Friday, 13 May 2016

13th May'16: Parkour on the mind, mindset and movement - Part 1.

We've all missed the bottom step (or thought that there was another step to go and smashed your foot on the ground), tripped down a curb (or tripped/slipped on nothing at all). So why can we do such complex movements and what some may consider "dangerous" activities without a scratch and then sprain an ankle stepping down a curb.

There's plenty of detail we could go into regarding sport psychology but going to try to keep this short and practical. 

Mindset and Attention: In a perfect and ideal world we'd all be super-zen, always-present people, fully aware and ready for anything. The reality however, is not quite there... we have so much in daily life to focus on; work, training, shopping, breakfast, lunch, dinner, those errands we have to do on Tuesday, the rent, bills, (Insert endless list here)....

I would argue the best we can realistically do is do the best in the situations we are presented with. If we are walking to work/school, that is our task, so lets do that consciously and with our attention, if we're training Parkour, we are training Parkour. Each space, each movement, each goal is different. Of course, we still need to be aware of the things around us during our tasks, cars, bikes, people, weather, our bodies, our energy levels, our attention levels etc, but having and being clear about a goal helps us shift our attention to what matter most in our training, our movement and choices regarding our movement. 

When we are out (specifically) training Parkour, generally we're focused on that type of movement, jumping, landing, being ready; -- when we aren't, we aren't; so why should expect our bodies to be ready and able if mentally we aren't fully in the regular "training" mindset? (Read about Situational Efficacy in sport)

There are "simple" gross movements which could/can be done 'from cold', on the way to places but it's a different mindset and need to absolutely approach with caution, I say mostly weekly throughout classes that unless we are (specifically) focused on the task at hand, complacency creeps in which may end badly. That's not saying there's not valuable learning which could be had in everyday "on the way to school/work/home" movement, but is it worth the risk of not achieving the current goal....?

We must give all our movement the attention it deserves.
We are not superhuman, we are not perfect, we will make mistakes during our attempts to be mindful, not just in training but all areas of our lives. To be safe and effective in both movement and life we need to continue to asses and adapt to our environment and the situations presented. Not all movement is equal so we need to focus our attention in to the SPECIFIC situation and goal we are working towards.

With actively working on our physical and mental adaptation, we can make these choices more effectively and ensure we are in the right mindset for the right task/goal, half the battle when it comes to moving safely and effectively.

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