I’d like to do _______.
And so we start the journey of attaining ________ through the process of skill acquisition. It truly doesn’t matter how high the difficulty of this skill is. We can be talking about a front squat, a pistol squat, a pull up or grabbing a bowl off the top shelf. I understand the latter doesn’t rank anywhere in most peoples skill department, but please understand how many individuals struggle with simple tasks.
I truly love showing people how weak they really are, especially the ones who squat three times as much as I could ever dream to. It’s blinding how many folks struggle with what could be considered remedial strengths. Notably I don’t revel in my triumphant approach showing how poorly one handles a task, well, maybe a little. This is an opportunity to learn more about ones kinks in the armour and map out a path to greatness. The reasoning of this first step, exposing weakness, come in understanding ones capacity. When an individual lacks in this department, the safety net is too small to trust and the risk outweighs the reward. Now building capacity moves beyond just mimicking skills and movement progressions. Sure, you can sink into the bottom of squat with barbell loaded on top of you, and you can even sink into the bottom of a pistol squat elevated on top of a box; gravity is pretty cool.
The larger that safety net becomes, the bolder the skills that become available. We must understand the equipment we’re working with. Not only will we know what you need to do said skill, but we can then understand why something snapped or didn’t go in our favour. In something like a pistol, we must note how much passive range (flexibility) the ankles, knees, and hips have. We must then note the difference in active range (mobility) the ankles, knees, and hips have. The greater this deficit, the smaller the safety net and the more likely the capacity is to be breached. We can follow all the progressions from a movement mimicking perspective, but without the functioning equipment our capacity is limited and our risk of injury much greater.
“Skill acquisition is not about grooving repeatable symbolic representations of the ‘skill’. It is about building physical capacity first and then the coaching and technical applications of skill based cognitive learning can aid in the acquisition process.” Dr. Michael Chivers, Functional Range Systems Lead Instructor
I genuinely love showing people how strong they have become and where they can take it. With true grit comes respect for the process and unlocks so much more.
See you Saturday 11:30-1. Join the movement and join the conversation. Together we can create an environment in which we can learn the path to strength and skill.
Emile Maxwell Connaughton
Functional Range Conditioning, Mobility Specialist