If you haven’t already, go check out Part I of this article on MovNat’s website.
You back? Great - read on!
So, the content of the certification was, I thought, really good. This was only the 2nd time the MovNat team had run a cert, so there were some inevitable pacing issues, but overall I was impressed by the level of polish that all elements of the certification had. As I alluded to in part I, I hope that future certs spend less time on teaching physical skills and more time on actual coaching skills - with the understanding that everyone there already has a pretty good vocabulary of movement skills. I heard the suggestion that the Physical Competency test be conducted in the very beginning of the cert just to ensure that everyone there is ready for next steps - I think that’s a great idea.
I’m not going to talk about many details of the curriculum itself - I’ll leave that to the MovNat team - but I really appreciated the emphasis on movement quality and efficiency. This can be a tricky concept to get across to clients. Many of my students, especially the adults, have been conditioned by the standard fitness industry to do as much work as possible. Getting them to accomplish a task with as little work as possible often strikes them as bizarre, but it is absolutely vital that they learn this lesson early. Efficiency is compromised at the expense of safety. It's also a fun paradigm shift: rather than trying to burn as many calories as possible in the 30 minutes we allocate for movement every other day, we instead have our physicality so deeply integrated into our lives that we need to be as skillful as possible to accomplish all the feats of athletisism that the day requires. Imagine a culture where we can't not move - pretty neat, right?
I also appreciated the frequent reminders to not, as Erwan said, put movement in a box. I’ve written frequently about the dangers of relying too much on a fixed system. I’ve worried that as MovNat rolls out more and more trainers we’d start to see more rigidity and dogma creep into the community. The MovNat team addressed this head on and I appreciated their message: The skills covered in the cert are by no means all of MovNat, let alone all of movement. Don’t be dogmatic in your thinking. Push to develop your own skills and don’t be afraid to try new things. In short, don’t put movement in a box. It’s now up to us as representatives of the culture to take responsibility for those values.
Not that I have any influence on or clout with the MovNat community, but if I had to leave my fellow newly minted MovNat trainers with any advice it would be this: take the solid foundation you’ve been given and build on it. Even the best foundation in the world is useless if you don’t build something on top of it. Keep expanding your movement skills - don’t just practice the same exact jump, or crawl, or climb, in the same exact place. This doesn’t mean you have to do big, flashy, dangerous things and start jumping from rooftop to rooftop. Just stay curious, experiment, and keep learning. Erwan spoke very eloquently on the importance of being an inspirational figure. I think the only way to really make that happen is through a commitment to self improvement and self evolution.
As a quick example, here's me messing around the other day. My fellow MovNat trainers will be able to pick out the roots of techniques we covered during the cert, but all mushed together and combined in different ways.
I want to thank Vic, Brian, Kellen, and especially Erwan for putting together such a great certification. I think they pulled off a very difficult task. While I don't think this is a certification for everyone, (because nothing is for everyone) if you are a fitness professional who is interested in developing skillful athletic clients then you should look into becoming a MovNat trainer. To my fellow MovNat trainers: I'll say it one more time - keep practicing and improving. Not just your physical skills, but your coaching skills as well. We've got a big job ahead of us and we need to be equal to the task.