Lessons for Judo: Luxembourg
Being so small - with a population of a million people and only 600 judoka, the national team had to be crafty with how to become successful internationally. To do so, they open up the national team practices to ALL teen/adult judoka as to maximize the number of bodies at practice and to increase the skill level of the sport overall. This lack of caring about who is from where, but the pure desire to improve & share abilities amongst one another is often lacking amongst places where ego is more important that then sports growth.
Another lovely thing about judo in Lux was the focus on strategy. Knowing that they lack numbers for randori and therefore will never be comparable to powerhouses like Japan & France, instead practices are focused on perfecting strategy, motion, escapes, and positioning. This focus has allowed their top players to become experts in theses areas and has enabled success at the elite (Olympic, Grand Prix) level despite ideal resources.
Leaving Luxembourg I truly felt that both the lessons of sharing resources/bodies at open practices, optimizing minimal training time, and focusing on strategy are areas that could not only greatly aid growth and success in Judo in the US.
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