I have just realised I haven’t posted about the national teams. It was an interesting weekend really.
I met up with the combined services team on the Saturday morning as I arrived late at the hotel. We went to weigh in with no problem and the team fought pretty well. They ended up with a bronze medal. The semi final went 2-2 and with Lewis Keeble as our final fighter we were pretty confident but it wasn’t to be. Lewis threw his Scottish opponent and scored but landed in an arm lock and his opponent was quick to slap it on.
Unfortunately by this time one of our players, Johnny Morris, was suffering and we replaced him with the reserve. I think it is unfair to say the team was weaker though, as I looked at that team that faced Scotland 4/5 had fought in a world championships and the other was u23 European Bronze medallist. Not a bad team for a national team championships.
I also had Natasha Collins fighting in the u52 category for the eastern area women’s team. It is very interesting to see how the teams contrast in term of the management yet both teams secured bronze. Natasha’s first fight was a bye, the second fight she won by ippon and the third fight went 4 mins before she lost to a second wazari, to be fair she was fighting the European u20 bronze medallist. She was happy with this fight though, in fact she was happier with this one than the one she won. I think it show a maturity that she is looking at the quality of the fight rather than the outcome.
The national teams this year didn’t have the atmosphere as previous years, I am not sure why this was, maybe it was just me.
On Sunday I have seven youngsters fighting in a local age banded, they did pretty well, we got three golds, a silver and a bronze. Two things about this competition made me really happy. The first is that the two older boys were given specific things to work on, to the point where if they went into newaza and were pinning their opponent they would let them up. They both worked hard to develop their new techniques and both secured gold.
The really great thing about this weekend was one of out new players Rosie, she also won gold but this is insignificant in relation to how confident and cheerful she was through the day. At Comberton JC we have a blog that the children write on competition day to keep them entertained, improve their writing and encourage reflection. You can read what Rosie wrote here: http://combertonjudoclub.wordpress.com/2011/07/10/littleport-age-banded-by-rosie-aged-9/
It is interesting working with such a variety of players day in day out. On Sat I was with a team of full-time judo players and on Sunday I was with a group of predominantly red belts. Most weeks I coach a huge range of players like this which is interesting but has its challenges.