Friday, May 18, 2012

My Dad and the FMS

Gordon and I at the Guiness Brewery, Dublin Ireland

One of the coolest things about my career is how interested in the field my dad has become. Just recently he attended the PerformBetter 1 Day in Seattle, where he was able to schmooze with the likes of Gray Cook, Tim Vagen, and Charlie Weingroff. Prior to that, he has read and watched all of Mike Boyle's info, has become a big fan of Dan John's work, and is now working his way through "Movement".

That's a pretty good list of continuing eductaion for anybody, let alone someone with no formal background in the field and a career in a completely unrealated area!

My favorite part of my father's keen interest in the world of performance enhancement are all the questions he comes up with for me. Working through "Movement" and having recently attended the PerformBetter Conference, he has been asking a lot of questions about the FMS. It's been a lot of fun helping him get a grasp of the concepts behind the screen. Not only do I enjoy speaking with him about my craft, but his questions keep me on my toes.

Its been said that the best way to learn is to teach. I couldn't agree more. Being asked to explain and pass along the knowledge I have gained really makes me think about the topics at hand and often I need to go back and rehash the information myself. I find this a great way to stay sharp and up to date.

Here are some of the questions and answers from our recent conversation:

"So the FMS looks at how well a person moves?"

"Yes. It provides a baseline for acceptable movement. It's like getting your bloodpressure taken. In and of itself it probably won't tell you exactly what is wrong or right, but it will throw up some red flags if the score is outside of an acceptable range. If a person scores within the guidelines of the screen, it means they are good to go and train. If they score outside those guidelines, it means that the person needs to be looked at a little closer to determine the best course of action."

"Then what do you do if someone just scores all 2's?"

"Nothing. If they score 2 across the board and have no assymetries I proceed as planned. The goal isn't to get someone to score straight 3's, its just to make sure there aren't any 1's or assymetries."

"So how does the FMS score influence how you write a program?"

"For me, the overall concept of the FMS drives my programming. Understanding the Joint by Joint and continuing to learn more and more about the neuro-developmental foundations of human movement is what really influences my programming. On a practical level, if someone scores very poorly on the FMS, or if there is a trend of dysfunction or assymetry within the teams that I train, I will adjust the program accordingly."

"What does Gray mean by 'Shunt muscles and spurt muscles?"

"Umm...I don't know. I'll go look that one up."

Continuing to learn and develop my craft is one of the things I enjoy most about my profession. The never ending quest to "get it" keeps me motivated and passionate, and I believe that is one of the keys to happiness. But helping others understand what I have learned is becoming more and more satisfying. The fact that I get to share that experience with my dad is priceless. I just hope I can stay far enough ahead to keep answering most of his questions!

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