The main questions that seem to dominate my life seem to suggest the answers:
- If the sum of all elements of movement development create the complex movement patterns for our future movement abilities, why aren’t we checking they are ALL present?
- If we routinely assess our cognitive capabilities to within a percentage mark (Physics 76%, Art 48%, Mathematics 99%, English 39%, etc) why aren’t we routinely assessing movement abilities beyond the general level of “good/bad at sports”.
- If our movement efficiency is innate, a natural result of our movement development and affected by the environment we move in, why aren’t we regularly checking its ‘status’ as we move through life?
- Our movement life is initially ‘somewhat limited’: we eat, poo, wee, sleep and wave limbs around seemingly randomly. From basic beginnings —lying on our front or back — we progress towards complex movement on two feet, without any ‘specific training’. If that movement is meant to be innately coordinated, why do some of us remain uncoordinated?
- If movement on two feet is natural, why do we wait until injury repeats itself before we start to wonder why movement hurts?
- Why don’t we ever seem to be asking whether we had all the natural movement patterns in the first place? Bewilderment is setting in now – I’m spiralling back to my first question!
Why don’t we know how well we can move, until we can’t?
If we don’t ask the questions, we won’t find the answers.
Following birth, we map movement development according to days, then weeks, then months, then years. AT birth, any deviation of movement from ‘the norm’ is considered abnormal. Once the grand age of ‘double digits’ has been reached, movement deviation from ‘the norm’ is often dismissed as insignificant: “oh, they’re HOPELESS at catch/throw/running”, “we’ve given up on them being able to ride a bike”, “too funny watching them dance – not a clue.”
This is ACCEPTANCE of movement patterns that are limiting that person’s activities.
That person grows up under the assumption that “that’s their lot”, that they’ll never be good at catching/throwing/running, that they’ll never be picked for the team, that their destiny is to be the one not having fun outside, to never being able to dance to the rhythm.
And in this era of increasing obesity – regardless of age – this is tragic.
- When the experts have known for many years that the cognitive skill of ‘working memory’ is correlated to the ability to keep rhythm, why aren’t we helping uncoordinated movement so that the ability to attain GCSEs is improved?
- When TWENTY-TWO YEARS AGO, the Lancet published a study providing further evidence of a link between reading difficulties and movement control in children, why aren’t we assessing and helping motor control in order to help reading ability?
- When many studies over the past 10 years have concluded that motor problems do not disappear with age and assessing and treating the adult with movement difficulties can be done in the same way as for the child, why are we hiding the necessary tools in the paediatric or neurology departments?
As I mentioned in The LEGO Story, just because initial [movement development] happens whilst we’re very young, it does not mean the young have the monopoly on it.
Let’s portray the limitless narrative:
Movement Development is non-ageist and offers life-long opportunities to explore movement with the goal of finding ‘MORE’ and ‘BETTER’ in the context of sensory-motor coordination (a sensory input resulting in a motor output), general motor coordination and postural control.
Let’s find out how well we move, what movement patterns are missing and what movement patterns we could fine-tune. Let’s be kind to ourselves and find our INNATE BETTER.
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