For 16 years I loved the FMS as an assessment tool. My FMS journey began with a second-hand Original FMS manual – and by original I mean the first version of their workshop manual. I read that thing cover to cover many times. I bastardized it so bad. Eventually, I was able to attend an FMS workshop.
I screened anyone and everyone. Luckily, I was able to go through a Level 2 workshop, then another Level 1 workshop. These were followed by SFMA courses, and then the CK-FMS.
Gradually, my skills improved and my understanding increased. As these occurred together many of my questions were answered. But there were always a couple of answers that I couldn’t find that remained on the periphery – not deal-breakers, but continually annoying.
Through dumb luck, I was invited to speak at one of the early FMS Summits. After that, I was included at the cool-kids table. I went through the FMS speaker school and had the opportunity to teach a few FMS workshops. I even served as the model for a couple of FMS projects (you can still see me and my shorty pants in a few places on their website.) Every time I got to sit and listen to Gray speak I was like a kid in a candy store. I took 15 pages of notes at the 3rd CK-FMS workshop I assisted at (my 4th total). The first time he called my cell phone I did a back-flip, and I can’t do back-flips.
Then, like most things it ended. Part of it was my ego. Part of it was them not fulfilling their end of an agreement. The deciding factor was when individuals within FMS that could have supported me chose to step back into the shadows and let me hang in the wind.
At the time, I was hurt and mad, and it took me a long time to get past that. I’ve attempted to write this many times, but couldn’t. Until now.
This is a complete write up of a project I was working on to give FMS. I was attempting to answer some of the questions I never got in order to improve the FMS. In return for all the FMS had provided me I wanted to give back. Leaving FMS actually is what allowed me to complete this project – as a member of the “cool kids” table, I couldn’t answer all the questions because that meant I had overlooked something or that by answering the questions I was acknowledging a flaw or weakness in the process. The only way to strengthen the FMS was to have a different perspective. After walking away, the answers were easier to see and easier to actually acknowledge.
Those answers are in here. This doesn’t change the FMS – like I heard Gray say many times, “if you change the FMS, it’s not the FMS anymore.” I honored that and kept the process the exact same. All that is different occurs at the conclusion of the screen; at the point where the scores are totaled and decisions are made.
Once this approach was applied to the day-to-day use of a sports medicine and a sports performance clinic, improvements were both immediate and drastic. The location that served as a Beta site for these changes had also served as a Beta site for many of the FMS projects/changes from the previous 5 years. My opinion? I was able to strengthen the FMS with this project, and my intent was to then give this to FMS.
While this article and attachments does strengthen the FMS, instead of giving it to them, I’m sharing it here with you. It is a long read – 20 pages, but in the end, I’m confident that you will be able to utilize the information you get from your screens even better than before.
I’m no longer hurt. I’m no longer mad. In regards to the FMS, I have no emotional attachment whatsoever anymore. Unfortunately, I’m a slow learner and it took me 3+ years to get to this point. I still recommend that if someone is looking to begin their journey into assessing movement, they begin with the FMS – in fact, I require this of all my grad students to this day. If you have never been to an FMS workshop – Go! Especially if you have the opportunity to hear Gray speak – don’t just go, sit in the front row and write down EVERYTHING he says.