring the topic up with your friends they roll their eyes. It’s frustrating when your best friends just shrug their shoulders. So what's the problem here and why is everyone being so standoffish when it comes to getting involved in this game? You don’t need to train with others, but who doesn’t like comrades in the foxhole?
Some key points below will mention the best ways to invite friends to train, and the absolute worst ways. Let’s start with those first.
Worst Ways to Invite a FriendWith the many positive ways to get people involved in the sport, badgering them is not a good one. Preaching to a person that “Parkour is life” will motivate you a lot more than them.
Don't be that annoying recruiter that’s always on the lookout. Not everyone likes being sold a product, especially one that promotes physical activity. Imagine the people that are still burned out by P90X hearing your pitch for Parkour. The worst way to turn people away from the sport is to sell them something. Trust me, they’re not buying.
The Bait-and-SwitchDon’t trick people into a session. Don’t say, “let’s go play football” and then start doing Parkour when you get to the park. It won’t work. Some people think this is a good idea, but we’re not sure why.
If you trick someone into trying Parkour, they will resent you for deceiving them. This game requires commitment and interest; you need both to go anywhere. Deceiving people kills their interest, and worse, it makes you look like a jerk. Just don’t do it.
The Story TopperJust because you have learned a few movements doesn’t mean everyone wants to hear about it. They might, and it is certainly a good idea to share your experiences, but pick the right time.
With that said, don’t be a “story topper.” Don’t be the person who shows off at parties. Don’t be the guy criticizing other people because they don’t train. You make enemies that way, not friends. Not only that, you also end up making the entire sport look bad.
Story toppers do things like rearrange a living room in the middle of a conversation to mimic an obstacle course. It's like a singer breaking into song and dance in the middle of a conversation about astronomy. Keep it classy and stay on subject.
Best Ways to Invite a FriendNow that the worst is out of the way, what are the most effective ways to invite your friends to train with you? Believe it or not, more people want to try Parkour than you think, they just don't have the means to get started.
This includes a general lack of information, fear of failure, or even misinformation. The biggest mistake you can make is to tell someone who has never done Parkour how good you are. Embellishing your accomplishments will only make them less likely to join you. Be direct and educational, but don't be pushy.
Invite, Don’t RecruitThere is a big difference between inviting someone to do something, and recruiting them. Recruitment reeks of bad mentality. Rather than feeling like a friendly gesture, it feels like they are being forced to try something.
That’s a red flag, and a prime reason why some avoid starting out in the sport. Imagine a buff guy slapping you on the back and telling you that you should come to his gym because you look out of shape. That is the face of recruitment.
Recruiters are people who try to shame others into training. They start the conversation with, “you’re not good enough.” This is a terrible strategy, and another way to misrepresent what this sport is about.
On the other hand, try inviting a friend to try Parkour like you are inviting them to your house. It's just another day in both of your lives, and they just need to know that they're welcome to it. If they choose not to, there’s no judgement.
Show, Don’t TellIf you have a Parkour portfolio, show them some of your beginner, fundamental movements from when you first started out. Don't bombard them with your best moves.
If you want to do a “then-and-now” about your abilities that’s fine, but always start off with where you began rather than where you are. This takes away the intimidation factor, and makes them more likely to accept an invite.
If they show an interest in what you are doing, by all means show them the advanced stuff!