On the importance of measurement…

Did I improve? This is a common question in all forms of learning and rehabilitation, that comes in many forms. That question may be asked in performing arts, “How did that sound?” or “How did that look?” to athletics, rehabilitation, learning to drive, and even avocations. The question can be answered externally, by another person – even a therapist’s opinion of movement quality could be the reference. Contemporary motor learning experts might argue, and I would agree, that an external goal that can be perceived by the learner and self-determined as “better” or, “my personal best” would be superior to the reliance on others’ opinions. Meaning, “Can you tell me if I am better?” may not be as engaging and neuroplastically-stimulating as, “Wow – that was much better!” coming from the learner themselves. You see, this notion of comparison is only plausible when we have a baseline measurement, though. We must pride ourselves in using measurements AS TREATMENT. Perhaps others have said this in different ways, I am certain that I could find a related quote, but I choose to coin my own, “It is only from knowing where we started that we can tell that we have moved.”