Helpful coaching strategies
I'm competing in a very open ruleset grappling tournament on the 21st. However I train bjj and this question applies to bjj tournaments in general also. Due to nature of the club atmosphere and small amount of guys I train with it's likely that I won't have my instructor coaching me for my matches. I've competed once before completely solo and found it to be a definite disadvantage competing with someone receiving coaching the entirety of the match. It's probable that I will have a blue or white belt in my corner for the match. I feel apprehensive about having them coach me from the corner due to the fact that they might give me some bad advice or advice that doesn't necessarily gel with my grappling style. My plan was to have whoever is in my corner to keep me updated on the time and to make sure that I stayed busy, for example I wasn't just holding them in side control or resting in the guard.
Does anyone have any good advice for what I should instruct my corner to tell me during the matches? Best case scenario I will have my instructor in my corner but that doesn't look likely so I'm looking to get the most help I can from whoever is in my corner without setting myself up for bad advice.
Uh, if you tell your corner to tell it to you during matches then there's really no point. Try to pick someone who's been preparing for the tournament with you so they know what you've been working on and what your strengths are for each position. You want simple instructions and a minimum of someone trying to describe a move to you in the middle of a match.
At my last tournament this girl and I were coaching someone and while she outranked me I knew what the competitor had been training for the past couple of weeks. The match was down to half-guard with our competitor on top and while she had to scream out detailed instructions for a pass I was able to call up something we'd done just the day before. This also shows why you should only have one coach unless both people have their game plan together.
I've coached matside on a few occasions, both with students and just kids I know (I "coached" at a couple-three nationall AAU wrestling tournaments - mostly it was a chaperone job).
When it's someone I've not trained with, I mostly watch the match to make sure the referee is making the calls. A lot of times the ref will be out of position to see something - if you point it out, without being obnoxious, they'lll frequently make the call for you.
That, of course, requires some knowledge of the rules of the tournament. Make sure you go over the rules with your corner.
About giving advice about specific technique, it's harder if you've not trained with someone. In class, I'll sometimes coach during randori, but the advice I give is something like "turn towards it".
Makes no sense, unless you know the counter I'm talking about - at least, that's the complaint I get during practice. But over time it becomes clear, and it worked to some effect with one of my students, in his most recent MMA match.
That kind of coaching, obviously, is difficult in your case, but if you talk with your corner before the match about the kinds of things you want to be made aware of, or the attacks you're most comfortable with (and to look specifically for those types of openings), and how to communicate, it might work.
Partly, it depends on how standardized the terms are - when I've matside coached wrestling, I've limited my advice to terms that are fairly standard - though during breaks I might make motions, sometimes using a teammate at matside.
Another thing to tell your corner to look for posture - sometimes I'll tell someone to get their base or be up on their toes - in other words, clean up a sloppy position. That's something someone fairly new can see from the sideline. Again, it helps to talk with your corner beforehand.
To be honest, I wouldn't worry that much about bad advice - it happens, and you're going to make bad decisions in competition. You're not going to simply follow any advice given, are you? You'll make your own decisions.
But isn't that the point of developmental competition, to learn from mistakes? Or are you mostly concerned with racking up wins?
Myself, when coaching people I train, I looking as much for mistakes to correct in training, than to correct them during the match - usually the mistakes happen too quickly. I see areas for improvement. That's were having a coach in the corner is more important - the lessons that can come after competition. Frequently, I'll plan practices following a competition, base on what I way during comp.
Good luck - looks like an interesting tournament.
I have, once or twice, had to go to tournaments alone due to my instructor being out of town. I also am often competing at the same time as other students, and tell my instructor to go coach them because they need it more than me. I've therefore had a lot of times being coached by 1) friendly guys from other gyms, 2) guys I used to train with years ago who showed up to spectate, and 3) my brother, who has watched two UFCs. Maybe three.
If someone hasn't been training with you recently and doesn't know your game, they're going to be very limited as far as helpful advice they can offer. I recommend you ask them to shout to you 1) Whenever points are scored (so you know whether to keep fighting against/for a position change or just move on to something else) 2) each time the time has advanced by a minute, and when there are 30 seconds left, so you know roughly how much time you have.
Anyone, even my brother, can do these two things, and they can be very helpful in realizing what you have to do and how fast.
Originally Posted by dakotajudo
That is exactly the kind of advice I was looking to get. I'll be sure to talk about this with my corner. Your also right about not worrying about bad advice. I'm probably not giving enough credit to my training partners, they should definitely be able to give me sound advice about the basics. The basics are really what I am concerned with, I'm not looking for a detailed step by step instruction of a sweep when I'm in the middle of a match. Keeping things simple will remind me of what I need to do if i get stuck. I know my instructor would be able to communicate effectively and quickly to bring across a particular instruction because he knows my game and me and I should really give the benefit of the doubt to my training partners also.
I'm definitely there to learn the most I can. Competing for the first time only after 3 months of training helped tremendously with my progression. I had a whole other perspective to consider and I could more easily relate to others who had also competed. I've come a long way since the last tournament and now I'm testing myself again to see what I need to focus on and achieve to reach that next level. That, and I'm tied down so I don't need to impress the ladies with my bjj record :XXhippylo However, I'd be lying if I said I didn't care about winning.
Originally Posted by dakotajudo
Last edited by relytjj; 1/06/2006 1:37pm at .
I know I'll have someone to at least do that for me.
Originally Posted by fatherdog
The first time I only had my fiancee there with the video camera who couldn't tell me the time and doesn't know jack about sub grappling. Every match I had no clue of the score or the time. Those two things are going to make a world of difference and I know, so I thought I'd ask the forum for any other advice that might help me play to the ruleset the best way possible given limited cornering.
Since your corner is going to inexperienced, tell them to shut the **** up unless it's really important.
Your corner should:
A) Remember that the other guy can hear what they are yelling out to you (i.e. technique) It isn't much good yelling something like 'scissor sweep! scissor sweep' out to you, as your opponent most likely will counter. This does not necessarily count when competing in another country, or if you and your corner speak a relatively uncommon second language (One of my teammates gets some friends to yell advice in Russian from the sidelines)
B) Keep you apprised of the time and point count
C) Yell general encouragement. In every competitive BJJ match I've done well in or won, I've always had a bunch of teammates coaching and encouraging throughout the fight. In some ways, it makes you feel less alone in the ring, which has helped me greatly.
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