Your Movement Story

The way we move tells a story. Today’s movements are more than likely dictated by our past. Our present performance is a product of neural patterns that have been laid down over time. We can manipulate these patterns. Retrain them to perform differently.

Yes, I said differently. This could be better or it could be worse. So different is neither good nor bad. We have the ability change the way we move by practicing the new way. Just as they were laid down for the present, we can relay them for the future.

These movements are motor patterns called motor engrams. Consider these as your body’s neural program for movement. When you’re faced with a stimuli you subconsciously go through a process of analyzing the situation and reacting to the demands of the environment according to your motor engrams default program.

Our neuromuscular system is where our motor engrams exist. Putting this into some tangible context: Walking, most of us do it on a daily basis without much thought. We go from one destination to the next on autopilot. Now, take a skill that is not natural for you. This unfamiliar environment requires unnatural (for you) skills in order to complete the task, but over time it becomes easier (the skill becomes natural) as the motor engram is solidified. What this process of skill acquisition demonstrates is that you are able to adapt to the demands of your current environment and new environments.

I leave you with these questions –

What comes natural to you and How long did it take you to get to that level of proficiency?

What environmental demand do you feel you could be meeting with a higher level of skill?

Published by Coach DanielH

Daniel Heller is a strength and conditioning coach, working in the field since 2007 where he began as an intern at Hope’s Gym in Monroe, Washington. In 2009, a month after graduating from Bastyr University, Daniel became a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) through the National Strength & Conditioning Association (NSCA). Since then, he has served as a strength and conditioning coach in the private sector, helping athletes from youth through college level in ice hockey, figure skating, mountain biking, football, and motocross. He works closely with each athlete’s physical therapists and doctors to ensure safety and performance improvement. In 2013, Daniel received the designation of Registered Strength & Conditioning Coach (RSCC) through the NSCA. On the side Daniel was the exercise physiology, biomechanics, and kinesiology consultant for the Advanced Products Development Team at Oakley Inc. He is the Cofounder and Head Strength & Conditioning Coach at Seattle Institute of Athletic Performance providing Functional Movement Screens, corrective exercises, athletic performance programs, as well as educating athletes and parents on the importance of Long Term Athletic Development (LTAD) and practice of heads up sports. Daniel’s passion for strength and conditioning stems from his days as a competitive ice hockey player and mountain biker, aside from the many recreational sports he participates in. He is the true strength & conditioning coach for competitive youths aiming for long careers as athletes but also the weekend warriors that train during the week to stay safe on the weekends. In 2015, Daniel took a year break from coaching in Seattle, Washington to pursue his dream of acquiring a masters degree. He returned to Seattle in September 2016 with a Masters of Science in Strength & Conditioning from the University of Edinburgh after living in Edinburgh, Scotland for a year. By immersing himself in the cycling community of Scotland, he was inspired to focus his dissertation on competitive cyclists from varying disciplines where he researched a potential method of improving stationary sprint start performance. He is excited to return to coaching mountain biking combining his childhood passion with his academic and applied expertise.

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