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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Judo Community Manager Role Advertisement. 

Judo Community Manager

Job Advert: Judo Community Manager

Community Manager

Organisation Information
The organisation is a National/Continental/International governing Body for the Martial Art and Sport of Judo. Looking to promote all aspects of the organisation and of Judo the organisation is looking for an individual to act as a hub between the community and the organisation to assist in the delivery of the goals for participation and performance Judo.

Job Description
We are seeking a Community Manager to work with in a cross-departmental manner to supports a community of Judo participants, Judo coaches, Judo volunteers, organisation staff and stakeholders from outside of the direct Judo community. The Community Manager will communicate across a wide variety of mediums ranging from face-to-face visits to clubs through to online websites, blogs, podcasts, forums, social networking sites, online video etc.
The Community manager will be an advocate for members of the community, working to bring ideas, opinions, concerns from the wider community to the attention of the staff and volunteers of the organisation.

The Community manager will act as an advocate for the organisation and for Judo in general. They will communicate the objectives and activities of the organisation to the wider Judo community.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities
Analyze how the Judo community interact and develop the best ways to engage and communicate with our community. Improve interactions between the organisation and the community to help meet the goals and objectives of the organisation.

Communicate the needs and expectations of all related departments to our community of Judo participants, coaches, volunteers and professionals.

Engage with the Judo community to assist the tasks of the organisation's staff and volunteers.

Roles of the community manager

1)A Community Advocate:
As a community advocate, the community managers’ role is to represent the Judo community members. This includes listening, which results in monitoring, and being active in understanding what coaches, players, referees, volunteers, parents, teachers, etc. are saying in both the organisation provides mediums but also via other mediums such as external websites and in dojo situations. Secondly, they engage the community by responding to their requests and needs or just conversations, both in private and in public.

2)Brand Evangelist:

In this evangelistic role (it goes both ways) the community manager will promote events, products and news to the community by using traditional marketing tactics and conversational discussions. This will involve using the organisation's own mediums (websites, magazines, forum etc) as well as external opportunities such as FaceBook, external websites, external events and club visits.

3)Savvy Communication Skills:
The community manager should be very familiar with the tools of communication, from forums, to blogs, to podcasts, to twitter, and understands the language and jargon that is used in the community. This individual is also responsible for mediating disputes within the community, and will lean on advocates, and embrace detractors –and sometimes removing them completely. Importantly, the role is responsible for the editorial strategy and planning within the community, and will work with many internal stakeholders to identify content, plan, publish, and follow up.

4) Gathers Community Input:
Community manager is responsible for gathering the requirements of the community in a responsible way and presenting it to the organisation. This may involve formal product requirements methods from surveys to focus groups, to facilitating the relationships between internal teams and the community.

Given the seniority and importance of this role, the community manager will be given a budget to manage and a large amount of autonomy. As such they will need to exhibit the high levels of dedication and self-management skills are a must.

The community will at all times work to enhance and protect the reputation of the organisation and will behave at all times in an appropriate manner.
Required Job Related Skills and Experience
Degree level education
Prior experience managing online communities
Excellent written and oral communication skills
Judo Black belt (1st Dan) or above
Ability to effectively speak in front of large groups
Ability to maintain objectivity when dealing with emotionally charged situations
Excellent knowledge and experience in web communication mediums, blogs, forums, podcasting, video, social networking etc.

Hours and compensation:

The community manager's role will involve flexible working hours, and working environment. The community manager will be based from home, and will be expected to travel considerably to interact with the community and with the organisations staff and volunteers.

This is a fulltime role 37.5 hours per week, however the community manager will be expected to work some evenings, weekends as required.

The community manager will receive a salary and package comensurate of a senior management role with anti-social hours. Consideration will be given for the public facing nature of the role and the impact this will have on the community manager's life and shall be compensated appropriately.

The community manager will be expected to attend the organisations key events such as AGM, large tournaments and ceremonies. They are also expected to attend community events such as workshops, club training sessions, competitions and the like.

All applicants should send their CV to and be prepared to make a presentation to a panel as part of their interview process.

Judo Organisations please contact should you wish to hire a community manager.

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Transformational Coaching Programme 

I am really happy today!
Today received a letter from the University of Bath saying I have been accepted onto the "Transformational Coaching programme" with Brian Ashton, former England Rugby Union, Head Coach. A man I have met several times now and have the utmost respect for.

Below is a small outline of what the programme is all about:

I shall, over the next 27 months, be mentored and participate in a series of 9 interactive coach workshops, underpinned by a guided e-learning programme along with 14 other coaches.

The objectives of the programme are to:
• To educate coaches regarding the developmental aspects of elite performance
• To provide development opportunities for emerging coaches to develop the skills and knowledge needed to
coach effectively in a high performance environment
• To produce a coaching environment that better equips athletes to move into elite programmes.
• To create a ‘community of practice’ in the South Wet that will support the development
of the next generation of emerging high performance coaches
Subjects covered will include:
• Understanding the role of the coach: De-constructing & re-constructing coaching
➤ Coaching power
➤ Practice & Praxis
➤ Role play
• Support services
• Knowledge and its use
• How we come to know
• Coach-athlete interactions
➤ Teaching and learning
➤ Ownership of learning and performance & athlete responsibility
➤ Communities of practice
➤ The teaching environment & learning experiences
• Philosophy: Principles of performance
• Physical communication
➤ Presenting the problems in your sport
• Game sense

The programme is run by the South West Talent Development Centre, a joint initiative between the University of Bath and Sport England.

Transformational Coaching is a professional
development programme for coaches. Led by Brian Ashton, the University of Bath’s Director of Coaching and employing
his philosophy of doing Something Completely Different, the Transformational Coaching programme is designed to
develop capability as opposed to just teaching the ‘best way’ or providing ‘good practice’. The course aims to increase
the effectiveness of coaches in understanding and creating dynamic high quality training environments that nurture
emerging performance athletes by equipping them with the tools to accurately identify and effectively deal with the
barriers to performance.

This makes up for several knock-backs i have had lately! Shame in particular I didn't get a certain coaching job as I think the Transformational Coaching programme and that role were a perfect match. Ah well!

Looking forward to the first session in July.

Wanna know more? Here is the PDF about the programme!
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So as you'll know by now if you have been following the blog, I believe in online. My talks on Digital Natives, this blog, the podcast, Facebook, twitter it is all important to us in the Judo world.

With this in mind and with the motivation of the community section, Mike Darter and I sat down together (virtually at least) and created a website that I think of as a cross between FaceBook, Twitter and Blogging for Martial Artists like us Judoka.

Today I created a little video introducing the site, which is below for your viewing pleasure.

For those of you that get this via newsreaders or email, here is a link to the video on YouTube:

The site has been up only a couple of days, so please do check it out and let us know what you think.

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EJU rolls out new site, bring on the community! 

So the European Judo Union has rolled out a shiny new website over at

Looks okay to me, all pretty standard, until you see the community tab. It is Beta, but it is a big move and one I knew was coming and welcomed!

The EJU is attempting to host a community of Judoka. It is a bold move for a non technical organisation with a mainly non technical audience. I can't wait to see what happens.

The immediate highlight from my perspective is the ability to host a blog on the EJU website!! Cool, they even have RSS feeds, so I am excited as I look forward to adding EJU hosted feeds to

The language issue will be an issue, I may need to advance plans for other language versions of PlanetJudo faster than planned to keep up.

It is a big step into the internet age for a Judo organisation. There is STILL no RSS for the news or results, but maybe that will come soon too.

So head over there and check it out, sign up and explore. I have signed up and shall explore and possibly write more about it as I find the best its!

So big "Well Done" to the EJU for the new site and for trying something really cool.


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Thoughts on Innovation and Coaching Judo. 

As Judo coaches you are faced with a choice, either continue to evolve and innovate or get out of the way of those who are.

In this post I want to raise a couple of issues surrounding the sport of Judo and also about coaching our sport. I am NOT talking about those who want to coach in clubs and do the work of teaching kids and recreational players, etc. That is a different subject and I don't want the two confused.

This post is about sport performance Judo, not participation Judo. The two are different, so please keep that in mind before commenting.


Sport evolves, Judo evolves, does Judo coaching evolve?

Well, the answer needs to be YES!!!

And I do mean evolve, not just change for the sake of change. I am not for one minute suggesting that what worked in the past should be thrown away and all new methods instituted.

But... the good methods should stay and the poor be removed and replaced with innovations. But how do we know what is good and what is bad? Well, that is a mix of science and "coaching magic". It is the mix of the art and science of coaching where innovation will come from.

The problem then is that we need scientific coaches, ones with a good educational background in sport and also the talent to coach athletes.

The one element I missed in that sentence is the aptitude to innovate and to question, to try new things.

As coaches, we need to know and appreciate the existing (and historical) training methods. We need to know what used to work, what is working and from that be able to make the creative leap to what will work.

We need to build environments where innovation occurs also. We must build situations where athletes, physios, scientists and of course other coaches feel empowered to try new things.

In my role in IT, I hear over and over that the key to success is failure. Rapid failures leading to success.

In Judo I want to see the same thing, we need to be trying new things, seeing what works, what fails and quickly and iteratively adjusting our coaching based on these successes and failures.

We need to be creating new methods for our athletes, not replicating what worked for John on Jane. What produced a world medal for a lightweight is not necessarily going to get a heavyweight gold. How can you change what you did for the lightweight to best suit the heavy weight?

Sometimes this is a planned and well researched process. You identify an issue or have an idea and research it thoroughly and then design a coaching process based on good science. Sometimes it is an intuitive decision. Sometimes it is a mix of both.

For example, some years back i coached the Royal Navy Judo team prior to the Inter-Services championships. I did a small amount of research, I watched video footage of the Navy players in action fighting. But it was genuinely just that, I watched the videos as diversion almost on a train from London to Southampton over a week or two.

But then when I was writing up my class plans for the week long training camp I decided to do something a little different. I wrote up a series of sessions that built up the process from Bowing on to the mat right up to the moment just before throwing. It included the Rei, gripping and moving.

It was an intuitive decision that his is what they needed.

Now in 2009, I have attended University of Bath and been exposed to more coaches and more research and my analytical mind can see the value in what I did based on intuition.

Judo coaches are now studying/teaching gripping patterns, movement. Coaches are developing psychological interventions around the entry to the contest area and how athletes compete.

There is now a evidence based approach to what I did "from my gut". My small innovation is an example of what I'd like to see more of in Judo.
It is more of what I would like to do in my Judo coaching.

At the moment I have two applictaions out there for involvement in programmes that will allow me to develop as a Judo coach. Two seperate but linked opportunities for me to learn and share and develop and innovate.

One is a practical applied opportunity, the other more educational though not entirely.

I have applied because I think I bring somethng interesting to both opportunities and also because both bring something unique to my continued development. And that is important to me.

I am hoping that both go well and in an ideal world I shall be accepted/selected for both. They are mutually beneficial to one another, and if I can do both I know it is the best thing for both activities.

Both these opportunities are going to drive me forward to innovate and to coach more and better.

What are YOU doing to improve your coaching? What are you doing (to paraphrase Brian Ashton) to create your own learning environment as a coach?
Are you applying for new challenges? For new educational opportunities? If so, good! If not, why not?


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