Coaching Association of Canada

Andrzej Sadej, ChPC - Judo

On the heels of the 2015 World Judo Championships in Astana, Kazahkstan, Judo Canada Director of Sport and NCCP Level 4 Certified coach Andrzej Sadej suggests some basic advice that will help any coach on game day.

One of the most frustrating experiences is seeing instructors or coaches advising their athletes during competitions. Often, this results in a confused athlete, and may contribute to a decline in performance or execution. Ultimately, the instructors and coaches get frustrated when their athletes fail to apply these seemingly obvious corrections instantaneously...

Provide technical feedback between, or after events.
As an athlete and a coach I learned that providing coaching advice during competition is rarely effective. In judo, where the bouts are short and intense the capacity of the coach during the bout is mostly to encourage the competitor and sometimes advise on a change of tactic, providing that such change has been well rehearsed in training. Opportunities for feedback and corrections are best exploited between bouts and after events.

Do not ask more of your athletes than what they are capable of.
The best technical or tactical advice is useless when the skill is not equal to the task – and skill is not acquired during a competition, but in training. The fact that someone, often the coach, can see the solution to the problem from the side of the combat area, does not mean that your athlete will be able to implement it simply because you advised them to. So, don’t ask your athletes to do unfamiliar things between bouts or even worse – during the bout! Keep to what the athlete is capable of, and provide feedback and opportunities for growth after the event.