Module: Lesson Planning – Implementing Instruction

Module 6: Lesson Planning – Implementing Instruction


Identify your objectives for the season.  Usually the judo season for junior competition is from September to August with the Jr. Nationals in July and Junior international competition in August.  The Senior competition season is usually is from September to May.

You will need to identify your season objectives based on your players and their level of competition.  The sequencing of objectives into the pre-, early, mid, and late portions of the season is recommended with specific objectives for each practice.

Develop a Judo Season Plan  – Identify Your Season Objectives

As the teacher/instructor, your primary role is to maximize the benefits your students obtain through participation.  For each opportunity you have to influence students in a beneficial way, you also face the possibility of influencing them in a detrimental way.  The degree to which positive or negative effects occur is directly related to the choices you make and action you take in planning and conducting the activities of the season.

  • Individual skills (Tachiwaza, Newaza, Kumikata, etc.)
  • Knowledge  (Rules, safety, practices, strategies, training techniques, terminology, nutrition)
  • Physical conditioning (Muscular strength, endurance, power, flexibility, aerobic and anaerobic fitness)
  • Personal and social skills (Feeling about the sport, motivation, discipline, sportsmanship)

After you have selected the objective’s you believe are most important for your students, you should place these objectives into clusters that you believe should be achieved in pre, early, mid and late season.


Decide what objectives should be achieved in the pre, early, mid and late season.

Pre-season objectives

Many of the objectives pertaining to knowledge of the rules, strategies and some involving conditioning can be achieved.  Objectives of physical skills, knowledges, fitness capacities or personal and social skills that can be achieved independently should be addressed.

Early season objectives

Early season should be devoted to determining how well your students have mastered the fundamental objectives you have selected.  In addition to objectives associated with physical skills, early season objectives should include organizational concerns, safety, strategy, discipline, fitness, socialization and organizational (dojo) rules.

 Mid Season

Mid season objectives should maintain the focus on teaching physical skills.  Large share of time should be devoted to refining skills within the context of controlled randori sessions.  Time should be spent combining skills and integrating these skills into strategies.  Many of the cognitive, fitness and personal and social objectives established in the early portion of the season should be continued.

Late season

The maintenance and refinement of early and mid season skills and to refine attacking strategies, should be addressed.  Greater portion of practice should be spent on nagekomi, contest like drills and randori.  Practices should be organized so fitness levels are maintained.  Emphasis continues on selected cognitive and personal and social skills.

You should have them clearly in mind as you view the entire season in terms of what you wish to accomplish and the time in which it must be done.

Assess The Needs Of Your Students

Assessment of Physical Skills

Physical skills can be assessed by carefully observing your students while they participate in uchikomi, nagekomi, newaza drills and randori.  Description of skills, their key elements, and common errors of performance need to be well known in order to evaluate your student.

In addition to knowledge about how the skills are performed, the following visual evaluation guidelines are helpful in making accurate observations of performance.

  • Select a proper observational distance
  • Observe the performance from different angles
  • Observe activities in a setting that is not distracting
  • Observe a skilled reference model
  • Observe slower moving body parts first
  • Observe separate key elements of complicated skills
  • Observe the timing of technique application

 Assessment of Cognitive Needs

Knowledge of strategy and rules can be evaluated during drills, randori and “shiai” competition by noting the response of your students to situations, which require a decision, based upon the type of knowledge.

By clearly communicating what you want the student to know in certain circumstances, and then asking questions and observing how they react, you can learn what they know and what skills and knowledge they can appropriately apply.

 Assessment of Personal/Social needs

An assessment of social needs, though subjective, is not difficult.  Informal conversation with your student and observation of their interaction with other team members during practice, competition and informal gatherings is usually sufficient to determine what needs exist.  It can be more difficult to strengthen the personal/social weaknesses of your student than to enhance their performance of individual physical techniques and their knowledge of the sport.

As skilled performance is contingent on learning the key elements of each skill, the modification of a negative or interfering attitude requires the ability to correctly analyze the underlying problem.  Ask yourself, the parents, or the student why the behavior in question is occurring.  This may require some probing.  Often the problem is not related to the sport.  The fact that you care enough about the individual student to invest some time and energy may be all that is needed to reverse or eliminate a negative quality that could become a burden to the individual and the team.  Based upon the information obtained, generate a specific strategy for modifying the behavior by working on its underlying cause(s).

Evaluating the status of students in the physical, mental and attitudinal areas of performance is necessary in order to obtain insight about how to conduct practices that match their needs.  Whether your students are performing at low, moderate, or high levels, they can all improve with good instruction.


Foundation for Effective instruction

Effective instruction requires:

  1. Clear communication of “what” is to be learned
    1. Physical – physical skills and conditioning
    2. Cognitive – rules, strategies, safety procedures, and responsibilities
    3. Affective – personal and social skills, interpersonal communication
  2. Defining the Specific Objectives For Each Practice
  3. Select, teach and practice high priority objectives
  4. Use of Systematized Teaching Model for Judo

 Clear Communication of What is to be Learned

The results (or outcomes) of effective instruction can be grouped into three areas.

  • Physical – physical skills and conditioning
  • Cognitive – rules, strategies, safety procedures, and responsibilities
  • Affective – personal and social skills, interpersonal communication

 The identification of the objectives to be taught is a prerequisite to effective instruction in each of the above areas.  Students will not learn merely through exposure and practice. Rather, they must have specific feedback revealing addressing the objectives and what they are doing correctly and, equally as important, what they are doing incorrectly.

 Defining the Specific Objectives For Each Practice

As you place objectives into season quarters adjust the number of practices assigned to each objective.  You might discover you have chosen to cover more objectives than your available practice time will allow.  You should devote enough practice time to the cumulative instruction and practice of each objective to result in the majority of students making significant improvements on the majority of objectives included in your yearly plan.

Students must receive enough instruction, practice and feedback to make significant improvements on their performance abilities.  Select, teach and practice only the objectives that are essential to your student’s level of play.

Select, teach and practice high priority objectives

You should allot time to

  • Introduce the objective – tell the student what you want them to learn and why it is important
  • Determine the levels of performance of your students
  • Teach key elements of each skill
  • Have students to practice these elements, receiving enough corrective feedback and/or encouragement to achieve higher levels of ability.

 The time allotment to some fitness, cognitive and personal and social objectives may not be as structured as the time allotment for skill objectives.  Fitness objective are often achieved along with practice of skills drills (uchikomi) and randori. Some cognitive and personal and social objectives can be attained during the practice of physical skills.

The most important part of developing a season calendar is the decisions to make about what objectives to include in your plan and how much practice time to devote to each objective on a practice-by-practice basis.


Your role as the teacher can be best filled through the leadership and instruction you provide in practice and competition.  Those teachers who are most effective in helping their student acquire the necessary physical skills, knowledge, fitness and personal and social skills are those who have clear objectives and who have a plan to achieve them.  Organization of the season by selecting and teaching high priority objectives in proper order and for an appropriate amount of time, is a major step toward helping students acquire the benefits available through participation in judo.