by Patrick Ward
Yesterday I made the 2 hour trip from Portland down to Stanford University for Assessing Movement: A Contrast in Approaches & Future Directions. The course was set up to be a dialogue and debate between Dr. Stuart McGill and Gray Cook. The event was put on by Craig Liebenson with support from the Stanford Sports Medicine Department. Laree Draper of On Target Publications was there to capture the event for a DVD release at a later date.
I have to first thank Dr. Liebenson for putting on the event. It was well run and structured. Also, thanks to Laree Draper for being there to capture it. Laree has done a great job of putting out wonderful educational resources for the profession over the past 4 years or so.
I didn’t know what to expect heading down there. I know these are two passionate individuals, both of whom I have gotten the opportunity to learn a lot from for a number of years, and, based on many of the (foolish) comments on facebook (Ex., “Who won?” or “Did McGill steam roll Gray?” or “Was it a battle?”) I believe this topic is one that people get very emotional about. Truth be told I thought it may turn into a total train wreck with people getting upset, getting loud and uncomfortable, and nothing getting accomplished (IE, no real learning taking place). I was pleasantly surprised. I found both of the presenters to be very complimentary of one another, showing a lot of respect to each other, and maintaining healthy discussion rather than resorting to personal attacks or comments that were not going to lead to further discussion or better learning for the audience.
The morning started out with both speakers giving two lectures in a “you go, I go” type format.
Gray was up first and he presented the basis of the Functional Movement Screen and discussed why we screen, what the FMS is, what it isn’t, and what things the test may be telling you in order to provide you with information to draw up your exercise road map.
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From 2006 to 2012, Patrick Ward ran his own sports performance training facility in Phoenix, AZ, where he worked with athletes across a variety of sports, including golf, volleyball, football, soccer and other world-class athletes training for international competition. Patrick earned a Master of Exercise Science from California University of Pennsylvania in 2007, holds NSCA and CSCS certifications and is a licensed massage therapist. Currently Patrick works within the Nike Sports Research Lab in Portland, OR, where he works with some of the greatest athletes in the world and helps Nike collect sports performance insights.
Patrick maintains an active blog, www.optimumsportsperformance.com, where he frequently writes about his thoughts and ideas in the world of health and human performance.