The Informed Coach




Chapter Topic:


Chapter: Mapping Out a Strategy

Mapping Out A Strategy To Win


          You turn on the TV and low and behold the National Judo Championships are being televised. You can’t believe your eyes as you quickly phone your judo buddies. The color commentator, Jimmy Pedro, is giving some historical background on Ronda Rousey, age, height, weight, background, strengths and weaknesses, what to expect, how hard she has trained this past year in preparation, what players will possibly give her trouble, and how those problems may be overcome. Quickly you switch to TiVo, hoping to capture this information knowing your player is in the same division and may one day get a chance to fight her, but needs to get ready from now. Now you have to ask yourself, “What needs to be done to have a real chance at winning?”


What’s the difference between long-term strategy and tactics?

What does it mean to map out a strategy?

What are timelines and markers?

Why is time awareness important?

 What is so important about knowing your environment; self-assessment, scouting the opposition, and devising a long- term plan of preparation?

 What is meant by “setting markers”, and recording your progress?

 Why is assessing, reassessing and adjusting your progress important?

Strategy versus Tactics

         Strategies are long term overall plans to overcome restrictions to success, whereas tactics are methods of dealing with more immediate problems. The former is more aggressive while the latter is defensive in nature.  While this section is about advanced tactics, strategy has to be taken into account.  Tactics actually are only a part of your strategic planning.

Depending on the activity and the specific goals you are trying to achieve these periods will differ. They can be as short as a week or as long as a quarter of a year or more. Mitchell Palacio, an exercise physiologist at City College of San Francisco who trains elite athletes suggests a three-week period after which he finds diminishing returns for the efforts expended. As you can see this type of thinking is different from recreational judo where one attends practice just for the fun of throwing around a few bodies, chatting with friends, and going home till the next practice occurs. There is nothing wrong with this type of judo and it is enjoyable and good for your health, nonetheless if you’re hoping to become a champion and your time is limited, you can’t afford to work in a judo void. At most even elite athletes enjoy only four Olympic Games. That’s if you are exceptionally gifted at 15 and last until 31 years of age. It’s doubtful you’ll last to 35.  Even in the master’s division you’ve got to have direction.

        Timelines are important in that they delineate sections of time in which certain goals are to be accomplished. Remember the “glasses of water” example in the last chapter, aerobic and anaerobic conditioning, strength, technical ability, tactical understanding, etc. These become your goals.


United States Judo Federation

National Teachers Institute

Mitchell Palacio, Chairperson

United States Judo Federation

P.O. Box 338

Ontario, OR 97914-0338


Phone: 1-541-889-8753

Fax: 1-541-889-5836