Steve Cohen here and I will be sending out monthly communications in regard to different coaching and development topics such as…
- Coaching ethics
- Referees and rules
- Athlete development at different stages
- Training methods at different stages
- Competition preparation at different stages
- Post competition work at different stages
My first communication will be about judo coaching in general and some of the challenges we all face.
Popularity of Judo in the United States
As a sport, we are competing with popular sports that are regularly televised and with those sports there is a good chance that a parent, sibling, or friend is either involved in that sport or a fan. These sports are also very accessible in their schools or park districts close to where they live making it convenient for them to participate in. Playing sports in schools gives kids general peer acceptance that affects their whole school and social experience growing up.
The Values of Judo
Our strengths are vast! Judo is an Olympic sport that teaches you respect, humility, responsibility, discipline, and a work ethic. These values will be with you your entire life and will affect everything you do in the future. Judoka become better citizens.
Why Coaching is Important At All Levels of Judo
I have a great respect for Judo coaches in the United States. You all take time away from your families and your jobs to run your club, go to tournaments or just be with your athletes on a regular basis to help them develop. I think it’s important to note EVERY level of coaching is crucial to the growth of the sport. We have recreational coaches that have a great ability to bring kids into the dojo and make judo fun for them while teaching them basic life and judo skills. We have competitive coaches that teach fundamental judo and bring their athletes to local and regional tournaments. Lastly, we have elite coaches that prepare their athletes for national and international competitions with the hope of making a World and or an Olympic Team with dreams of making it on the World or Olympic podium (or both!).
The Purpose of American Judo System for Coaches
My one disappointment and struggle with coaching Judo in the United States is the overall disjointedness of how things are managed. Unfortunately, this isn’t anything new and, in my opinion, has hindered our ability to produce World & Olympic Medals. 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!
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.
US Olympian & US Olympic Coach
Head Coach, American Judo System
- Please email me at Steve@americanjudo.com with any questions, comments, or topics you may want me to cover.