Elementary Connections asked Pinnacle Parkour Academy in Philadelphia to tell us what exactly Parkour is and how can kids (and adults) benefit from parkour?

Parkour is the sport/discipline of using one’s own body to perform various physical/mental challenges through the repetition and use of various skills such as vaulting, swinging, jumping, and rolling. Parkour and the safety of the athlete solely depends on the athlete and the choices they make to minimize those risks, while being playful and fun and helping teach critical thinking skills. For kids that don’t like the overly competitive nature of most team sports, or even the ‘team’ nature, parkour is a great alternative. Read below for three more reasons Parkour is such a beneficial sport.

  • Learn to Manage and Minimize Risk
  • Explore and Play in New Ways
  • Develop Critical Thinking Skills
  1. Learn to Manage and Minimize Risk

Parkour is about minimizing risk and being able to fully explore what your body can do. When approaching any challenge there should be a mental checklist of questions to ask oneself before attempting anything: Am I physically strong enough for what I am about to do? Do I understand the movement technically well enough to be able to attempt this safely? Am I mentally calm enough to bring myself to commit fully to the challenge and each of its progressions? These are the questions students will learn to take into account while training and will use to push themselves and grow as they continue on their parkour journey.

  1. Explore and Play in New Ways

Through the repetition and practice of trying all of these new ways to move their body, kids will begin to understand place and spaces where they can practice the various skills they have been doing. Parkour athletes call this “Parkour Vision” and it is a skill in its own right. To be able to look at one’s environment from a different perspective and to bring a sense of exploration and play to a space that normally is not used for that can be a very empowering tool. To be able to look at things through a different lens is an important skill that can translate over very well to other everyday scenarios.

  1. Develop Critical Thinking Skills

Parkour is a very valuable sport to practice because it allows you to move through your environment with greater ease. The path to get there is filled with various obstacles that can be difficult at first to accomplish. This presents the student with a task that usually seems almost impossible to complete; however, when the student is able to identify the individual pieces or “progressions,” suddenly the impossible seems more attainable. The student has a trail of goals to check off to begin the process of achieving something that they once thought to be unachievable. Critical thinking skills such as these are vital for kids to be able to break down and solve other problems of the modern world. Now suddenly a world filled with problems becomes a world filled with puzzles for these kids to solve by using their skills and having fun.

For more information on Pinnacle Parkour Academy and to sign up for a free class, visit https://www.ppkphilly.com/free-class