Lots of good tips came out this weekend at the West Coast Judo Training Center. Ronda was on a roll. I overheard her advising several young players,
"Analyze yourself. Write down everything that you do. Write down all the throws you worked on each day, how many times you did each one. If you write it down you might see something you wouldn't have noticed otherwise, for example, that you have only been working on right-sided forward throws, and that will reveal a weakness in your judo."
"Analyze yourself, too, by writing out specifics about how you do a throw - first I get this grip with my right hand, then do this with my left, then step in with my foot turned this way. Again, you can see where you are making mistakes. Or, you can see that you think of yourself as a right-handed player but you always do left throws from a right-handed grip. The important thing is to be thinking about what you are doing and always trying to get better."
Finally, at the end of her last practice at the training center as she heads off for the next Olympics, she said,
"You hear everybody talk about sacrifice. Well, I have a boyfriend I like, an apartment near the beach and my family, a dog, a car, a pretty good life. I could apply to the Coast Guard right now, which is my dream job. Instead, I am packing it all in and going on the road for three years to do whatever it takes to win the Olympics. It sucks but that's what I have to do, I have to give up everything in my life right now and I am doing it."
Other good advice,
NOT LOSING ON FOOTSWEEPS - speaking of analysis. For heaven's sakes, if you know your opponent is left-handed and does footsweeps don't go for a grip with your right hand and your right foot forward. Put your LEFT foot forward and punch in with your right hand. In fact, NEVER start out a grip by reaching with one hand and stepping forward with the same foot. It's just a bad habit. Someone who has an opposite side footsweep (e.g., a right-handed player against left) will nail you.
USE YOUR HIPS - if you find that when you are pinning people your legs often get entangled, thus breaking the pin, try switching your hips. Say, for example, I am pinning a person with yoko shiho gatame laying on my stomach, on the left side of her body, if I shift my hips to the right so that instead of being on my stomach I am on my right hip my legs will be further away and much harder to reach.
USE YOUR HIPS 2 - when pinning someone, whether it is yoko shiho, kesa gatame or any other pin EXCEPT kami shiho, I immediately lower my hips and try to put my stomach on the mat to out the person on his or her back as flat as possible. I may later, in the course of preventing an escape, switch my hips (see above).
--------- Random Comments from practice -----------
"You want a piece of this?"
"Careful how you answer that, he doesn't mean what you think he means."
"She threw you that many times? Where's your bag? I'm taking your manhood card out of your wallet and ripping it up."
"I accidentally gave him a black eye when I punched him in the face."
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