This is the 4th post for my assignment on the EJU L4 performance coach award.
When I reflected on the session I wanted to try and move away from it being a total, internally focused process i.e. looking inwards at my own practical application and decided to look at the session on a technical, practical and critical basis.
Questions I asked myself: Did I ensure all the players heard me? Could I have used any other resources to assist me in delivering the session? Did I achieve the goals of the session? If not how can i rectify this? Was there anything wrong with the athletes, did they not engage with the drill? Could i do the drill better?
I ensured that all the students could hear and see me when I demonstrated the technique, but I felt I could have maybe utilised other resources to help me, a good example would have been the 2 videos of the technique in my previous post showing both the practical video and competition video example. I felt that I achieved the goals of the session as all of the students managed to perform a version of the technique by the end of the session. I also looked at the expressions on the faces of the students, they all seemed to be engaged and were talking amongst their partners about the application of the strangle.
Questions I asked myself: Was there anything I did in the session that did not suit the group? What other ways could I have done things? Am i demonstrating the technique properly, Is there something I do that is negative? Are my own experiences of coaching influencing the way I coach? What does the effect of my feedback to the players have on them?
I thought that the session was commensurate with the group I was demonstrating the technique to. they were all experienced Judoka with a good technical base and all capable of accomplishing the task I set. There was one instance where I felt that I could have changed the way I demonstrated the technique. At the point where Tori hooks Uke’s arm with his foot, because of an injury to mygroin I could not sufficiently reach Uke’s armpit as I was not flexible enough. If I had shown the group a video of the technique it would have shown a better example of how to do the technique correctly. I could have then asked the group to practice the technique, hopefully one of the players would get it right technically and I could then use them to demonstrate the technique again in the correct manner. I also felt my own experience as a player and of being coached myself also influenced how I coached. My old coach only demonstrated techniques and then left us to practice and come up with our own solutions to any problems we had, (laissez-faire type approach), and I was maybe guilty of the same coaching style, maybe the group needed a bit more input from myself. I did however feel that I gave positive feedback at every opportunity and encouraged the players to impose their own style to the technique and encouraged them to ask lots of questions. I did not want to criticise anyone as this was maybe the first time that they had actually practiced the technique so it was not too important if they made mistakes.
Questions I asked myself: Who’s knowledge is being represented or reproduced in the technical session? Will it actually work? Is there anyone in the group that is not capable of completing the technique?
I felt that the technique itself was used by a World and Olympic medalist, he would obviously have practiced this technique in training, Uchi-komi, randori and Shia and was obviously successful with the technique in these high level type of events. This was important for me to have belief in a technique that I was going to demonstrate and be able to prove that it works at the highest level in the sport. I felt that although the group of students could reproduce the technical aspects of the technique without the Uke resisting, I was not 100% sure that they could duplicate it in a competitive environment. Judo is done with serious resistance and we can practise near and at 100% of our level of ability to actually apply techniques, but is this simply beyond what some of the group are able to do?
I have decided that I will repeat this technical session again but this time have the Uke resisting at say 80% and also get the players to work the technique from Tachi-waza to see what sort of technique will help with the transition from Tachi-Waza to Ne-waza. It will also mean lots and lots more practice.