How to Become a Parkour Instructor and Obtain Your Certification
Becoming a parkour instructor is a rewarding way to help others achieve success in this exciting sport. It can also teach you more about your abilities in this field and reward your success in a variety of different ways. That’s why if you are interested in becoming a parkour instructor, you need to get your certification. Achieving certification will help you stand out in your field and make you a more attractive parkour instructor. Here are the steps you need to take to achieve this beneficial goal.
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1. Practice for at Least One Year
Most parkour instructor certification groups are going to expect that you have at least one year of experience in parkour competition before they certify you. This experience can include time in competition or practice. These groups typically require that you showcase this practice time in a variety of ways to ensure that you know what you are doing.
For example, you may be asked to perform simple techniques before you go through the certification process. If you cannot complete a basic toe grab with ease, most parkour instructor certification boards will turn you away. Some groups may also prefer, but not require, coaching experience in a real-world environment. Most take testimony from those you have coached as proof of your experience.
2. Getting Into a Course
The hardest part of your parkour instructor course will be finding an open session. Most training sessions have a limited participation number, often as low as 10 people per training. Those on a low budget may also balk at the cost of these courses, which is usually around $500-1,000. However, the costlier parkour instructor training groups usually provide a more coherent and comprehensive experience for potential parkour instructors.
That said, you will be getting the same certification level regardless of how much you spend on the course. So it isn’t a bad idea to go with a less expensive option. And make sure that you apply at least a month or two in advance of the classes. This action helps to ensure that you get into the course and can also save you money, as many certification companies provide discounts for early registration.
3. Go Through Certification
A good parkour instructor certification course typically takes three days of training to finish. However, you will be going through some pretty heavy-duty experience during this time. For example, most three-day courses run from 10 am to 8 pm every day.
Those 10-hour days will be filled up with real parkour practice and a variety of book work. For example, you must show the parkour instructor certification board that you understand how to perform basic techniques. You must also showcase that you know how to teach your athletes to protect themselves from injury.
First-aid is also a necessity in these courses, as your athletes may get injured during an event and will require your help. Just as importantly, you also need to have the proper personality type to be a coach. This personality includes being assertive, but supportive, and knowing how to get your athletes pumped up for competition.
4. Make Connections in the Parkour Community
After you pass your parkour instructor certification, you are ready to start your new career. The best way to do that is to get out into the parkour community and start making connections. Compete in some big events and do your best to either place very highly or win. This success will showcase the benefits of working with you and will catch the eye of many parkour athletes.
Just as importantly, you need to spend time talking to parkour athletes in the community. Make real connections with them based on your mutual love of the sport. If they feel comfortable forming a friendship with you, they are more likely to trust you as a parkour instructor. Even better, getting out into the parkour community shows that you are dedicated to its success and aren’t just a hanger-on trying to capitalize on the growing popularity of this sport.
5. Get a Gym Certification
Once you start getting some momentum as a parkour instructor, it is time to open up a gym. However, you may want to consider getting certification by WFPF to increase your chances of success. This certification is necessary if you plan on becoming a host gym for WFPF events or a gym that provides parkour training to athletes or even potential instructors.
This type of certification requires having at least 10 paying students and at least 1-2 Master Trainers available on your staff. That said, you don’t need to get this kind of certification if you never plan on becoming a WFPF host gym. However, doing so will open up your chances of success by allowing you to host real parkour competitions and exposing athletes to your gym’s teaching style.
6. Try to Get an Endorsement
There are many companies available that will endorse parkour athletes and even parkour instructors. For example, Red Bull typically seeks out parkour athletes and instructors that are just starting out in their career. They will then provide them with an endorsement and sponsorship that makes it easier for them to succeed, such as practice gear and advertising space on their website.
However, getting an endorsement from a company like this is always a significant challenge. There are only a handful of sponsorship opportunities available every year, and hundreds or even thousands of people will apply to them. Make sure that you apply to them early in the year to increase your chances of success.
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As you can see, achieving success as a parkour instructor is helped out significantly by getting your certification. It will make you look more professional and provide your potential athletes with the knowledge that you know what you are doing. Make sure that you talk to a respected and skilled parkour instructor certification group as soon as possible. Each of these groups has slightly different testing methods, so find one that suits your specific needs.