Lesson: Coaching Senior Recreational Players 16 – 30 – 45

Coaching Senior Recreational Players, Age: 16 – 30 – 45

These are individuals who for one reason or another gravitated to judo for various reasons other than to become elite athletes. The age range spans even beyond the 16 to 35 mentioned for senior elites and may go even up to 45 or 50 in some cases.

They compete for various reasons ranging from fun, exciting, challenging, to gain points for rank elevation to those who come back from a hiatus, to see if they still have it.

In judo today there seems to be a need to have someone on your side hollering out suggestions. It seems almost unfashionable to have an empty coaches chair on your side now. Be it as it may, a coach is now an acceptable item in competition judo. Everyone needs a coach, but how do you correctly coach a senior recreational player? Some need and want a coach, some don’t. Some are just assigned a coach by the head sensei and go along with the program as offered by the dojo.

The best that you can do is most likely to ask if they want one? Tell them your qualifications and ask how much coaching they may want? If you are a USJF certified coach you at least know how judo competition could be filled and how to provide that program.

 Coaching Masters AKA Veterans 30 Year Old and Above

For all the reasons given above for senior recreational player, masters also seem to compete. One added advantage in the masters division is that they can compete for a national titles, even an international title if they so wish.

Of course this option is also available for anyone in the senior or even the senior elite category if they are at least 30 years of age or older.

Competition unlike those senior recreational players 30 and above who fight in local tournaments, the masters division can sometimes be challenging even into the 50 year old bracket. At national masters championships you will find recently retired from senior national championship players and even place winners at times competing for the fun of it all, and the excitement of the unknown outcome to be fought out by former rivals hoping to claim bragging rights at the bar next door to the competition site.

In the International scene competition can even be more fierce, with former continental and world place winners looking to at least have the honor associated with being a World Veteran’s Champion.

Because of the desire for many to have a second chance at being the best in the world in their age and weight category, competition can be quite rigorous in terms of preparations. Something akin to the senior elite program strategy has to be considered. There are differences come into play. Many of the athletes are older and more financially stable. Their children are grown or almost so. Maybe its my time now to have an adventure and go for the gold now.

Things can become very serious and a good coach may be an added advantage an ancient warrior can’t afford not to have on his side; if not to coach you, at least to make sure you have a doctors clearance to practice judo much less to prepare to compete in a National or World Championship.


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