This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at 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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On not being perfect... 

As a Judo coach one of the biggest traps we fall into is forgetting that we are not perfect or more to the point forgetting that people do not expect us to be perfect.

Every Judo coach makes mistakes, as does every player we work with. And it is normal and to be expected.

A bad habit that I observe in coaches is when we forget to acknowledge that we might be wrong, or that there are alternative approaches.

We tend to teach "the right way" of doing techniques. But there is (IMHO) no pure right way, there are a variety of right ways depending on the player, the opponent, the fight and so on.

Is Taio Toshi done with both legs straight or one leg bent? Where does the elbow go? What is the direction of the Kuzushi? Is it Taio Toshi or Tai Otoshi?

More to the point does it matter right now?

Don't get me wrong, the details do matter. Understanding matters, knowledge matters.

But this is very different to being perfect and worse worrying about being perfect. Worrying about being perfect is a really negative habit that will kill you as a coach.
The master coaches if you watch them make mistakes all the time, they get words wrong, they get names wrong, they break the rules and all sorts of other things. Does it bother them? No. Does it make them less of a coach? No.

What it shows is a level of maturity about their coaching that most of us lack. Perhaps they just know that it takes more than one exposure to virtually anything to learn it, so getting it wrong slightly when you teach is not going to have a huge impact.

As a Judo coach, I embrace my errors. My quirks, my slips of the tongue, my mistakes with left and right, my loses of balance etc. I embrace it and make it part of "the show". I make my errors something that players expect, they know I am not perfect and I don't want them to ever think I am.

Pobody is Nerfect! - as they say.

So when you go on the mat this week to coach, keep this post in mind. Be that as a player or coach. There is nothing wrong with mistakes, just move on and enjoy.


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