Here are some pics from last weekends BUCS, more to follow soon….
We now have a new research assistant at Anglia Ruskin, Natasha Collins, who will focus on performance analysis in judo.
Natasha was originally an undergraduate at Leeds metropolitan university and then transferred to Anglia Ruskin for her final year to train as a full-time judo player. Her undergraduate dissertation focussed on time motion analysis and kumi-kata in British judo and compared juniors to seniors. This has subsequently be edited for publication and is currently being peer reviewed.
She will support a variety of research topics including the coach-athlete relationship, LTAD and athlete monitoring but her main focus will be performance analysis in judo. This will support my PhD work and the work of Glenn Miller.
Natasha will also continue to work as the judo programme administrator and one of our AASE coaches.
Anglia Ruskin has a thriving judo research group that collaborates with academics around the world. We currently have around 10-15 members of staff focussing on judo research including performance analysis, physiology, coaching, the history of judo, child protection in judo and many other topics as well as three PhD students currently focussing on judo topics. The number of PhD students will hopefully increase this year.
Here are some of our research pics…
Here are some pictures from the last block of the European Judo Union Level 4 performance award…..
Guest lecturers included Darren Warner, Neil Adams, Danial Lascau, Deborah Gravenstijn, Maki Tsukada, Ikumi Tanimoto, Mike Stocker (EIS) and the General Secretary of the EJU Envic Galea. Modules taught include performance analysis for judo, physiology for judo, Sports development and talent development pathways.
There is more information on this course at the Anglia Ruskin University judo pages – http://www.anglia.ac.uk/judo
On the next block of the EJU level 4 performance coach award the first year group will study physiology. When I was writing this course I constantly asked myself what do coaches need to know? Based upon my previous experiences as a coach, my academic knowledge and the literature on coaching knowledge I developed the model below, I probably read it somewhere and adapted it or maybe put several things I’d read together, I really can’t remember.
Image taken from one of my powerpoint lectures
I think coaches can learn a lot from experience and reflection but I also think if they have an underpinning knowledge of the science this reflective process of learning can be much faster and more economical. As you can see in the figure above I have added sources to the types of knowledge a coach needs and the sciences generally come from universities.
When I did my first degree, which was in sports science, I had a biomechanics lecturer who always used to say “you cannot change the laws of the universe” and of course he is correct, for example we cannot change gravity but we can manipulate it’s affect if we understand it, take the fosbery flop for example!
So do judo coaches need to understand physiology? Well just like the “laws of the universe” you cannot change physiology but you can manipulate and you can gain huge advantages. In his speech in the film ‘any given Sunday’ Al Pacino says the game is “all about inches” and “taking the inches”. I think judo is the same, every inch matters and you can gain these performance inches in many ways – technical, tactical, psychological etc but also physiologically.
I am not suggesting coaches should be physiologist but lets be honest – they write the “periodised year plan” and most have no idea about the underlying physiology. In some countries they do, Germany, Russia, China and France for example. So if coaches don’t need to be physiologist how much physiology do they need to know? Well, in my opinion, they need to be able to understand physiological test results and apply them to their year plan, they need to be able to interact with the S&C coaches/doctor/physio etc but most importantly they need to understand the physiological demands of the sport so they can apply them to their mat sessions!
Can you honestly say you fully understand the physiological demands of judo? How much lactate would you expect your players to produce in randori? In shiai? How can you test recovery in the taper? Do you sessions mimic the physiological demands of shiai? How can you improve your athletes recovery?
Here are some pictures of our coaches developing their physiology knowledge so that their players can win their fights inch by inch.
I said I would blog about our pre-training and I wanted to do it before BUCS because I feel reflecting upon the training once you know the result sometimes affects you opinion but I can only do what time allows.
I would say I am very experienced in short term preparation for specific competitions. When I competed for the army it was common to have a 2-3 week intense preparation period for a specific competition and since these competitive days I have coached the army and combined services in a similar scenario, often for the combined services championships or the national team championships.
This year was slightly different in terms of our BUCS preparation. Firstly I now work with a group of full-time athletes, the train around 20hrs per week so their level of preparation is very different. Secondly BUCS was brought forward by two weeks to the end of Feb, whilst this doesn’t sound like much students generally do not return to campus until the end of Jan so that only really left about 4 weeks to prepare for some students. Most of the full-time players did return earlier though in order to prepare for the British trials and some local players train with us regularly.
When I designed the original plan it was very much around the full-time players so there was around 6 weeks of training prior to BUCS and I figured if the kyu grades dipped in and out of the training as much as they could then this would be more training than most kyu grades.
Inevitably things change though and the number of injuries meant I had to include the kyu grades more and more. To be honest I am surprised how much the managed.
Here is the overview of the training:
To be honest there is no real secret, for me it is about mat time and volume of randori. I get as many dojo sessions as possible and just increase the volume of randori each each microcycle. I use both 7 day and 14 day microcycles in order to achieve volume, intensity and rest. The preparation ended in an overload week – the aim was for athletes to achieve 60-72 randori’s in the week. The most we did in one session was 13 x 5mins, I nearly always use 2 minute rest periods for hard randori, this is something I have experimented with a lot and I find after about 90 sec players are ready to go again and facing their partner, this leave 30 sec with them thinking ‘come on, i’m ready’ and this means they seem to always feel like they can do more.
Here is an example of a microcycle:
I am fortunate enough to now be surrounded by some coaches and athletes who can challenge my thinking and during the overload week I was challenged by a few coaches who thought we were doing too much and people were too tired. I like to be challenged like this, it forces me to really reflect, a very deep and questioning reflection. I decided to persist, I expected more players to be struggling than were and although there was some emotion it just felt right to me. I have already thought about how I will change things for next year based on a conversation with Yasuke Hayashi (a Japanese judoka visiting us).
Anyway, this post is getting far too long! Next post i’ll talk about the competition itself 🙂
Well it has been too long since I last posted. The last couple of months have been very hectic, firstly there was marking to do over xmas, then preparations for the British trials and then preparations for the British University and Colleges championships (BUCS). It is the latter I am blogging about.
BUCS is an amazing event, previously they have had 29 sports over one week, normally in Sheffield. This year is slightly different as they have split it into team sports and individual sports with the judo being over the weekend of the 23rd/24th Feb. The judo has individuals on the Saturday and a team event on the Sunday (males teams of 5 and female teams of 3).
For the previous two year Anglia Ruskin University has won the men’s team event and last year topped the medal table overall. This year our training has been far more intense and structured, our team is also much larger as for the first time we are including a substantial number of kyu grades.
The pre training hasn’t been without its hazards and I have lost two of our strongest players, in fact we’re now four very strong players down (Danny Williams, Mike Stewart, Glenn Miller and Natasha Collins). Of course we still have a strong team and we’ll just have to see how it goes.
Our pre training has been four weeks long (six weeks for those that went to the British trials and those that helped them prepare) with the final week for rest (rest started yesterday). Numbers are good, we normally have between 25-30 on the mat.
Not wanting to make the post too long i’ll pause for now and reflect upon our actual training in my next post……
Monday saw the start of the summer block of the European Judo Union Level 4 performance coach award.
As explained in my previous post there are 4 modules – year one are predominantly doing physiology, year two are doing biomechanics and Strength & Conditioning.
Today has seen our first years looking at EMG and our second years doing strength and conditioning. There was also a keynote session by world and Olympic champion Maki Tsukada (JPN)
Here are some photos from so far….