Falling is part of any sport and Parkour is no exception. Learning how to fall safely is essential for progression and injury prevention. At Gymnastics of York we dedicate time in every class at every level to practice falling safely.
Types of falling
Not all falls are created equal. Falling while running full speed will require a roll, while falling onto your back requires a different technique. Only training one type of fall will leave a Parkour athlete ill-equipped and unable to train advanced moves safely.
Falling safely is a skill
Falling rarely happens when you expect and in order to fall safely you need to train your reflexes to default to the safe way of falling. Through thousands of practice repetitions students develop the ability to instinctually act in the safest possible way.
Protect your head
The most important part of any fall is protecting your head. In a roll this is done by tucking the chin and rolling over the shoulder to avoid having the head contact the ground.
Know your limits
Part of the role of a good coach is telling an enthusiastic student “not yet.” At Gymnastics of York we don’t introduce falling from a height until months into the advanced program, and only after the student has proven adept at multiple prerequisites.
Have a safe environment
Early on Parkour gained a reputation for extreme stunts between city rooftops. However, a professional athlete giving a risky performance is not the same as actual training. Developing a Parkour athlete takes years of practicing safe falling on soft mats.
There is no shortcut
There is no hack to safe training and development. Like gymnastics, a few years spent perfecting the basics leads to breathtaking skills down the line. Skipping this period leads to injury, burnout and plateau.
Make falling fun
Falling is part of Parkour and teaching an athlete to fear falling creates a mental war between them and their sport. Students need to learn to resist the urge to panic and rely on their training in a fall. Through the use of drills and progressions at the student’s level our Parkour athletes can learn to look forward to training their rolls. At an advanced level, students can learn some really cool moves that are sure to dazzle any onlooker.