No matter where you are as a professional on the continuum of a Health and Fitness practitioner we all need to recognize our common origins. Our undergraduate education sets the foundation for us to have a shared vocabulary. Standardized medical terminology. The medical terminology class that most of us took that first semester of our college careers set the stage for us. It allowed our instructors and mentors to communicate with us. The importance of this shared vocabulary is greatly understated and mostly underutilized. Strength & conditioning coaches, sport specific coaches, physical therapists, athletic trainers, chiropractors, physicians all have a common language that we start with. Next, we took basic anatomy and physiology, biology, biomechanics, kinesiology, exercise physiology, exercise prescription and soon had a solid introduction to the concepts and theories that we would use and set in motion on our journey as a Health and Fitness professional.
Unfortunately many of us stopped there, many of us felt our educational journey was complete. We thought we had all the tools necessary to be a Professional (fill in the blank). For those of you still reading congratulations. We are lifelong learners. Individuals that recognize and appreciate that our undergraduate education was merely a springboard that facilitated the ability to undertake greater studies. To truly be a master coach or clinician you recognize that it takes a willingness to be open to learning from and collaborating with other leaders, from other disciplines throughout your career.
Gray Cook, Dan John and Lee Burton exemplify this in their latest collaboration: Essentials of Coaching & Training FunctionalContinuums.
Lee begins by helping us all re-establish a common language to communicate with other professionals on the continuum.
We need to do the Right Thing, with the Right Person, at the Right Time.
What is your entry point? Where do you begin your training and conditioning programs? Your clinical exam? You discharge criteria? Where do you end? If you are not able to clearly answer these questions I would suggest that you do not have a systematic approach to delivering your services. And that you do not have the ability to articulate to other professionals where clients and athletes are in your programs. How do you know that the individual in front of you is appropriate for your knowledge, skill and expertise?
Entry Point. The Functional Movement Screen. The Functional Movement Screen (FMS) is the entry point into a well-developed, systematic approach to Health and Fitness. The FMS allows us rate and rank fundamental movement patterns in an easily communicated way. It allows us to correctly identify where an athlete or individual is on the performance continuum and whose professional services will benefit them the most at this point in time. Yes, screening and testing will help you efficiently categorize an individual as in/appropriate for your services. Build your network and find practitioners, clinicians and coaches that you can work with to best serve your clients. The more helpful you are to directing them to the appropriate services the more likely they are to return for yours.