This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at LanceWicks.com where I cover more geeky topics. Please do leave comments on what you read or use the Contact Me form to send me an email with your thoughts and ideas.

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JudoCoach.com Blog by Lance Wicks

 

 


April 2006 


April 13, 2006
FDSC Year 2, block 1, Wednesday 12th April 2006.

By LanceW

Did you ever have one of those days when everything just went well? I did, today.

Today was a bit of a relaxed day in terms of scheduling, no lectures to attend, just free time. So having this idea of doing some player assessments at the Commonwealth tournament, I decided to head to the library.

So, I got myself onto "Web of Science" and used it to find some journals on "judo test*" whgich found a bunch of stuff. Two particular finds were the "Biology of Sport" (from Warsaw) and "The Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical fitness".

From W.O.S. I was able to determine that the University had copies of most of the articles that grabbed my interest on the shelves. So up I wandered to level four of the library and found the journals (Per79 by the way).

I found the ones I wanted and made some copies.

Later, Debbie Plamer happened to be showing the new first year students the ropes on the "Special Judo Fitness Index" test, that features heavily in the journals, so I sat in on this and threw together a spreadsheet on my phone that did the calculation for me based on the test.
Terrific! I have already emailed it to a couple of people who were interested in it. (if you want a copy, email me at lw@judocoach.com ).
So the morning went well.

In the afternoon we had a Keynote Lecture from Brian Ashton, head coach here at Bath of the Bath Rugby team. He was former head coach of the Ireland National Team & a member of the World Cup winning England Rugby Team.
It was a great lecture, it is so great to hear other perspectives and views of coaching and great coaches views on both coaching generally and their ideas on coaching Judo.

Brian, shared with us some great tales, whilst explaining the progression from 2003-2005. The culture of that team seems amazing! He seemed to have such a respect for the players and for his colleagues it was awe inspiring in many ways.

Much of what he had to say was rowing in the opposite direction to conventional coaching in Judo, I think. He had interesting things about communication to players during a match for example.

I have been reading "Winning!" by Sir Clive Woodward, leading up to this lecture (knowing it was coming). And am fascinated about the areas of comparision between Judo and Rugby. I hope we can all l ook to the World Cup winning England Rugby team and find role models and good ideas to incorporate into our coaching of Judo.
Of course I hope we can find even more bright ideas in current Kiwi Rugby!!

A highlight was being early and getting a better look at the amazing "Prozone" software that the England team had. It is incredible! It must have been such an advantage at the time, being able to see all that data in such an easy format!

In discussion this evening we talked about the lecture of course and I was particularly keen on the idea that the depth of science on the ENgland team allowed the coaches and team to perform the "art" of Rugby.
Of course this goes in a big loop back to my current obsession with Judo metrics or lack there of. The England team was able to tell precisely how far and how fast every player on the firld ran for example (both England & the opposition).
Having that sort of information (and having it displayed in such a visual way) looks to have allowed English coaches and players to use that information to progress to the highest level.
I'd love to see a similar level of analysis available in Judo.

Of course there are risks, Brian spoke of "paralysis by analysis". Being as I heard it that you can get bogged down in stats that have little no relevance.

All in all probably the best day I've had in the course to date. Actually utilising the resources I am fortunate enough to have at my disposal more fully was great. Whilst having a lecture that (in my mind at least) supported much of the more ideas I have been voicing was terrific.

I thoroughly believe one of the best thinsg about the course is the opportunity for us all to expand ourselves through the disussion and exploration of new ideas. There is always resistance to change, Brian's lecture threw some fairly radical ideas at us, and I am hoping that discussion and reflection on the ideas in our context helps us all develop.

As pretty much everyone has picked up, I favour the rebelious idea and am not shy in coming forward with the stupid idea, the different perspective, etc. It may get me some flack, but at least it provokes debate and stick in peoples heads.

All I can really say is..."boing boing".

Sorry in-joke (at my expense) to those on year two fo the course.

Goodnight all,

Lance

* Posted on: Thu, Apr 13 2006 6:52 AM

FDSC Year 2, block 1, Wednesday 12th April 2006.

By LanceW

Did you ever have one of those days when everything just went well? I did, today.

Today was a bit of a relaxed day in terms of scheduling, no lectures to attend, just free time. So having this idea of doing some player assessments at the Commonwealth tournament, I decided to head to the library.

So, I got myself onto "Web of Science" and used it to find some journals on "judo test*" whgich found a bunch of stuff. Two particular finds were the "Biology of Sport" (from Warsaw) and "The Journal of Sports Medicine & Physical fitness".

From W.O.S. I was able to determine that the University had copies of most of the articles that grabbed my interest on the shelves. So up I wandered to level four of the library and found the journals (Per79 by the way).

I found the ones I wanted and made some copies.

Later, Debbie Plamer happened to be showing the new first year students the ropes on the "Special Judo Fitness Index" test, that features heavily in the journals, so I sat in on this and threw together a spreadsheet on my phone that did the calculation for me based on the test.
Terrific! I have already emailed it to a couple of people who were interested in it. (if you want a copy, email me at lw@judocoach.com ).
So the morning went well.

In the afternoon we had a Keynote Lecture from Brian Ashton, head coach here at Bath of the Bath Rugby team. He was former head coach of the Ireland National Team & a member of the World Cup winning England Rugby Team.
It was a great lecture, it is so great to hear other perspectives and views of coaching and great coaches views on both coaching generally and their ideas on coaching Judo.

Brian, shared with us some great tales, whilst explaining the progression from 2003-2005. The culture of that team seems amazing! He seemed to have such a respect for the players and for his colleagues it was awe inspiring in many ways.

Much of what he had to say was rowing in the opposite direction to conventional coaching in Judo, I think. He had interesting things about communication to players during a match for example.

I have been reading "Winning!" by Sir Clive Woodward, leading up to this lecture (knowing it was coming). And am fascinated about the areas of comparision between Judo and Rugby. I hope we can all l ook to the World Cup winning England Rugby team and find role models and good ideas to incorporate into our coaching of Judo.
Of course I hope we can find even more bright ideas in current Kiwi Rugby!!

A highlight was being early and getting a better look at the amazing "Prozone" software that the England team had. It is incredible! It must have been such an advantage at the time, being able to see all that data in such an easy format!

In discussion this evening we talked about the lecture of course and I was particularly keen on the idea that the depth of science on the ENgland team allowed the coaches and team to perform the "art" of Rugby.
Of course this goes in a big loop back to my current obsession with Judo metrics or lack there of. The England team was able to tell precisely how far and how fast every player on the firld ran for example (both England & the opposition).
Having that sort of information (and having it displayed in such a visual way) looks to have allowed English coaches and players to use that information to progress to the highest level.
I'd love to see a similar level of analysis available in Judo.

Of course there are risks, Brian spoke of "paralysis by analysis". Being as I heard it that you can get bogged down in stats that have little no relevance.

All in all probably the best day I've had in the course to date. Actually utilising the resources I am fortunate enough to have at my disposal more fully was great. Whilst having a lecture that (in my mind at least) supported much of the more ideas I have been voicing was terrific.

I thoroughly believe one of the best thinsg about the course is the opportunity for us all to expand ourselves through the disussion and exploration of new ideas. There is always resistance to change, Brian's lecture threw some fairly radical ideas at us, and I am hoping that discussion and reflection on the ideas in our context helps us all develop.

As pretty much everyone has picked up, I favour the rebelious idea and am not shy in coming forward with the stupid idea, the different perspective, etc. It may get me some flack, but at least it provokes debate and stick in peoples heads.

All I can really say is..."boing boing".

Sorry in-joke (at my expense) to those on year two fo the course.

Goodnight all,

Lance

* Posted on: Thu, Apr 13 2006 12:24 AM

April 11, 2006
FDSC Year 2, block 1, Tuesday 11th April 2006.

By LanceW

Today was a good solid day at the University of Bath.

Only one Dojo session, which was probably just as well as I seem to have banged my elbow in last nights excellent Randori session. something like 60 Judoka on the mat, a high quality training for those who can access it!

We had two lectures with Andrew Moshanov today, one a continuiation of our work on performance planning and the second his Keynote lecture which was excellent. We also had another session with Simon Jenkins exploring roles and their relevance to Judo coaching.

Andrew's first lecture was focussed on the development of Judo training programmes based on science. Excellent coverage of working in physiological responses to training and how we can use our Judo sessions to cause the desired reactions to develop such factors as speed strength and endurance.
Important attention to fatigue including some interesting ideas on how to objectively guage levels of fatigue.

A fair amount of importance was given to monitoring and testing. An area in which I am specifically interested.

Later we had Simon Jenkins, interesting discussions as always as we explored the roles that coaches and people more generally take on and the aspects of those roles. We covered primarily behaviors and activities and had some "interesting" perspectives given by resident prankster Daniel. It is lucky he is such a funny guy, else I'd end up getting utterly annoyed by his giving me flack all the time.

Andrew Moshanov's keynote was excellent!
He looked at "World classs athletes and world class training systems in the 21st century" which took a very broad view of the issues in our sport today.
We looked at the traditional sporting model and the process of developing elite athletes. These being the idea of talent identification and building a pyramid of players at various levels.

He spoke also on the issues of decreasing participation in physical activity and the impact on talent. I.e. decrease in people entering into sporting activities. He spoke about the importance of multi-lateral development in children to provide a range of abilities that we as coaches can then refine into skills.
I really enjoyed hearing his perspectives and really felt the vaidity of his comments on the lack of sport in early development stages of children.

He also mentioned how Judo "was" a martial art AND physical AND mental form of training along with a sport. It is now a sport primarily and perhaps we need to return to the previous state to survive the challenges that we and all sports face in the 21st century.

Finally this evening we all sat down and watched the coverage of the GB World Cup on Sky Sports (TV). Excellent coverage by Simon and the rest of the Fighting Films team!! It was terrific to have several of the elite athletes shown in attendance here in Bath.

It is difficult to describe the excellent work going on here in Bath. This is a wonderful programme which I am convinced will prove over the years to come a major power for good in British and World Judo. It is such a terrific opportunity to be here, despite the hard work, bumps along the way and mental strain, the benefits outweigh it all tremendously.

* Posted on: Tue, Apr 11 2006 7:12 PM

April 10, 2006
FDSC Year 2, block 1, Monday 10th April 2006.

By LanceW

Today was a heavy lecture day.

We spent time with Andrew Moshanov, who is Technical Director of the BJA. His lecture was very interesting speaking on "Sports Training Science". A man with a good solid understand of sports science who also managed that difficult task of balancing that against the sport of Judo.

I very much enjoyed the lecture and enjoyed the feeling that I could make direct actions as a result of his lecture.

He also introduced another notation system that I may experiment with, rather than text based, his is iconic, with small figures indicating techniques. He puts these on a timeline, very visual representation whilst still generating good metrics.

Later we spent the rest of the day with Colin McIver, who is now Performance Director of the BJA.

His first lecture was "Long-Term Performance Planning for Judo", the Second on "Qualities of an elite player in modern Judo" and his final lecture "Winning in London 2012, The Challenge" (his keynote lecture).

I really enjoyed Colin's lectures.
He spoke only about what he knew from experience and unlike much of what we cover which is theory and hyperthetical, his lectures were based on his experiences as a successful coach and laterly in helping prepare Britain for Olympic campaigns at a organisational level.

His lectures one could argue were weak on the science side, made up for it in candor and real-life application and results. (his humourous anecdotes were particularly well received after some fairly heavy going)

I enjoyed hearing of his personal coaching activities, he seemed a very commited coach very involved on a personal level. Which has been an uncommon sensation from other lecturers who can seem "detached" from the process.

His Keynote lecture was of course the highlight (after anecdotes in lecture two), as it dealt with the difficult challenges that the BJA has ahead of it preparing for 2008 & 2012.
Colin does not sugar coat things and gave a really candid portrayal of the challenges the BJA faces. I for one appreciated him not trying to sell us "the dream" rather his sharing the reality of the situation.
Increasingly I realise how difficult it is for Britain to compete in world Judo and how, in many ways, New ZEaland has it much better.

For a start, qualification for the Olympics is a breeze in NZ by comparison. We also have what I have commented on before. A history and culture of sporting excellence and sporting innovation. So if we can draw on that Judo should thrive in NZ.

Interestingly, at one point Colin described a support team concept that is almost identical to what I have imagined for NZ Judo.

This evening I shall be venturing into the Team Bath randori session, having done nothing but lectures today, it should be a godd opportunity to blow out the cobwebs.

* Posted on: Mon, Apr 10 2006 6:09 PM

FDSC Year 2, block 1, Sunday 9th April 2006.

By LanceW

Sunday and I came back to Bath early to attend the Kano Society discussion and view parts of the Richard Bowen collection.

Sadly, I messed up and thought it all started at 2:30pm, it started at 1:30 amd I missed the viewing of a DVD. I did however have the pleasure to view a small subset of the archive that was donated by Richard Bowen to the university.

An amazing slection of Judo history.
In the collection there is a hand typed early version of the EJU constitution and a medal from the first World Champs.

There was loads several poster for Judo events, including the 32nd Budokwai display/show from 1949. Afterwards I was lucky enough to share a coffee with some of the Kano Society members who shared some of their experiences of the past.
Fantastic! Great stories about life in London Judo with Koizumi-Sensei and for me an absolute treat as the history of NZ Judo is so tightly linked to that of the UK.

I met Stan (soory I missed your/his surname) who trained at Koizumikai in Glasgow, which seemed familiar from my time in Scotland. However later that night I realised it was the name of Des Taring's club in Wellington. Similarly I was told of the origins of the Renshuden club of London, which shares a name and history with Brian Cloynes club in NZ.

In an effort to expand my library and to satisfy my addiction to Judo purchases I bought 5 dvds from teh Soiciety fo which I have only browsed so far. The disks include footage of Koizumi Sensei himself, Teizo Kawamura and also more recent footage of a Ne-Waza specialist Len Hunt and two disks of JOhn Cornish teaching the Go-Shin-Jutsu.

Brilliant disks and I can't wait to spend more time exploring them.

for reference the Kano Society has a website at:
www.KanoSociety.org

* Posted on: Mon, Apr 10 2006 5:48 PM

April 7, 2006
FDSC Year 2, Block 1, Friday 7 April.

By LanceW

Hello all,
another interesing day here at the University of Bath. Great lectures on athlete profiling and testing along with some Judo with Roy in the morning.

In the afternoon we had a Judo session with Mike which included a good and rigorous discussion about matside coaching. Specifically there was discussion about personal coach vs. national coach being present and about who should make the decision about who should be matside supporting the athlete. There was discussion about coaching style and personality. On this we discussed various things such as control of the "space" and if the matside coach should be an extrovert or introvert, a big personality or a quiet person. We also discussed what a coaches role actually is in Judo. A lot more involvment from more people than sometimes is the case. With people offering conflicting opinions. Later we had a video session whee we watched two different coaches coach a golden score situation at last weeks Women's World Cup. It was perfect after having debated it previously.The two coaching examples were perfect example of differing styles and answered some questions and raised others.

We were veryfortunate that Mike had managed to arrange to have one of the coach/player couples present. So we were able to hear there views and ask questions.

A terrific day all told.

* Posted on: Fri, Apr 7 2006 11:05 PM

JMG Test

By LanceW

During todays lecture there was alot of interest in the JMG test.

here is the link to the test:
http://www.judoinfo.com/testjmg.htm

I also have a spreadsheet that does the calculation for you and hope to have a web version operating soon. Till the web one is available please email me if you want the excel spreadsheet. lw@judocoach.com

P.s. The spreadsheet is thanks to my friend Robin, thanks.

* Posted on: Fri, Apr 7 2006 12:40 PM

April 6, 2006
FDSC Year 2, block 1, Thursday 6th APril 2006.

By LanceW

Today was an interesting day.

Most of the day was invested into lectures and practical work with Peter Gardiner. It was great to finally meet Peter and explore his ways after having heard so much about him from so many different sources, not excluding his spot on the IJF DVD I have blogged about previously.

Peter is much better in person than the DVD portrayed him. His approach seemed much more Judo focussed than the DVD section which you might remember I felt was a bit gimicky and focussed on Games a bit much.
As someone who has collected and loved so many Judo games, I have gone off games a bit, but it was really great to have a different perspective and the enthusiasm alone sells it.
All the Kudos Peter has been accumulating seems well deserved.

His lectures were equal to his practical, his view of Judo is refreshing and I am was quietly pleased that he was promoting concepts that are so much a part of my own philosophy and that of New Zealand and of the kiwi Judo federation.

I particularly like his genuinely open attitude towards new coaching methods. Something that seems lacking in life.


Later Daniel explained the EJU qualification system for Beijing. As a Kiwi we bemoan how hard it is to get a spot, having to beat the ozzies. However I don't envy european Judoka, the competition is harder for them and much less clear as Oceania.

We has a session on planning and periodisation. Incredibly some of the discussion about new ideas was one of those moments where I sat there thinking "but this is what we were doing bac home when I was a teenager" I tend to forget sometimes that New Zealand is often very advanced in matters sporting. That although Judo-wise we are a backwater, when it comes to general level of sport and sport science, coaching, etc. We are often a leading nation. (a la the All Blacks)


Daniel later showed us his "My Judo Book".
WHOAH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Much of it was identical to the "Player Assessment Form" I developed for my assignments for Last years first batch of assignments and the electronic things I've been developing for my remote coaching project (see http://www.judocoach.com/coaching/1-1/form.html if you want to see a draft of what is in the pipeline). Obviously more polished and far better in terms of being a tool for use year on year but very similar in concept.

Recently I registered judometrics.com as a home for lots of my ideas in this area. That we need to develop a way of generating metrics for Judo. Daniel's book is exactly what I wished I had already done! His "Judo Database" is almost identical to what I have been slowly developing in Perl for the web.

He is one smart cookie!

I am so glad to be on the course and have this opportunity to expand away from the norm. Today at one point we wrote class plans. It was great to not write the plain old session plan as I'd normally produce. You know the thing, run around the mat, teach a throw, play a game, teach a throw, play a game, Randori, bow and bye.
Don't get me wrong, that is a solid design, one tried and tested and proven to work. But it was great to put something down that was a bit "different" and then to observe reactions to it and see what the thought pattern about it was and to use that as a test.
The plan I wrote was based on the 8 week programme I did for Meonstoke last year for very young kids. It worked massively well. The teatures liked it, the kids liked it and so did the parents. So it was interesting to observe peoples reactions to a new idea (which I confess to all reading I intentionaly tweaked towards the unconventional).

It was also great to be put in the spotlight and be forced to try to answer peoples questions on it. Some I think I managed to answer some I did not. So I am now better prepared as I have a better idea of the holes in the concept.

Funnily enough one of the discussions was about my talking too much! A comment Ray Roberts has made about me on a million occasions. Also I was asked about how "regimented" the sessions was, which was a real shock as I know that my style of coaching is very relaxed and that I play the fool the whole time, it is full of silliness and funny noises. So it showed I suppose that it does not come across that way when described to expert coaches. This begs the question of how does one promote a concept that I fail to describe?

As past example prove, I'm not much of a formal presenter. Twice (at least) on this degree my message has been lost and/or misinterpreted. So... how to address this issue. Especially given that one of the assignments due at the end of may is a video presentation?
Perhaps time to hit up some of my former Aziz Corporation contacts for some training? Steve are you listening, actually Steve what nights are Toastmasters.

Off to dinner now, till Friday, cheers for reading!

* Posted on: Thu, Apr 6 2006 5:11 PM

April 5, 2006
FDSC Year 2, Block 1, Wednesday 5th

By LanceW

Hi all,

Todays education consisted of a session with Peter in the library helping us make best use of the online resources. Such as electronic journals and database indexes of electronic and print journals.

After which we had a Dojo session with Neil Adams. Neil took us through suppleness, lots of stretching which was just what the doctor ordered.

After lunch we had an interesting session with Simon, continueing on from yesterdays discussions. We examined Influence, Power & Authority in the context of Judo and coaching.
Some really interesting discussion on the subject and some nice "models" were looked at.

Good stuff.
This afternoon I have looked at the assignments for this block. Not many but hard ones. Including a 20 minute video to produce.

On a personal note, last night I visited the physio about my foot and the pain I have been getting from running. It seems that my big toe is the issue. (no really). Seems all the times I've twisted the joint and that break have had a impact. Basically the toe is not flexing enough and forcing my foot to take the shock where it is not supposed to, causing the pain.
The physio manipulated it a bit and it was really frightening to see how much movement I didn't have!!

So more flexing and stretching to be done in the future.

* Posted on: Wed, Apr 5 2006 4:01 PM

FDSC Block 3 - TUESDAY

By LanceW

Hello all,

well today was the first day for the Foudattion Degree in Sports Performance at Bath Univetsity .

Today after catching up we had lectures by Mike Callan, Simon Jenkins & Nick Willsmer. The lectures were on Performance planning, Work Based learning.

Mike's lecture was good, exploring our future plands as coaches. So examining what we want to achieve.

Example text was in relation to coaching players and tieing that to the reality that the Beiging Olympic games are only approx. 800 days away and London is only 329 weeks away. So if we are coaching elite players they will be quite young, if they are to be at these games.

Simon's every interesting session involved large amountgs of discussion about "Coaching Control". Difficukt subject area in ways. I enjoyed examijning the differences ofv opihnion and especially the examinination of teaching vs. coaching.

Finally we had a lecture with Nick Willsmer, who took us through the EIS scheme and we looked at what asepects of elite coaching facilities affect players. I enjoyed looking at this topic and enjoyed the academic examination of it all.

after all this, pizza and getting settled followed.
I am now on the Uni network and able to blog via laptop rather thn mobile.

Wednesday, promises a Library session, more performance planning and work based learning.

This year is a boit different as the course is slightly earlier and we have a group of forst year students doing what we did last year. I have yet to meet them, but am looking forward toi seeing what their perspectives are.

It is increasingly impressive what is beinbg acheived here. Ovber the next fortnight aproximately 58 Judoka will be expanding their knowledge and experience. Becoming better coaches and raising thebar for everyone.

Rock on!

* Posted on: Wed, Apr 5 2006 12:07 AM

April 3, 2006
Good morning campers

By LanceW

Hi all,
well yesterday my twins turned 3. Three, cripes how fast was that! I think they enjoyed the day, I hope they did. Picures will appear on the MoBlog shortly.
This morning, I am waiting in Southampton for the shops to open. Then I'll be buying my wife so goodies for her birthday, which is today. So a Latte & Muffin at Starbucks.
Tommorow I'll be in Bath again, doing the FDSC course for two weeeks. Really looking forward to it! Technically I should be in Birmingham at the World Cup comp' But family comes first.
Shame to miss todays lectures which include Daniel Lascau, who I have great respect for. His ideas are generally fresh and it is good to see a member of the course student base lecturing. The calibre of this course is truely awe inspiring at times.
Well, I shall persevere with my blogging of the course. As was said at one of the formal dinners last year, we should all be telling the world about the course. This blog I hope shares a perspective on the course that will be useful to those interestd in the course.
Despite some friction it has caused, this blog I consider to be doing alot to promote the course. And it encourages debate on the merits of what we are being exposed to.
The hit rate for the blog and my website tell me it is being read, so visitors thanks for coming by. Do email me at lw@judocoach.com with your comments.
If you agree with what I write say so, if you disagree say so! I have no time for those who don't "Step up" and voice their opinions.
So till Tuesday nights post, have a good one!

* Posted on: Mon, Apr 3 2006 7:52 AM

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