Was thinking about motor control and motor strategies today in the clinic. Here are some thoughts that crossed my mind.....
Mechanisms of injury are important to understand, they just are undeniable. So therefore avoiding those positions makes sense. Training motor strategies and strength to help avoid those positions for our athletes should be a no brainer.
Yet this doesn’t always carry over and there are still injuries that occur which will always drive the pendulum in the opposite directions to the next big “thing”. So why does movement have to be so complex and how can we help define it better for our brains to organize? If you look at what some of these great minds have already helped us with you will notice certain evaluations are good at one or two things. Take the Y balance for example. The Y balance is great at helping with movement symmetry. Great, we need that. Now what about movement skill? Well there is the FMS for that. However if one is dysfunctional and not healthy movement wise then the SFMA is available.
When we are trying to help an athlete improve motor control most of us would agree that environment plays a huge role. Yet I am confident that despite the environment, each athletes ability to learn is based off of their past experiences and mistakes. So if we are trying to provide a stimulus to learn and improve motor control how do we take into account an athlete’s learned behaviors? What I mean is that some athletes are motivated by fear of failure and some athletes are motivated by getting the instructions right. Now of course there are athletes in between and combos of those but how we instruct is just as important as what we are choosing to help the athlete learn. I’m not sure these are cookie cutter answers and as we have learned in school so often before, IT DEPENDS.
I guess the point I am trying to make is we must think about more than just the task itself when trying to help one improve motor strategies. What is the cost analysis of the task? More importantly, can the athlete even control his/her sleep? If they can’t, is it useful to try to learn a task that day?
My thoughts for today
Brian Schwabe, PT, DPT, SCS, CSCS