Day One Judo Coaches

Day One Judo Coaches

Monthly letter from the American Judo System Coaching Division! 

Steve Cohen here!

This month’s topic will be Beginner Coaches. The type of Beginner Coach I am writing about is the “day one” judo coach.

“Beginner Coaches” can be part of a big judo club, a small judo club, a park district program, a Church, or Jewish Community Center. These coaches must be creative to bring in new students, make the parents of the kids feel they are in a safe place, make the kids feel safe, many times taking them by the hand and walking them on the mat. That child’s first experience will make the difference if they stay in the sport or find another one. So, it is the coaches job to make judo fun for kids and to show the parents the benefits that it can provide so the child comes back for the next class. 

During my Judo career I have met and gotten to know these coaches by doing clinics and, camps around the country. I have found one thing that they all have in common - they all have a deep love for judo and the students in their program - regardless of the size of the program.

I have a great respect for these coaches. I truly believe that these coaches are as important, if not more important, than any other level of coaching in the United States. In many cases, the students of these beginner coaches will always remember great experiences they had with their first judo coach for the rest of their lives; I know I do.

Beginner Judo Coaches

Out of all the levels of coaching in the United States that we have, the Beginner Coach gets the least support - if any at all. I am hoping with the years of knowledge, experience, and success we have at the American Judo System we are able provide the support needed for these coaches. Part of our program will offer programming, skills, drills, curriculum development and other essential concepts for teaching and growing Judo.

What we know:

  • You love judo
  • You love the kids in your class
  • You know how to make your class fun for the kids
  • You love playing games with the kids

What we want to make available to you:

  • Games that will develop judo fundamentals
  • A curriculum to follow in teaching fundamentals
  • A forum to talk to me and other beginning coaches where you can share ideas on all aspects of your program and learn from other coaches as they learn from you.

My live session will be on February 12th at 12:00 - 1:00pm Eastern Time.

Beginning coaching will be the topic of the call however everyone is welcome and other topics can be brought up.

It is my hope as Head Coach at the American Judo System that we can bring coaches together from all levels, dojos and the country and give you access to the knowledge we have. Our team is full of coaches who are eager to grow the sport from the Basic Level to the Elite Level. We are also unique in the fact that Jimmy Pedro and I, have experience in coaching all the areas aforementioned (Day One to Olympic Podium) and we are excited to share our experience and systems with you. I also hope that you will share your knowledge and experience with us because if we are going to grow Judo we must work together!

Thank you for your time and I look forward to working with you! 

See you on the tatami! 

Steve Cohen

US Olympian & US Olympic Coach

Head Coach, American Judo System

  1. Please email me atSteve@americanjudo.comwith any questions, comments, or topics you may want me to cover.

About Steve Cohen

Steve Cohen has been doing judo for over 60 years. Starting judo at the age of 5, Steve had a long successful competitive career ending in 1988 at the Seoul, Korea Olympics. Steve along with his brother, Irwin ran a successful judo program in Illinois producing the first Olympic Silver Medalist and first Junior World Champion for the United States. They also had many athletes on Pan American Games Teams, World Teams, and Olympic Teams. Throughout the years they ran local, regional, and national tournaments. Every Summer, they held a camp where the best youth and junior judo athletes in the country would come to learn and develop, and the best senior judo athletes would attend, teach, and train. Many of those young athletes that attended went on to great success as competitors. Steve became the National Coach for the United States in the 1990’s becoming the Head Junior National Coach for 4 years and following that became the Head Senior National Coach which included being named the Head Coach for the 2000 US Olympic Team. Steve is still active in coaching and developing athletes out of Illinois and works with athletes all over the country.

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