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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European Judo Championships u23 

I am currently in Siberia (Tyumen, Russia) working at the European Judo Unions European u23 Championships.

We are streaming the results live onto the internet at ... amp;id=661

My colleagues are in Amsterdam streaming the Grand Prix event which you can watch at:
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Daniel Lascau visits Camberley Judo Club 

On November 2nd, British Judo Performance Director, Daniel Lascau visits Camberley Judo Club.

On only his second day living in the UK, new BJA Performance director Daniel Lascau visited Camberley Judo Club and watched the training and also spoke with the athletes.

He spoke about what the athletes had to do with less than 10 months to the London2012 Olympic Games. He spoke about how he wants to have nationwide TUesday and Thursday randori.

He spoke about how he would have different teams, those in the top 20 in the world, the top 8, etc. Also he spoke about the top fifty players and those not in the top fifty.

I was very impressed that on the second day living in the UK, Daniel was at Camberley. The next day he was off to Bath and only on the fourth day was he going to visit BJA HQ.

I am hopeful that Daniel will be able to create as he describes an objective and open system that earns the trust of the players and coaches around the country. That includes the elite level and the grass root.

Music: Ignition Sequence by Jurassic 5.
Voiceover: Lance Wicks.

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Coaching Digital Natives, Social Media and Social Hardware Talk at ARU. 

On the 27th of October I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to deliver a talk at Anglia Ruskin University on coaching digital natives, social media and social hardware.

The talk is the v2.0 of the original DIgital Natives talk I gave at the University of Bath in 2008.

In the talk I tried to cover in a fairly short time what a digital native is, what social media is and why either of them matter. I also added a section on Social Hardware or the "Internet of Things" and how it relates to coaching.

Anyway... I was able to take a video of the talk and here it is:

If you can't see the video, try it on ... lMediaTalk
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All changes at the BJPI 

We are about to go into November 2011 and since I last posted about the British Judo Performance programme a lot has changed.

Margaret Hicks, Jane Bridge and Patrick Roux are out and Daniel Lascau has taken on the challenge and is the new Performance Director for British Judo.

He has a big challenge ahead of him and I hope that it goes well. The players deserve a chance to make a good go at London2012 and the previous management team were not doing that.

My hope is that Mr. Lascau is able to make the sweeping cultural changes needed and become trusted by the athletes and coaches... and teh wider Judo community. The trust issue is I feel the biggest hurdle he faces and I hope he is able to get the mindset of the british Judo performance athletes and wider community and make some positive changes.

I will support and trust him, you should too.
We the wider community need to give him a chance, and to give him our trust and our support. We need to risk that he lets us down. We need to take that risk and take the chance that he will burn us.
We need to take the risk and take it on behalf of the athletes, we need to support him 100% until he earns the trust or loses it.

With only a few short months till the games, I think we can all take that risk. And we need to step away form the bad history and burned bridges and focus on the next months and give every chance we can to the hopes and dreams of the athletes who are trying to be the best they can be despite the difficulties they have faced up to this point.

They need us to support them and top give them the chance to succeed. And we need to support them and get behind the programme until London2012 is over.

It has been a rough road so far, but as I've said to others: I see this as a Hollywood Blockbuster.

We are at that point in the movie where the hero has been beaten to the floor, had sand kicked in his/her eyes and is on deaths door. BUt this is the point in the movie where the hero sees his mother/father/wife/husband/coach and realises that they can get up. They will get up; they will fight on.

From this moment they fight back and win against the odds, this is where British Judo is and we need to help the fairytale finish happen. When the players look up they should see all of us, screaming that they can and will do it! They should see us supporting them and putting any differences aside. They should see the light at the end of the tunnel, the moment of glory on the biggest stage in sport!

So, take a moment this week to consider what you can do to help Daniel Lascau and all the athletes. Take a minute to contact someone and ask what you can do to help. Take a second to tell the players in your club that great things are happening in British Judo and that we all need to give our support to the players.

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BJA Failing athletes, Part two. 

Good morning all,

I am sat here watching the Rugby world cup and the Mongolian Judo World Cup and felt the need to follow up on my previous post about the British teams performance at the 2011 World Championships.

The Mongolian World Cup is weak, numbers-wise at least. Being immediately after the world championships many athletes do not attend. Which to me means it is an ideal event to attend if you need to chase points for the ranking list; which helps seeding.

I was sure I had written about how the British team last year didn't attend and I thought that was a mistake. As I do this year also.

But I was unable to find a blog post immediately that said that. What I did find is this post: ... 901-170802

Which I wrote after the 2009 Word Championships. If you don't fancy reading it, just read my post from this years world championships and swap 2011 for 2009. In other words, the concerns I raised in 2009 I am raising again in 2011. They have not been addressed.

Interestingly one of the first snippets that caught my eye was a 2009 quote from Margaret Hicks saying that the British team was "...on the right track... in the build-up to the London Olympics.

Later in the post I wrote:

"What worries me is that British Judo is on a path, one that is failing to show signs of light. It is getting worse, performing at lower levels than in the past. Remember those stats from above, this is the worst performing team in the last 3 world championships."

So how hell are we in 2011 and the situation is nearly identical. Another terrible World Championships, another "worst performance".

I think Margaret Hicks was right in one area at least, British Judo is on a track, a path. But not the right one! They are on the wrong train, going the wrong way... fast!

To me, the most obvious thing in the world for the BJA and UK SPort is to change direction. The great genius that was Albert Einstein is attributed with the following quotation "Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results."

It is "insane" for British Judo to continue with the current path and the current performance management team. The time is now to change direction, to remove Hicks, Roux and Bridge from post and to see what can be salvaged in time for the biggest sporting event in British History.

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