Monday, 17 December 2012


Hey everyone,

I've been fairly sedentary over the last week after my neck seized up last Tuesday, leaving me unable to look at one thing for more than ten minutes, in bed for most of the day and unable to exercise for a few. But it's better now, yay.

Tonight I finished my final supervised assisting session for my level 1 coaching course, so I'll send it off and have that sorted soon. Another yay. For you guys it makes little difference - I'm still only an assistant coach so it doesn't do anything for us - apart from the fact that I've improved my doing it (hopefully anyway).

I've now been coaching for a few months, both at kids sessions at home (the main coach being injured I'm covering for him a bit) and the Oxford sessions, and I think I've learnt quite a bit, though definitely still a lot to learn. It's hard to say what I've learnt, apart from that hopefully I'm just better at being organised and giving tips, aside from creativity in coming up with things to do. After the first couple of weeks I started doing a wider variety of things. At the beginning it was always in the same place, though still with variety, but this moved on to having sessions in four different places and doing more things at each. I would often be stuck for ideas only to have a look round the day before and suddenly see lots of things to do.

The other thing I have learnt is about using routes - instead of just doing one movement over one obstacle come up with a path which uses many. They're great for making things more natural so that you do them without thinking too much, as well as working on things other than the movement itself (ie fluidity and foot placement) and being good for making you fitter (the fact that it works different muscle groups and in different ways (short bursts of power as well as the continuous base) makes it really tiring! There's definitely still a use for practising isolated movements, but I usually try and include a route each session.

There are still a lot of challenges. For one, coming up with a continued variety, though hopefully people won't mind too much if there's some repetition. Secondly, now that people aren't complete beginners it's a lot harder to come up with things more challenging than getting the basics perfect. I'll look for places with slightly move difficult vaults in, but I haven't seen much yet. It's also harder when there are more people, but that's to be expected and I should get used to managing that soon.

I've also got a few ideas for next term.

One is to have more sessions, one of them dedicated on doing conditioning, as we don't do enough of that. I'm hoping to do it at Iffley track as we'll be allowed to be there and there's grassy space and bits of equipment.

Another is to focus a bit more on the repetitive movements (ie doing something 50 times well) and the personal challenge side of it, though not much. I went to a session last week where the entire thing was doing loads of pull ups, push ups and box jumps and doing a number you didnt think you could do of them, which is important to do.

A third is to have a session where it's up to you to be creative and find new movements instead of me telling you what to do. I'll probably save this for when I have no ideas.

A final idea is that I'm going to try and get one of the ParkourGenerations coaches to come as a one-off to run a session, which will be good to see a different coaches perspective as well as one who is just better.

Anyway, there's a few thoughts about coaching I've thrown down. Have fun holidays =)

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