PKV Level 1 coach certification syllabus

The 12-week certification program includes a weekly 2 hour classroom session with background reading, homework, assisting hours, and application assignments.

For every class, please come prepared for the possibility of movement/training. Though many classes will include lecture and relatively low-energy modules, we will also be doing the things we are learning to teach on a regular basis.

PKVpedia:

This PKVpedia hosts public information about PKV. In this syllabus you'll find the general outline of the progression of the Level 1 Coach Certification and some of the core ideas.

This wiki is still being developed, so if you have any questions (or notice anything that's broken!) please let certification@parkourvisions.org know.

PKV Level 1 Instructor Manual:

Our PKV Level 1 Instructor Manual is an incredible resource for all things Level 1 PKV. It's not something you're expected to sit down and read through, but will act as a reference document throughout your apprenticeship and after.

Level 1 - Parkour & Freerunning fundamentals:

This page lists the current main components of our Level 1 program. Though you will be getting the knowledge of drills and movements beyond what's here, it's important to familiarize yourself with the guidelines we're using for student knowledge.

Weekly Notes + Curriculum:

Every week the Head Coach sends out a Weekly Notes and the Curriculum. You will receive an email each week with the content.

Pre-Reading:

Both of these documents are different takes on what it means to teach parkour. Please read through them before our first class.

Google Integration

After orientation, all apprentices are issued a [name]@pkvapprenticeship.org email address that will be used for all communications. We use Google Classroom in tandem with Google Drive for all study materials and homework submission, and Google Calendars for assisting and upkeep hours.

Introduction: Why we're here

  • Mission: to become better coaches
  • Review syllabus and cover program expectations
  • Set up culture of constructive feedback

Module: Teach Us Something

Lecture: Coaching Principles

  • What makes a good coach?
  • How do we know our coaching is effective?
  • What makes a good class?
  • What makes a good student?
  • Creating a learning experience.

Group Dialogue: Coaching Principles

Supporting Documents: Meaning & Purpose in Parkour Classes + Teaching with Spirit

Assignments:

  • Coaching Persona: Who Do You Want To Be?

Students will write a 500 word essay exploring and stating their coaching persona. This may change as we get further into the course, but it's good to articulate early and return to often.

Intro: Review Coach Persona Assignment

Lecture: Command and Control: How to manage classes confidently and efficiently.

Before we can ever hope to effectively impart information and techniques, we need to understand how to manage group classes confidently and efficiently. Whether working with groups or 1-on-1, coaches must direct their students in such a way that is concise and consistent, adeptly assuming and maintaining control of the session.

Part of management is the knowledge of how to group and move people, but you must also convince people to buy into listening to you.

Discussion: What is buy-in? How do you facilitate it?

Discussion: Fundamental factors of Command and Control

Presence and posture

  • Do you look ready?
  • Do you seem energetic?
  • Is it clear that coaching is enjoyable for you?
  • Voice Control: Projection, Neutral/Positive Emotion, Clarity
  • Can you project without sounding angry or shrill?
  • Can every student hear you every time?
  • Are you always speaking toward students?

Anchoring: easily distinguished, seen, and heard

  • Is it clear that you are in charge?
  • Are you in a position where every student can see you?
  • Are you in a position where every student can hear you?
  • Direction: Clear, Concise, Consistent
  • Do your students understand what you mean?

The best way to control people is to know them:

  • Why are they showing up?
  • What are their specific goals?
  • What can you do to help them achieving those goals?

Module: Voice, Direction, Anchoring + Divide and Conquer - Effective class groupmaking

Assignments:

  • Command & Control Worksheet
  • 1 Class Observation

Intro: Check-in

Lecture: PKV’s Values & Principles + The Five F’s

  • Building a foundation from which to program parkour classes.
  • Introduce broad categories of obstacles and movement.

Discussion: How to break parkour apart for teaching with overarching ideas

  • movement categories
    • running
    • jumping
    • climbing
    • quadrupedal movement
    • aerial skills
  • obstacle categories
    • open space
    • walls
    • small obstacles
    • gaps
  • values
    • investement
    • creativity
    • courage
    • autonomy
    • commitment

Module: Working The Five F’s

Teaching mini-lessons of same skill with the five different approaches.

Eg: Kongs

  • Flow: Kong-ups within short course
  • Fun: Kong for distance using squishy things
  • Failure: Practicing bails out of kongs
  • Focus: Split-step entrance work
  • Fear: Kong over gap

Assignments:

Intro: Showing, Telling, and Teaching + Push, Hold, Release

Lecture: Cues and Cueing + Spotting

Including: Learning Styles

Modules: Basic Cueing + You had ONE job.

Assignments:

Intro: What is progression and how do we do it?

progression: a movement or development toward a destination or a more advanced state, especially gradually or in stages; a series

Progression is the name of the game when it comes to parkour. As coaches, progressions are our primary tools for teaching the many complex movements within our programs and improving our own practices. Every coach should be armed with multiple progressions for any one technique and know and use the ability to create new ones on the spot.

Lecture: Parcoaching – Progression and Scaling For Parkour

Progressions are not arbitrary.

Basic factors affecting progressions:

  • GPP (General Physical Preparedness)
    • mobility
    • strength
    • conditioning
  • previous experience
  • learning & communication styles

In general, progressions should be:

  • simple → complex
  • low commitment → high commitment

The enviroment can have a lot to do with chosen progressions. What does it look like to build progressions vs. finding them? (Refer to Course Building Guide + Principles of space design in parkour classes)

Modules: Brainstorming Progression Factors + Using a Parkour Gym Environment

  • Examining environments through the scope of instruction
  • Efficient in-gym builds
  • Creating an “outdoor” environment indoors

Assignments:

Intro: What makes an experience?

Lessons are defined as a period of time learning or training, but we want more for our community of students. At PKV every lesson is an experience, turning each class into an event that leaves an impression on them. This is created through ritual, structure, and goals. Students should leave not only having worked hard and learned or refined techniques, they should feel like they were a part of something, that they did something.

Discussion:

Remember one of your best/favorite/most positively memorable experiences training parkour.

  1. What's the first thing you think about it?
  2. What made it memorable?
  3. Can you help create that for your students?

Review: Peer review Technique Module difficulties & confusions.

Modules: PKV class structure

Assignments:

Intro: Setting up for class

  • check in at the front desk
  • give yourself enough time to make a good setup
  • coordinate with other coaches re: equipment & zone negotiations

Review: Principles of Space Design for Parkour

Set-Up: Low-commitment Vaults (H Formation.) Ensure there are boxes of shin, knee, and hip height available to the side, lined up for QM and push-up progressions. Floorspace enough for group circle +1x Plank for every one.

Module: QM, Push-Ups, Low-Commitment Vaults, Applications

QM:

  • forward & backward
  • side monkey
  • ground kong
  • gallop

Push-Ups:

  • Negatives progressions
  • Elevated progressions
  • intermediate/advanced progressions
  • why we avoid knees push-ups

Low-Commitment Vaults:

  • step
  • lazy
  • butt spin
  • chest vault
  • swing-throughs
  • kong-up
  • dash-down

Applications:

  • scrambling
  • mounting
  • dismounting
  • vaulting

Assignments:

Intro: Apprentice Warm-Up + Constructive Feedback

Set-Up: Landing Continuum, Precisions Progressions (Standing, Approach, Strides)

Module: Jumping/Landing Continuum, Squats, Precisions

Jumping:

  • activations/prep drills
    • glute bridges
    • bridges
    • shoulder dislocations
    • swinging of arms
    • “no impact” jumps
  • phase positioning
    • loading
    • extension
  • principles (novices not jumping off what cannot jump onto)
  • cues
  • assesement & common errors

Ukemi:

  • backfalls

Landing Continuum:

landing short → bounce back → cat → support → crane(s) → precision → bounce off

Precisions & Strides:

  • equipment
  • progressions & setups
  • cues
  • assesement & common errors

Squats:

  • mobility restricted progressions
  • intermediate/advanced progressions
  • cues
  • assesement & common errors

Assignment:

Intro: Apprentice Warm-Up + Constructive Feedback

Set-Up: Matting for swings

Module: Pull-Ups, Hanging/Swinging, Underbars, Lache Progressions

Ukemi:

  • backfalls
  • twisting backfalls
  • slipping from backswing

Pull-Ups:

  • Scapular activations
    • band activations
    • wall slides
  • Scap pull-ups
  • Negative progressions
  • Bodyweight rows

Hanging/Swinging

  • scapular activation
  • building swings
  • brachiation

Lache

  • safe set-ups
  • release progressions
  • level-appropriate challenges

Climb-ups

  • theory and variations
  • progressions

Assignment:

Intro: Apprentice warmup + feedback

Setup: Running skills + tacs

Ukemi: Rolls

Module: Running skills + Tacs

Running:

Phase 1: Preparation

  • running pose
  • knee drive drills
  • glute activations
  • trunk activations
  • joint preparations

Phase 2: Assessment

  • foot placement & leg alignment
  • feet under body, not reaching out
  • knees over ankles, not collapsing inward or bowing out
  • arm movement
  • arms bent ~90˚
  • elbows in
  • arms swing forward and back, not out to the sides
  • torso positioning
  • Sprinting: first three steps, hard lean forward
  • Sprinting: after first three steps, tall chest
  • Running/Cutting: torso leans in direction of travel

Phase 3: Technique Work

You cannot fix everything in one class. Remember that good cueing is about choosing carefully what you need to say when, and not overloading students with information. Work on whatever three elements you deem the most important until you see positive change from the majority of students before moving into application.

Tacs:

  • hip openers/preparation drills
  • loading
  • foot/leg positioning
  • follow-through cues and drills

Assignments:

  • Lesson plan regarding running skills or tacs
  • 10 min. Modules

Module: 30 min. Module Presentations and critique

Flex day:

  • questions regarding covered techniques
  • questions regarding related techniques
  • feedback on modules and lesson plans

Assignment: Refine 30 min. modules

Schedule practical exams. Distribute written exams, provide time for questions

Assignment: Written test completed within 1 week, practical audtit completed within 2 weeks.