On his journey to become a coach
Craig: Frank, can you take me back to maybe before you became a coach, before you started, before you really had the idea of, “I’m going to do this. I’m going to work on it. I’m going to pursue it.” How did you get from being, I want to say, just someone who trains? Lots of us, including me, are just people who train, but how did you get from that and like turn that passion into a passion for education and working with seniors?
Frank: It was kind of incidental in a way because what I have to do for some of my schooling was I had to do a project that we called Senior Project, and essentially, what you had to do is you choose a topic they wanted to study, and then from there, you would have to give a presentation at the end of the year with like all these notes and pretty much all your research of the topic, and I chose parkour. So with parkour, one of the things that you need for the project is you actually need a professional in the field they need to be able to like consult with.
Craig: Oh, to work with on your project?
Frank: Exactly. Yeah, so I was like, “Hmm, where can I go?” I was like…
Craig: “Who do I know?”
Frank: “Who do I know?” I was like, “Primal Fitness is in DC. Urban Evolution is like three miles away. Urban Evolution is closer. Let’s go there.” So pretty much, I sent an email. Then from there, I hear back from Salil, the owner of Urban Evolution, and then from there, I meet Sean Hannah who is like the lead. He also works with PK Move now, which I guess we’ll go into a little bit later, and then from there, I pretty much just like told him what I wanted to do, and then from there, he told me what I had to do, and then it just kind of hit off from there.
Frank: I will definitely say this. When I started, I did not really have that much of a passion for
coaching. I was just like, “I need to do this project. Let’s get it done.” I was mostly like just in the trainer mindset like, “Oh, I just want to do like a whole bunch of training, a bunch of flips, a little bunch of tricks and all that. Figure out how to jump like really far,” and then like over time, as I started going more and more into it, I started realizing, “Huh, coaching is actually kind of fun. It’s really interesting to do this like showing people how to do this form, how to perfect what you’re doing already in terms of movement, how to finesse your technique, and all that.” Like that started becoming a real fun thing for me like…it was like… It was kind of like figuring out a puzzle, but it wasn’t my puzzle. It was someone else’s puzzle now.
Craig: Have you found that helping other people teach, has that given you new tools for assessing how you train or how you teach yourself like some of your… that’s a whole new skillset to train someone also, and has that also enabled you to do new things with your own training?
Frank: Oh, yes. Most definitely because I… Ever since I started like actually teaching, I started noticing like different things I’ll apply because if you… You have to kind of like practice what you preach almost in a sense if you’re going to actually teach someone this, and then from there, you have to actually instill that into yourself. Otherwise, it’s going to seem ingenuine, so that’s what I started to do. Before, I didn’t really train both sides as much. I was just like, “Eh, this is my jumping like. It will be huge and big. That’s okay.” Then, I was like, “No, that can’t really happen because I tell people to do both sides, so that way, they can do it fine and perfect on both sides. I guess I should do that too.”
Craig: The physician heal thyself, right?
Frank: So, yeah.
Craig: How did the project turn out when you turned it in?
Frank: Oh, I passed.
Frank: Passed with flying colors.
Craig: I just thought I would check on that before we move on.
Frank: Just like, “No, you failed. You have to do it again. Stay back another year.” “Ugh, dammit.”
Craig: Once you’ve got that glimpse of the passion or the fire that you can get from coaching, what did you do next? Did that draw you into coaching with Urban Evolution? Is that how that went next and that led you to PK Move, or what’s the… That’s the storyline there?
Frank: Pretty much, that is the storyline. I can remember the moment that I was really like, “Wow, coaching can be fun,” was because I remember I was already like helping out in coaching at Urban Evolution for like… I think it was probably like two or three months, and then I was just like done trying. I was like, “Ah, I don’t want to do this. I just want to train, really. I don’t really like enjoy this that much.”
Frank: Then, I remember we went to one of the locations for Urban Evolution, another one, and I saw the coaches there, and they were just having fun with it. They weren’t like stressed out. They weren’t like, “Man, I want to hit this,” and totally like, “Hey, you want to try this jump?” and they were like helping the students and like communicating with them. They are being friends with them and really instilling a sense of community that I didn’t really like understand that much mostly because I had only trained with myself and I didn’t really delve into the parkour community that much, especially here in DC. So then, when I saw that, like that really shifted my perspective immediately. I was like, They’re having fun with it. Why can’t I have fun with it?” “That makes no sense. Well, let’s figure it out then and have fun.”