As a coach, particularly as a conditioning coach, following the functional path has at times been frustrating but ultimately a very satisfying experience. The path has been narrow and very winding at times and clear and well-paved at others. Beginning on the path there were more questions than answers. I found there were not a lot of sources to go to initially. But the farther I got down the path the more I found signs that many people had been there before. I would see a concept here, a training method there, hear a presentation or read an article. All of them were on the track, but there was no unified direction. I realized that in athlete development there were commonalities that had to occur to achieve successful development.
The people who were most successful knew movement. They could sense and feel and in turn articulate how the body moved. Most important, how the body moved efficiently. Some of these people were coaches, some were athletes, artists, dancers, physical therapists, sports scientists. What they all have (had) as I look back or through the prism of time was a feeling for body as a unit, a kinetic chain, where movement was more than just individual muscles contracting and relaxing. Movement was a beautiful flowing event that encompassed the whole body from toenails to finger nails. Each link in the chain had a specific role to play, each rule was part of an integrated whole, the end result being efficient flowing movement. Because the body was a kinetic chain movement was a flow. If there was a problem somewhere in the chain, it was easy to see the cause of the problem because you could go to the links above or below the problem to determine the cause.