When I started my career as a judo coach, I was a great polisher. This is not at all abnormal for a world class athlete with good communication skills and the desire to coach. It's usual for them to be thrown into the top end of the developmental cycle to coach and not into the grassroots coaching realm. I was no different. I could take somebody who already had the raw materials in place, who already had some sort of development, and shine them up and polish them; help them become a champion, help them become an Olympian, help them win worlds, help them win national championships, and I was able to do this because I was a great polisher.
But, when I became a grassroots level coach and started coaching with the Bahamas Judo Federation in 2009, coaching inside schools, putting together school programs, putting together dojo programs around the country, and doing the same thing for myself in Tampa, I had to learn how to become a manufacturer - and more so when I had my son and my daughter. I had to learn about total athletic development with respect to human development and early childhood education. I had to learn how to develop someone from the initial stages of nothingness and help them become something.
Now, granted, these are all things I knew in theory. The hard part about the grassroots coaching process is that while we are so focused on the students we still need someone to focus on us, and that's my reason for producing this book. I know that as you continue to pour out into your students every day, you still need someone to pour into you, someone to encourage you, someone to help you grow, and someone to push you forward to higher levels of excellence.
©2017 Rhadi Ferguson (P)2017 Rhadi Ferguson