EP. 009

Shawn Myszka


Shawn Myszka is the Pro Performance Director of Explosive Edge Athletics in Minneapolis, Minnesota, where he is entrusted with the personal consulting of countless NFL players who seek him out to take their performance to the limits of their potential. Shawn is a former National-level competitive bodybuilder who has become a sought-after clinician and leader in the field of sport-specific power development, the transfer of training to sport performance, and developing mastery in the movement of athletes at all levels of qualification. At the beginning of 2014, Shawn introduced a new brand into the industry, Movement Mastery (www.optimizemovement.com), which has the purpose of helping training professionals of all kinds to more fully understand the process involved in attaining more optimal movement for athletes in all sporting disciplines. He also runs a football-specific movement blog, Football Beyond the Stats (www.footballbeyondthestats.wordpress.com), in which he breaks down the movement patterns & mechanics of the top performers in the sport plus offers insight regarding training principles for football performance.


Show Notes:

Websites and Social Media Links:

Website – optimizemovement.com

Blog – Football Beyond The Stats

Facebook – Shawn Myszka

Twitter – @MovementMiyagi

Instagram – movementmiyagi

YouTube – Shawn Myszka

Books Mentioned:


Sean’s Book Recommendations

Coordination and Regulation of Movement – Out of Print 

Dexterity and its Development

Non-Linear Pedagogy in Skill Acquisition

Dynamics in Skill Acquisition: A Constraints Led Approach

Books Mentioned by Robbie

Developing Sport Expertise

Biology of Belief

Dynamics of Skill Acquisition: A Constraints Led Approach 

Resources Mentioned:


Joseph Chilton Pearce 

James Gibson’s – Ecological Model

Karl Newell’s – Constraint Led Approach (task, environment, and organism)

Professor Keith Davids – Dynamics of Skill Acquisition

Podcasts Mentioned:

Physical Preparation Podcast – Mike Robertson

Documentary Mentioned:

It Might Get Loud


0:00 – 0:48 – Robbie’s Intro

0:49 – 4:48 – Shawn gives us his background

4:49 – 7:41 –  Robbie asks Shawn about his biggest influences on him both personally and professionally

7:42 – 11:16 – Robbie and Shawn speak about Shawn’s presentation “Repetition without Repetition” that he gave at the November 2017 ALTIS Apprentice Coach Program (ACP). Shawn also mentions how there is still a long way to go within skill acquisition research.

11:17 – 12:24 – Robbie mentions the work of Bruce Abernathy in a chapter from the book “Developing Sport Expertise” that addresses the same research issues mentioned by Shawn in the previous point

12:25 – 18:35 – Robbie asks Shawn – what are the good and not so good things that he currently see’s within the sports preparation profession, and with the not so good things that he sees what solutions would he offer

18:36 – 21:22 – Robbie talks about how the concept of certainty can impact a coach’s bias within the training process, and that coaches need to accept that humans learn and progress in a non-linear manner 

21:23 – 22:57 – Robbie speaks about the impact of Bruce Lipton’s work on bringing an awareness and an appreciation for epigenetics, which helped Robbie to understanding the inseparable relationship of the organism from its environment. This helped Robbie to understand his study of skill acquisition more deeply.

22:58 – 31:19 – Robbie asks Shawn to tell us about his Robert Frost moment(s)

31:20 – 41:50 – Robbie asks Shawn about his thoughts on making athletes too dependent on their coaches feedback, and asks Shawn to speak about facilitating athletes to achieve ownership of their movement

41:51 – 43:35 – Robbie shares a story from Tom Willmott (A snowboard coach), which was presented in Rich Masters chapter (chapter 9) in the book “Developing Sport Expertise”, which address implicit learning. Robbie goes on to ask Shawn has he looked into any animal training models and implicit learning? Shawn goes on

43:36 – 45:45 – Shawn addresses Robbie’s previous question on looking towards animal models

45:46 – 46:39 Shawn shares with us an experience he had watching coach Dan Pfaff coaching athletes at ALTIS back in 2014 (when ALTIS was formerly known as the World Athletic Centre), and how coach Pfaff would tailor his instruction and feedback to each athlete

46:40 – 51:25 – Shawn goes onto speak about individualized how physical traits, attunement, affordances, degeneracy, perceptions, and the huge moment to moment variability these factors can have, will impact how an individual goes about solving a movement problem – THIS SECTION IS GOLD!

51:26 – 52:32 – Robbie shares his thoughts on degeneracy

52:33 – 55:40 – Robbie speaks about the dynamic nature of the motor-perception landscape and how this will affect affordances on a moment to moment basis. Robbie goes to discuss how both chronic and acute variables can drastically impact an individual’s affordances for action in any given moment. 

55:41 – 56:16 – Robbie mentions that in Supertraining, Verkhoshanksy and Siff touch on recalibration of the motor-perception landscape, and the need to always keep a thread of technical work throughout an athlete’s preparation

56:17 – 56:56 – Robbie goes on to ask Sean about his thoughts on the concept of recalibration, and athletes coming back from an injury

56:57 – 59:58 – Shawn talks about how recalibration is used in the process of solving a current movement issue. Shawn also talks about how degeneracy proceeds dexterity. Shawn goes onto to discuss recalibration and athletes coming back from injury.

59:59 – 1:00:58 – Shawn goes into representative learning design and talks about how he used representative learning design when he rehabilitated one of his football players from an ACL injury

1:00:59 – 1:02:25 – Shawn covers a lot within this segment. Here he discusses

  • How you are not the same from a movement perspective from moment to moment, due to past and continual experiences
  • Shawn critiques to a degree the concept of a generalize motor program schema theory
  • Shawn mentions that to ensure the highest possible chances of NOT getting re-injured, we need to help facilitate athletes in their attunement processes to emergent movement behaviours, as well as facilitate their recalibration to new movement solutions
  • Shawn mentions how between degeneracy and dexterity lies attunement

1:02:26 – 1:03:03 – Shawn talks briefly about how individual timelines and learning can be

1:03:04 – 1:04:27 – Shawn talks about – brain, biomechanics, and behaviours (The 3 B’s)

1:04:28 – 1:12:44 – Robbie ask Shawn to discuss the 5 common trends he sees across all sporting movement:

  • Ownership
  • Optimization
  • Virtuosity
  • Efficiency
  • Effectiveness


Robbie and Shawn also mention in this segment how transient factors can impact movement affordances

1:12:45 – 1:14:05 –  Robbie talks about technical models and individual movement bandwidth

1:14:06 – 1:21:04 – Robbie and Shawn discuss creativity

1:21:05 – 1:23:28 – Robbie tells Shawn about the music documentary “It Might Get Loud”, which explores the creativity and mastery of three all-time great guitarist’s – Jack White, Jimmy Page, and The Edge

1:23:29 – 1:26:08 – Robbie discusses how a coach’s ego and insecurity can interfere with an athlete’s learning

1:26:09 – 1:29:23 – Shawn talks about how he used a constraint-led approach to coach a group of his athletes at his recent skill acquisition conference (April 6-7th 2018)

1:29:23 – 1:29:25 We temporarily lose Shawn!!

1:29:26 – 1:31:00 – We’re Back! And Shawn tells what happened!

1:31:01 – 1:33:14 – Robbie asks Shawn what have been the biggest lessons he has learned so far in his career

1:33:15 – 1:35:20 – Robbie asks Shawn for his top life advice to all the viewers and listeners

1:35:21 – 1:38:25 – Robbie asks Shawn for his top resources

1:38:26 – 1:40:16 – Robbie asks Shawn – If he had only 1 year left to live, how would he live the year?

1:40:17 – 1:45:46 – Robbie ask Shawn for his current and top book recommendations

1:45:47 – 1:49:10 – Robbie ask Shawn – if he could invite 5 people to dinner, dead or alive, who would he invite and why?

1:49:11 – 1:53:17 – Shawn gives us his contact info and Robbie Wraps up the show!