India Meets….. The Deep South FreeRunning Team

India Meets….. The Deep South FreeRunning Team

Written By India Nye, Photography by Tom Taylor

We all want to turn our deeply loved hobbies into a business opportunity, to feel as if we aren’t working at all. That’s exactly what the team Captain of Deep South, Exeter’s own free-running group, is trying to do. I met up with Tom Taylor and his teammate Ed Scott, in Artigiano, to talk all things free-running; a sport I had very limited knowledge of. 

One of the things I was curious about, was the point at which Tom realised that his hobby could be so much more.

“I think it’s mainly due to the growth of the industry around the sport; there are more avenues for us to pursue doing it for a living. Our unique selling point is that we focus on competitions; there aren’t many teams focused on going towards competitions. We are life-long practitioners and we are super serious, but we’ve seen that we can go to competitions and raise our profile.”

Free-running is all about discipline, hard work and dedication; qualities that can be transferred over to a business.

“The biggest thing you can cross over, I think, is having achievable short-term goals and progressions” explains Tom

“we tend to look at each element of a jump, try to break it down and practice each one before we tackle anything whole”.

These small steps, to tackle big challenges, can be used in any capacity; overcoming any obstacle. One of the biggest obstacles is the fear you project onto yourself and the tasks in front of you; overcoming fear is an important element in free-running.

“We start by working on foundations and building up towards the jump. We do a lot of strength work, so we are physically able. Then we focus on the mental side; we do similar kinds of jumps, build up the challenge and work our way up.” Ed explained.

“We are constantly honing our craft, increasing our ability and performance. It’s incredibly mental and your athletic ability is only going to take you so far. It’s 90% mental. It’s all about control as well; precision and accuracy is the heart of the sport” added Tom.

From a coach/mentor point of view, how do you tackle coaching people in a sport where there is an element of danger and one wrong move could lead to major injury, I wondered? 

“My job” explains Tom, “is primarily, to whilst increasing their performance ability, train the team to deal with things like the impact of landing on a solid concrete floor. We don’t really suffer many injuries because we are all sure of what we are doing; we don’t just throw ourselves into it.”

I discovered that Tom wasn’t the only member with coaching abilities; Ed also coaches at the Exeter Gymnastics club,

“You can use elements of gymnastics within free-running. I have an eye in gymnastics that lends itself to spatial awareness; especially when you are in the air. You can focus on breaking down types of movements in order to gain more skill.”

Since free-running has gained more recognition as a sport, I asked the guys how far they thought the sport could go.

“I think that it can go to a similar size, if not bigger than, skateboarding because it’s so accessible. We have some big sponsors, like Redbull, coming into the sport now”.

My final question was to ask the guys what made Free-Running so special to them; I wanted to get an insight as to what made free-running so great.

“Progression and pushing myself harder to see how far I can go. Beating your previous self is brilliant.” 

A perfect answer to fully understand the drive of Deep South, as well as understanding what makes the sport so enticing. Thank you guys and the very best of luck going forward! 

India x 

You can follow & keep up to date with the Deep South team on Instagram @deepsouthparkour 


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