Like many competitors, when I retired from competition, I was very excited about coaching, and particularly about coaching players like me - that is, national and international level competitors. Even though I had just come off of winning a world championships, not too many people were interested in hearing anything I had to say. Part of it was sexism - thirty years ago, not many men or women gave much respect to female coaches. I can only remember two female judo coaches in the U.S. - Rusty Kanokogi and Diane Pierce. If women black belts were "allowed" to teach at all, they taught kata.
Part of it, though, was although I was a great competitor (come on, if you won a world gold medal you get to say you were a great competitor), I certainly was not a great coach, I was just a beginning coach. I didn't totally suck - I knew a lot of judo, especially matwork, I was in good physical shape to demonstrate, and I honestly wanted to help athletes learn the techniques that I was good at. I had a GREAT time at every practice and I couldn't understand why everyone else didn't, too.
Several things are different now. I'm certainly not in the same physical shape. I want to help everyone learn the techniques that will benefit them. Not everyone wants to be an international athlete. Some people just want to get in shape, have a good time, maybe compete in a tournament now and then. Even the people who are athletes are not all best suited doing the techniques I did as a competitor.
On Sunday, I was watching Bradley work out and it occurred to me that a particular entry to an arm bar would work really well with the way he does judo. It's not something I ever did personally, but Ronda does it. So, we spent some time working on that and he did it really well. I thought Marcello was not advanced enough to do the same technique, but he came over to watch us, and it was obvious he wanted to try it, so I invited him to join in. I was wrong, he actually did the technique better than I expected.
My point here is that when I was younger, I focused on what *I* wanted to do, what *I* was good at, what *I* thought a player should do. Now that I am older, I've learned to focus more on each person as an individual. So, you could say I have gone from being "coach-centric" to "player-centric".
I didn't show that armbar here for the same reason that I did not include it in Winning on the Ground and that I asked Bradley's mom not to post any video of it. Tune in to the fight December 28th and maybe you will see it then.