Saturday, January 23, 2010

The Circle of Judo Success

Today I attended the South West Regional Training Session. The standard was high, yet the mat was open to all. It got me thinking about something I’d like to call the “circle of judo success”.

The circle starts with Great Coaching. Great Coaching leads to Competence. Competence leads to Confidence. Competence and Confidence lead to Success. Success increases faith in the Great Coaching.

Great Coaching, is both an art and a science. Some people make great coaching look easy. But when you look under the surface, you realise that they can make it look easy because they work so hard at trying to be great coaches. They study, they steal ideas, they create, they apply, they make mistakes, they reflect, they learn, they try again. You show me a great coach, and I’ll show you someone who’ll tell you they are still learning.

The studying and stealing ideas gives the expertise. Applying, and learning from the mistakes gives the experience. You can’t fast track that. To get the badge saying “Experience” you have to do the hard yards, and take the long route. I believe that the formula to create wisdom is Expertise x Experience.

Great Coaches will help the players gain Competence. The players will score more in randori. Have success with the slight variations that the coach suggests, and get more pleasure from their judo. They will feel they are doing it well, and gain an internal motivation.

The feeling of competence will lead to greater levels of Confidence. What I saw today were great levels of Confidence. This allowed the players to attack freely, to stay relaxed, to maintain concentration, to rise above any minor successes from their partner. I saw this confidence in a group once before, in the GB Women’s team during the 80s, and I saw it today again within the TeamBath Judo group.

The Competence and Confidence increase the chances of Success. Of course there will be things outside the players’ control. These can be minimised but not eliminated. But by instilling Competence and Confidence the Great Coach gives the players the greatest chances of Success.
When that Success comes, either in a randori or a contest, the player’s faith in the coach is increased, so they believe even more what the coach tells them. They become more coachable. That makes it easier for the Great Coach to do their job, and so the circle begins again.

I’m proud to be working with the European Judo Union and the Judospace Educational Institute to make a small contribution to the development of Great Coaches. To join them visit and enrol on the EJU Level 3 Advanced Coach Award.

PS. Thanks to Klinger Sensei and the TeamBath and Welsh players for a great afternoon.

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