Tag Archives: EJU level 4 coaching award

Autonomy supportive coaching in judo…..

I haven’t posted for a while so I thought I would write a quick post about a topic I have been teaching at university this week, autonomy supportive coaching, and relate this to judo.

What is Autonomy supportive coaching?

Autonomy supportive coaching has been described by many authors including Gillet et al., 2010; Alvarez et al. 2009; Conroy & Coatsworth 2007; Amorose & Anderson-Butcher, 2007. A lighter yet informative read can be found here written by Australian Sports Commission. I would describe it as “a coaching pedagogy that is underpinned by a desire to develop athletes as self-thinking, personally motivated and innovative individuals” (Something like that anyway!)

Why is this important?

I think it is important for athletes to be autonomous for several reasons, at the end of the day when they go out to compete they’re by themselves. Their task is to win medals and if they can operate autonomously then our support is enhancing an individual who is far more advanced and therefore you can dedicate time to higher level support. Consider it this way, as coaches we have all worked with athletes who constantly need support with really basic things on competition day – nutrition, warm up, they lose their kit (especially belts), they’re always the one who has a kit that doesn’t fit etc etc Then you look across the hall and there is this uber organised athlete, he/she knows where everything is in their bag, they have appropriate food and fluids for immediately after the weigh in, they’re taped up and ready to warm up early, they have kit to stay warm after the warm up, they check the draw themselves, they know what colour  kit to where, it always passes judogi control, the back patch is always sewn on properly – you get my drift! The point is you can be checking they have their belt etc or you can be focussing on higher level support.

What can judo coaches do to make their athletes more autonomous?

I think it is important within coaching sessions to empower athletes and allow them to make mistakes and reflect upon what they’re doing. It is also important to not intervene too much and when they need support in learning or planning to turn the help into a discussion rather than a straight forward answer. This takes patients and often means they do not progress as quickly as others initially but eventually they develop a much deeper understanding. Here are some examples of the strategies I use to try and develop more autonomous athletes:

  • After competition we watch the videos, this is either done with me and the athlete so we can discuss the contest or (more often than not) the whole group. We sit as a group, watch each persons fights, the players and coaches make notes and then the player in the video is asked to make any comments, then the other athletes are asked for their opinions and then the coaches. This is very time consuming but very effective. One important point to note though is that this can be quite daunting for new players in the group so I normally do theirs one on one.
  • Have you ever been to a judo session, its coach led, he does whatever technique he wants that week, then maybe some randori and you think “I really want to practice x” We do a lot of this, I just pair the players off and let them work on whatever they want, I just walk round observing, asking questions and making suggestions. This is a kind of experimental learning and is much better for developing a deeper understanding.
  • When giving feedback `i also try to use questions….. this is not easy to begin with. So a simple example might be that you notice someone is not pulling high enough with their hike-te  grip and thus not breaking balance correctly. Rather than dive in and tell them it is wrong just ask them how it feels, they’ll probably say not strong enough or something like that and then you ask “what could you do differently?” if they don’t know ask the partner… try to always get them to find solutions rather than give them too them. It will make them much more reflective and critical in their understanding.

I think judo is a sport full of tradition and this is a good thing but equally we shouldn’t be scared to progress and develop. I often see very regimented classes, coach demonstrates, athletes copy, coach corrects etc etc and this kind of coach centred approach to developing athletes can be vastly improved.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Some pictures from the last two week block of the European Judo Union L4 coach award

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

Leave a comment

Filed under Coach Education, Coaching Judo, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo

Do judo coaches need to know about physiology?

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.

Screen Shot 2013-07-08 at 20.56.32

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.

5 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

European Judo Union Level 4 performance coach award – Week one

A very busy first week of the Easter block of the European Judo Union Level 4 performance coach award. This award is split across six two-week blocks over a three year period and is arguably one of the best coaching programs in the world, across all sports.

Over these two weeks our two year groups will take three module. Year 1 students are doing a 30 credit module called “Applied pedagogy in Judo” and the year two students are doing two 15 credit modules – Sports Development and Talent Development Pathways in Judo. After th block each group will also have an online module each.

Lecturers this week have included….

Bob Challis (Pathway Leader & EJU level 5 high performance coach)

Dr Mike Callan (Director of judospace and President of IAJR)

Nuno Delgado (Olympic Bronze Medallist & EJU level 4 performance coach)

Dr Lisa Allen (Judo event manager London Olympics 2012)

Kat McDonald (Presented on Athletes in Education and works at TeamBath)

Matt Divall (England Excell coordinator and EJU level 5 high performance coach)

Craig Fallon (World and Olympic champion)

Our mat based sessions have been at Comberton Village College who Anglia Ruskin already work closely with for their judo program. These sessions have been world class! I will post more information on some of them in others posts.

It was also god to see some of our judo players from our full-time program making the most of this special environment and coming along to the sessions.

2 Comments

Filed under Anglia Ruskin Judo club, Coach Education, Coaching Judo, Comberton Judo Club, EJU level 4 & 5 coaching awards, Judo