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Designing Parkour-style training environments for athlete development: insights from experienced Parkour Traceurs


Strafford, B.W. et al.



Qualitative Research in Sport, Exercise and Health

Tipo de publicación

Artículo de revista



Palabras clave

afordances, athletic development, Athletic Skills Model, donor sport, free running


Contemporary models of motor learning implicate the value of Parkour-style training as an activity to enrich athletic performance in different sports. We explored Parkour Traceurs’ experiential knowledge on the range of physical, perceptual, psychological and social skills that they perceive to be developed during Parkour practice and performance. We also investigated their recommendations on how to design Parkour practice to facilitate the development of foundational performance behaviours. Experienced male Parkour Traceurs (n = 14) were interviewed using an open-ended, semi-structured approach, with a two-stage thematic analysis being conducted to identify themes. The analysis identified two dimensions: Skills Developed Through Parkour and Recommendations for Designing Parkour Training Environments. Parkour Traceurs outlined numerous physical (locomotor skills; endurance; strength; agility; balance), perceptual (multi-limb coordination; control precision; rate control; response orientation), psychological (problem-solving; stress relief; self-efficacy; risk management) and social (networking; initiative; social perceptiveness; receptiveness to feedback) capacities and skills that could be augmented through Parkour training. Parkour Traceurs explained how indoor Parkour environments should promote creative and exploratory movement behaviours that enable physical conditioning, whilst enhancing decision-making and action functionality. Responses suggest that these aims are often achieved by designing a modular practice landscape where Parkour Traceurs manipulate the spacing, orientation and angles of bars and wall set-ups to facilitate the development of different perceptual, cognitive and physical skills. In conclusion, this study provides insights on how affordances offered by a Parkour environment could be integrated into practice to enhance athlete self-regulation and transfer of functional behaviours to team sport performance.


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