As we make strides during 2016, getting closer and closer to open the doors of a year-round training facility and preparing for a full class schedule, we are going to release a series of feature articles to showcase some of Fusion’s greatest supporters. I have had the great opportunity to train with countless students and work with so many others who have been a great source of inspiration and encouragement. It’s an important thing to take a step back and acknowledge the people who may not be center stage, but who have played a part in helping you realize your dream.
Our next feature article is devoted to Joey Yelle.
When Joey contacted me to say that he was coming to an open training session, and that he was going to be driving in from north of Watertown, I was skeptical. It’s unfortunately commonplace for people to use the internet as a way to commit to things but never follow through. So I confess, I was surprised to see him walk across the grass, eager to get to work.
Having had the luxury of training in parkour academies out west, Joey’s experience and ability were immediately apparent. What was even more admirable, was Joey’s desire to help others. If there was a discussion about technique, or a question voiced about tips for succeeding, Joey was right there. He never took over a conversation, but he always had something beneficial to add.
I considered Joey to be a friend before that first training session came to a close. We fed off each other and worked in tandem, as if we’d been teaching together for years.
One of the greatest moments that day, was when we were both helping to guide a student who was struggling with a particular technique. Our styles of approach were the same, but our lessons were very different. Equally good, but different. Instead of arguing or contradicting one another, there was an immediate mutual respect shown and a desire to learn about “already known” technique from someone else who may have reached the same goal by a different path.
Any good teacher knows that every student learns differently. Sometimes a lesson needs to be taught a dozen different ways, not because the student “just doesn’t get it,” but because you didn’t teach the lesson in the way that he or she needed to learn it. So a great teacher is always refining his or her process - how to describe, what to say and what not to say, how to lead a student to the right answer without giving it outright, and coming up with as many examples, descriptives, and methods as possible so that no student is out of reach.
I pride myself on the belief that you can learn something from anyone - teacher or student, veteran or rookie, friend or foe. That day was no exception; I learned a lot from Joey. The memory that stands out most from that session is when the student was struggling and I stepped in to offer a different perspective. Joey listened intently. When I was done, the student followed my advice and showed immediate progress. We all cheered and Joey turned to me and said, “that was an awesome explanation....I’m stealing that.”
“I’m stealing that” is the ultimate
compliment from one instructor
I look forward to stealing as much
as I can from Joey
the next time he’s in town.
Thank you, Joey, for all that you
have brought to Fusion Parkour
and for all that we will continue
to learn from you in the future.