Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Student Becomes The Teacher

Every once in awhile it is good to stop and engage in some serious introspection. I mean this from a purely professional perspective. To be precise, the designation of ¨professional¨ assumes some level of competency that is superior to that of those who seek your help. On some levels this is true...however, the harsh reality is that many take this too seriously. I truly believe that true professionalism is the CONTINUING search for more understanding as well as being conscious of the fact that there is so much more yet to learn.

It is in this light from which the inspiration for this short post was formulated. I am once again working with the ever-enthusiastic ABR (Advanced Biomechanical Rehabilitation) families from Rosario, Argentina and I experienced a very encouraging event. My role with these families is, at it´s essence, that of a coach or mentor...however this time I was pleasantly surprised to be the student for a short time! For those who are unfamiliar with ABR, it is a very innovative technique that is taught to the parents of children with Cerebral Palsy (and other disorders of movement and posture) so that they are able to deliver consistent and comprehensive treatment directly in the home. There are a multitude of applications and guidelines that require regular skill development for which I am responsible for providing.

Each individual child is unique in their priorities, manifestations, and challenges...which makes the implementation of each application unique in itself. On some occasions, particular applications can be challenging and can sometimes present some difficulties to us ¨coaches¨. I was therefore very encouraged when I saw a father (Ivan Cief...a naturally skilled ABR provider) performing his own version of a particular application. This inspiration came from intelligent and analytical thinking on how to best deliver a specific technique (Submerged Shoulder) given the unique characteristics of his daughter.

It is then that I put on my ¨student´s hat¨ and grabbed my camera. Ivan´s carefully formulated adjustment opened the door to some very interesting and new possibilities for positioning that will hopefully be translated into future improvements and evolution of the technique. I will be (unofficially) calling this the ¨Uma Position¨...which will be a continuing reminder that some cliche´s (however much we hate to hear them) are true: the best teachers learn from their students!

Hats off to Ivan and Team Uma!


  1. gracias Gavin¡¡¡¡nos sentimos muy orgullosos de los logros de uma, y de ser su equipo.. vos tambien formas parte de ese equipo, cuando en cada entrenamiento nos ayudas a perfeccionarnos y a llenarnos la cabeza de nuevas ideas y de nuevas metas...y vamos por mas¡¡¡

  2. A wonderfully inspiring narrative...hopefully, we constantly learn from each other as the human body has so many mysteries to manifest..all you have to do is look and listen. Stories like this one serve to "keep us going"! Thanks