Name: Simon Ward
Club: Kingsley School Judo Club
What is your judo background?
I started Judo when I was 7 years old, never reached a high level as a GB athlete but just really enjoyed being part of the circuit and travelling to events while meeting up with and making new friends
How did you get into coaching?
Injury really forced me to stop competing and I was given an opportunity to take up coaching with my club and it all started from there.
What is your coaching role?
I’m currently the lead coach for the Western Area and support the REDS programme. My day-to-day job is also a sports coach at an independent school, where I also teach Judo across ages from 3 years old as well as other sports with the PE programme.
What is your coaching philosophy?
I generally just love the coaching progress, watching someone grow in confidence and find judo for themselves. I also believe that if people approach the coaching role with a determination to firstly just inspire participation and enjoyment in our sport rather than the competition journey, we will encourage long term engagement in judo.
What motivates you as a coach?
Just watching the kids smile and laugh while in the club, gaining new skills and improving their abilities and most off all starting to believe in themselves.
What has been your most memorable moment(s) as a coach?
I was invited to coach at the 2017 UK School Games as part of the England Team and as a Western Area Coaching our team taking a Bronze at the National Team Championships. As a Club coach being matside when one of our Judoka won the clubs first National Championship Golds and leading a group to Japan to take part in the Kodokan Education Course.
What are your coaching ambitions going forwards?
I’m currently into my final year on the BJA, Sports Coaching Master’s degree at Sheffield Hallam, so finishing this important coach education course is my focus, After that I will enjoying being part of the new GB coaching programme and working with many experience coaches and gaining more knowledge.
What advice do you have for anyone wanting to be a coach?
Have a go, everyone learns differently, so you just might have a unique idea or character which will inspire someone.
What three words best describe coaching to you?
24/7 thinking outside the box
Learning to be adapt