This is the Judo blog of Lance Wicks. In this blog I cover mainly Judo and related topics. My Personal blog is over at LanceWicks.com 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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JudoCoach.com Blog by Lance Wicks

 

 


FDSC Year3, Block 2, Day 4. 


Hello all, please forgive me if this post comes about negative, it's not what I plan to write. But it may be what comes out as I am feeling a bit low at the moment (more on that later).

This morning we had Kat McDonald on video research, and more specifically on how to create a video analysis system. This was the subject of a 15,900 word dissertation/thesis she did for her degree here at University of Bath. So, she really knew the subject and the fact she had spent many MANY hours considering and working on it showed.

Given my interest in this area I was fascinated, and I think we were all impressed with the model she has developed and showed. I really liked the potential for the data it would collect and immediately my IT head started to see the potential to use what she has done to do some awesome visualisation and creating things like tagclouds of a players data would be both easy to produce, easy to use and powerful.

It also gave me some ideas in terms of my much neglected e-judo project and how I could more accurately model a Judo fight and do some simulation on player behavior in a fight.

Given a solid database of notation from matches, you could generate predictions on how a player might behave in a fight against another player. How powerful might that be for players and coaches. You receive the draw, then are able to enter it into the computer, it then generates a report, or if you are really clever a video or slideshow of photos of your opponent, showing say that they are likely to attack with a left OSoto in the first segment of action, then there is a say 70% chance of the next attack being Harai Goshi. And so on....

So the player and the coach could use these probabilities to prepare. Imagine the power of that in your mental rehearsal? Having a programmatically generated simulation of your opponents most likely actions!

After Kat, we visited the big coaching event being hosted at the university for SportsCoach UK. We were able to listen to Steve Backley speak, which was really good. he has obviously moved into the motivational speaking arena!

Afterwards we had Tracy Rea again, this time speaking on anxiety and relaxation techniques. Afterwards, Mike got our assignments and grades back from the last block in April.

I did pretty well, my grades are consistently improving overtime, block to block. It's not easy to take emotionally I think. Obviously, the marking can be very critical and negative comments outweigh positive ones. Which is the way of marking. But, when you have really worked hard on something any negatives hurt don't they.

I should not be grumpy, my grade average is now definately high enough to theoretically qualify to attend the BSC. top up year (18 months). But for some reason I am in a dark mood! I suppose it's because you wait so SO long to get the assignments and feedback. Maybe.

Anyway... not as negative as I suspected I might be. I suppose writing this has reminded me about Kat's lecture, which has been a highlight in many ways.

So, I think I'll finish on that positive. Lots of work to do! First assignment due tomorrow.

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FDSC, Year 3, Block 2, Day 3 


Evening all,
well another good day here at University of Bath, despite appearances. The day started with a whole morning dedicated to our presentation posters, which despite being a brilliant project is not that... well energetic or awe inspiring.

The after was a bit better with a session with Jon Rpbinson on video analysis tools and a further session with Sara Hale on notational systems.

Jonathan's session wa intrigueing as the level of video analysis in Judo is pretty low compared to say Rugby or Soccer. But it really was good for leading some thoughts in really positive directions.

Sara's session was pretty cool, she prepared a lecture which included loads about wrestling, which is easil;y translated into Judo language and thought processes. Which the more easily accessible rugby, football, hockey stuff is not for us. So I suspect she earned serious "brownie points" by taking the time and ebergy to find some reference material that was easier to digest, cheers!

Again avoided the training this evening pleading ankle injury. More to do with wanting to work on assignemnts however, if truth be told. I now have my first assignment at the review phase, the second well underway and the poster for the conference well on it's way.

This evening, I met up with Adrian which was really good. he is a podcasting guru so I found his view of what is happening really interesting. Discussing things like this blog and www.thejudopodcast.eu was really fascinating!

In the morning we have some amazing lectures, I am buzzing already, partly because on the way back to my room I met up with Daniel Lascau, who has just arrived. He is many ways is the heart and soul of our year. Weird how it now feels like Bath again now I know he is here and that I can expect abuse, torment and inspiration for the next week and a half!


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FDSC Year 3, Block 2, Day 2. 


Today was sunny! Brilliant change of weather given the recent rubbish rain and flooding etc here in the UK. So I spent almost the entire day indoors in lectures!

Today started with Kate Eddy on mental skills development (sport psychology). It was a good session which I enjoyed. We did quite a bit of group work in threes and fours, discussing the topics around mental skills for Judo athletes. About the demands on a Judoka mentally speaking. Really interesting topic, with great discussion.

An interesting area we discussed and perhaps it was off topic was dieting and eating disorders in Judo. It was around this thing that we talk a lot about how crash dieting and losing weight through dehydration etc is bad. Yet, as one person said "..I've never met an Olympic medalist who has not lost weight (crash dieted) to make weight...".

The train of thought it led me along was, that perhaps we (judo generally) talk the talk, but do not walk the walk. In that we (again speaking generally here) say that crash dieting and weight cycling is bad and invite nutritionists etc to tell our athletes not to do it. Yet, it would appear that A)its not working as athletes are still doing it and B)The elite players do it and succeed.

So... What to do? Do we do more to tackle the problem and change this? Or do we perhaps classify it as a risk of the sport and educate and monitor our athletes as to how to do it with the minimum of risk?

If we are going to stop it, then perhaps we need to get rid of weight categories? Or have several weigh ins over a period of days/weeks/months to ensure that athletes are not losing excess amounts of weight.

or...And I don't suggest that this is the right thing to do.
Do we accept and develop our weight management strategies with our athletes? Do we be honest about the situation and tackle it openly, perhaps embrace it?

I don't have a clue how you might go about this alternative approach, personally I think it's better to change the way the sport is structured to prevent the need/urge to diet.


So after that we had Sara Hale again, who continued our lectures on Notational analysis. Specifically covering some notation systems for Hockey and Rugby. Fortunately for me (or perhaps not) I knew much of what she was covering as I had done lots of reading last year before doing my notation research at the commonwealths. So perhaps I found it a bit dryer and harder to stay focussed on than perhaps everyone else.

After lunch the day continued with an interesting session with Tommy Mortenson about fight analysis. He had some really interesting things to talk about and I really enjoyed speaking with him afterwards as we were able to talk in a little detail about what sort of data he had examined and what he thought was useful. Which again fitted well with my interests in statistics for Judo. Unfortunately he was not able to share some of the spreadsheets and the data he had collected in the past as at some point in the past his computer had been infected and it was all lost! :(

Finally, Steve Gawthorpe took a Ne-Waza session, which was excellent (although I decided to stay off the mat as I am trying to let my ankle recover from the sprain I received during the Winchester 5KM last week).

Steve, is one energetic guy and his ne-waza looked scary! Glad I was not his Uke! :) It would be excellent to see more of his work and to prise more of his thoughts out of him.

This evening I am trying to stay in the room and get some work done on my assignments, it's pretty darn crowded, our first piece of work is due in on Friday, then we have assignments due in everyday next week!!!! :(

My brain may expire!


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FDSC Year Three, Block 2, Day 1 


Hi all,
well it's terrific to be here in Bath again, weather excluded of course. :(

Today is the start of the final block on my FDSC adventure, which as I've indicated in an earlier post is tinged slightly with the sad realization that this is the end of this course.

Today was a little different for me, as along with attending some lectures I took one also.

Today started with Sara Hale, who is taking our Performance Analysis module. Today was a generic history of performance analysis and notational analysis. So covering from ancient Egypt through earlier musical notation (11th century), to Dance (15th Century) through to today.

I am really interested by this subject as I have been down this path myself. My research in Northern Ireland last year was notational analysis.

This lecture was followed by my lecture on the e-learning system MOODLE. As a keynote lecture it means I stood there and spoke to all three years of students, ulp!
Hopefully, I got the message across about the potential benefits Moodle has to offer us all. Mike Callan took some notes and is going to implement some of the ideas that were suggested by my fellow students.

After lunch, we had Tracy Rea. Tracy is taking our Mental Skills Development module. She was great and has got us thinking about what we are going to do for our oral presentations at the conference next week. She was immediately in my good books as one of the things she handed out was a psychological skills training handout/booklet from Sport Science New Zealand.

After this we had a session with Mike Callan discussing our Learning in the Workplace assignment and how the assessment will work. Also discussion ideas of how to tackle the task of doing our presentation posters.

So in summary, not bad all in all. Rooms... well I LOVED the heat and pressure of the shower I had this morning! Shame I had to climb up a couple of flights of stairs to get to the communal shower and WC. Dude... wheres my ensuite!

One of the things we have to do this block is revise our Judo CV. Today has added "lecturer" LOL :) Gotta love that! Right, where's the bar!
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Off to Bath, let the Blogging begin. 


Today I leave for two weeks at University of Bath, to complete my FDSC in Sports Performance.

As per usual, I plan on blogging daily to capture the experience of doing the course, both for me personally and for those interested in the course. So stay tuned for more over the next two week!

This is the final block (2 weeks, twice a year) and in a weird way it feels like when I got ready to see the final Lord of the Rings movie. That feling of anticipation, knowing it was going to be great, that you are going to really enjoy it! Yet, somewhere there is a sad sensation lurking, that knowing that this is the end. That there is no more to look forward to.

:(


The hope is that I'll make the BSC. top up year (18 months) which will give me more time in Bath. We shall wait and see eh.


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