Emergence was created to help unite the movement skill acquisition world while helping you explore sport movement behavior in greater depth.

Do you have athletes that struggle transferring practice game plans to the actual games?

Underpinnings was created to bring clarity to your journey and discuss the pertinence of the vast array of important, conceptual ideas which form an ecological dynamics framework for sport movement behavior. At EMERGENCE, we live and breathe by a Dr. Mel Siff and Dr. Yuri Verkhoshansky quote where in Supertraining (2009) they said, “Sport then becomes a problem solving activity in which movements are used to produce the necessary solutions."

What people are saying about Underpinnings:

"Underpinnings is an absolute must for any practitioner or coach involved in the physical preparation of any athlete. The guys at Emergence deliver this game-changing content in a relevant, easily digestible manner as only they can. This course has completely re-shaped the lens in which I view sport and how I prepare my athletes for competition. Do not miss out on this opportunity to further your education and elevate your craft!"
Rich White
Co-Director of Athletic Development- Starters
Emergence is THE United States thought leader in skill acquisition and movement science. I bought their Underpinnings course and loved it. Highly recommend!
Randy Sullivan MPT, CSCS
CEO Florida Baseball Ranch
"There is nothing like Emergence for educational resources. As a business owner and sports performance coach always looking for resources to continue my education, Emergence tops them all. Their knowledge and ability to communicate the information made it easy to understand and implement right away."
Tommy Flanagan
Owner- Strength 2 Strength
"The team at Emergence had me constantly reflecting, not only on my role as a coach & evaluator, but also on the very nature of sport itself. If "Context drives content" then the team at Emergence as a truly set the stage for me to reach my potential. "
Matt Caraccio
Co-Owner/Co-Host of the Saturday2Sunday Podcast

Check out ESPN's feature with our Co-Director of Education.

"Most people think about it the other way," Myszka said. "They try to make their movements more fine-tuned [as they get older]. But instead, we tried to open the toolbox so he has more tools, more solutions to similar behaving problems and a wider breadth of problems at that."

Here is why you should consider Underpinnings!


  • How do you view sport movement behavior?
  • Traditional frameworks
    • Repetition after repetition
    • Variability = Bad
  • Systems thinking versus linear thinking
  • Problem solving within sport through movement skills
  • Mastery in movement skill
  • Why context is king
    • Respecting the problem
    • Solving the problem: Dexterity
  • Introduction to Ecological Dynamics
    • Ecological Psychology
    • Dynamical Systems Theory
  • Emergence in movement systems
  • Self-Organization
  • The role and power of information
  • Information-Movement Coupling
  • Direct Perception vs. Indirect Perception
  • Connecting the problem and the solution
    • Affordances for Action
    • How the problem talks to the performer
  • The Movement Problem-Solving Process: Perception-Action Coupling
    • Perception
    • Cognition
    • Action
  • Direct Learning
    • Education of Attention (Attunement)
    • Education of Intention (Resonance)
    • Calibration
  • Skill Attunement and Adaptation
    • Repetition without repetition
    • Developing dexterity
    • The Perceptual-Motor Landscape
    • Attractors and Fluctuations
    • Authentic movement signatures
  • Functional movement variability
    • Bernstein’s Problem
    • Degeneracy and abundance
    • Creativity in movement solutions
    • Organizing a movement solution
  • The role of Key Performance Inhibitors
  • Being a more effective movement teacher
  • Enhancing skilled movement behavior
  • Utilizing a Constraints-Led Approach (CLA)
    • What are constraints
    • Understanding constraints manipulation
  • Representative Task Design
    • Problem and action fidelity
    • Just play the game?
    • ‘Constrain to afford’
    • How representative is representative enough?
  • Encouraging variability in movement solutions
  • Complexity in sport movement problems
  • Is Representative Learning only for experts?
  • Why mistakes may be vital for skill acquisition
  • Rules of a Nonlinear Pedagogy (NLP)
  • Adopting a Learner Centered Model
  • The use of ‘Repetition without repetition’ in more traditional programming
  • Analyzing an Individual’s Movement Skill in context
  • Calls to Action for The Movement

Keith Davids

In this ONE HOUR (yes, 60 minutes!) call with the leading thought leader in the field of ecological dynamics, the one and only, Keith Davids. Very few individuals had as bold of a fingerprint on ‘Underpinnings’ and the entire Form of Life that we believe in here at Emergence. From his work co-authoring the several of the most seminal texts in the movement skill acquisition space such as ‘Dynamics of Skill Acquisition’ from 2008, ‘Nonlinear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition’ in 2016, and the latest book, ‘The Constraints Led Approach’ in 2019 (among several others and countless journal articles and book chapters), Keith has been at the forefront of The Movement for decades! Because of that, we were not only humbled but also grateful to have him join our Co-Director of Education, Shawn Myszka, to discuss a whole host of topics related to sport movement behavior.

A few highlights from this one that you are bound to enjoy as you listen over and over include:

  • How ecological psychology and dynamical systems theory compliment each other so well
  • If and how an ecological approach can co-exist with more traditional ideas in motor control and skill acquisition
  • Is cognition discussed enough in ecological dynamics
  • Why ‘skill attunement and adaptation’ are more explanatory than ‘skill acquisition’
  • How Keith thinks about the concept of ‘self-organization’
  • What are important practical principles of a ‘nonlinear pedagogy’
  • Why collaboration is the key
  • The next steps he sees the movement skill community taking to grow and evolve

Rob Gray 

Unless you have been living underneath a rock, and as long as you are even remotely into evolving your expertise as it pertains to movement skill, it’s highly likely that you have been influenced by Dr. Rob Gray at some point in your craft development especially over the past five years. Having started the now famous Perception Action Podcast back in 2015 and having completed over 250 episodes in that time, Rob has explored the science and the art of movement skill behavior more than just about anyone else. As our Co-Director of Education, Shawn Myszka, states, “Rob is like a living and breathing encyclopedia of movement skill behavior!” Well, in this 30 minute call with Shawn, Rob shows us exactly why he’s referred to in that way! Within it, Rob explores:

  • What it means to ‘keep em coupled’
  • The role of cognition in perceptual-motor control
  • Research investigating the methods within ecological dynamics
  • Why context is so important

Stuart Armstrong

Stuart Armstrong is an individual who is never allowing the sport movement skill community to settle where they currently are. He truly embodies this within his craft and how he goes about the evolution of his thoughts. Very few individuals push themselves by asking more constructive and deeper questions of themselves as Stu does. This is really rather evident through a listen of any of his podcast episodes with any of his guests on the now wildly notorious Talent Equation Podcast. Not surprisingly then, in this entertaining call with our friend Stu, our Co-Directors of Education Tyler Yearby and Shawn Myszka have an invigorating discussion that goes down various rabbit holes of movement skill acquisition. It was certainly dangerous getting Stu, Tyler and Shawn together as the call could’ve easily gone on for much longer periods of time but we are sure that you are bound to gain some tremendous insight, specifically:

  • What it is about an ecological dynamics framework that seems to resonate so deeply with so many
  • The biggest areas of question that our community, specifically in the niche related to ecological dynamics, must keep addressing
  • Why we may get the most out of the change in thought processes if we ‘don’t do it in halves’ and instead jump right in
  • Why the ‘burden of proof’ may be upon each of us

Ben Franks

If you are as fascinated about the role of information and the nature of affordances for action as we at Emergence are, you are going to want to listen to this 30 minute discussion between our very own Shawn Myszka as he dives into the ever-important topic of information and how movement is coupled to it with an individual making a major impact on the thoughts of the community in Ben Franks. If you are unfamiliar with Ben prior to this point, we are sure that you’re going to get as much from his thoughts in this jam-packed 30 minute call. We are certain that you will find yourself gaining something new each time you get a chance to listen to this interview because it is truly that good! Ben specifically discusses:

  • The scaling of information
  • How understanding an athlete’s affordances can inform our learning environment design
  • What he’s found when personally investigating how athletes perceptually attune to ‘specifying informational variables’
  • How does cognition function in the organization of movement behavior in sport

Rich White

We know that the various conceptual ideas shared throughout ‘Underpinnings’ will mean very little to you if they don’t practically apply for your athletes across the timescale of development and skill acquisition. Furthermore, not everyone is working with elite-level athletes. Our next individual in the Expert Interview Series has worked with athletes, both male and female, across the learning spectrum and across a wide variety of sport domains. In fact, both of our Co-Directors of Education (Tyler and Shawn) have locked arms personally with Rich and worked alongside of him. In this really honest conversation, Rich sits down with Tyler and Shawn to discuss where he has come from and how his ideas and thoughts have grown along the way (due to some poking and probing by both Tyler and Shawn!). Though he’s still relatively new in the whole scheme of things as it pertains to the use of the ecological dynamics framework within his craft, this may make Rich the perfect person to hear from on many of these topics because it’s likely that he has been where some of you out there currently are: a place of intrigue but reluctance, trying to determine how to absorb the ideas to use in your individualized craft and in your personal setting. Rich also discusses:

  • The major signposts, places for growth, and challenges he’s faced along the way when changing his craft to be more ecologically-focused
  • Differences between working with athletes of various types
  • How he goes about designing in affordances for the practice environment in sports he is less familiar with

Stephen Osterer

Many sports across the world are guilty of adopting traditional dogmas and simply doing ‘what’s always been done’ within our respective crafts to try to impact movement skill in the competitive sports environment. The sport of baseball may be as guilty as they come in this regard. However, a number of individuals in the baseball realm are beginning to change the thought processes which guide the training environments that are designed. Leading the way among that group of maverick individuals is Stephen Osterer of The Baseball Development Group. In this call, Stephen sits down to chat with Shawn Myszka of Emergence along with the Director of Operations at Emergence and fellow baseball skill acquisition junkie, Garrett Boyum, to chat about his unique views in the utilization of ecological dynamics in his peculiar role and setting. Additionally, they discuss:

  • Where he feels those within the baseball community may be going wrong within the skill acquisition and therapy methods they utilize
  • What is meant by “undressing the root of a movement solution”
  • How to apply some of these more contemporary ideas and then assess their effectiveness in your unique setting 
  • Session Planning & Reflection Tools (PDF) that you can use in order to bring these theories to the field, track, pitch, court, or rink, immediately to begin seeing movement skill and it’s acquisition in a much more comprehensive fashion
  • Representative Learning Design Worksheet (PDF) that will walk you through constraint manipulation for sport agility
  • Official References/Reading List (PDF) – The must have collection
  • New to the terms? Here is a Movement Terminology Cheat Sheet for a more in-depth explanation on the need to know 

Movement Meet-up Zoom calls each month where over a 60 minute period of time you will get an opportunity to hear from members of the EMERGENCE team on the various concepts and ideas related to the course content. Can’t make it on the call? That’s okay; they will be recorded and you will have access to them!


Underpinnings will bring you: Over 4.5 hours of content in a 5 module Education Course highlighting the main conceptual ideas delivered by our Co-Directors of Education, Shawn Myszka and Tyler Yearby



Frequently Asked Questions

When I purchase it, how long do I have access to ‘Underpinnings’?

Forever! As long as Emergence is alive and kicking, Underpinnings also will be. Thus, you will never lose access to its content.


Who exactly is ‘Underpinnings’ for?

We believe that Underpinnings is for anyone who has a passion and vested interest in understanding movement skill deeply. It was created to open up dialogue around the most pertinent concepts for viewing movement behavior in a comprehensive, systems-based perspective. Thus, many of the ideas it contains can actually serve to unify and unite those across the movement skill community ranging from sport coaches, strength and conditioning or athletic performance specialists, athletic trainers, scientists, academics, and anyone in between. As long as you love movement skill, we believe that you will love Underpinnings.


I don’t work with athletes but I do work with clients to improve their movement, will the content within ‘Underpinnings’ benefit me?

Ideas within an ecological dynamics framework live and breathe everywhere within the world around us. Additionally, of course, no matter what we do and how we seemingly differ from others (even those who play sport), we all aim to solve movement problems within our world and to do that, we must organize functional movement solutions (tightly interwoven perception-cognition-action couplings) to do so. Thus, even if you don’t work with athletes, we believe that Underpinnings will make you think vastly different about your craft no matter who it is that you work with on a daily basis in the enhancement of their movement skills to match the problems that they face!

As I go through the material in ‘Underpinnings’, is there a way for me to ask questions of the instructors of the course and/or Emergence staff?

Yes! In fact, this is precisely what our ‘Movement Meet-ups’ were intended to do and why we elected to give anyone who purchases Underpinnings free access to the Meet-ups each month for a year. Within those hosted Meet-up chat rooms you will have the opportunity to ask questions and interact with not only those who were responsible for the content development of Underpinnings but also others from around the movement skill community.

Additionally, if you have a question that you feel needs answering before that point, feel free to reach out to us on the ‘Contact’ tab above or on any one of our social media outlets. We are always happy to interact with others who are passionate about the study of sport movement skill and behavior!


Perception & Action