Craig: And of course the final question, three words to describe your practice.
Andy: Seek the best. That’s my three words. And seek the best to me means don’t take people’s word for things. Just because somebody is your coach, just because somebody is telling you what to do because they’re better than you, don’t take that as Gospel. Just go and find out who is the best of the best of whatever it is that you’re trying to get. So if you’re trying to learn parkour, try and find out who are the best coaches in the world, in the world. It doesn’t matter in your area. You don’t have to actually go to that coach. But find out, how do they coach? Why do they coach? What makes them different between your coach and what they’re doing? Who is the best sports coaching or who is the best at training programming or getting stronger? Don’t limit yourself to just your little bubble. Think about in the world, who is the best? Seek the best.
Andy: That’s definitely the Mark Rippetoes and the strong fit guys. They’re the ones that I have found to be some of the best in the world. And so I’m trying to learn from them. But I would suggest anything you do in life, even if you don’t find them, at least that process is going to get you towards being better. So that’s my three words.
Craig: Andy, recently I’ve been on a kick to try and get people to give me more direct references or takeaway. I think too many people either read or hear or see information that inspires them to action. But then, if we don’t give them, go run this way, I think it sort of does a disservice that we’ve gotten all the trouble to bring all that material to them. So I’m wondering if there are particular books or particular people that you think would be good resources for somebody who’s just been sparked to go start with.
Andy: Yeah. Absolutely. These are obviously all non parkour people and they all are in different aspects of physical training. The main one that I absolutely love and I was put on to this group, actually it’s two people, by Shirley and Blane, they recommended me to go along to one of these courses and it’s strong fit. And this is run by a guy called Julian Pino, and he is very cerebral with his thinking in terms of training, and he has his whole system about talk and create intention correctly, and he has a lot of diagnostic tools in terms of where you are strong and where you are weak, which is amazing because it can then show you, okay, you can’t hinge properly, you can’t use your lats properly, or whatever it is.
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Craig: Andy, given your thorough grasp of failure then, let’s talk about how do you turn that into tools? Not just what have you done with it, and how do you see a way forward, but how do you look at that? And then what’s your thinking before and after? So at one point you’re uncertain what to do about it, which is very important because if you don’t know that you’re uncertain, then that’s the step you miss. So once you know you’re uncertain about it, what’s the actual next thing? What thought changed, and how are you moving forward to try and dig out of that or flip it over?
Andy: Yeah. So then, I believe the next step, and again, I’m completely unsure with this, but I’ll see how it goes. But now is the time where I think coaches have to look outside of parkour, strongman training, power lifting, Olympic lifting, even crossfit-
Andy: Now, ego aside, I’m not trying to be egotistical and this is sort of the whole mediocre coach, mediocre athlete part of it that I don’t think that I am a particularly good athlete at parkour. There are a lot of kids out there that are much, much better than I am, but I think I’m okay physically. But I was thinking about this metric of out of all of my students, can I actually think of anybody that has gone on and I’ve actually made them better than I am. I’m not talking about them. I’m talking about my ability as a coach, and therefore am I failing? Am I failing because therefore there’s going to be this dilution. Because if they then go on to be coaches and they do the same thing to their students and so on and so forth, are we going to be gradually losing what it means, what parkour is about?
Craig: Welcome to the Movers Mindset podcast where I interview movement enthusiasts to find out who they are, what they do, and why they do it. Today, Andy Pearson unpacks why he considers himself a failed coach and dives into what he believes his job is as a coach. He shares his insights on where to look for coaching and training inspiration outside of parkour before going through the litany of injuries he’s had and explaining how they have shaped his training. Andy discusses his current training and how he expects it to grow and evolve before wrapping up with his thoughts on FIG and the Olympics. Before we dive in, I ask that you press pause and take a quick listener survey. It’s one page, has only five questions and will take you all of 10 seconds to complete. If this project is worth 10 seconds of your time, go to moversmindset.com/survey
Craig: Hello, I’m Craig Constantine.
Andy: Hi, I’m Andy Pearson.
Craig: Andy Pearson is a failed coach, mediocre athlete, knows next to nothing about sports science and has more injuries than the black knight from Monte Python. He had the good fortune to gradually learn from his mistakes over the last 15 years like a goldfish and has unbelievably coached many people all around the world to not do what he did. So basically he’s making it up most of the time. Welcome Andy.
Andy: Hey, how are you doing?
Craig: I think the obvious place to start, Andy, would be to unpack failed coach, and let’s dive in there because I’m pretty sure most people would not label you as a failed coach, but I think that I understand why you’re thinking that that’s an appropriate moniker.
Andy: Okay. Sure thing. This kind of came about maybe a couple of weeks ago. I was thinking about what is to be a good coach, and how to measure that. So sort of what are the metrics essentially of a good coach? Is it the number of people you see? The number of students you have?
Andy Pearson unpacks why he considers himself a failed coach, and dives into what he believes his job as a coach to be. He shares his insights on where to look for coaching and training inspiration outside of parkour, before going through the litany of injuries he’s had, and explaining how they have shaped his training. Andy discusses his current training and how he expects it to grow and evolve, before wrapping up with his thoughts on FIG and the Olympics.