Sunday, December 30, 2012

Reflections and Resolutions

res·o·lu·tion (rz-lshn) (The Free Dictionary) noun.

1. The state or quality of being resolute; firm determination.

2. A resolving to do something.

3. A course of action determined or decided on.

At the Kodokan in Tokyo, and in many other dojos around the world, the New Year is marked by a Kagami Biraki ceremony. Literally this means cutting the kagami-mochi, the rice cakes traditionally eaten during the ceremony. The kagami is a mirror. You can see the eight sided mirror represented in the Kodokan badge.

This is the time of year that many judoka make resolutions to follow in the coming year. It could be that they are part of a process of goal setting, and review, which their coach has helped them develop.

But what about the coach?

Does the coach set themselves goals? Are you going to make any resolutions as a coach?

Probably best start by a little self-analysis. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Which areas could you seek to better yourself in the coming year?

Knowles, Borrie and Telfer recognise that “Recently, reflective practice has emerged as a key skill with which to enhance coach learning and increase the value of coaches' educational experiences.”

The symbol of the Kodokan reminds judoka to reflect on themselves, and at each new year to cut through the mirror and look at ourselves afresh.

The European Judo Union, through their Judo Knowledge Commission, also recognise the importance of reflective practice among coaches. The suite of coach awards at levels 3, 4, 5 & 6 all encourage reflective practice to help the coaches to develop.

Many of the coaches that have followed the EJU Coach Awards were rewarded in 2012 by seeing some of their athletes compete in the London Olympic and Paralympic Games. If you would like to improve your coaching to give your athletes the best chance, then be resolute.

To find out more about judo coach education opportunities visit

Good luck and gambatte, to all judo coaches and their athletes in 2013.

Knowles, Z., Borrie, A., & Telfer, H. 2005. Towards the reflective sports coach: issues of context, education and application. Ergonomics, Volume 48, Issue 11-14, 2005. Special Issue: Sports, Leisure and Ergonomics (SLE) Conference, 19-21 November 2003. pages 1711-1720.

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