Recently I was asked “What motivates you as a coach?”. It was before a guest coaching for Movement Creative in New York in 2019. I wrote my answer and I thought ok, if I am going to do this I am going to do it right (meaning long lol ). So here it is. Why do I coach you ask?
When I started in 2004 I was one of 5 people in the whole country. Teaching was a necessity back then rather than a choice as beginners were approaching us frequently. It was natural that we tried to keep people from making our mistakes. It was natural to help them progress faster than we did (in terms of technique) and to pass on what we learned and experienced.
From this necessity a passion for teaching and coaching was born. This went together with my constant reflection on what parkour is for me and how I try to transport it. This correlates strongly with the low amount and quality of information that was available to practicioners at these times. To me parkour has changed a lot of times. And the more I got to train with more experienced people or whenever I had the chance to learn directly from the founders the more it changed. It impacted my own parkour and my coaching too.
Fast forward to 2013. I did a 6 month internship (study related) at PKGen in London. In the last 1-2 months I also assisted in teaching their classes. Children, adults, anything really. This was also the time I did ADAPT, but not because this cert means anything in Austria but because I was trying to grasp all the knowledge I could. Btw. I am aware of the influences of Streetmovement on ADAPT and I am aware that other organisations have totally different approaches than PKGen. And they are all valid to me. (a shout out at this point to PKOne for example from Germany)
When I came back from London I tried to share what I had learned. I still want to think I am partly responsible that coaches in Austria make sessionplans these days, that they know why a proper warmup is good for you and that parkour can´t be solemly taught indoors. These are basic things but information was so rare. A few years back from London a colleague and me started Parkour Austria, a parkour company. We offered classes and workshops amongst other services. I was teaching a few times a week. I stepped back from PK Austria end of 2018 but I still enjoy teaching.
Why? Because I still think parkour is one of the most amazing and versatile activities out there. I still think it is inclusive and can be practiced by anyone no matter what. (One of my students was blind and deaf btw. You can read about our sessions here:
My motivation to coach has not changed over time but maybe the demand has. I am not sure if what I teach is demanded or if people actually care, but I am here and with me is the history of my parkour.