Here are some pics from last weekends BUCS, more to follow soon….
So, it is nearly upon us! The British University and Colleges Championships 2014. Our men’s team are hoping to defend their three year reign and we’re also hoping our women’s team will medal for the first time ever. The good thing about judo is you just never know! Even through we’ve trained pretty hard we could go out in the first round. Anyway, below is the five weeks of training we have done in preparation. We’ve been pretty busy and just have to hope the hard work pays off 🙂 Unfortunately some of our key players are injured and won’t be able to fight but that’s just something we’ll have to get on with.
We have around 12 full-time athletes currently and we’re hoping this will raise to around 20. We feel 20 will give us enough to run strong sessions but few enough to be able to focus on individuals. Our full-time players are boosted over this period but he stronger kyu grades who will fight in BUCS, this year we’re taking our biggest team ever – 20 athletes and all have trained hard.
Here are some pictures of our training programme. Obviously we don’t just train like this for BUCS, our full-time athletes train throughout the year.
Here are some pics of our training sessions throughout the five weeks 🙂
And here are some pics from the NHC open, one of our preparation events …
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…
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 🙂
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!!
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…
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.