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.
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……
Week one of the summer block of the EJU level 4 performance coach award is complete! Here are some pictures, the students are going down to the British Judo Performance Institute today for the test fights and overload training of the British Olympic team.
Some pictures of the Strength and Conditioning module delivered at Core-Cambridge, more photo’s of this soon. Also our biomechanics preparation lectures, physiology practical sessions and mat based sessions with world and Olympic champion Maki Tsukada.
Week two is just as packed!!
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….
I am currently in a very fortunate position to have 4 newly qualified level 2 coaches at the club. All 4 of them are technically very proficient and we run the class in a sort of “round robin”. We have a children’s class with about 30 kids in, we split the session so they all warm up together (normally some sort of game followed by gymnastics, ukemi and ebi).
Then we split them into groups and we have 2-4 “stations” with each group doing 10 mins at each station (for example one on kumi kata, one on a throw and one on a hold down/turnover).
This works great, the kids don’t get bored, coaches only have 10 minutes so if there is an annoying kid or it isn’t going well it’s not long. Also we normally have two stations running at once so each coach gets a rest session and we have a “policemen” who can go from group to group and help with coaching points or discipline.
We then move on to randori (nage waza and ne waza) before finishing with some sort of game and a cool down.
The cool down is normally taken by one of the sports leaders and this gives me the chance to quickly de-brief the coaches on their coaching.
Here are some pictures…
In this one you can see the nage waza session and the ne waza in the background
Glenn with the little ones…
On Monday we had the current performance director of British judo and Former world champion Daniel Lascau (7th Dan). He took the students through nage no kata explaining how coaches need to understand the underlying principles of judo in order to improve performance.
Wednesday we were joined by world and Olympic champion Maki Tsukada, she presented in the classroom on the talent development system at Tokai university before taking a mat session at Comberton judo club open to all players in the area, including juniors. There were around 70 people on the mat!
On Thursday we had double european and world champion Loretta Cusack (7th Dan). In her first session she explained how coaches can use drills to move their students from technique to skill; in her second session she presented on some of the difference between male and female judoka, she highlighted things coaches should be aware of when coaching females.
Throughout the week we Hatsuyuki Hamada (8th Dan) with us, he took many many sessions for us. Many people reading this would not have heard of Hatsuyuki Hamada, he was the Japanese national coach for the Atlanta Olympic games and the personal coach of Ryoko Tani (7 x world champion and 2 x Olympic champion). Hamada sensei took too many sessions to discuss in one blog, his sessions were amazing and very good fun. On Wednesday he travelled to Dartford to see the England training camp as some of the players had previously met Hamada sensei not heir trip to Japan.
An absolutely fantastic two weeks that had a good balance of academic study and mat based sessions. I will try to post some more photos later. There is more information on this world leading coaching program run by Anglia Ruskin University for the European Judo Union at www.anglia.ac.uk/judo.
This week, as part of the European Judo Union level 4 performance coach award, we had Craig Fallon for three sessions and I thought it would be good to briefly outline these sessions.
Craig’s first session was in the classroom to our year 2 students who are learning about talent development models. According to Bruner et al (2009) there are two clear talent development models outlined in research, one of these is a transitional model and we had asked Craig to teach about his transitions in his career. This is particularly pertinent for him now as he is in possibly the biggest transition of all – retirement. This is a hard time for any athlete but for a world and European champion it is even harder. The aim is to teach our students, who will be (or already are in some cases) decision makers for national federations how to manage these transitional phases.
Craig’s second session was on yoko tomoe nage, I had asked Craig to teach this and to discuss how he had developed this technique over time. This is so that students can see how techniques for talented players have to be developed over a number of years. Hatsuyuki Hamada (coach of Ryoko Tani) will be showing the same technique next week so that students can compare methods and see there is no right or wrong way.
His final session was in ne waza, and he showed how he developed his famous turn over. It really is amazing to see how he understand every detail and how he has a solution to almost every problem.
When I speak to people in the UK and say Craig is coming for a session, they always say “that’s good” or “it’s great” etc but the reaction I get from foreign judoka is completely different, I told a French guy a couple of years ago Craig was coming over to coach and I thought he was going to fall over! When I told one of our German students Craig was coming on this block he just stood still and said “this is fantastic, he is an absolute genius!” My point is that Craig is one of only three male world champions this country has ever had, he is also the most recent, add to this a European gold, world silver and the fact he has never lost in a world cup at u60kg and he really is something special.
As a judo coach I have been to many workshops, coaching courses and seminars with world and Olympic medallists and for me Craig really stands out, I have been fortunate enough to see quite a few of his sessions, they are always different, he has an amazing attention to detail, he understands how to adapt techniques for heavy weight and females and he emphasises with players. For me he is one of the UKs most under used resources.
I would strongly urge any coaches reading this who are looking for someone to run a session to contact Craig, regardless of what country you’re in. If you need to you can contact him through me.