RANDOM THOUGHTS ON JUDO COACHING
by Mark Lonsdale, Judo Training Development
Does having a large judo club make you a coach? Not necessarily, but it indicates that you may be a good judo instructor and dojo manager.
Does having students medal in tournaments make you a coach? Not necessarily. Many instructors accompany their students to tournaments, but they don’t actually train them for championship judo. On a personal note, my first sensei was a good instructor but he never coached me at competitions. While I went to compete, he went to referee, so I don’t ever recall him sitting on the side of the mat watching me fight. I am sure he did, but he was not there coaching me.
Does having a judo coaching certification automatically make you a coach? Not even close. In the past, all it required to get a US coaching certification was a 4-hour classroom session with no mat work and no evaluation of technical judo or coaching skills. I have met certified National and International Coaches who have never competed or coached at the national level and never been to an international championship.
So what is a judo coach? A judo coach is a judo instructor who has taken his judo training to the next level by learning to develop good judoka into championship athletes. Qualified coaches can quantify the improvement in their athletes, directly attributed to their coaching.
How do you know when you have a good coach? You know you have a good coach when you push yourself harder to win the approval of your coach. When you are able to quantify your improvement based on his or her training plan. When you feel more confident going to a championship knowing that your coach is there with you. When he or she is able to turn every loss or setback into a positive learning experience.