Over the last number of years, our team at Emergence has been grateful to be involved in locking arms with over two dozen individuals who have committed themselves to their Movement Form of Life through their participation in The Movement Academy (TMA).
The increased depth of understanding, comprehension, and ability to apply contemporary movement skill acquisition ideas associated and captured within each student’s growth throughout the six months of their participation, has been truly awe-inspiring to me as we lock arms with each of them.
As proud as I am of our TMA students for this evolution within their craft, I am even more pleased to report another trend that has been threaded throughout the cohorts. While completing their time within TMA, a vast majority of the professionals naturally gravitated towards pushing themselves out of their comfort zones and into their challenge point, by venturing into a renewed sense of commitment to their own movement skill practice (e.g., as a mover themselves!) in a more serious fashion.
And as each of these leaders truly showed, they are more than capable of leading by example!
You see, a number of years back (August, 2020), I wrote what I felt to be an all-important blog post, centered on the need for more coaches and movement practitioners to practice what they preach in personally developing and/or further polishing their own movement skill practice.
This post can be found here:
Unfortunately, when I talk to many coaches and movement professionals across the entire community, it seems very few actually take their own movement seriously!
I know, I get it – life gets busy, and we all have plenty on our plates. Between the demands of one’s day-to-day work as a professional in the field, and being pulled in numerous directions due to family and friend obligations, something certainly has to give. Unfortunately, it seems maintaining or enhancing one’s movement capacities and abilities is often first to go.
However, if you don’t take care of your own movement skill, not only will you be limited in certain ways within your craft (e.g., being able to move with your athletes, being equipped to potentially demonstrate, being resilient and robust enough to coach the way that you want, etc), but you may also miss the opportunity to connect certain dots in your understanding after having lived and breathed it fully through the hours of sharpening your own movement practice sword.
Through TMA students’ devotion displayed in this, we witnessed their all-around passion for movement and skill acquisition concurrently increase while they also seemingly began to find more insightful ways to talk about movement behavior, both to other professionals and to the athletes they work with, as well.
While you certainly do not have to compete (with anyone else outside of yourself that is), nor do you have to be a walking billboard for someone who has attained the highest levels of dexterity in your chosen movement art discipline, I do believe that if you take your holistic movement skill acquisition craft seriously, you absolutely must be making time each day and week to authentically express yourself through your movement (in your own individual way, of course).
Thus, I am challenging every movement professional across the community who is reading this today to take that next step in their own practice!
Call to action for simple (yet challenging) ways sport movement practitioners can start to move more:
The following list is just a number of examples which TMA students seemed to gravitate towards. Obviously, the list could go on and on – as long as it falls in line with your Movement Form of Life, and it involves problem-solving and adaptability of skill, then nothing is off limits as the endeavor will truly be a fruitful one for you!
Various martial arts
Parkour/free running or obstacle courses
Recreational sport leagues
Though the personal passion within my work is in partnering with elite athletes in the refinement and further adaptation of their movement skill to achieve their highest potential, I have an equal vision of dramatically changing the way that those within the movement skill community view the emergence of movement behavior. I believe at least a slice of this latter aspiration could be accomplished more rapidly if more coaches and other movement professionals were actually taking their own movement practice (in some discipline) more seriously. In fact, I find that this is a missing link in the understanding of many movement professionals who so desperately want to connect more dots and get themselves closer to the truth.
As you find your way through this highly personal journey, we want to be there to support you in helping to understand problem-solution dynamics deeper, while also offering suggestions for learning and activities, and finally for increased accountability and encouragement! In programs like the new, The Movement Academy – INTRO, or the deeper dive that is The Movement Academy – ESSENTIALS, we feel as though we offer several perfect platforms to meet the needs of all movement professionals, no matter where they currently stand.
If you have any questions as to how we can individually support you throughout your process through your participation in either one of these one of a kind learning experiences, please reach out via firstname.lastname@example.org.
Shawn is the Co-Director of Education & Co-Founder of Emergence. He developed content for the educational brand, Movement Mastery, from 2014 till the formation of Emergence, with the sole purpose of helping to enable a deeper understanding of the processes involved in the acquisition of more masterful movement for athletes in sport. Shawn has served primarily as a Personal Performance Advisor & Movement Skill Acquisition Coach for National Football League (NFL) players since 2008, working with approximately 12 players each year.