A Philosophy of Coaching


All coaches carry out their role based on combination of their experience, knowledge, values, opinions and beliefs, likely with most unaware that they are doing this at all. This melting pot of factors amounts to what can be described as the coach’s philosophy. The question is – do you actually know yourself well enough to understand how these elements are combining to produce your own philosophy of coaching? Do you understand what your core coaching approach and methods are?

Lofty goals (part two)

The difficulty, for we who seek it, is that as an art does grow and change this jewel can become harder to find in the confusion, the noise and the bright lights. Indeed, it can become so buried that newer generations, new audiences, who never experienced the idea in its raw form, may not even know it exists. That, to me, seems a great shame as that rough-hewn gem at its heart is the real gift of parkour – or indeed of any good art-form.

~ Dan Edwardes, from Way of the Pathfinder: Part Two

The War

Yet in the practice of parkour there is also a war being fought: a psychological battle that we are presented with every time we step up to a jump or a movement we have not yet mastered, every time the fear of failure or falling rests its dark gaze upon us and tells us to give up, to go home, to try it another day, to excuse ourselves into accepting defeat.

~ Dan Edwardes, from The War: Training, Willpower and the Eternal Opponent

Fit for purpose

For me, fitness and health are just a means to a larger end – something to enable me to live as I wish, to accomplish what I want, to face any challenge and adversity that may come my way and do my best to overcome it. Fitness isn’t the goal in and of itself; it’s just a tool, a part of my training which in itself is simply to allow me to follow my path for as long as I desire. It’s a by-product of living my life to the fullest, nothing more.

~ Dan Edwardes, from Fit for Purpose

Lofty goals

To my mind, the most important guiding star on our journey is integrity. We have to practise what we preach, and this means embodying the principles we aspire to and letting them permeate every aspect of our lives.

These lofty values and principles we aspire to in training; courage, determination, commitment, humility, honesty, quality, consistency, perfection – what good are they if we abandon them when we end the training session and return to our daily life?

~ Dan Edwardes, from Way of the Pathfinder: Part Two

The little fears

For to practise parkour is to seek fear on a daily basis, to confront it head-on, to face it naked and alone. In parkour, you are stripped to your essence. There is no equipment to rely on, no safety harnesses or padding to protect you, no teammate to take the brunt when you are tired. It’s you, and you alone. The only things that prevent you getting hurt or injured are your skills, your judgement, your ability – no one else’s.

~ Dan Edwards, from Moving Through Fear

Once you start down the path to the dark side

Parkour is about taking the road less travelled by, and choosing the harder path every time. It’s about understanding that excellence does not arise from simply doing what is convenient or what pays well or what advances your personal career. The Olympic Games are sponsored by Coca-Cola and McDonalds. That’s not right.

Have principles. Stick to them. Because if you don’t stand for something you’ll fall for anything.

~ Dan Edwards, from A Question of Principle

Why Train?

Dan Edwards, from The Meaning of Strength:

Who can jump the furthest? Who can run the fastest or climb the highest? Who can face the most danger? Who can do the most twists in a somersault..? How could we get to a place in our minds where any of these things actually matter to us? Arbitrary things, all of them: quick to come and quicker to go; easily gained or lost, easily learned or forgotten.