I try to have a consistent theme running through each practice so it is apparent I am not making it up as I go along. I also try to select a theme based on what I know the group I will be teaching needs. Of course, this is much easier when you are teaching your own class then doing a clinic, because you know the skill level and athleticism of the people likely to show up.
This is what we did at Gompers Judo yesterday:
1. Warm-up by running in place, both on the mat and on crash pads - which made it apparent that while our kids are tough, they are not in good shape. Remind me to give them running drills as a homework assignment.
2. A game I learned from Justin Flores that I think he picked up at a wrestling camp - you have to keep your feet planted shoulder width apart. You try to get your partner to move his or her feet by pushing against each other's palms to start. If you pull away and the partner is still pushing, that will usually pull them off balance. If you pull away quickly, and as they pull back to stay on balance, you push on their chest, it will usually push them off balance. Each time your partner moves a foot, you get one point. When one person has three points, you switch partners.
3. We did the "help-em-up drill" for when your partner is leaned forward. You can read this in detail in our book, Winning on the Ground. In brief, a failed attack by the partner or you resulted in him/her with one knee on the ground and one up. If your partner is silly enough to try to stand up, you "help
em up" by lifting, and as you do so, you turn and throw with an inside leg sweep (uchi mata - and yes I know in Japanese it means inner thigh throw).
4. We did standing uchi mata - the same throw, to work on technique.
5. We went back to number 3.
Did they get it perfectly? Of course not. Perfection doesn't come from a single day. It comes from a long string of good days added together. Today was a good day.