This quote is really relevant to me as one of my old judo coaches always encouraged me to do this. All the time when you are progressing in any sport or in life in general you always look for the easy way, hope some one else can tell you the answer, show you what to do, how it should be done.
Today I wanted the students to have a think about what they could do? Apply this to their judo, for example, we have looked at Seoi0-Nage a lot over the last few weeks, the main areas, tai-sabaki, kuzushi hip movement grips, styles etc etc. What I think is important for the students now is for them to “think for themselves” a little more. What if I try Seoi -Nage and my partner blocks the throw, falls to the floor, steps round it, lands on his hands an knees etc. They must start to think logically about how to react to these scenarios as this is more likely whats going to happen in competition. If they are prepared for all these eventualities they will always be one step ahead of their partner as they will have a technique ready to use in every situation. Its something you see quite a lot in beginners but not to such an obvious extent, i.e. the red belt who throws Uke with the only throw he knows, transfers to the ground and sits there scratching his head as to how to get his partner onto his back.
I used the following example also, If I only knew how to do 1 throw lets say Ippon Seoi-nage and I am right handed, I can only use that throw. If I then practice the same throw left handed, I now have 2 throws in my arsenal, If learn how to use that throw in 3 directions, forwards sideways and backwards, left handed and right handed I now have 6 throws to unleash. I hope you understand what I am trying to say. So I hope one day one of the students may come to me or one of the other coaches and say “Dave, I would like to use the last hour of todays session to work on my own, you can just watch and give me some pointers but I would like to experiment in different scenario’s”. Also today we looked at an excellent post from the Planet Judo blogsite about mental toughness and watched the video of Tamura (JPN) v Alina Dumitru (ROM), what an excellent post and highlighted a really imprtant skill that you need at high level performance.