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teach:the-five-f-s [2015/09/17 18:21]
eric
teach:the-five-f-s [2015/09/17 18:25] (current)
eric
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-====== The Five Fs ======+====== The Five "F"s ======
  
-The Five Fs are elements we use in our class skeleton to encourage the understanding and teaching of the heart of parkour. It is simple to teach movements commonly seen in parkour, but if you make parkour only physical, it ceases to be parkour. The Five Fs allow us to codify the elements of parkour that are harder to see but must be present to have a complete practice.+The Five "F"s are elements we use in our class skeleton to encourage the understanding and teaching of the heart of parkour. It is simple to teach movements commonly seen in parkour, but if you make parkour only physical, it ceases to be parkour. The Five "F"s allow us to codify the elements of parkour that are harder to see but must be present to have a complete practice.
  
 ===== Flow training ===== ===== Flow training =====
-Developing the ability to link movements together fluidly while maintaining momentum and control. ​+Developing the ability to link movements together fluidly while maintaining momentum and control.
  
 Often flow is considered one of the benchmarks between novice movement and intermediate movement, showing not only a clear understanding of techniques but a keen sense of awareness and the ability to adapt instantaneously to the environment,​ even one that has never been experienced. ​ Often flow is considered one of the benchmarks between novice movement and intermediate movement, showing not only a clear understanding of techniques but a keen sense of awareness and the ability to adapt instantaneously to the environment,​ even one that has never been experienced. ​
  
-Though single movements or techniques can be done with flow,” theres no one movement that exhibits the greater idea of flow; rather, its all of the elements that go into a **series** of movements. For ease, we can break the idea of flow into three pieces: Fluency, Footwork/​Handwork,​ and Foresight.+Though single movements or techniques can be done "with flow," ​there's no one movement that exhibits the greater idea of flow; rather, it's all of the elements that go into a **series** of movements. For ease, we can break the idea of flow into three pieces: Fluency, Footwork/​Handwork,​ and Foresight.
  
 ==== Fluency ==== ==== Fluency ====
  
-Fluency refers to how comfortable and adaptable your toolkit is.  In other words, it deals with all of the movements you can functionally use, as opposed to movements that only work when you have time to line them up and psych up to them and try them multiple times. ​ When people think flow,” they usually default to thinking of a series of vaults, but any set of movements can be combined flowfully, provided the mover is **fluent** in all of them+Fluency refers to how comfortable and adaptable your toolkit is. In other words, it deals with all of the movements you can functionally use, as opposed to movements that only work when you have time to line them up and psych up to them and try them multiple times. When people think "flow," ​they usually default to thinking of a series of vaults, but any set of movements can be combined flowfully, provided the mover is **fluent** in all of them.
- +
-A good way to both test and develop your students’ fluency is to prime a small set of techniques (e.g. step vaults, tacs, wall passes, and lazy vaults), then push your students to use them while moving quickly through an unfamiliar obstacle field. ​ The movements they continually return to or depend on are the ones they are **fluent** with; the ones that cause them to stutter, hesitate, or move jerkily are the ones where fluency is lacking.+
  
 +A good way to both test and develop your students'​ fluency is to prime a small set of techniques (e.g. step vaults, tacs, wall passes, and lazy vaults), then push your students to use them while moving quickly through an unfamiliar obstacle field. The movements they continually return to or depend on are the ones they are **fluent** with; the ones that cause them to stutter, hesitate, or move jerkily are the ones where fluency is lacking.
  
 ==== Footwork/​Handwork ==== ==== Footwork/​Handwork ====
  
-A large part of successful flow depends on rhythmic, efficient, and minimalist footwork, where footwork” refers hand placement just as much as foot placement. ​ Good footwork looks different depending on context, but generally includes easy/gentle transitions back to the ground, smooth and confident steps between obstacles, and the preservation of momentum when entering into the next movement. ​ Bad footwork is marked by hesitation, stutter steps, extra or unnecessary steps, dependence on having a particular foot in front, and dependence on using both feet together (instead of one-footed and split-footed takeoffs)+A large part of successful flow depends on rhythmic, efficient, and minimalist footwork, where "footwork" ​refers hand placement just as much as foot placement. Good footwork looks different depending on context, but generally includes easy/gentle transitions back to the ground, smooth and confident steps between obstacles, and the preservation of momentum when entering into the next movement. Bad footwork is marked by hesitation, stutter steps, extra or unnecessary steps, dependence on having a particular foot in front, and dependence on using both feet together (instead of one-footed and split-footed takeoffs).
- +
-A good way to both test and develop your students’ good footwork is to build miniature courses and drill extremely specific combinations of hand and foot placements that optimize the run, or to have your students run through a longer course and count every step, with the goal of reducing the total number of steps in each subsequent trial.+
  
 +A good way to both test and develop your students'​ good footwork is to build miniature courses and drill extremely specific combinations of hand and foot placements that optimize the run, or to have your students run through a longer course and count every step, with the goal of reducing the total number of steps in each subsequent trial.
  
 ==== Foresight ==== ==== Foresight ====
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 Beyond planning a route out to every detail, foresight has everything to do with maintaining a constant general awareness of the surrounding environment. This means knowing what is where around you, always ending a technique in a way that sets up for the next, looking and moving toward your destination,​ and re-planning even within a moment whenever necessary. Beyond planning a route out to every detail, foresight has everything to do with maintaining a constant general awareness of the surrounding environment. This means knowing what is where around you, always ending a technique in a way that sets up for the next, looking and moving toward your destination,​ and re-planning even within a moment whenever necessary.
  
-A good way to both test and develop your students’ foresight is to have them mentally plan runs **in detail** before ever attempting them, visualizing how their momentum will change as they apply their skills and what they need to do between obstacles to continue the flow.  A good way to push students’ ability to see ahead is to have them copy one anothers footwork at moderate speed, attempting to notice/​remember exactly what their partner did on the next obstacle while simultaneously dealing with the current obstacle.+A good way to both test and develop your students' ​foresight is to have them mentally plan runs **in detail** before ever attempting them, visualizing how their momentum will change as they apply their skills and what they need to do between obstacles to continue the flow. A good way to push students' ​ability to see ahead is to have them copy one another's footwork at moderate speed, attempting to notice/​remember exactly what their partner did on the next obstacle while simultaneously dealing with the current obstacle.
  
 **Introducing flow** **Introducing flow**
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 Developing the ability to recognize, assess, and act appropriately in response to the experience of fear. Developing the ability to recognize, assess, and act appropriately in response to the experience of fear.
  
-Fear is one of our greatest training tools. It gives us a visceral, instinctive sense of what our limits are, and prevents us from attempting things we may not be ready for.  It also provides a clear arrow for focusing our training, giving us targets for improvement and teaching us to assess and reassess our limits every time we come up against them.+Fear is one of our greatest training tools. It gives us a visceral, instinctive sense of what our limits are, and prevents us from attempting things we may not be ready for. It also provides a clear arrow for focusing our training, giving us targets for improvement and teaching us to assess and reassess our limits every time we come up against them.
  
-There are two main kinds of fear: that which should be heeded, and that which should be pushed through. ​ Understanding the difference comes only from experience and careful, gradual progression. ​ Providing your students with fear training” opportunities is crucial for creating balanced, mature traceurs who know how to deal with both sides of the emotion.+There are two main kinds of fear: that which should be heeded, and that which should be pushed through. Understanding the difference comes only from experience and careful, gradual progression. Providing your students with "fear training" ​opportunities is crucial for creating balanced, mature traceurs who know how to deal with both sides of the emotion.
  
-While you can teach/work with both kinds of fear in a single lesson, often its more useful to focus on one or the other. ​ For instance, imagine a lesson in which you gradually increase the size or scariness of a single jump, putting your students face-to-face with their fear.  Where and how this lesson ends depends on which kind of fear training you intend to do.  If youre teaching students to listen to and learn from their fear, then the student will be the one to say This is big enough; its time to stop.”  ​If youre teaching students to push through their fear, then you will be the one to judge how big is too big, based on your understanding of each students ability. ​ The first lesson will end with a failure,” in the sense that work is punctuated by a **jump that isnt done**. ​ The second lesson will end with a success,” in that the last jump should be a **breakthrough**. ​ These lessons will have very different introductions and very different closing lectures/​shares,​ and your students will walk away from them having learned two complementary but very different things.+While you can teach/work with both kinds of fear in a single lesson, often it's more useful to focus on one or the other. For instance, imagine a lesson in which you gradually increase the size or scariness of a single jump, putting your students face-to-face with their fear. Where and how this lesson ends depends on which kind of fear training you intend to do. If you're teaching students to listen to and learn from their fear, then the student will be the one to say "This is big enough; it's time to stop." ​If you're teaching students to push through their fear, then you will be the one to judge how big is too big, based on your understanding of each student's ability. The first lesson will end with a "failure," ​in the sense that work is punctuated by a **jump that isn't done**. The second lesson will end with a "success," ​in that the last jump should be a **breakthrough**. These lessons will have very different introductions and very different closing lectures/​shares,​ and your students will walk away from them having learned two complementary but very different things.
  
 What students need to know: What students need to know:
-  * Feeling fear is always a good thing, not a bad one.  You should never beat yourself up for being afraid; it is a sign that you are awake and aware and paying attention to your own safety and survival.+  * Feeling fear is always a good thing, not a bad one. You should never beat yourself up for being afraid; it is a sign that you are awake and aware and paying attention to your own safety and survival.
   * There are productive ways to deal with fear, and unproductive ones, and which you choose is up to you.   * There are productive ways to deal with fear, and unproductive ones, and which you choose is up to you.
-  * There is no shame in choosing to heed your fears...rule #1 is protect yourself.+  * There is no shame in choosing to heed your fears...rule #1 is "protect yourself."
   * If you are planning to push through your fear, it needs to be done calmly, responsibly,​ and incrementally,​ not in a reckless, frustration-fueled act of abandon.   * If you are planning to push through your fear, it needs to be done calmly, responsibly,​ and incrementally,​ not in a reckless, frustration-fueled act of abandon.
  
 Things to do with your students Things to do with your students
-  * Offer them gradual progressions that put them at the limit, so that they learn the boundary between ​yes, though scared,” and no, though hungry for it. +  * Offer them gradual progressions that put them at the limit, so that they learn the boundary between ​"yes, though scared," ​and "no, though hungry for it." 
-  * Create an emotional space where stepping up and just looking at the scary thing is recognized as practiced/​counts as a repetition/​worthy of reinforcement and pride. ​ Make sure to remove social pressure to do it once youre up there/feel bad about stepping back down.+  * Create an emotional space where stepping up and just looking at the scary thing is recognized as practiced/​counts as a repetition/​worthy of reinforcement and pride. Make sure to remove social pressure to do it once you're up there/feel bad about stepping back down.
   * Create physically safe spaces to prepare for the movement, including opportunities to practice right next to the scary thing (to cut down on loss of confidence during transition),​ opportunities to practice stuff similar to the scary thing (smaller, simpler, softer), and opportunities to practice stuff bigger or harder than the scary thing, but in less scary ways (padded, closer to the ground).   * Create physically safe spaces to prepare for the movement, including opportunities to practice right next to the scary thing (to cut down on loss of confidence during transition),​ opportunities to practice stuff similar to the scary thing (smaller, simpler, softer), and opportunities to practice stuff bigger or harder than the scary thing, but in less scary ways (padded, closer to the ground).
   * Create stepwise challenges that become scarier and scarier, so that students can try and get used to the first step, then move on to the second, scarier step, etc. etc.   * Create stepwise challenges that become scarier and scarier, so that students can try and get used to the first step, then move on to the second, scarier step, etc. etc.
   * When dealing with static fears (hanging, being up high, etc.), encourage students to reach a scary place and then wait and breathe and hold there until the fear begins to ebb.   * When dealing with static fears (hanging, being up high, etc.), encourage students to reach a scary place and then wait and breathe and hold there until the fear begins to ebb.
-Remind students to do their best to relax into/​through their fear, rather than tearing their way through it; tension only increases risk of failure, injury, and catastrophe. ​ However, keep in mind that this is a rule of thumb...some students need to jump while afraid or theyll never jump.  Everyone has a different baseline acceptable level of fear and tension under which they are still safe and controlled. +Remind students to do their best to relax into/​through their fear, rather than tearing their way through it; tension only increases risk of failure, injury, and catastrophe. However, keep in mind that this is a rule of thumb...some students need to jump while afraid or they'll never jump. Everyone has a different baseline acceptable level of fear and tension under which they are still safe and controlled. 
-  * Force everyone to face failure by specifically requiring students to find things that are just beyond their level and to practice saying ​No. +  * Force everyone to face failure by specifically requiring students to find things that are just beyond their level and to practice saying ​"No." 
-  * Offer to demonstrate or to let more confident students go first **if and only if** you have the sense that your less-confident students will benefit from seeing it done.  Beware of setting up a situation where its like See?  Look how easy...we all did it...whats your problem?+  * Offer to demonstrate or to let more confident students go first **if and only if** you have the sense that your less-confident students will benefit from seeing it done. Beware of setting up a situation where it's like "See? Look how easy...we all did it...what's your problem?"
   * **Ask students** for their own mental and practice strategies for overcoming fear, and share your own, giving everyone a wider toolkit.   * **Ask students** for their own mental and practice strategies for overcoming fear, and share your own, giving everyone a wider toolkit.
   * Tell stories about fear...what it feels like, times you dealt with it properly, times you dealt with it improperly, times you saw others successfully/​unsuccessfully deal with it.   * Tell stories about fear...what it feels like, times you dealt with it properly, times you dealt with it improperly, times you saw others successfully/​unsuccessfully deal with it.
   * Remind students what fear feels like, so that they can recognize it in themselves and others and respond accordingly,​ rather than getting caught up in the moment.   * Remind students what fear feels like, so that they can recognize it in themselves and others and respond accordingly,​ rather than getting caught up in the moment.
- 
- 
  
 ===== Focus training ===== ===== Focus training =====
  
-Developing the ability to maintain motivation for a single activity. Building harmony--finding the center, establishing presence of self, being zoned in.”  ​Focus is in the way youre doing the movement, in creating a frame around the action you intend to take.+Developing the ability to maintain motivation for a single activity. Building harmony--finding the center, establishing presence of self, being "zoned in." ​Focus is in the way you're doing the movement, in creating a frame around the action you intend to take.
  
-Teaching students to focus is almost entirely in your presentation. ​ Focus has a bit of an image problem, in that it conjures up feelings of being bored, locked in, told what to do...as a coach, you have to find ways to beat these impressions. ​ Play up aspects of hardcore intensity, or being like a ninja,” or remind people that they can make mental progress just as quickly as they can make physical progress, but only if they specifically train their minds. ​ The key is buy-in and intrinsic excitement...if you want to do a silent session, for example, and you tell a batch of students ​be quiet, because its important,” youre going to find that no one gets into it, and youre constantly shutting down whispers because your students dont believe in the activity. ​ But if you can get students to feel excited, or epic, or like it will really make a difference, theyll police themselves.+Teaching students to focus is almost entirely in your presentation. Focus has a bit of an image problem, in that it conjures up feelings of being bored, locked in, told what to do...as a coach, you have to find ways to beat these impressions. Play up aspects of hardcore intensity, or being "like a ninja," ​or remind people that they can make mental progress just as quickly as they can make physical progress, but only if they specifically train their minds. The key is buy-in and intrinsic excitement...if you want to do a silent session, for example, and you tell a batch of students ​"be quiet, because it's important," ​you're going to find that no one gets into it, and you're constantly shutting down whispers because your students don't believe in the activity. But if you can get students to feel excited, or epic, or like it will really make a difference, they'll police themselves.
  
 Broad categories of focus training: Broad categories of focus training:
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   * Teach students to enter a state of heightened (but limited) attention   * Teach students to enter a state of heightened (but limited) attention
   * Create a sense of significance and scale in the completion of an otherwise simple challenge   * Create a sense of significance and scale in the completion of an otherwise simple challenge
-  * Create a bond of camaraderie through shared suffering or shared experience that those who did not participate dont understand+  * Create a bond of camaraderie through shared suffering or shared experience that those who did not participate don't understand
   * Teach students to take control of their own mental processes and learn to control their minds as ably as they control their bodies   * Teach students to take control of their own mental processes and learn to control their minds as ably as they control their bodies
  
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   * Begin with a ritual or explanation that grounds/​centers all students   * Begin with a ritual or explanation that grounds/​centers all students
 Incentivize and reward proper practice rather than focusing on criticizing or punishing improper practice Incentivize and reward proper practice rather than focusing on criticizing or punishing improper practice
-  * Offer students a clear roadmap for success (e.g. When you start, youll feel X.  What youre looking for, though, is Y, and to get there, you should specifically concentrate on doing Z.+  * Offer students a clear roadmap for success (e.g. "When you start, you'll feel X. What you're looking for, though, is Y, and to get there, you should specifically concentrate on doing Z."
-  * Focus on the students internal experience more than on the external action (i.e. its more about how the student is feeling, thinking, and progressing than about whether or not the 57th rep was sufficiently clean or whether they got to the end of the course in under 30 seconds) +  * Focus on the student's internal experience more than on the external action (i.e. it's more about how the student is feeling, thinking, and progressing than about whether or not the 57th rep was sufficiently clean or whether they got to the end of the course in under 30 seconds) 
-  * Be sufficiently challenging,​ both mentally and physically, that it can naturally occupy a students full attention during each repetition (e.g. This next attempt is your whole world. ​ Its your first, last, and only one.  Its all youre thinking about. ​ Everything else is gone.  Fine dining, and breathing.)+  * Be sufficiently challenging,​ both mentally and physically, that it can naturally occupy a student's full attention during each repetition (e.g. "This next attempt is your whole world. It's your first, last, and only one. It's all you're thinking about. Everything else is gone. Fine dining, and breathing.")
  
 ===== Failure training ===== ===== Failure training =====
 Developing the ability to navigate failure physically, mentally, and emotionally. Developing the ability to navigate failure physically, mentally, and emotionally.
  
-Teaching students to have a positive attitude toward failure is about far more than instructing them in good falling techniques. Failure encompasses actual bails, but also the understanding and mental ability to accept failure, use it as a tool for learning, and to know when to say No.” +Teaching students to have a positive attitude toward failure is about far more than instructing them in good falling techniques. Failure encompasses actual bails, but also the understanding and mental ability to accept failure, use it as a tool for learning, and to know when to say "No." ​
  
 ==== Failure is part of the game.  ==== ==== Failure is part of the game.  ====
  
-If you succeed at everything you attempt, you are training below your limit and cheating yourself out of opportunities for progress. ​ Working on things that are difficult enough and hard enough that you will occasionally fail is an essential part of the parkour spirit. ​ Failure is the guide that shows you the difference between path and forest as you discover the way forward.+If you succeed at everything you attempt, you are training below your limit and cheating yourself out of opportunities for progress. Working on things that are difficult enough and hard enough that you will occasionally fail is an essential part of the parkour spirit. Failure is the guide that shows you the difference between path and forest as you discover the way forward.
  
 ==== Failure is a tool for improvement. ==== ==== Failure is a tool for improvement. ====
  
-Failure drives training. It is a diagnostic for our current skill level, showing you where best to place your effort and attention in the near future. Furthermore,​ understanding how and why we are failing allows us to learn more about our movement and our discipline. ​ Every tip youve ever received from someone more skilled or more experienced at some particular thing was born from failures they encountered on the way to figuring it out.  Students who think they know it all require failure to remind them that parkour is dangerous, and that there is always more to learn.+Failure drives training. It is a diagnostic for our current skill level, showing you where best to place your effort and attention in the near future. Furthermore,​ understanding how and why we are failing allows us to learn more about our movement and our discipline. Every tip you've ever received from someone more skilled or more experienced at some particular thing was born from failures they encountered on the way to figuring it out. Students who think they know it all require failure to remind them that parkour is dangerous, and that there is always more to learn.
  
 ==== Failure has a bad rap. ==== ==== Failure has a bad rap. ====
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   * Challenges that are physically or technically intensive, such that progress can be made but that it will take more than one session to actually nail it   * Challenges that are physically or technically intensive, such that progress can be made but that it will take more than one session to actually nail it
  
-Probably no ones going to get this today, but I want you all to see it, so that you know whats in your future. ​ You may not succeed today, but a year from now, this is the stuff youll be an expert at.+"Probably no one's going to get this today, but I want you all to see it, so that you know what's in your future. You may not succeed today, but a year from now, this is the stuff you'll be an expert at."
  
 ===== Fun training ===== ===== Fun training =====
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   * As much as possible, treat yourself as an equal within the group rather than a teacher or judge above the group   * As much as possible, treat yourself as an equal within the group rather than a teacher or judge above the group
   * Provide clear criteria for success, then allow students to self-regulate   * Provide clear criteria for success, then allow students to self-regulate
 +