Three years ago, Shawn and I got together for a ‘short’ three-and-a-half-hour chat where we discussed all things movement. In our conversation, we discussed learning, practice design, and everything that we wished we would have known and had access to as younger coaches that would have improved how we helped guide our athletes to become more adept movers in the game. Towards the end of the discussion, one thing we both acknowledged is that we needed to contribute to the growth of our local community by offering highly interactive learning opportunities to help coaches and practitioners better understand how to cultivate an environment to shape how athletes and patients learn.

You might be asking yourself why we felt so convicted to galvanize the movement community in the first place. We were fed up with seeing athletes robbed of their movement authenticity, creativity, and adaptability by going through endless repetitions where coaches vomited the ‘correct way’ to perform every action. While numerous papers and books were already available, we knew the community needed something else. Initially, we held two movement meet-ups each month all over the twin cities of Minneapolis and Saint Paul. It was here where our ‘emergent discussions’ began. We started with a leading question, and then off we went as a group sharing our thoughts to help collectively grow together and, in turn, our athletes and patients. 

The movement meet-ups were a huge success, and we’re happy to say it challenged us along with the other passionate movement coaches here in the twin cities. The emergent discussions served as the gasoline to light the fire that became Emergence. We knew we needed a flame to grow larger and brighter, and it was going to require us to grow a company online that could reach coaches and practitioners worldwide. Without going into great depth about our business plan, we knew that the first offering needed to bring clarity to movement specialists across the globe where we could unpack the vast array of important, conceptual ideas which form an ecological dynamics framework. Consequently, we knew we needed to create a course that made the theory approachable to all, and it had to have numerous practical examples embedded throughout.  

Hence, Underpinnings was born! Underpinnings is an eight-hour course, highlighted by five modules titled as follows. 

Module 1 – Introduction to Ecological Dynamics

Module 2 – The Power of Information

Module 3 – Skill Attunement and Adaptation

Module 4 – Being a Movement Skill Facilitator

Module 5 – Rules of Nonlinear Pedagogy

Additionally, there are six interviews with other professionals from across the globe, numerous downloadable documents, and a 90-minute addendum we filmed in August of 2021, which is a must-listen! 

Since we launched Emergence in October of 2019, Underpinnings has been a cornerstone of the courses we offer. Like all our courses, we strived to deliver the ideas in a way that is accessible to increase practical significance. If you are interested in learning more about the performer-environment relationship, a learner-centered approach, direct perception of affordances, information-movement couplings, self-organization under constraints, the constraints-led approach, representative learning design, and more, then we highly encourage you to pick up Underpinnings!

Tyler is the Co- Director of Education and Co-Founder of Emergence. He has held strength and conditioning positions at Northeastern State University and the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Over his career, he has delivered over 200 domestic & international continuing education courses, workshops, and conference presentations in 14 countries. Tyler is currently pursuing his doctorate in sport and exercise at the University of Gloucestershire (UK), exploring skill adaptation through an ecological lens. Through applied practice and research, his goal is to support practitioners in designing representative learning environments that enable American football players to skillfully regulate their behavior in context.