GB Cadet Strategy
2016 saw the launch of a new BJA Cadet Strategy which will focus on the development of cadet players in their technical abilities over winning medals in competitions. The British Judo World Class Performance Programme will work alongside the Home Nations to ensure that players moving through the pathway are developed in key ‘Trademarks’ and provided with the opportunity to train in Japan as part of a GB Cadet Futures squad.
James Thomas, Performance Pathway Senior Manager, explains the shift in focus in the Cadet strategy and what it means for players coming through the pathway:
“The GB Cadet strategy represents a big shift in focus for the Cadet age group and the sport as a whole. The British Judo World Class Performance Programme (WCPP) has made a significant investment into researching the world’s best players and profiling their background to ensure that our approach to developing players for the future has a strong evidence base. In agreement with the Home Nations, the key focus for the pre-cadet and cadet age groups will be the development of their technical foundations across two of the five British Judo ‘Trademarks’ (see below): Throw for Ippon and Win in Newaza. This shifts the focus from winning medals in competition to technical development.
“To support this strategy, a fantastic new GB Cadet Futures programme will be launched in 2016 that recognises cadet players who demonstrate the identified ‘trademarks’ in competition alongside excellent performance behaviours within their Home Nation Cadet programmes. Identified players will be invited to attend a 10 day training camp during October half-term in Japan as part of a GB Cadet Futures squad paid for in full by the British Judo WCPP. This training camp is not only intended to expose talented British players to one of the most fantastic judo environments in the world but also a life experience that they will never forget, and not to mention to inspire them to take the next step in their judo career.
“In addition to this, 2-3 club/area coaches who support their Home Nation programmes by advocating the development of the Trademarks will be invited to join the GB Cadet Futures squad in Japan, as well as shadowing opportunities at the British Judo Centre of Excellence for those coaches who have aspirations of being future performance coaches.
“What this new GB Cadet strategy means is that instead of the Cadet programme culminating in the European Cadet Championships (ECC) in July, which we know has very little correlation to Olympic success, there is now a development programme that spans the full year. The ECC will now be funded by Home Nation programmes as a beneficial competition experience as part of a players development, but it should not be the focal point for cadet players, coaches and their parents.”