ASA Gears Up For State Level Judo Championship With 11-Day Camp

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The ASA coach observing the girls during group practice

The Anantapur Sports Academy (ASA) athletes have been working up their Judo mats after the recent Sub-Junior District Level Judo Championship 2015 on 28th June, their first tournament after the inauguration of the training centre by the Judo Federation of India.

This tournament paved the way for the upcoming Sub-Junior State Level Judo Championship 2015 as the top performers. The winners from the district games stayed back in order to train for the upcoming state level competition.

After the district level competition, select athletes were accommodated at the ASA for an 11-day camp that was conducted between the 30th of June and the 9th of July 2015. The ASA coach, along with a coach appointed by the association, carefully segregated the athletes into three groups: novice athletes, athletes who have attended previous camps athletes and advanced athletes.

The three groups trained rigorously three times a day alongside academy athletes for the duration of the camp. The 48 athletes (24 girls and 24 boys) who made it to the camp were further segregated according to their age and weight categories. Eight of these athletes represented the ASA.

After this careful selection, athletes were put through a carefully planned routine keeping in the mind that they had to maintain their fitness and at the same time focus on the basics. The first phase, consisting of 5 days, primarily focused on fitness and the basics of Judo.

The early morning sessions between 5:30 and 8:00 a.m. saw the athletes engage in cardio and then agility, after which the athletes moved to stretching, freehand and floor exercises and finally move to the basics of Judo. After the completion of their first session, the athletes would break for breakfast and rest for about an hour.

The next session, from 10am to 12:30pm, was intense training still focusing on the basics of holding, gripping and throwing. A very important part of this session was that the athletes were made to continuously repeat the movement for about 30 seconds and then finally execute the move in the end. Here the coaches would step in to supervise and correct the athletes individually.

After this session, the athletes would go for lunch and rest before coming out for their last session of the day at 4pm up until 7:30pm. This final session would be purely technical, where the athletes would begin with practicing techniques and then train in what is called group practice; times when athletes are paired to train with heavier and advanced athletes.

This is where the coaches’ initial segregation of athletes was put to use and athletes would be able to observe and understand through their own mistakes.

The 3-day second phase encompassed learning advanced skills of attack and defense, entry into counter-attacking and holding positions. The last phase was all about the athletes involving themselves in group practice and ‘one on one’ rounds, applying their knowledge into real time scenarios. Another method that the coaches used during the camp was dividing athletes into two teams who would in turn observe and advice their team members as a peer group. The coaches would oversee the group practices to further find and rectify mistakes.

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The boys during a One on One session

While speaking to K N Babu, Secretary of the District Judo Association, we were informed that of the 48 athletes who have been training here, 24 will be selected to participate further in the upcoming state level tournament. He also added on the final day of the camp, “The selected athletes have been training very hard, we are confident that all of the 8 ASA athletes from the camp will perform very well and hopefully move one further to get selected to the Nationals and do us proud”

Edited by Staff Editor